The team at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, PC shares updates and thoughts on developments in the law.

Harmless Error Doctrine Extends to Rule 12.02(6) Motion

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently released an opinion that provides a compelling insight into the sticky wicket of civil procedure. The facts of the case involve an otherwise pedestrian dispute between homeowners and their contracted buyer on one hand and an HOA on the other.  The ruling, however, ultimately touches on the joinder doctrine and the relation back rule, the harmless error...

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Court of Appeals Clarifies Procedure for Petitions to Modify Custody

In Tennessee, an order is generally “final” thirty days after it has been entered.  Where child custody matters are concerned, however, the trial courts retain “exclusive and continuing jurisdiction.”  This has often resulted in confusion with respect to the proper procedure when one parent wants to ask the court to modify custody, because there is a statutory requirement...

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“Final” Doesn’t Mean Last When It Comes to Court Orders

In Tennessee, a “final order” is not necessarily the last order that a court enters at the trial level, and that’s an important point to know when considering whether a litigant has a right to appeal. Generally in Tennessee, parties in civil trial matters are fortunate to have the absolute right to an appeal after the trial court issues its final order. Under Tenn. R. App. P....

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New Rule Brings Electronic Filing to Tennessee Appellate Process

The long-awaited electronic filing process for Tennessee’s state appellate courts has inched one step closer to reality. A transitional rule from the Tennessee Supreme Court which went into effect July 9, 2018 establishes a voluntary filing process until the Court adopts e-filing on a permanent basis.  Here are some highlights of the new system: Tennessee attorneys must first register with...

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Court of Appeals Addresses Nonsuits in Healthcare Liability Actions (Again—-and Again!)

This fall, two opinions, issued two days apart and from different sections of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, have explored the same essential question: should a plaintiff in a health care liability action be permitted to voluntarily dismiss his lawsuit without prejudice in the face of a motion to dismiss arising from an inadequate certificate of good faith? Since the advent of the complex...

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When Your Civil Suit Intersects with a Criminal Prosecution

A version of this article originally appeared as the Monthly Spotlight Article in the Tennessee Tort Law Letter.  DPBC attorneys Donald Capparella, Tyler Chance Yarbro, and Elizabeth Sitgreaves serve as editors. To learn about subscribing click here. If you are a tort law practitioner, then it is not unusual to have a criminal case pending alongside a tort case you are handling. This...

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Better Late than Never for this Intervenor

The recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case National Public Auction Company, LLC v. Cam Out, Inc . offers helpful analysis of what constitutes “timely application” under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 24.01 to be able to intervene in a pending lawsuit. Background This appeal involves a procedural issue that arose following the entry of a judgment. The underlying case involves the sale of vehicle inventory...

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