Tennessee Defense

Lawyers Association


  • 13 Dec 2015 10:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    On June 19, 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued a favorable opinion for the firm's clients enforcing an assisted living facility’s arbitration agreement.  In the case, the resident’s son, and attorney in fact through two powers of attorney, signed the arbitration agreement on behalf of his mother in the process of admitting her to an assisted living facility.  Hagwood Adelman Tipton healthcare attorneys, Rebecca Adelman, PLLC, along with an associate, represented the firm’s clients.

    Plaintiff argued that the alternative dispute resolution agreement (ADR) was not enforceable on multiple grounds, including the unavailability of the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) as the arbitration service provider and that the wrongful death beneficiaries were not bound by the ADR.  The court disagreed with each of Plaintiff’s arguments.  Of importance, the court relied heavily on the contract itself rather than analyzing extraneous factors and the circumstances surround the signing of the arbitration agreement.  The court followed the trend of numerous federal courts in finding that the unavailability of the NAF does not render the ADR unenforceable because it was not an integral term of the contract and could be severed based on clear terms within the ADR.

    The court also disagreed with Plaintiff’s argument that the wrongful death beneficiaries were not bound by the terms of the ADR.  Tennessee follows a hybrid approach to the wrongful death statute, which finds that there can only be one cause of action under the wrongful death statute and the cause of action belongs to the deceased.  The court held that since the wrongful death claim belongs to the estate/deceased, the beneficiaries must seek their damages in whichever forum the estate agreed to, including arbitration.  As the court acknowledged, this issue had not been clearly decided under Tennessee law and, thus, this opinion provides clear guidance for future cases.

    Of note, the court granted the motion to compel arbitration and dismissed the suit without prejudice.  In many cases, courts stay the proceedings pending the conclusion of arbitration.  Here, the court found that because all of Plaintiff’s claims are within the substantive scope of the ADR, all of the claims are subject to arbitration and dismissed Plaintiff’s claims without prejudice.

    The decision in this case is very important for enforcing future motions to compel arbitration.  Many of the issues decided in this opinion have been heavily debated in recent years and the court’s opinion provides clear guidance for future cases.
    Attorney Adelman filed a memorandum and two sur-replies, per the court’s instruction, to fully brief the court on all issues, including specifically the wrongful death beneficiaries’ issue.  The court’s order agreed with each of the arguments presented by defense counsel.  

  • 21 Oct 2015 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    To view the 2015 Tennessee Legislative Update, please click here

  • 19 Oct 2015 8:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association recently held its 49th Annual Meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 1-3, 2015. During the awards dinner event, TDLA  hosted a Silent Auction in which items were donated, and bid on, to raise money for the Chattanooga Heroes Fund.

    Established in July of this year by Peyton Manning and his family in partnership with Senator Bob Corker, former mayor of Chattanooga, the fund supports the families of those servicemen who lost their lives or were wounded in the tragic shootings in Chattanooga on July 16.

  • 13 Sep 2015 6:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA would like to welcome its newest member Katie Lamb. Katie is an associate with the law firm of Trammell, Adkins and Ward, PC in Knoxville, Tennessee.

  • 31 Jul 2015 7:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Kay Anderson, attorney with The Hardison Law Firm in Memphis, Tennessee, successfully defended a general surgeon in the state Circuit Court in a case involving a low anterior repair operation. The plaintiff was a morbidly obese woman who had six previous abdominal surgeries. She presented to the emergency department with severe pain caused by diverticulitis. After a period of time to rest the bowel, the physician and his resident performed the procedure. They were able to visualize the ureters and move them away from the line of surgery. They successfully reconnected the colon to the rectum. After an uneventful post-operative course the patient was discharged. She returned to the emergency department with complaints of flank pain and was diagnosed with an obstructed ureter. A second surgery was performed to deal with this obstruction whereupon it was discovered that the ureter was parallel to the anastomosis with a staple across the ureter. The second surgery was a success and the plaintiff suffered no kidney damage. She subsequently developed a deep vein thrombosis and a hernia. She filed the lawsuit claiming the stapling of the ureter caused damages. After a two week trial, the jury found the physician had complied with the recognized standard of acceptable professional practice and was not liable.

  • 05 Jul 2015 6:05 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    Forensic Pursuit provides vital, expert computer forensics services to attorneys, businesses, and individuals worldwide.  We collect, preserve, and analyze evidence in criminal and civil cases.  We also provide our clients with preventative forensics services and education on the legal and technical issues surrounding electronically stored information. 

    Contact is Steve Linn at steve.linn@forensicpursuit.com

  • 05 Jul 2015 6:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    It's a Great time to renew with TDLA! Membership runs from July 1 to June 30. We have educational events planned throughout the summer and fall. The Fall conference is planned for Oct 1-3 in Chattanooga. The Employment & Young Lawyers sections have been very active with planned webinars throughout the year! Make sure you check out our social pages for the latest updates and news from our members! Join Us!

  • 10 Jun 2015 2:30 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA welcomes new Young Lawyer members Caroline R. Williams with Hunter, Smith and Davis, LLP and Haley E. Moody with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC! 

  • 10 Jun 2015 2:00 AM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA thanks Michelle McBroom Weiss for her sponsorship this year. Ms. Weiss is a Vocational Consultant. Vocational rehabilitation and case management services include: vocational expert testimony; vocational evaluations; vocational testing; job placement assistance; job seeking skills; career guidance.


  • 31 May 2015 8:00 PM | Mary Gadd (Administrator)

    TDLA would like to welcome the following New members to the Young Lawyers Section!

    Robert E. Carden - Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC

    Hannah S. Lowe - Trammell, Adkins & Ward, P.C.

    Brandon J. Stout - Rainey, Kizer & Bell, PLLC

    Cara E. Weiner - Spears, Moore, Rebman and Williams

    Yen-Chia (Eric) Shen - Liberty Mutual

    Frances Koho - TVA


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