The Law offices of J. Vincent Perryman

Legal Resources and Learning Center

The Memphis Law Offices of J. Vincent Perryman strive to educate the Memphis community on legal issues and their rights. The Memphis Attorneys provide the Legal Resources and Learning Center for that purpose. We know the difficulties involved in understanding the legal terms used in contracts, Memphis court hearings, and your day to day rights. This glossary of legal terms will help explain their meanings to you.

LegalEase Videos

LegalEase Videos and Television Show

LegalEase is a television program made possible in part by Germantown Community Television for members of the Germantown, Tennessee and Greater Memphis Metropolitan Area. LegalEase is hosted by attorney J. Vincent Perryman and brings Germantown and Greater Memphis Metropolitan Area legal and political topics to viewers. If you would like to view all episodes or search the Legalease episodes please visit the LegalEase episodes page.

Recent LegalEase episodes:
Memphis attorney Vincent Perryman discusses divorce Odds & Ends with Jason Nowlin Memphis attorney Vincent Perryman discusses divorce Odds & Ends with Jason Nowlin

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Memphis attorney Vincent Perryman discusses divorce Odds & Ends with Jason Nowlin Memphis attorney Vincent Perryman discusses divorce Odds & Ends with Jason Nowlin

(view episode...)

Memphis attorney Vincent Perryman discusses divorce Odds & Ends with Jason Nowlin Memphis attorney Vincent Perryman discusses divorce Odds & Ends with Jason Nowlin

(view episode...)

Memphis Attorneys Blog

Attorney and Legal Blog

In addition to providing legal terms defined in a legal glossary, J. Vincent Perryman also provides legal information at The Memphis Attorneys Blog includes postings by other Memphis area attorneys who practice various types of law.

Recent blog postings from the Memphis Attorneys Blog:
  • Why Every Young Family Should Have An Estate Plan By Memphis Attorney Michele Gwinn

    Have you ever considered who would care for your children if something happened to you and your spouse?  Recently, my youngest grandson was left in my care while his parents and two older siblings went to Birmingham.  I am a fairly typical Mom - I worry about my children, especially when they are far from home.  I began to think about the events that would take place if the unspeakable happened while my kids were traveling. In an instant, my focus shifted from my own children to concern for my grandchildren as numerous questions swirled through my head.  What would happen to my grandsons if their parents died? Who would care for them? Did my kids have a will? If so, where was it? How would custody be determined if my kids did not leave a Will?

    Death is a scary thought for most people, so it is simply not discussed. Parents do not want to fathom the thought of leaving their young children behind.  Yet, determining who will care for your children in the event of your untimely death is one of the most important parenting decisions you can make.  Unfortunately, most young parents (and far too many older parents) have avoided making any decisions regarding the care of their children if they, the parents, died. For some, the fear that drafting any documents related to death will somehow lead to an early demise prevents decision-making. Even those parents who openly discuss their preferences of potential guardians for their children often fail to visit a Memphis Attorney who practices in estate planning to memorialize their desires. When individuals die without making a Will, they have died intestate. Intestacy is a legal term that simply means someone died without a Will. Unfortunately, various issues arise when parents of minor children die intestate. For example:

    1. Since the parents had not executed a Will with a provision stipulating a guardian to care for the minor child(ren), one will have to be appointed by the Tennessee court.  Both relatives and non-relatives will be permitted to petition for guardianship; however, preference is often given to family members who have a close relationship with the child(ren).  This is not always a smooth process because disputes arise among family members regarding where and with whom the children should reside, especially in those situations where the parents never expressed their wishes. Unfortunately,  the family discord can lead to a battle for guardianship, which only further fractures the family unit and extended family.
    2. Guardianship will be determined based on the “best interest” of the child. The Tennessee court will assess factors similar to those used in custody determinations in divorce cases, including: (a) the ability of the individual(s) to provide child(ren) with necessities;  (b) physical, mental and moral fitness of the potential guardian; and  (c) the love, affection and emotional ties that exist between the child(ren) and the potential guardian.  Despite the Tennessee court’s efforts to provide for the best interest of the child(ren), it is possible that the guardian(s) appointed will not be the person(s) the deceased parents would have chosen had they had the opportunity to do so themselves.

    Parents, you are uniquely qualified to choose appropriate potential guardian(s) for your child(ren).   Not only do you fully understand the needs of your child(ren), but you also are in the best position to choose caregiver(s) who are able to meet those needs.  The following simple steps will help you effectuate the most favorable outcome for your child(ren) in the event of your untimely death:

    1. Have the conversation.  Talk with your spouse about potential guardians for your children. Consider what would be in the best interest of your child(ren), including the age, health, and ability of each potential caregiver to provide for your child(ren) long-term.  While grandparents might be a good choice today, will those same grandparents able to provide care in ten years?
    2. Meet with a Memphis Attorney and make a Will that contains a provision designating a guardian for your child(ren).  While the best interest factors are still consider, pursuant to Tennessee law, the Tennessee court will give preference in appointing a guardian to the individuals designated in your Will.
    3. After you have executed your Will, make sure that your loved ones know where to find it. Place it in a safe deposit box or other safe location for easy access in the event of your death.

