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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Comparative Fault in General Sessions Court in Tennessee

In a general sessions tort case, a defendant must notify the plaintiff and the clerk if he or she thinks that fault should be shared or that another is solely at fault. Tenn. Code. Ann. § 16-15-735. Here's a link to statute:

A defendant must also identify the allegedly at-fault party sufficiently so that a plaintiff may serve process on him or her. Brown v. Wal-Mart Discount Cities, 12 S.W.3d 785, 789 (Tenn. 2000).

How do you deal with a defendant's attempt to shift blame improperly (i.e., by not identifying the other at-fault party) in a general sessions court tort case? File a motion to strike and cite Brown.

Good luck.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Profanity a Crime?

Common sense ought to tell you that you shouldn't use profanity in a courtroom. That's a given.

But did you know that it was illegal to use profanity in a courtroom? I didn't till today. Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-9-107 states that "A person who profanely swears or curses in the presence of any court of record commits a Class C misdemeanor."

Here's the link to the Tennessee Code:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Medical Malpractice in Tennessee

In 2004 Tennessee adopted a law that required the Department of Commerce and Insurance to keep track of medical malpractice claims for four years. Here's the third of the four reports:

As you can see, there is no "problem" with medical malpractice litigation. Moreover, medical malpractice insurors are doing well financially.

Monday, March 17, 2008

New UM Case from Tennessee Supreme Court

The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an opinion yesterday in Green v. Johnson, No. E2006-02666-SC-R11-CV (Tenn. Mar. 13, 2008). Here's the link to the opinion:

The issue in Green was whether an uninsured motorist carrier may reduce its liability under an uninsured motorist provision of an automoblie insurance policy by the amount of settlement proceeds received by the insured from a non-motorist defendant, who is alleged to share responsibility for the bodily injury of the insured. The Court held that it could.