DPBC Litigation Team Scores Win in “Exploding Hoverboard” Case; Amazon Can Be Liable for Damages

Bucking a trend in lawsuits around the country, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that online retailer Amazon can be held liable for damages in a case stemming from an “exploding hoverboard” that it sold through its website. DPBC’s Donald Capparella was appellate counsel along with Stephen Anderson in the successful appeal.

Amazon filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that it was not responsible for the harm caused by the product under Tennessee law, and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted the motion, dismissing the case. The Plaintiffs appealed. In its June 10 opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the summary judgment on the Tennessee tort law claim, holding that Amazon can be held liable for its assumption of a duty to warn about the dangerous hoverboard, and its negligence in fulfilling that duty. This will allow the Plaintiffs to proceed with their case against Amazon, Inc. before a jury.

You can read the full opinion here and read more about the case on the DPBC blog.

Three DPBC Attorneys Included in Nashville Business Journal’s “2019 Best of the Bar”

Dodson Parker Behm and Capparella is pleased to have three lawyers included among the Nashville Business Journal’s 2019 “Best of the Bar.” The annual list is complied through nomination, and attorneys are selected by their peers for inclusion. Attorneys will be honored at a reception on June 18 at the City Winery.

  • Harlan Dodson was honored in field of Estate Planning. He is the founder and co-author of Introduction to Estate Planning and Administration in Tennessee. He also counsels businesses on matters ranging from startup and formation through business succession planning.   
  • Margaret Behm was selected in the field of Labor and Employment. In addition to her employment work, Behm represents clients in matters related to municipal law, estate planning, bankruptcy, and commercial litigation.  
  • Donald Capparella was named in the Litigation and Dispute category.  Focusing his practice exclusively on litigation, Capparella is regularly called upon to handle complex matters including construction defects, business disputes, personal injury, and insurance disputes at the trial and appellate level.

Each attorney above has been named previously to the list, and firm attorneys have been named to the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” List for more than ten consecutive years.

Parker to Speak at National Business Institute Seminar

Paul S. Parker will be a featured speaker at the National Business Institute’s “Estate Planning from A to Z” seminar.  The event, which will be held August 5, 2019, in Nashville, focuses on current issues in estate administration and is designed for attorneys, trust officers, accountants, financial planners, paralegals, and other tax professionals.

Parker will lead a session entitled  “Understanding Tax Procedures to Avoid Problems Later” and will address  important tax issues that must be considered during estate administration.

For more information, or to register to attend, please click here.

Parker, a frequent speaker for the National Business Institute, has been recognized multiple times by Super Lawyers® on its Annual List of Top Attorneys in the Mid-South.  Parker practices in the areas of tax, estate planning, and probate.

Harlan Dodson Receives Lifetime Impact Award from Oasis Center

Harlan Dodson speaks at “Only in Nashville 2019,” upon receiving the Lifetime Impact Award from Oasis Center, Nashville.

On May 4, DPBC Attorney Harlan Dodson was awarded the Lifetime Impact Award from Oasis Center, the Nashville non-profit that serves more than 3000 youth annually with its programming ranging from crisis intervention to youth leadership and college and career readiness. The award was presented at the center’s annual “Only In Nashville” event, held this year at OZ Nashville. Mr. Dodson’s award reflects his 50 years of service to the institution as a founder and volunteer.

In 1969, Dodson was among a group of Nashville lawyers who established a community center for runaway teens and youth struggling with addiction. The organization grew into the Oasis Center, which today offers more than 20 programs and services focusing on four core areas of serving youth in need:  Safety, Belonging, Empowerment, and Generosity. You can learn more about the Oasis Center here.

Behm Presents at 2019 Access To Justice Pro Bono Summit

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission held its annual Pro Bono Summit at the Nashville Public Library on April 5.  Margaret L. Behm, who was appointed by the Court to chair the inaugural Access to Justice Commission in 2009, was a featured presenter.  Behm lead a break-out session for solo practitioners and local law firms, discussing ways that small firms can incorporate providing pro bono services into their case load.

Dismukes Leads Presentation for Murfreesboro Estate Planning Council

Covington G. Dismukes was the featured speaker at the March 19 meeting of the Murfreesboro Estate Planning Council.  She led a discussion on estate planning titled “Wow, I Didn’t Know That – What Planners and Practitioners Need to Know Today and Tomorrow.” The Council consists of Murfreesboro-area attorneys, trust advisors, and other professionals who focus on estate planning matters.

Bressman Inducted as Fellow of Nashville Bar Foundation

DPBC attorney Michael B. Bressman was inducted as a fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation on March 9, 2019.  The NBF Fellows Program was established in 1991 as a way for the bar to honor its colleagues who have contributed significantly to the community. Devotion to service to the client and to the public interest are hallmarks of the program. Fellows are selected by their colleagues, and each class of Fellows is limited to approximately 2% of the bar in Nashville.

Bressman practices a wide variety of business law and litigation. In particular, Michael’s continued work in intellectual property and cyberspace law make him an invaluable resource for business clients navigating the ever-evolving technological landscape. Michael is listed in 2019 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Art Law, Information Technology Law, and Trademark Law.

Yarbro Named to Nashville Post’s “In Charge” List

DPBC Managing Partner Tyler Chance Yarbro has been named to the Nashville Post’s 2019 “In Charge” List.  For the 10th consecutive year, the Nashville-based business publication has complied a list of what it terms “the best of the best,” recognizing the top business, political, and civil leaders in the Nashville area.

Yarbro, who assumed the role of firm Managing Partner in 2018, has been with the firm since 2010. She focuses her practice on a wide range of litigation, including employment law, commercial litigation, and criminal law.

Bressman Helms Vanderbilt Clinic Win in Trademark Case

Michael B. Bressman recently secured a win for his client in a trademark registration case in front of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The trademark examiner refused to register a mark for BA Beef and Provision, LLC, hailing from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  In denying the registration, the examiner maintained that “BA” was primarily a geographical description and, therefore,  the company could not qualify a trademark for protection under the law.  Bressman, representing the company in his role as Professor of Vanderbilt Law School’s Intellectual Property and the Arts Clinic, successfully argued that the company’s mark qualified for legal protection.

The February 22, 2019 opinion, which has already been written about on Bloomberg Law, can be read in full here.


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