    Do not leave your child(ren)’s future to chance. Take the steps necessary to be an active participant in choosing a guardian for your child(ren).  Who will care for your children? The choice is yours.


    Michele Brooks Gwinn, Esq.

    5100 Wheelis Drive, Ste 100

    Memphis, TN 38117

    Phone: 901.347.0647

    Fax: 901.255.0745


  • Shelby County Judicial Elections: Attorney Vincent Perryman's Endorsements

    I have received requests from clients, friends and family for my advice in who they should support in the Shelby County Judicial Elections, therefore I provide the public with my opinions below.

    I think it is helpful for the reader to know a little bit about me as that provides some understanding for the basis of my opinions of the Judicial Candidates for Shelby. I am a 37 year old male civil attorney practicing law mainly in Shelby County I began my legal career in the fall of 2005 and prior to that I was a Law Enforcement Officer for the National Park Service. I am known for candor and telling it like it is regardless of the consequences.

    I was the head of the Memphis Bar Association’s Probate and Estate Planning Section for two terms/years. I practice in Probate Court, Circuit Court, Juvenile Court, Chancery Court and General Sessions Civil Court. In these Courts I have appeared before all of the Judges. It is rare to see me in Criminal Courts for anything more than a speeding ticket so if I voice an opinion in any of those races it is because of my personal dealings with the candidates.

    I will start by linking to the complete ballot then give you my endorsements and finally links for informational sources so you can make educated decisions about the candidates. If anyone has any questions feel free to email me at the address provided at the bottom of this blog with Judicial Election in the subject line.

    The entire Ballot can be found here:

    On the ballot there are several retention races where we can either select retain or do not retain for Appeallate and Supreme Court Judges my recommendation is to retain every one of our Appeallate and Supreme Court Judges.

    Here are the contested races on the Aug. 7 ballot and the individuals that I recommend:


    Div. 1: Kyle Wiggins

    Div. 2:  James F. Russell,

    Div. 3: Lee Ann Pafford Dobson

    Div. 4: Gina Carol Higgins,

    Div. 5: Joseph E. "Joe" Garrett,

    Div. 8: Robert "Bob" Weiss,

    Chancery Court

    Part 1: Walter L. Evans

    Part 2: Jim Newsom

    Probate Court

    Div. 1: Kathleen N. Gomes,

    Div. 2: Karen D. Webster

    Criminal Court

    Div. 1: Paula Skahan

    Div. 3: Bobby Carter

    Div. 5: Jim Lammey,

    Div. 6: John W. Campbell

    Div. 7: Lee V. Coffee

    Div. 9: Mark Ward

    General Sessions Court

    Div. 1, Civil: Lynn Cobb

    Div. 2, Civil: Phyllis B. Gardner,

    Div. 3, Civil: David L. Pool

    Div. 5, Civil: Ellen Fite or Betty Thomas Moore (I have a hard time with this because Judge Thomas Moore is a good Judge but I think Ellen Fite could possibly be one of the best Judges if elected)

    Div. 6, Civil: Lonnie Thompson

    Div. 7, Criminal: Bill Anderson Jr.

    Div. 8, Criminal: Tim J. Dwyer

    Div. 9, Criminal: Joyce Broffitt

    Div. 10, Criminal: Chris Turner

    Div. 11, Criminal: Karen Lynne Massey

    Div. 12, Criminal: S. Ronald (Ron) Lucchesi,

    Div. 14, Criminal (Environmental): Larry Potter

    Juvenile Court: Dan Holman Michael

    All attorneys are governed by licensing requirements and a code of ethics that must be followed, if there is a problem then the attorney is disciplined which can be a slap on the wrist or a loss of their law license. Check for the Judicial Candidate’s record with the TN Board of Professional Responsibility for any discipline here:

    Clients and Attorneys can post reviews of attorneys on Avvo and Avvo gives the attorney an opportunity to respond to the review. This can be a good indicator as to the attorney’s demeanor if there are multiple bad reviews. My own profile on Avvo has both good and bad reviews and I feel those reviews are fair. See what clients and other attorneys have to say about the candidate on Avvo:

    The following links are to the list of sitting Judges so you can determine the incumbent if there is one:

    General Sessions Judges Civil Division:

    General Sessions Judges Criminal Division:

    Chancery Court:

    Circuit Court:

    Criminal Court:

    Probate Court

    Articles from the Memphis Commercial Appeal

    Link to the Memphis Bar Associations Lawyer’s Poll on the Judicial Candidates:



    J. Vincent Perryman, Esq., LL.M.
    Law Offices of J. Vincent Perryman
    5100 Wheelis Drive Ste 100
    Memphis, TN 38117
    Phone: 901.347.0647
    Fax: 901.255.0745

