Tennessee Defense

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TDLA News

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  • 08 Sep 2022 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA recognizes the talent and achievements of our members each year with the Defense Lawyer of the Year award and the Rising Star award. TDLA congratulates this year's award winners: Chris Frulla with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell in Memphis who received the Defense Lawyer of the Year award for 2022. Chancey Miller with Carr Allison in Chattanooga took home the Rising Star award this year.

    Chris has been in practice for 10 years and established himself as a well respected trial lawyer within his community, according to Dawn Carson, TDLA Immediate Past President. He has tried numerous cases to verdict and most have been successful. He is an example for the younger defense attorneys and balances his busy work life with being a wonderful new father at home. TDLA congratulates Chris on all of his achievements within the legal community and at home.

    In the five years he has practiced law, his nominator Derek Mullins writes, Chancey has gone above and beyond the proverbial call of duty to advance the cause of the defense bar in Tennessee, the activities of TDLA, and the collegiality of the practice of law, generally. This year, Chancey organized the TDLA YLD Happy Hour in Chattanooga and coordinated multiple amicus briefs for cases before Tennessee appellate courts. Chancey not only maintained but even managed to improve upon his ever-diligent work ethic to obtain positive results for his defense clients and figure out ways to further the cause of defense clients everywhere by being creative and innovative with his approaches and arguments. TDLA congratulates Chancey Miller on receiving the 2022 Rising Star award!

  • 07 Sep 2022 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA held its Annual Meeting on August 31 - September 2, 2022 in Nashville. During that meeting the 2022-2023 TDLA Board was announced. TDLA looks forward to the leadership of the following individuals:

    Hannah Lowe - TDLA President

    Nathan Shelby - TDLA President-Elect

    Michael Haynie - TDLA Secretary/ Treasurer

    Dawn Carson - TDLA Immediate Past President

    Director I (one year terms)

    Kenny Veit

    Sean Martin

    Chris Frulla

    Divisional Directors (three year terms)

    Rachel Bishop - Middle TN Representative

    Ken Ward - East TN Representative

    Hank Spragins - West TN Representative

  • 13 May 2022 12:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA Members Marty Phillips and Craig Sanders with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell have filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of TDLA in the Crotty v. Flora, MD case. The statement of issues is whether Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-119, which is part of the Health Care Liability Act, precludes plaintiffs in health care liability cases from recovering medical expenses that have been written off and that nobody paid or owes.

    You may view the Amicus by clicking here.

  • 10 Sep 2021 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (“TDLA”) is proud to announce the annual award winners for TDLA Defense Lawyer of the Year and Rising Star awards that were presented at the recent TDLA Annual Meeting.

    Hal S. “Hank” Spragins, Jr of Hickman, Goza & Spragins law firm in Memphis was presented the 2021 Defense Lawyer of the Year award. This award honors a TDLA member who has made significant contributions to TDLA, to the defense bar, and/or to the practice of law in Tennessee this year. He began his practice in 2011, and in 2021 he proudly joined the law firm as a partner that was founded by his grandfather and lead by his father. The effort to work hard and make the legal community better has always been one of his goals. He currently serves on the Board of TDLA.

    Rachel Dix Bishop of Stites & Harbison law firm in Nashville is the recipient of the 2021 TDLA Rising Star award. This award honors a TDLA member who has been practicing law 10 years or less and who has made significant contributions to TDLA, to the defense bar, and/or who has promoted the interests of young lawyers in Tennessee this year. Rachel has “hit the ground running” in her short tenure with TDLA, having attended and participated in most, if not all, state meetings. She is an active participant in TDLA’s Young Lawyer division and served as a Young Lawyer Board liaison. She served as the 2020 Chair of the TDLA Annual Meeting and Young Lawyer Boot Camp. She recently was appointed to the 2021-2022 TDLA Board as a Director I.

    The 2021-2022 TDLA Board of Directors was also installed at the Annual Meeting. Congratulations to the following Board members:

    President – Dawn Davis Carson; Hickman, Goza & Spragins in Memphis
    President-Elect – Hannah Lowe; Fields Howell, LLP in Knoxville
    Secretary/Treasurer- Nathan Shelby; Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC in Nashville
    Immediate Past President – Heather Douglas; Manier & Herod in Nashville


  • 11 May 2021 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA is currently working on several Amicus Briefs. Below is an outline of those Amicus Briefs for our membership.

    1. TDLA’s Professional Negligence and Healthcare Committee Co-Chair, Chris Vrettos: On April 7, 2021, the Supreme Court granted Defendants’ application for permission to appeal in Cooper v. Mandy, et al. Cooper involved claims of a negligently performed breast reduction surgery in which the patient maintained she never would have undergone the procedure but for the physician and his practice group’s alleged misrepresentation regarding his credentials. After Plaintiffs’ counsel failed to comply with pre-suit notice requirements on both filing and re-filing of the lawsuit, the Trial Court denied Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that all of Plaintiffs’ claims—including one for medical battery—flowed from the alleged initial misrepresentation. Consequently, Tennessee’s Health Care Liability Act did not apply. The Court of Appeals affirmed in November 2020. Brie Stewart of Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams in Chattanooga will prepare an amicus brief on behalf of the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association.

    2. TDLA’s Tort Committee Co-Chair, Sean Martin: Younger v. Okbahhanes is an action for personal injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Defendant more than 1 year after the accident. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiff’s action was untimely. Plaintiff argued in response that T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(2) operated to extend the statute of limitations to two years because Defendant was issued a traffic citation for failure to exercise due care in violation of § 55-8-136. T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(2) extends the statute of limitations to two years if “(A) Criminal charges are brought against any person alleged to have caused or contributed to the injury; (B) The conduct, transaction, or occurrence that gives rise to the cause of action for civil damages is the subject of a criminal prosecution commenced within one (1) year by: (i) A law enforcement officer; (ii) A district attorney general; or (iii) A grand jury; and (C) The cause of action is brought by the person injured by the criminal conduct against the party prosecuted for such conduct.” The trial court found that T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(2) extended the statute of limitations to two years because Defendant was charged with a criminal offense and a criminal prosecution had been commenced against him. Addressing this as a matter of first impression, the Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that “the traffic citation issued to Defendant for failure to exercise due care, which had been prepared, accepted, and the original citation filed with the court, [wa]s a criminal charge and a criminal prosecution by a law enforcement officer, such that [T.C.A. § 28-3-104(a)(2)] was applicable to extend the statute of limitations to two years.” Therefore, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s denial of summary judgment to Defendant. Defendant filed a Rule 11 Application for Permission to Appeal with the Tennessee Supreme Court at the end of March 2021. Plaintiff filed a timely response in opposition in April 2021. We are currently waiting for the Tennessee Supreme Court to decide whether to grant permission to appeal. Hannah Lowe of Trammell Adkins & Ward in Knoxville is working on an amicus brief that will be ready to be filed on behalf of TDLA should the Tennessee Supreme Court accept the application and grant permission for the appeal.

    3. Todd Presnell with Bradley’s Nashville office is drafting an Amicus Brief on behalf of TDLA. This brief will be in support of Nashville Ready Mix’s Rule 11 Application in Story v. Meadows, Court of Appeals No. M2019-01011-COA-R3-CV. This submission is also being considered in partnership with DRI's national Amicus Committee. 
  • 22 Feb 2021 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    On January 28, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Eastern Section, in a case of first impression, interpreted Tennessee Code Annotated §28-3-104(a)(2) to extend the statute of limitations to two years when a traffic citation for failure to exercise due care was issued at the scene of the accident.  See Younger vs. Okbahhanes, 2011 Tenn. App. Lexis 33 (January 28, 2021). 

                TDLA member Sean Martin with Carr Allison in Chattanooga is the attorney for the appellant. To aid in his application to the Tennessee Supreme Court, he would like to know whether you have had or currently have a case involving Tennessee Code Annotated section 28-3-104 (a)(2).  He is also interested in learning if you have received a new lawsuit since January 28, 2021 that attempts to revive a case thought to have been barred by the one year statute of limitations but now has a two year statute based on this holding.

                Please forward any information or comments to swmartin@carrallison.com.


  • 16 Sep 2020 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA Board for 2020-2021 was recently announced at our Annual Meeting on September 3, 2020. The TDLA Board for 2020-2021 is:

    President - Heather Douglas - Manier & Herod, Nashville
    President Elect - Dawn Davis Carson - Hickman, Goza & Spragins, Memphis
    Secretary/ Treasurer - Hannah Lowe - Trammell, Adkins & Ward, Knoxville
    Immediate Past President - Rocky King - Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, Knoxville

    Vice-Presidents:
    Nathan Shelby - Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, Nashville
    Sean Martin - Carr Allison, Chattanooga
    Chris Frulla - Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, Jackson

    Directors:
    Michael Haynie - Manier & Herod, Nashville
    Hank Spragins - Hickman, Goza & Spragins, Memphis
    Rob Carden - Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams, Chattanooga


  • 15 Sep 2020 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (“TDLA”) is proud to announce the annual award winners for TDLA Defense Lawyer of the Year, Rising Star and Outstanding Service awards that were presented at the recent TDLA Annual Meeting.

