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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

May the Courthouse Doors Always Remain Open

I read this article on Sunday and was amazed at how much is spent by big business to try to close the courthouse doors to the injured or wronged (it's on page 2 of the article). In fact, I was shocked. A jury is an integral part of our civil justice system; and big business wants to limit a jury's right to decide a matter and the remedy that can be provided. (As a reminder, one of the reasons we declared our independence from England was because we had been denied the right to a jury trial in some instances.)

I'm fond of saying there are no Atheists in foxholes, and there are no injured persons who are pro-tort deform.

Yes, I am biased. I think American citizens should have the right to decide when another has been injured or wronged, and to determine the amount of damages incurred. Others do not agree with me (as can be determined by reading the article). You make up your own mind on the issue.

Here's the link:

May the Courthouse Doors ALWAYS remain open to those who have been injured or wronged.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Is a Lawyer Allowed to Tape Record a Court Proceeding in Tennessee?

A lawyer may tape record a judicial proceeding in Tennessee. This is per statute, to wit: "It is lawful for attorneys representing parties in proceedings in any of the courts of this state to use tape recorders as an aid in making notes of the proceedings." T.C.A. § 20-9-104. Here's a link to the Tennessee Code:

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Service by Facsimile under the Tenn. R. Civ. P.

Did you know that you can effectuate service of some documents via facsimile under the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure? I didn't till today; Rule 5 allows this form of service. See Tenn. R. Civ. P. 5.02 ("Items that may be filed by facsimile transmission pursuant to Rule 5A may be served via facsimile transmission."). Tenn. R. Civ. P. 5A.02(4) lists the documents that can't be filed (or served) via facsimile (e.g., complaints, summonses, wills, affidavits, etc.). Therefore, any document that can be filed with the clerk via facsimile can also be served via facsimile. See Tenn. R. Civ. P. 5.02 & 5A.02(4).

Useful information, huh?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Med Mal Opinion on Apparent Agency

Today the Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Thomas v. Oldfield, No. M2007-01693-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. June 2, 2008). Judge Clement authored the opinion.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant hospital based upon apparent agency. This ruling is in line with the Tennessee Supreme Court's rulings in Boren v. Weeks and Dewald v. HCA Health Services of Tennessee (both are the subject of my May 7, 2008 post). For purposes of explanation, Boren and Dewald adopted the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 429 as the controlling law in the analysis of whether apparent agency exists.

Here's the link to the opinion:

FYI: This is the second appeal that I know of in this case; the other is the subject of my Nov. 8, 2007 post.

Monday, June 02, 2008

New Opinion on Comparative Fault and the Discovery Rule

The Court of Appeals (Eastern Section) recently issued an opinion in a car-wreck case analyzing comparative fault and the discovery rule. Judge Susano authored the opinion. The style of the case is Grindstaff v. Bowman, No. E2007-00135-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 29, 2008). I think it is a must-read opinion.

Here's the link to the opinion: