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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Keep It Simple

A friend and mentor of mine taught me a valuable lesson the other day. What is it? Keep it simple...and avoid overkill! Sometimes, as a lawyer (and especially a younger lawyer), you tend to overdo things because you get so wrapped up in the trees, i.e., the thing you're working on, that you lose sight of forrest, i.e., the big picture. As a result, you lose your bearings because you are trying to do all this extra stuff that doesn't help your client out, or you, at all. This seems like such a simple concept -- and so obvious -- but it can be easily overlooked. Trust me, don't do it! Always keep sight of the result you're trying to achieve -- and don't waste time getting there!

Be result oriented. It pays off.

Monday, January 30, 2006

State Hospital Information

Save this to your favorites. Here, once again from Health Guide USA, is a link for each hospital in every state, to wit:

I thought you might be able to use this link.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association

Are you a lawyer in Tennessee that does some plaintiffs' work but no defense work (except for criminal defense)? If so, are you a member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association? If not, you should be.

Here's the link to their site:

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Managing Information in the Electronic Age

Ever hear of the "Sedona Guidelines"? I had not until a friend of mine wrote about them in his blog. Actually, I'm speaking of The Sedona Guidelines: Best Practice Guidelines & Commentary for Managing Information & Records in the Electronic Age ( As far as I know, these are the only guidelines available on managing electronic information, records, etc. (I'm sure there are more out there, I'm just not aware of them).

Being familiar with them could not hurt, especially in the discovery process.

Also, Brandon Bass brought these to my attention, he has a great blog at

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Medical Malpractice Myth: A Must-Read

The other day I wrote about The Medical Malpractice Myth in this blog. I had read some excerpts and seen a spot about it on C-SPAN (yes, I was watching C-SPAN) last Saturday. It intrigued me, to say the least. So I ordered the book. I received my copy today and I have one thing to say about this book: get it! It is a must-read for anyone. No matter who you are, I think you need to read this book.

It may be the little dog that pulls the curtain back for you.

Here's the link:

Justice Birch Retires

Justice Birch will be retiring (along with Justice Anderson) this August. He too will be greatly missed. Governor Bredesen, to paraphrase, said Justice Birch was a trailblazer in the legal profession. Justice Birch is also the only Justice to serve on every level of our court system (i.e., from general sessions court (Tennessee's lowest court) to our Supreme Court (Tennessee's highest court)).

To read more, go to:

Body Theft Scandal

This story will shock you (or at least it should). I know this has been out before but you should read this story at this link:

Allegedly, employees of funeral homes were cutting up bodies and selling the parts.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Justice Anderson Retires

Justice Anderson will be retiring in August. For those of you not from Tennessee, Justice Anderson is a very well-respected justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. He will be missed.

Here is a link to read more about Justice Anderson and his retirement:

Again, he will be missed.

Jury Selection Begins in Fourth Vioxx Trial

Here's the link to the Businessweek article:

I think this will be an interesting trial.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Appellate Practice in Tennessee

Do you have an appeal in Tennessee? Have you ever done one before? If you have not, here is a good resource for you, to wit:, then, on the left, click "members." There you will find the online version of Appellate Advocacy: A Handbook on Appellate Advocacy in TN (3rd ed.).

This is a great resource -- an invaluable resource -- for any lawyer handling an appeal in Tennessee. I also know that the fourth edition will be coming out soon.

The editor, Donald Capparella, is a friend of mine, and a great lawyer. Trust me, anytime you get to pick his brain (in person or via a read of this book) you should do it. It will pay off exponentially.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Monday, January 23, 2006

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence Online

Here are two links for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence online as follows:

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Little More on Medical Malpractice

I'm getting ready for a mediation tomorrow and I do not have anything of any substance today. I would, however, like to point out that if you have not ordered the book by Tom Baker, The Medical Malpractice Myth, you really should. It has some good information on the subject.

Also, here is a really good article from The Memphis Flyer about the state of affairs in Tennessee when it comes to medical malpractice insurance:

To quote from the article, "[a]bout 5 percent of the doctors are responsible for over 50 percent of the claims." Wow!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

An Unfair Sentence?

I wrote about the Wendy's finger case on the 18th of this month. I have a friend who has written in his blog about this case too. In his blog today, he points out how others have been sentenced for their wrongs, and he compares their sentences with Mrs. Ayala's sentence. When you compare their sentences with Mrs. Ayala, I think you'll be surprised. I was.

My friend's blog is at:

P.S. This post may seem contradictory to the one I wrote on the 18th (don't get me wrong, I think she, and her husband, deserved a stiff sentence), however, when you compare the sentences (as John did), I think it will make you scratch your head and go "hmmm."

I thought this was interesting.

Rule 30 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure: It's Important!

When was the last time you read Rule 30 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure -- including the Advisory Commission Comments? There is some good stuff in there, namely: (1) in addition to the notice of an audio-visual deposition, a subpoena to attend an audio-visual deposition must also state that it is for an audio-visual deposition (some of us, myself included, though that only the notice to the deposition was required to state that the deposition would be recorded audio-visually); and (2) instructions not to an answer by opposing counsel are unethical -- and sanctionable.

There are two cases cited in the Advisory Commission Comments to Rule 30.03 that are worth reading, to wit: First Tennessee Bank v. FDIC, 108 F.R.D. 640 (E.D. Tenn. 1985); Hall v. Clifton Precision, 150 F.R.D. 525 (E.D. Pa. 1993).

Here's the link to the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure (you will have to Google this link):

Friday, January 20, 2006

HEALTH GUIDE USA: Healthcare provider Information

Here is a great link for looking up healthcare provider information, e.g., licensing information for a doctor, etc. The link is as follows:

Let me know what you think of this link.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wendy's Finger Scam: Part II

Remember the woman that supposedly found the finger in her bowl of chili at a Wendy's? She was sentenced to nine years today. So was her husband who was an accomplice.

See the story here:

People have to have faith in our civil justice system for it to work properly. I think the judge in this case did what was right to send a message to anyone considering doing the same (and to maintain the people's faith in the system).

Bottom line: Don't try to "game" the system!

Service of Process

Ever had a problem with getting service on a defendant? Well, here's a link to a company that might be able to help you out:

Good luck!

Stella Liebeck: Do you know who she is? You should!

Stella Liebeck. Who is she? She is famous. Why? Because she is the lady who sued McDonalds over the spilled coffee. Do you know the entire story about this case (not just an anecdote)? Well, here it is (you may need to Google this link):

Read this story. I believe that once you know "the rest of the story" your take on this case will change.

Information, again, is vital and should be shared.

Thanks for reading!

The Medical Malpractice Myth, by Tom Baker

I came across an interesting book the other day, i.e., The Medical Malpractice Myth, by Tom Baker. I thought it would be worth sharing.

Disinformation seems to be the norm when it comes to a discussion about medical malpractice. This book seems to bring very pertinent -- and correct -- information to the discussion (and it's not what the insurance industry is saying, either).

No matter what side of this debate you're on, accurate information is vital. Otherwise, everything is based solely on conjecture. No good can come from such a discussion. That is why I think this book is a good read.

Food for thought.

P.S. Here's the Amazon link to purchase the book (you may need to Google it):

I had to recreate some of these prior posts, however, I want to say that I got some really great comments on this post. Thank you all for the nice comments.

Daubert on the Web

Here is a good site, which is state-specific, for Daubert issues, to wit:

It's helpful.