Articles Posted in Legal Information

The Tennessee Bar Association published my  column, Day on Torts, on September  1, 2011.  The title of this column  is "Who Should Get Burned by Bruce’s Torch?".

An excerpt:

Independent contractors are not considered employees. The general rule is that one who employs an independent contractor is not liable for the negligence of the contractor. This rule “is so riddled with exceptions that it is only applied when the courts cannot find a good reason to ignore it,” and a case on the court’s Sept. 1 oral argument docket provides another opportunity for common sense and sound public policy to trump the general rule.  [Footnote omitted.]

As mentioned in the last three posts (herehere and here), the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts has released the 2009-2010 Annual Report of the Judiciary.  The Report Contains statistical data about our court system.

As mentioned in our earlier posts, there were 263 jury trials and 325 non-jury trials in tort cases in Tennessee last year.   The Report tells us which the number of jury and non-jury trials in each county and the number of cases in which damages were awarded in each county. Unfortunately, the Report does not tell us whether the damage awards were in jury or non-jury trials.  

Here is some data from the larger counties:

This new article  reveals that traumatic brain injury, currently considered a singular event by the insurance industry and many health care providers, is instead the beginning of an ongoing process that impacts multiple organ systems and may cause or accelerate other diseases and disorders that can reduce life expectancy, according to research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain and can be classified as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of the damage. While many patients recover completely, more than 90,000 become disabled each year in the U.S. alone. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million Americans are presently disabled by brain injuries – suffering lifelong conditions as a result.

The literature review, which appears in the current issue of The Journal of Neurotrauma, examines 25 years of research on the effects of brain injury, including its impact on the central nervous system and on cognitive and motor functions.

This is one of a series of posts that will excerpt sections from the third edition of my book, Day on Torts: Leading Tennessee Tort Cases.  To order the book go here.

§ 14.1     Generally

The Case: Anderson v. Armstrong, 171 S.W.2d 401 (Tenn. 1943).

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee has released for public comment proposed changes in the local rules.  Here is a red-lined version of the proposed rules.  The comment period ends October 31, 2009.

Most of the rule changes address of change of the time periods required for responding to motions, providing information for settlement conferences, designating deposition testimony for trial, etc.  The rule changes are necessary because of changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


The Tennessee Bar Association is sponsoring a seminar to educate lawyers on the new medical malpractice statute passed by the Senate on June 4, 2008.  If signed by the Governor, and there is no reason to believe that he will not sign the bill, the legislation makes major changes in medical malpractice procedural law.  The TBA has selected me as the speaker for this program.

The seminar will be webcast at 11:00 CDT on Monday, June 15, 2009.

A portion of the legislation is effective July 1, 2009 , but the transitional issues will be discussed in the seminar.  Each provision of the legislation will be discussed in detail.  I participated in all of the negotiations concerning this legislation and will provide a history of how the legislation developed.

Raymond P. Ward writes  "the (new) legal writer," where he shares his knowledge of the art of legal writing.  In this post he shares an excellent article that helps us understand techniques for emphasis and de-emphasis in our our writing.

An excerpt: "look for your favorite passage in that favorite book, the one that hit you in the gut the first time you read it. Is it in bold, italics, or all capital letters? Probably not. Good writers don’t need typographic gimmicks to pack their prose with power."

He is absolutely right!

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