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Tennessee Supreme Court Argument Marks Third Appellate Review in Ten Year Old Case

March 8, 2019 | DPBC Blawg

When litigation begins, lawyers try to prepare their clients for delays.  Sometimes a civil trial is delayed because it takes longer to gather materials than expected, because a witness is unavailable, or because a judge's docket is full. Sometimes, litigation is protracted not because of delays but because of appeals.  This is why it is important to have an experienced appellate litigation team--one that understands the procedure and strategy necessary to handle a matter no matter how long it may take for justice to prevail.

While the appellate process in the U.S. attempts to streamline matters, sometimes a fair application of the rules means that the same case will be heard on appeal multiple times. DPBC attorney Donald Capparella, who heads the firm's appellate practice team, is familiar with this scenario. In fact, one of his recent Tennessee Supreme Court arguments provides an example of how a litigant can "win" a case multiple times and yet still be embroiled in litigation.

In 2005, Progress Capital Partners, LLC and TWB Architects, Inc. entered into a contract. TWB was to design a condominium project for Progress Capital. The building was designed and built, but the Great Recession ensued, other parties became involved, and TWB Architects was not paid.  So, in 2009, the parties headed to court, and almost five years later--in 2014, the first appeal was concluded, with Donald Capparella successfully representing the architect on appeal. The matter was remanded to the trial court where, once again an appeal ensued and, once again--this time in 2017--the architect prevailed on his second appeal. This time, however, the Tennessee Supreme Court elected to review the case, meaning that on February 6, 2019, Capparella found himself arguing on appeal for the third time in a case over a contract that is now fourteen years old.

When it comes to appeals, an experienced appellate litigation team knows that each attorney must be prepared to fight for the client for the long haul. While we are happy whenever our clients can reach an amicable settlement, the team at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella has the experience and capacity to handle protracted and complicated appeals.


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