Tennessee Defense

Lawyers Association


  • 28 Jun 2017 7:37 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    A reminder of the amendments to the rules of appellate procedure that go into effect on July 1, 2017. Specifically, Rule 3 has been amended such that notice of appeal is filed ONLY with the appellate court clerk.

    To view the full list of the amended TN Rules of Appellate Procedure that go into effect on July 1, 2017 click here, or visit the AOC website.

  • 04 Apr 2017 6:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA Members: 

    Please join us on June 15-18 in Sandestin, Florida for the TDLA/ ADLA Joint Summer Seminar! Registration is now open!

    TDLA/ ADLA Agenda click here

    Registration Form click here

    (Please note: all checks may be made payable and sent to ADLA)

  • 28 Mar 2017 5:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full- time United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville. This position is created by the upcoming retirement of Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. The essential function of courts is to dispense justice. An important component of this function is the creation and maintenance of diversity in the court system. A community’s belief that a court dispenses justice is heightened when the court reflects the community’s racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. 

    Applications must be submitted only by applicants personally and must be received by the Clerk’s Office by the close of business on March 30, 2017. More information: click here.

  • 20 Jan 2017 7:24 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)
    Members of TDLA:

    Phil Mischke, a former board member of the TDLA, was recently approached by Senator Brian Kelsey’s (R-Germantown) staff about the Senator’s desire to meet with defense attorneys to discuss how he might be able to help civil trial attorneys in our state.  Senator Kelsey is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I have attached a link from the TBA today below. Phil, along with myself, Brad Box, and Michael Mansfield are planning to attend a meeting on January 27 on behalf of the TDLA.  In this vein, we wanted to reach out to our membership to see if any of you have any particular concerns or thoughts with respect to the Senator’s request.  If you do, please submit your thoughts/questions/concerns via email to me at BSA@smrw.com and we will do our best to address these with the Senator.  If you would like to discuss via telephone, please feel free to reach out to one of the members listed above.
  • 13 Dec 2016 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Click here to find the TN Workers' Compensation Data Statistical Supplement for calendar years 2009-2015.

  • 23 Nov 2016 12:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    On November 22, 2016, in response to legal challenges filed by 22 states and over 50 business organizations, a federal district court in the Eastern District of Texas issued a temporary injunction preventing the Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing most of the DOL’s new regulations relating to overtime, which regulations were scheduled to become effective on December 1, 2016.  (According to the Court’s order, only the highly compensated employee exemption change will apparently still take effect on Dec. 1, 2016).  In its order, the Court noted:

    The Department has admitted that it cannot create an evaluation “based on salary alone.” . . .  But this significant increase to the salary level creates essentially a de facto salary-only test.  For instance, the Department estimates 4.2 million workers currently ineligible for overtime, and who fall below the minimum salary level, will automatically become eligible under the Final Rule without a change to their duties. . . . Congress did not intend salary to categorically exclude an employee with EAP [executive, administrative, and professional] duties from the exemption [from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements].

    The injunction applies nationwide.  The Court will still have to hold a full evidentiary hearing before deciding whether the injunction is to become permanent, however.  Even if that ultimately happens, the DOL could still appeal any permanent injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and ultimately to the United States Supreme Court.  Whether the DOL will try to immediately appeal this temporary injunction is unclear.  Also, it is unclear whether the new Trump administration will continue to fight for the implementation of the new salary level test or whether it will be content to leave the 2004 salary level of $455/week in place when it is installed in January 2017.
    What is clear is that the new salary level test of $913/week will not go into effect in any state by Dec. 1, 2016, because of this temporary injunction.  Whether employers, because of this temporary injunction, decide to delay changes to their employees’ pay based upon the new salary level or attempt to “roll-back” such changes already made will depend upon the business considerations of each employer.
    As background for those who may not be familiar with the DOL’s proposed overtime rules, in May 2016, the DOL issued a final rule changing the salary level required to be paid to employees in order for those employees with otherwise exempt job duties to be paid on a salary basis and not be subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime requirements.  Below is a summary of some of the significant changes contained within that rule, which changes were scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016:
    1.       Salary Threshold Changed to $913/week ($47,476/Year) – This is the guaranteed pay that an employee must receive in order to be classified as exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.  This new threshold more than doubles the current salary threshold level of $455/week. While this level is slightly lower than the threshold in the proposed rule ($970/week), it still encompasses many employees that are currently classified as exempt.  Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.
    2.      Automatic Salary Threshold Increases Every 3 Years (Not Annually) to Maintain Level at 40th Percentile in Lowest-Wage Census Region – The DOL reduced the frequency of the automatic increases in response to concerns raised by employers.  Instead of annual increases, the threshold will be adjusted every 3 years to maintain the level at the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census region. 

    3.      Job Duties Test is Unchanged –The DOL did not make changes to the standard duties test.
    4.      Effective Date is December 1, 2016
    5.      Highly Compensated Employee (HCE) Exemption Is Now $134,004/Year – This is an increase from the current threshold of $100,000/year.  The final rule retains the methodology in the proposed rule setting the threshold at the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally.
    If you have questions about this development please give us a call.

    Geoffrey A. Lindley | Attorney at Law  
    Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell PLC

  • 15 Nov 2016 12:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    The 2017 TDLA Sponsorship package is now available! Sponsorship levels run from January 1 to December 31.

    To view the TDLA Sponsorship package for 2017, click here.

    If you have any questions, please contact the TDLA Executive Director at office@tdla.net

  • 04 Oct 2016 9:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA would like to congratulate the 2016 TDLA award winners! These awards were given at the TDLA 50th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meeting on September 16, 2016.

    Michael L. Haynie
    Manier & Herod
    "Defense Lawyer of the Year"

    (L to R: Michael Haynie & Cate Dugan)

    Nancy R. Steer
    Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC
    "Rising Star Award"

    (L to R: Nancy Steer & Cate Dugan)

  • 29 Sep 2016 10:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    From the DRI Trial Tactics Committee-

    Regalado v. Callaghan - Appellate Court Opinion Addressing "Reptile" Theory

    For those of you interested in recent developments regarding the plaintiff Reptile theory you should take a look at the recent California Court of Appeals, Fourth District opinion published in the case entitled Regalado v. Callaghan.  A copy of the decision can be seen by clicking here.

    While the decision is ultimately adverse to the defense, the important point to be gleaned from the ruling is the fact that there is now finally a published California opinion addressing the “Reptile” theory.  See pages 19-21.

    Essentially, the Court of Appeal holds that such arguments are improper, but in this case not prejudicial and were waived due to the lack of a timely objection.

    While the decision is ultimately against the defense, there is now an opinion holding that the Reptile argument is improper.

    The lessons here are:
    1. Reptile arguments are misconduct.
    2. Defense counsel has to object as soon as those arguments are made (even better, pave the way with a MIL or pre-argument brief explaining that it is misconduct and that you will object).

    Please be sure to pass this along to all of your clients and colleagues.  This case was brought to my attention by members of the Amicus Committee of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC). 

  • 18 Jul 2016 4:00 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 Fall Meeting’s Friday night event: "Defense Lawyer of the Year" and the "Rising Star Award". Nominations are now being accepted. The Deadline for nominations is August 31, 2016. To be eligible for the awards, nominees must be members in good standing of TDLA.

    The 2016 TDLA Awards Nomination Form may be found by clicking here.

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