BirdDog Law offers a large variety of free information to Tennessee lawyers and paralegals. Among the free resources are 95 databases, one for each Tennessee county, that share information about the operation of the court system in that county. Each database is set up in the same format for ease of use.
For example, click on the link for Memphis and Shelby County. The opening page will give you population and demographic information for the county. The “Court Clerks and Related Information” has contact information for each court clerk, the clerks’ websites, the local rules of court, e-filing information, docket information, and filing fee information for all courts.
The “Judges” tab has biographical and contact information for all judges in the county.
The “Local Forms” tab will direct you to any forms created for use in the courts of Shelby County.
The “Court Statistics” tab will allow you to see trial court filings and dispositions in the county for the most recent year for which such data has been published. Also included in “Court Statistics” is information about tort trials and their outcomes in the county. A glance will let you see that fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 (the most recent year for which data is available) 1915 tort cases were closed in Shelby County, 31 of which were tried.
There is five years of publicly available data in the Shelby County database. In the five years ending June 30, 2021, approximately 10,000 tort cases were closed and 303 were tried.
Of the 303 tort cases that were tried in Shelby County, 148 were tried to a jury and 155 were tried to a judge. There was only 1 tort-related jury trial in Shelby County in the year ending June 30, 2021.
Of the cases that went to trial, the plaintiff received a money judgment in 190 cases. (Note: that does not mean the plaintiff “won:” it is possible the plaintiff received a judgment less than or equal to the amount of the pretrial offer. Total damages awarded was almost $140 million, but (a) 150 judgments were under $99,999; (b) only 9 judgments were over $1,000,000. It is unknown whether any judgments were compromised for less than the amount awarded or if they were reduced by the trial court or court of appeals.
As indicated above, this information is available for each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. To access these databases, go to BirdDogLaw.com, click on Free Resources, and then click on “Court and Other Information for Each of Tennessee’s 95 Counties.” Counties are listed in alphabetical order.