    Katherine “Kay” Anderson with Baker, Donelson law firm in Memphis, Tennessee was the 2020 recipient of the TDLA Defense Lawyer of the Year award. This award honors a TDLA member who has made significant contributions to TDLA, to the defense bar, and/or to the practice of law in Tennessee this year. Nominated by fellow TDLA member Bradley Gilmer, he noted in his nomination that “Kay is a zealous advocate for every doctor, nurse and layperson she represents and her work ethic is legendary.  Even through the many challenging times she suffered personally this year, it never slowed her drive.”

    Devin Lyon with Arnett, Draper and Hagood in Knoxville, Tennessee was the 2020 recipient of the TDLA Rising Star award. This award honors a TDLA member who has been practicing law 10 years or less and who has made significant contributions to TDLA, to the defense bar, and/or who has promoted the interests of young lawyers in Tennessee this year. Devin has actively participated in TDLA Young Lawyers programs including co-chairing the 2019 Boot Camp, procuring excellent speakers and judges. He is also one of three Bench / Bar Committee members serving a three-year term on behalf of TDLA.

    Cate Dugan with Peterson White in Nashville, Tennessee was the recipient of the TDLA Outstanding Service Award. This award is to honor a TDLA member who has exhibited exemplary service to the TDLA. A member who goes above and beyond to further the ideals and efforts of this organization. One that works tirelessly to better this organization while also contributing the Defense Bar as a whole. Cate is a past President of TDLA. She has diligently served on the Board for over 10 years. She was most recently the DRI State Representative for TDLA representing Tennessee on a national organization level. She played an integral part in DRI awarding TDLA the state defense organization of the year for the first time in the organization’s history. Cate has devoted time and energy over the last decade to help make the TDLA the premier defense organization of the state.

    Congratulations to all of our 2020 award recipients!


  • 27 Aug 2020 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (“TDLA”) is proud to announce the Tennessee recipients of the international Defense Research Institute (“DRI”) Annual Professional Achievement and Service Awards. These awards identify peers who deserve recognition either for their professional contributions to, and achievements on behalf of, the defense bar and the civil justice system or their involvement in community and public service activities that have a positive impact on society at large.

    E. Todd Presnell, a partner with Bradley, Arant, Boult and Cummings LLP in Nashville, received the “Tom Segalla Excellence in Education” award. This award recognizes a DRI member whose contributions through legal scholarship exemplify the highest educational standards of DRI and its mission to improve the skills of defense practitioners.

    Mary W. Gadd, Executive Director of TDLA in Lookout Mountain, received the “DRI SLDO Executive Director” award. This award recognizes a DRI state and local defense organization (“SLDO”) executive director who best fosters a relationship between his or her SLDO and DRI, and who otherwise demonstrated exceptional service to the cause of the defense bar and their state organization. She has served as the executive director with TDLA since 2015.

    DRI, the voice of the defense bar, is the international membership organization of all lawyers involved in the defense of civil litigation. DRI has served the defense bar for more than 50 years and boasts a membership of over 20,000 members. TDLA is also the 2017 recipient of the DRI Rudolph A. Janata award recognizing an exemplary state and legal organization.

    The award winners will be recognized at DRI's Virtual Annual Meeting in October and in person at the DRI Summit in Spring 2021.


  • 29 Jul 2020 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    The Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association wishes to recognize the talent and achievements of our members by presenting the following two annual awards at the TDLA Annual Meeting virtual event on Thursday September 3, 2020. Nominations are now being accepted.

    The deadline for nominations is Monday August 17, 2020. To be eligible for the awards, nominees must be members in good standing of TDLA.

    DEFENSE LAWYER OF THE YEAR
    To honor a TDLA member who has made significant contributions to TDLA, to the defense bar, and/or to the practice of law in Tennessee this year.

    RISING STAR AWARD
    To honor a TDLA member who has been practicing law 10 years or less and who has made significant contributions to TDLA, to the defense bar, and/or who has promoted the interests of young lawyers in Tennessee this year.

    For a Nomination Form: Click Here

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