Tennessee Defense

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TDLA News

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  • 22 Apr 2019 8:39 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    One of the membership benefits at TDLA is being part of an organization that can make a difference in Tennessee law. TDLA has submitted several Amicus Briefs in the last few months and below is a summary of those efforts.

    Individual Healthcare Specialists, Inc. v. Bluecross Blueshield of Tennessee, Inc. - TDLA garnered national attention from DRI for its involvement in this case. The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an opinion in January addressing the issues discussed in the Amicus Brief filed by DRI with the assistance of TDLA last year. In the case, the Court found Defendants breached its contract with Plaintiffs by failing to pay post-termination commissions, but the discovery rule did not apply because the alleged breach did was not "inherently undiscoverable. While the Court did not reject the discovery rule with respect to all breach of contract cases, the opinion indicated that the discovery rule would apply in very narrow circumstances, if at all.

    Martin et. al v. Rolling Hills Hospital, LLC - This is a healthcare liability case in which the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the claim based on plaintiffs’ incomplete HIPAA authorization and failure to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-26-121. The Supreme Court accepted the parties’ application and has asked for briefs regarding the role of prejudice in a substantial compliance analysis and when a plaintiff fails to provide a HIPAA-compliant authorization with the pre- suit notice letter. The parties’ briefing of these issues is completed, and TTLA has submitted an Amicus Brief. In response, TDLA Professional Negligence and Medical Malpractice Chair Chris Vrettos of Gideon, Cooper & Essary has filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of TDLA last week. More to come on this case.

    Tennessee Farmers v. DeBruce - TDLA members Hannah Lowe of Trammell, Adkins and Ward and Hank Spragins of Hickman, Goza and Spragins have agreed to co-author an Amicus Brief on behalf of TDLA regarding this significant case. The Tennessee Declaratory Judgment Act (Tenn. Code Ann. 29-14-107(a)) requires that “all persons shall be made parties who have or claim an interest which would be affected by the declaration, and no declaration shall prejudice the rights of persons not parties to the proceedings.” To date, Tennessee appellate courts have never gone so far as to hold that a court would not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear a declaratory judgment action when the insurer failed to include a party that claims an interest in the declaration. This case makes doing so a possibility.

  • 19 Mar 2019 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA officers will be attending the Southern and Southeastern Region meeting in Key Largo, Florida. In keeping with DRI Cares we are collecting new, best-selling books, audiobooks on CDs, music CDs, and DVDs with new movies to donate to the Friends of Key Largo Library. The Library is excited about getting donations and depend on these donations to provide materials to their patrons. A wish list has been set up through Amazon Smiles with links as set out below. If you want to send something prior to the meeting, Melissa Roeder’s firm, Foley Mansfield, in Miami has agreed to hold the items for FDLA to pick up before the meeting. 

    Young Adult Books:

    https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=young+adult+fiction&i=stripbooks&rh=n%3A283155%2Cn%3A17443&dc&crid=39JQEEC1IFIH0&qid=1552418442&rnid=1000&sprefix=young+adult+%2Caps%2C176&ref=sr_nr_n_1

    Movies (DVD)

    https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=dvds&i=movies-tv&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

    Music (CDs)

    https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=CDs&rh=n%3A5174&dc&qid=1552418847&rnid=2941120011&ref=sr_nr_n_4


    Address:

    Foley Mansfield

    Attn: Virginia Johnson – DRI

    4770 Biscayne Boulevard 
    Suite 1000 
    Miami, Florida 33137 
    Main: 305-438-9899
    Fax: 305-438-9819

    Thank you for caring!

  • 14 Dec 2018 12:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Save the Date for these exciting TDLA and DRI events for 2019! More to come!!!

    January 25-26, 2019 - TDLA Trial School, Nashville, TN - more info by clicking here

    June 13-16, 2019 - TDLA/ ADLA Joint Summer Conference, Sandestin, FL - more info click here

    October 16-18, 2019 - DRI Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA


  • 14 Dec 2018 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    DRI Golden Coat Challenge - a nationwide coat drive!

    WHO: All State & Legal Defense Organizations (SLDO) members, core sponsors, law firms, and friends.

    WHAT: A diehard, fierce, nationwide competition among SLDOs to collect the most new and gently used coats. All collected coats will be donated to organizations in your local community, which will provide them free of charge to individuals in need. Winner (collector of the most coats) will receive a Golden Coat Award provided by #DRICares and bragging rights. All who participates are winners and will feel awesome for helping others.

    WHEN: Until December 31, 2018.

    HOW: Each SLDO will report to Melissa Roeder (mroeder@foleymansfield.com) on the number of coats collected. The top three SLDOs will be announced in The Voice.

    Please send donated coats by December 31, 2018 to attention:
    Lynn V. Lawyer, TDLA President
    Law Office of Gary R. Wilkinson
    51 Century Blvd., Suite 300
    Nashville, Tennessee 37214

  • 30 Oct 2018 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA was presented the Rudolph A. Janata award at the DRI Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA earlier this month. The award is presented to an outstanding state & legal defense bar organization that has undertaken an innovative or unique program contributing to the goals and objectives of the organized defense bar. We are honored to receive this national award, and we recognize all TDLA leadership, past and present, who have tirelessly volunteered their time to achieve this honor! 

    Onwards and upwards! 

  • 28 Oct 2018 8:03 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    The 2019 TDLA Sponsorship package is now available. 2019 sponsorships run from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Get in on a full year of visibility with a national award winning organization and over 500 TDLA members!

    Click here to view the 2019 sponsorship package. 

  • 27 Sep 2018 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA has scheduled a trial school CLE program for January 25 and 26 in Nashville.  The first day, Friday, January 25, will feature presentations on trial techniques in a traditional CLE setting.  The second day will be a mock trial using a NITA problem with judges, jurors, and attorney mentors participating in the program.  The students will actually try the case on Saturday, January 26.  We need volunteers for presenting the CLE and for acting as judges, jurors, and attorney mentors during the trial day.  

    If you are available, and are interested in volunteering for any of these roles, please complete the following 
    SurveyClick Here

  • 13 Jun 2018 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA and DRI are currently accepting nominations for our 2018 Professional Awards.

    These awards identify your peers who deserve recognition either for their professional contributions to, and achievements on behalf of the defense bar and the civil justice system.

    TDLA will be accepting nominations through September 7, 2018 for our Tennessee "Rising Star" and "Defense Lawyer of the Year" awards and will announce our winners during our Annual Meeting in Chattanooga on October 3-5, 2018. For more information and a nomination form, please click here.

    DRI will be accepting nominations through July 1, 2018, and will announce their winners at the DRI Annual Meeting in San Francisco on Saturday October 20th. To view the national DRI professional award brochure, please click here.

  • 11 Apr 2018 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Past TDLA President Brad Box with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere and Bell provided this legislative update for TDLA membership.

    As the 2018 General Assembly draws to a close, here are a few interesting updates for you:

    1. The Phantom Damages Elimination Act (Dedmon/West issue).  This bill was introduced to deal with the disappointing opinion by the TN Supreme Court in the Dedmon case.  I spoke with a lobbyist for Farm Bureau and he said that this bill died in committee because it didn’t have enough support in committee to move it out in the house of representatives.  The chair of the house sub-committee was against it and so it never came out of committee.  I suspect that it will generate more discussion next year.  Of course there are lots of contested elections across the state, so that will have an impact on the future of this bill.

    2. A Notary bill (SA0790), which I have attached, Click here to view. It will allow for documents to be electronically notarized.  It has passed the Senate and will be on the house floor next week. The attached is the Senate amendment. The amendment rewrites the bill so this is the bill.

    3. SB1862. This bill was introduced to respond to the American Law Institute restatement of liability insurance.  This bill has been signed by the Governor and is now effective. Click here to view
  • 01 Mar 2018 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)
    From the Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation:


    NASHVILLE
    The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) now uses an innovative new system that allows attorneys and self-represented litigants to file documents without printing copies or traveling to BWC offices across the state.

    The new TNComp electronic filing system allows all parties to file contested case pleadings in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

    Since BWC started its trial and appellate courts in 2014, both litigants and counsel have had the convenience of filing documents via email. The process was not as convenient or efficient for BWC staff that had to print each emailed document, file-stamp the document and then enter the information into the BWC database. The manual filing process took between 24 and 48 hours to complete.

    “With approximately 1,000 documents filed per month in our court alone, we had to move in this direction,” said Penny Shrum, Clerk of the Court for the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.

    BWC modeled TNComp after the PACER platform used by the federal court system, but tailored it to meet the needs of Tennessee.

    Attorneys and litigants can now electronically file documents any time of the day, they can view any documents associated with the case, they receive notices when a new document is filed, and reminders of upcoming hearings. All of the services offered on TNComp are provided to the user at no cost.

    “The court’s core values include striving for excellence and constant improvement,” said Kenneth M. Switzer of Nashville, Chief Judge of the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims. “TNComp is a primary example of our commitment, making court business more efficient for everyone throughout the process.”

    It took nearly three years to develop TNComp into a user-friendly, intuitive system. The courts first implemented TNComp internally, so staff could train for two months, ensuring a smooth and problem-free launch to the public.

    “Since the passage of the Reform Act of 2013, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has focused its efforts on providing the best court systems possible for workers’ compensation claims,” said Abbie Hudgens, BWC administrator. “This new platform is a long-awaited element to improving the effectiveness of the court process, and we are pleased that we can offer it to the public now.”

    Attorneys and litigants with cases where a BWC mediator has filed a dispute certification after November 1, 2017 can now access the TNComp system. Cases prior to that date will continue to use the former system to file documents.

    “It’s great to see an innovative effort like this come to fruition and produce the desired results of greater convenience and efficiency.” Appeals Board Presiding Judge Marshall Davidson said.

    You can learn more about TNComp here or to watch instructional videos on how to navigate the system, you can follow the link provided here

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