Tennessee Defense

Lawyers Association


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  • 01 Nov 2023 9:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    The TDLA 2024 Sponsorship Package is now available! TDLA takes pride in its ability to maximize your business’s exposure to our growing membership of defense attorneys in Tennessee. The exceptional growth of TDLA and its sponsors over the past few years is a testament to our ability to work cohesively with our partners. TDLA will host our 2024 Annual Meeting in the fall of 2024 jointly with Kentucky Defense Counsel.

    To view the 2024 sponsor package, please Click Here.

  • 15 Sep 2023 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    If you, or any of your friends/ colleagues/ firm members or associates, need additional assistance with dealing with the emotional impact of sad news, please consider contacting the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP), which is available to support lawyers across the state of Tennessee, and can be reached at https://tlap.org/ or 615-741-3238 or toll free at 877-424-8527.  

  • 07 Sep 2023 2:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    With heavy hearts, the TDLA Board shares the heartbreaking news of the sudden and unexpected passing on September 6, 2023 of our beloved TDLA President Elect Nathan Shelby.  Nathan was a partner with Rainey, Kizer, Revere & Bell for 16 years and dedicated his life to helping others.  He leaves behind a loving wife and three beautiful children. 

    Memorial information is available here:  https://www.coleandgarrett.com/obituaries/nathan-shelby   

  • 20 Jun 2023 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA President Hannah Lowe is excited to launch the Emerging Leaders program. Emerging Leaders is a Leadership Development Program whereby lawyers in our organization can have the opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills and be recognized for their participation in various TDLA activities. The program will launch at the TDLA Annual Meeting at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Spencer, TN on September 13-15, 2023. Anyone wishing to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program will be able to sign up using the link on the TDLA website. Each participant will receive a Progress Tracker, which will have space for each participant to mark when a task is complete.

    The tasks are divided into two groups: Level 1 (more basic tasks), and Level 2 (more advanced tasks). When members complete 6/8 tasks in each level, they will be recognized as a TDLA Emerging Leader either Level 1 or Level 2 and receive recognition as a graduate of the TDLA Emerging Leaders Program at the TDLA Annual Meeting Awards Dinner, in the Newsletter and/or Journal, and on the TDLA website.

    There will be no specific deadline for completion of the tasks on the list; however, if a member wishes to be recognized at the Annual Meeting, the Progress Tracker must be submitted (to office@tdla.net) by the end of the month before the annual meeting. Members who have already completed one or more task on the lists at the time of the Program Launch may mark the task complete with the completed date on the Progress Sheet.

    Any members who have completed 6 of 8 tasks from either Level 1 or Level 2 by the time of the next TDLA Annual Meeting and submit their form by the end of the month before the meeting (TDLA’s next annual meeting will be in October 2024) will be recognized as a graduate of the Emerging Leaders Program at the Annual Meeting. They will also receive recognition in the TDLA Newsletter and/or Journal, and on the TDLA website. We plan to dedicate at least one hour of the TDLA Young Lawyers Boot Camp at the Annual Meeting to leadership training as part of the Emerging Leaders Program.

    TDLA is excited about identifying and working with our emerging leaders to help them to develop the leadership skills they need to thrive not just in our organization but in the legal profession generally.

    Emerging Leaders Program Tracker - PDF form: click here

    Emerging Leaders Program Tracker - Online form: click here

  • 06 Feb 2023 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Members are invited to take advantage of the TDLA Member Forums which are private online legal topic discussion areas, only for TDLA members. These forums may be found in the Members Only section of the TDLA website. 

    The following forums may be found in the TDLA Members Only section:

    • Young Lawyers Forum
    • Tort Section Forum
    • Professional Negligence and Med Mal Forum
    • Workers' Compensation Law Forum
    • Labor and Employment Law Forum

    You must be signed in to the website to view the forums.

  • 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. 
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