  • Co-Parenting Tips from Memphis Attorney Whitney Goode

    Are you divorced? Separated? Raising a child with someone who is not your significant other?  You may be asking yourself: “How can I keep talking with this person who has hurt me?” “How can I keep a brave face for my child?” “What can I do to make this easier for my child?”. These are all valid questions that most likely cross the mind of every person who ends up co-parenting their children. Here are some tips that can help you in co-parenting your child:

    Attend a Transparenting Class

     In a divorce action, courts require parents to take a “transparenting” class. This class prepares the parents for the reality of parenting a child who will be living in two households. This class is intended to bring issues to the attention of the newly separated parents which he or she might not have already thought about.  If a custody case is in Memphis juvenile court, the parents are not required to take this “transparenting” class.  Though it is not required to take the class in juvenile court, it is just as important to learn how to work with the other parent to raise the children in your lives. Here is a link to information on where you can take the transparenting classes in Memphis:


    Find ways to Effectively Communicate with the Other Parent

                    To keep yourself from using the child as the messenger, you and your ex need to discuss an effective  method of communication that will avoid conflict. If phone calls cause tension and conflict, texting or emailing could be the best form of communication. Here are some tips to help keep the communication conflict free:

                    Use a Professional Tone. Treat the other parent as if he or she were a colleague. Keep the language professional.

                    Don’t Demand, Make Request.  Instead of demanding that the child be returned at a certain time, etc., ask the other parent if they would be willing to drop off the child at a certain time.  By requesting rather than demanding, the other parent will most likely be more agreeable. A demand could put the other parent on the defensive.

                    Stay Child-Focused. Parents should remember that the reason for their continued relationship is for the benefit of the child. So keep that in mind each time you are conversing with the other parent. If you can keep the child in mind each time you converse with the other parent, then you should able to keep any tension and conflict down.

                    Change the Other Parent’s Contact Picture.  One way to stay child-focused in communications with the other parent is to change the contact photo of the other parent to a picture of your child. When the other parent calls, a picture of your child will pop up on the screen and it will remind you what the conversation should focus on.

    Don’t put the kids in the middle

                    While you may not want to communicate with your ex, never use your child as the messenger.  If a child is used as the messenger between parents, the child will feel like she is in the middle of the relationship and could feel like he or she needs to choose sides between each parent.

    Don’t let your Feelings show in your Behavior

                    Feelings of conflict, tension and anger often arise in co-parenting situations.  It is very important that the parents put these feelings aside and not let it show in their behavior in front of the child.  Parents should avoid venting to their children. Parents need to find another outlet to let their feelings out. It is important to stay focused on your children and their well-being.

    Create Consistency Between Homes

                    Try to agree on generally consistent rules and similar discipline techniques. By having consistent rules and consequences in each household, the child’s life will be consistent. This will prevent the child from thinking he can do one thing in one house and get away with something else at another house.  For example, if the child has misbehaved at dad’s house and has gotten tv privileges taken away then this should continue at mom’s house for consistency in the child’s life.  Also, keeping the child’s schedule consistent at the two houses will help the child’s life stay balanced. For example, keep the child’s bedtime around the same time so that his or her schedule won’t be changed  will promote the child’s well-being.

    Making the Change Easier

    Transitioning from living in one parent’s home to another parent’s home can be very difficult for a child but there are ways to make it easier on the child. 

                    Communicate about the change.  Talk to your child about the change that is about to happen. Be positive about the experience. A few days before the visit, mention it to the child so that they will not be shocked by the change that is about to occur.

                    Be Encouraging.  Be encouraging about the fact that the will get to spend time with the other parent.

                    Pack Ahead of Time. Packing in advance can also help the child. Let them pick a few things from their normal home that will make them feel comfortable with the other parent.

                    Drop Off, Don’t Pick up. If it at all possible, when it is time to make the switch, the parent who has the child should drop the child off at the other parent’s home. This will prevent the image of one parent “taking” the child from another parent and possibly breaking up a fun activity.

    Remember to stay positive and keep the lines of communication open with the other parent. Don’t focus on the past, focus on the well-being of your child.  

    Hiring a Quality Experienced Family Law Attorney

                    In any custody proceeding, it is important to hire a good quality and experienced family law attorney who can advise you on your rights and the rights you have to parent your child. Many parents do not fully understand the custody rights that they have to their children. A good Memphis family law attorney  can provide you with even more tips that can help your co-parenting situation.

    Whitney E. Goode, Esq.
    Law Offices of J. Vincent Perryman
    5100 Wheelis Drive, Ste 100 
    Memphis, TN 38117
    Phone: 901.347.0647
    Fax: 901.255.0745

If you would like more information or if you are in need of legal advice or legal assistance, please contact a Memphis Attorney.

4719 Spottswood
Memphis, TN 38117

PH: 901-347-0647
FX: 901-255-0745

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4719 Spottswood, Memphis, TN 38117
Ph: 901-347-0647
Fx: 901-255-0745

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