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Friday, November 28, 2008

A Legal Citation Web Site

Here's a site to use if you don't have your Bluebook handy, to wit:

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Medical Malpractice v. Common Law Negligence

The Court of Appeals recently issued its opinion in Cannon v. McKendree Village, Inc., No. M2008-00456-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 25, 2008). The opinion was written by Justice Lee, who was sitting as a special judge for this matter. It offers a good explanation of when a cause of action or claim sounds in medical malpractice or common law negligence. It also touches upon claims made under the Tennessee Adult Protection Act and res ipsa loquitur.

Here's a link to the opinion:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you all have a great holiday.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Unfortunate Result

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently issued its opinion in Gilchrist v. Aristorenas, No. W2007-01919-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 24, 2008). The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant.

This case demonstrates the dangers and pitfalls of handling medical malpractice cases. The plaintiff's expert recanted an earlier plaintiff-friendly opinion during his deposition. This resulted, in part, in the plaintiff not having the necessary expert testimony to rebut the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Therefore, the motion for summary judgment was granted.

Here's the link to the opinion:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pretrial Discovery under the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure in General Sessions Court

Everyone knows that the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply in general session court, right? In fact, subject to three exceptions, Rule 1 says they do not apply. See Tenn. R. Civ. P. 1 (stating that the rules shall not apply to general sessions courts). But is there ever an occasion when the rules do apply, even if one of the three exceptions listed in Rule 1 aren't operative? The answer is yes. Discovery under Rules 26-34 and 36-37 may be had if a motion is filed and granted, to wit:

24-9-102. General sessions cases. —

(a) Discovery pursuant to Rules 26-37 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, excluding physical and mental examinations under Rule 35 of such rules, may be taken in all civil cases pending in the courts of general sessions in the discretion of the court after motion showing both good cause and exceptional circumstances and pursuant to an order describing the extent and conditions of such discovery.

(b) Depositions of custodians of hospital and medical records may be taken in all cases pending before the judges of the courts of general sessions, under the same rules, regulations, and restrictions as in cases pending in the courts of record.

[Acts 1986, ch. 750, § 1; 1988, ch. 943, § 1.]
Hope this helps. Good luck!

Nashville/Davidson County Juror Info.

Here's a link to juror information from the Metro. Nashville & Davidson County Circuit Court Clerk's Office:

Monday, November 17, 2008

No Credit to Nonsettling Defendants

Are nonsettling defendants entitled to a credit for amounts paid by former defendants or non-parties? Short answer: no. So long as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is not in play, defendants receive no such credit. See generally Varner v. Perryman, 969 S.W.2d 410 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997); Williams Holding Co. v. Willis, 166 S.W.3d 707 (Tenn. 2005); see also 17 John A. Day et al., Tennessee Practice Series: Tennessee Law of Comparative Fault § 11:3, at 213 (2nd ed. 2002); id. § 11:6, at 49 (Supp. 2007-08).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Summary Judgment Case

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently issued another opinion (with a separate concurring opinion) regarding summary judgment practice in this state. The case is Martin v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co., E2006-01021-SC-R11-CV (Tenn. Nov. 14, 2008). The Court in Martin reiterates and reaffirms its recent holding in Hannan (see previous post), which is that summary judgment should only be granted when (1) the movant affirmatively negates an essential element of the non-movant's claim; or (2) the movant shows that the non-movant cannot prove an essential element of its claim at trial. Martin, E2006-01021-SC-R11-CV, slip op. at 6.

Here is a link to the majority opinion that was written by Chief Justice Holder:

Here is a link to Justice Koch's separate concurring opinion:

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Summary Judgment in Tennessee

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently issued an important opinion on summary judgment in Hannan v. Alltel Publ'g Co., E2006-01353-SC-R11-CV (Tenn. Oct. 31, 2008). Justice Koch filed a dissenting opinion.

Here is a link to the majority opinion:

Here is a link to Justice Koch's dissent:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election 2008

This election has been one of the most interesting in recent years (and that says a lot when you consider what happened in 2000). I have seen more yard signs, TV ads, and campaign buttons than I have in a while, too. My former high-school Civics teacher, who is now deceased, would be loving the current atmosphere (in fact, I do too).

We all know how important it is to vote; people died so we could have this way of a life, this democracy. A democracy, however, cannot -- and will not -- function properly unless people exercise their right to vote. So, please, no matter who you support, get out today and exercise your right to vote.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Gerry Spence's Blog

Gerry Spence has a blog. There should be some interesting stuff on it every now and then.