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Friday, September 25, 2009

Civil Procedure: Motions to Revise Under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02

Here's a good opinion from the Tennessee Court of Appeals that discusses motions to revise under Rule 54.02 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, motions for summary judgment, and the Dead Man's Statute. The case is Johnson v. Tanner-Peck, LLC, W2008-00767-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 25, 2009).

Here's the link to the opinion:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Affirmative Defense Must Be Properly Pleaded

The Court of Appeals recently issued its opinion in Allgood v. Gateway Health Sys., M2008-01779-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2009). The Court held that the defendant waived the affirmative defense of insufficiency of service or process by failing to comply with Rule 8.03 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure.

Here's a link to the opinion:

This opinion is consistent with prior decisions from the Tennessee Supreme Court regarding affirmative defenses and Rule 8.03. See generally Brown v. Wal-Mart Discount Cities, 12 S.W.3d 785 (Tenn. 2000); George v. Alexander, 931 S.W.2d 517 (Tenn. 1996).

Federal Practice: Pleading Standards

It has recently become more difficult for a plaintiff to obtain justice in federal court. The difficulty arises due to more-stringent pleading requirements imposed upon plaintiffs, which must be met in order to survive a motion to dismiss. Read this article that describes the problem:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Release of Civil Claims in Tennessee

Here is a recent Court of Appeals' opinion that covers the law in Tennessee on the release of civil claims (i.e., settlements). The case is Peatross v. Shelby County, W2008-02385-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 10, 2009).

Here's a link to the opinion:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trial Practice: The Mention of Insurance at Trial

We all know that a defendant's liability insurance coverage should not be intentionally interjected into a personal injury trial. However, what happens when it is mentioned incidentally? The Court of Appeals just issued an opinion on this subject in Steward v. Smith, No. M2009-00048-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 14, 2009). The Court of Appeals held that the mention of a defendant's liability insurance coverage will not per se cause a mistrial; nor does it necessitate a remittitur.

Here's a link to the opinion:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sept. 11, 2001

This is the eighth anniversary of the cowardly attacks upon our nation that occurred on September 11, 2001. This is a somber day in our history.

We must never forget those who died that day or their families. And may God continue to bless America.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Slip-and-Fall Case: Summary Judgment for Defendant Reversed

Recently the Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Masters v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., No. M2008-02752-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 1, 2009). This opinion does a good job of analyzing the law of summary judgment in a slip-and-fall case.

Here's a link to the opinion:

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New Governmental Tort Liability Act ("GTLA") Case

The Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Petty v. City of Whitehouse, No. M2008-02453-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 1, 2009). The case offers an excellent explanation of the removal of a governmental entity's immunity for an injury caused by a dangerous or defective public improvement under Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-20-204, which is part of the Tennessee GTLA.

Here's a link to the opinion:

Tort Reform Won't Lower Healthcare Costs

Q: Will tort reform lower healthcare costs?

A: No.

Here's a link to a New York Times piece that you should read, to wit: