1902, 2018

I Have A Friend That’s A Lawyer . . .

February 19th, 2018|

The Tennessee Appellate Court's recent decision in the Brentwood Academy lawsuit reminded me of an article I wrote some time ago about "friends" who make the fateful decision to provide legal advice to others: I have a generally applicable rule against providing legal advice to friends and family.  During my legal career, I have learned (sometimes the hard way) of the precarious position a lawyer assumes when representing a family member or a close friend.  What happens, for example, when resolution of [...]

1110, 2017

Beware! Tennessee Courts Beginning to Issue Sanctions Awards

October 11th, 2017|

As we travel across the State of Tennessee representing litigants in a variety of different matters, we have noticed what appears to be an increased interest in courts sanctioning parties (and unfortunately sometimes their lawyers!)  A quick Westlaw or Lexis search reveals a startling number of sanction award cases in recent years, many of which have ultimately been upheld by the appellate courts. For example, not long ago we wrote about our real estate case in Williamson County Chancery Court, [...]

608, 2017

Jimmy Duncan, Bill Clinton, and Stephen Breyer’s “Taj Mahal” Courthouse

August 6th, 2017|

When I heard about Congressman Jimmy Duncan's retirement after nearly 30 years in the U.S. Congress, it reminded me of a favorite Tennessee political story in which I played a small part.  In the early 1990s, I was working as an intern with Congressman Jimmy Quillen's office in Washington, D.C.  Quillen, another legend in Tennessee politics, served 34 years in Congress, a feat that he loved to tout and made sure you would remember. Jimmy Duncan had just been quoted [...]

607, 2017

Blackwell and Its Impact on Minor Medical Expenses and Liability Waivers

July 6th, 2017|

In 2006, I had the pleasure of representing a private school in a personal injury action, where a student was struck by a foul ball during a baseball game.  A related appellate decision involving the case can be viewed here.  One of the first questions my client asked was how the school could be sued when the student’s parents had previously signed a liability waiver. Although the Tennessee Supreme Court had never specifically considered the question, minor liability waivers were [...]

1711, 2016

Tennessee Chancellor Issues Civil Death Penalty in Real Estate Case

November 17th, 2016|

A Tennessee Chancellor, Deanna B. Johnson, recently issued the civil death penalty in favor of a firm client in a real estate case. The case, Jerrod Brown, et ux. v. Beverly Luecke, et ux., Chancery Court for Williamson County, Tennessee, involved the sale of a residence.  Among other things, the Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendants misrepresented certain conditions of the residence and removed valuable trees from the surrounding premises. The Defendants denied all such claims and moved to dismiss [...]

1411, 2016

Limits of Waiver Rule for Minor Medical Expenses

November 14th, 2016|

One of the primary issues in our upcoming minor liability waiver interlocutory appeal is whether a parent can waive their right to recover a minor's medical expenses after the parent has signed a waiver.  We recently found a case, Grant v. Kia Motors Corp., ___ F.Supp.3d ___, 2016 WL 6247319 (E.D. Tenn. May 10, 2016), which provides an excellent analysis of the so-called waiver rule in Tennessee and, perhaps more importantly, the limits of the same.  Here is the pertinent discussion: [...]

1409, 2016

Amusement Park Doctrine and How It Applies to Landlords in Tennessee

September 14th, 2016|

The “amusement park doctrine” was developed by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1945 in Gentry v. Taylor, 185 S.W.2d 521 (Tenn. 1945). In Gentry, the Tennessee Supreme Court announced the rule that the liability of the owner or lessor of an amusement park is limited to circumstances in which a least one of the following factual elements exists: (1) An interest more or less direct and substantial in the presence of the visitor, as, for instance, a participation in the [...]

209, 2016

Briefing Completed for Minor Liability Waiver Appeal

September 2nd, 2016|

With the filing of our Reply Brief, the briefing is completed on our minor liability waiver appeal, which is set for oral arguments before the Tennessee Court of Appeals on September 21, 2016.  The principal brief can be found here.  A portion of the Reply Brief regarding potential waiver of a parent's medical expense claim provides as follows: The Appellant asserts that if this Court affirms the trial court’s Order restricting Ms. Blackwell from asserting claims on Mr. Blackwell’s behalf [...]

1308, 2016

Criminal Appeal Filed Regarding Tennessee Criminal Sentencing Reform Act of 1989

August 13th, 2016|

Did you know we also practice criminal law?  We recently filed an appeal with the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on behalf of a firm client in State v. Layhew.  A copy of our brief can be found here. In this criminal appeal, Mr. Layhew seeks review of how the Tennessee Criminal Sentencing Reform Act of 1989 ("Sentencing Act") applies to misdemeanor sentencing.  Our client was sentenced to two consecutive eleven-month, twenty-nine day sentences, to be imposed consecutively with the express [...]

208, 2016

Practice’s Medical Records Are Protected Trade Secrets

August 2nd, 2016|

In Part I of our two-part blog series, we began our evaluation of the legal status of medical records in the context of corporate divorce.  In Part I, we emphasized that a practice owns the medical records it creates over the associated patients and physicians who created the record.  Now, in Part II of this series, we examine how this unique area of law ultimately defines such medical records as confidential business information, which are protected as trade secrets. Background [...]

2706, 2016

Status of Medical Records Following Departure of Practice Physician

June 27th, 2016|

When a physician leaves an existing medical practice, the practice has a recognized proprietary interest in its medical records – not the patient and not the departing physician.  In Part I of a two part blog series, we examine how the law applies to this unique area of corporate divorce regarding medical practices. Doesn't the Patient Own the Medical Records? No.  This is a common misunderstanding.  Indeed, the patient does not own the medical records.  Naturally, an individual medical record [...]

1305, 2016

New Changes to Traumatic Brain Injury Residential Housing Act Lead to Mixed Results

May 13th, 2016|

On April 27, 2016, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law changes to the Traumatic Brain Injury Residential Housing Act of 2012 (“TBI-RHA”).  We were instrumental in obtaining enactment of TBI-RHA and safeguarding its new licensing scheme for victims of traumatic brain injury throughout the rulemaking process. The new changes, Public Chapter 109, amend the defined term “Traumatic brain injury residential home” under TBI-RHA as follows: "'Traumatic brain injury residential home' means a facility owned and operated by a community-based traumatic [...]

2501, 2016

Seyi Case Cited in Recent Patent Infringement Dispute

January 25th, 2016|

In urging the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to dismiss a patent infringement case, the defendant in Edgeaq, LLC v. WTS Paradigm, LLC, 2015 WL 9703981 (M.D. Tenn. 2015), also argued in the alternative, for a transfer of the dispute to the district court in Wisconsin.  In doing so, the defendant relied upon the firm's decision in Seyi-America, Inc. v. Stamtec, Inc., 2013 WL 6096794 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 20, 2013). Specifically regarding our case, the defendants stated, as follows: [...]

2012, 2015

Minor Liability Waivers Ruled Enforceable in Tennessee, Interlocutory Appeal Allowed

December 20th, 2015|

A Davidson County Circuit Court recently ruled in our client’s favor by holding that a minor has no right to assert a claim for medical expenses if his parent previously signed a release.  This is the second ruling in our case styled Blackwell, et al. v. Sky High Sports Nashville Operations, LLC.  We posted a blog entry about the case earlier this year. The case involves the increasingly common scenario where a parent signs a liability release contract for her [...]

3011, 2015

Tennessee Chancellor Grants Interlocutory Review in Case Involving Hague Convention

November 30th, 2015|

A Tennessee Chancellor, Larry B. Stanley, recently granted interlocutory review to a firm client in a case involving application of the Hague Convention. The case, Hockley Holdings, Inc. v. John Simioni, Chancery Court for Van Buren County, Tennessee, pits two Canadian citizens against each other in a dispute related to a failed log home development.  At the outset, Chancellor Stanley said that no one had likely attempted to apply the Hague Convention in a Van Buren County case, where the [...]

2010, 2015

Do Tennessee Small Businesses Face a Hobson’s Choice?

October 20th, 2015|

The term “Hobson’s choice” is from Thomas Hobson (1544-1631), a stable manager in Cambridge, England.  To rotate the use of his horses, he offered his customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door, or taking none at all. Referring to such a choice has gained notoriety as a “Hobson’s choice” in literature, like Thomas Ward’s 1688 poem “England’s Reformation” where Ward wrote: “Where to elect there is but one, ‘Tis Hobson’s choice ­– take [...]

2304, 2015

Go to Arbitration. Go Directly to Arbitration.

April 23rd, 2015|

A Williamson County Chancellor recently gave this instruction to a plaintiff franchisee in a case the firm handled on behalf of a defendant franchisor in the golf retail industry.  In that case, GJ Golf Performance Studio, LLC, et al. v. Golf, Etc. of America, Inc., the franchisee sought to escape arbitration of its claims against the franchisor because the arbitration clause in the parties’ agreement allowed certain claims to be litigated in court. The provision at issue provided, in pertinent [...]

204, 2015

Did UT’s Recent Investigation of a Campus Rape Violate Title IX?

April 2nd, 2015|

Media reports regarding a recent sexual assault investigation conducted by the University of Tennessee suggest it may have violated Title IX.  At the outset, a Vice Chancellor’s remarks regarding the investigation process not yielding any “winners” only “losers” appears to at least violate Title IX’s spirit.  Regrettably, the problems with UT’s investigation, according to news reports and documents it released, are even more serious. First, a bit of background: Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education [...]

1903, 2015

Are Minor Liability Waivers Enforceable in Tennessee?

March 19th, 2015|

The firm recently filed a motion and brief in a Davidson County Circuit Court case arguing, among other things, that such waivers are, in fact, enforceable.  Most parents are familiar with signing routine liability releases before their children attend school fieldtrips, play in youth sports leagues, or participate in activities at recreational facilities in a variety of contexts.  Our case, for instance, involves a typical scenario where a parent signed a waiver for her child to participate in a dodgeball [...]

1603, 2015

Recent Seyi Decision a Prelude to a Kiss? Federal Trade Secret Reform

March 16th, 2015|

The firm's recent decision in Seyi-America, Inc. v. Stamtec, Inc., 4:13-cv-00082-HSM-WBC (E.D. Tenn. Jan. 30, 2015), highlights a timely issue currently being considered by the U.S. Congress.  That is – a need for a federal law to protect businesses’ trade secrets.  As observed by the House Judiciary Committee, “The threat is significant: Trade secrets are an integral part of a company's competitive advantage in today's economy . . .” In our case, the district court considered weighty threshold issues in a long [...]

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