Tennessee summary judgment law changed on July 1, 2011 to allow the use of "put up or shut up" motions. (The law only applies to cases filed on or after July 1.) This change will increase the use of summary judgment motions in Tennessee and will probably result in an effort by defendants to file those motions earlier in the case.
Although there will be a constitutional challenge to this legislation, the constitutional issue will not reach the Tennessee Supreme Court for several years. In the meantime, lawyers opposing motions for summary judgment must work hard to marshal the facts necessary to create a genuine issue of material fact (if one can be legitimately created)..
TRCP 56.07 gives a lawyer opposing a motion for summary judgment the opportunity to ask for more time to complete discovery before a summary judgment hearing. Here are the twelve steps you should follow to (a) maximize your chances of putting your case in the posture of not needing to file a Rule 56.07 motion or (b) if a Rule 56.07 motion must be filed, increasing the likelihood that the motion will be granted.