Stats on Tort Trials and Verdicts in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee

Information is now available on the number of tort trials and jury verdicts in Shelby County, Tennessee for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.

There were 2164 tort cases closed in Shelby County (not including health care liability act cases) and 55 tort trials.  Here is how that compares with prior years:


Note that about 3% of all closed cases in Shelby County are tried to judgment, a number which is generally consistent with past years.  When your client asks you “what are the odds my case will go to trial” you can say that, on average 96-97% of filed cases are resolved (through voluntary dismissal, dismissal on motion, or settlement) before a jury verdict or judgment is announced.

The number of trials – 55 – tells only part of the story, however.  Only 20 of those trials were jury trials – the other 35 were tried to the court. The plaintiff made a financial recovery in 35 of those cases.  Note:  the fact that the plaintiff recovered in about 60% of the cases does not mean the plaintiff “won” about 60% of the cases.  Why?  Because we do not know whether the plaintiff’s recovery exceeded the pretrial offer.  We can say that in Shelby County last year defendants received a defense judgment in about 40% of the cases that were tried.  Here is the data in a graph:



What monies were recovered by the plaintiff in the 35 cases where a recovery occurred?  We have the answer only in three broad bands of recoveries — less than $100K, $100K – $999K and $1,000,000 and over.   Here are the numbers:



So, as experienced court watchers would expect, most of the cases that went to verdict or judgment resulted in an award of under $100,000.  Only one resulted in an award over $1,000,000.

You can find information about trials and verdicts in tort cases for every county in Tennessee by visiting the Free Resources at www.birddoglaw.comClick on this link to find a list of every county in the state, click on the relevant county, and go to “Case Statistics.”  (Note:  we are still inputting the 2021-22 data so some counties will have data only through June 30, 2021.  All information will be complete before May 1.


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