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Appellate Law Blog2020-03-31T22:06:21-04:00

Mr. Vowell blogs on appellate law and practice

October 2019

TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT ESTABLISHES NEW STANDARD FOR DETERMINING THE VALIDITY OF EXCULPATORY CLAUSES

By |October 6th, 2019|Categories: Appellate Law|

In a decision handed down Dec. 20, 2018, the Tennessee Supreme Court adopted a new standard for determining the legality of exculpatory clauses. [Copeland v. HealthSouth/Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital, LP, 565 S.W.3d 260 (Tenn. 2018)] The Court ruled that the five factors that it had identified in Olson v. Molzen, 558 S.W.2d 429 (Tenn. 1977) were still valid but expanded the factors to be considered to a “totality of the circumstances” test, in its first look at exculpatory clauses in 25 years. I handled the appeal at the request of Memphis colleague David Gordon. The Plaintiff, Frederick Copeland, 77 years old, […]

TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT REVERSES TRIAL COURT IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASE

By |October 6th, 2019|Categories: Appellate Law|

In a decision handed down Sept. 20, 2019, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s dismissed of a workers’ compensation case where the trial court had ruled that the statute of limitations had expired when the action was initiated. Williams v. SWS LLC d/b/a SecureWatch, 2019 WL 4740106. I handled the appeal at the request of my Knoxville-based colleague Martin Ellis. This was a direct appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court by was of T.C.A. 50-6-225. This statute provides that appeals in workers’ compensation cases are appealed directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing the Court of Appeals. The statute […]

March 2017

SHERWOOD V. TVA – COMMENTS ON THE SCOPE OF TVA’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

By |March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Appellate Law|

In response to the lawsuit, TVA has announced that it is going to publish an environmental impact statement that will address changes to its vegetation management policy, including a “border to border” approach by which it would clear the entire right-of-way, including the historic buffer zones, which include vast numbers of 50-100-year-old trees. The Plaintiffs earlier submitted their comments on the scope of the EIS [2017-03-18 Comment on scope of EIS, and yesterday submitted a supplemental comment. 2017-03-22 Supplemental Comment on scope of EIS Also yesterday, the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club submitted its comment on the scope […]

SHERWOOD V. TVA – PLAINTIFFS’ RESPONSE TO TVA’S CONFESSION OF JUDGMENT

By |March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Appellate Law|

Yesterday we filed the Plaintiffs’ response to TVA’s confession of judgment and motion for judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs. 2017-03-23 Doc. 386 Plaintiffs’ Response to TVA’s Motion for Judgment in Plaintiffs’ Favor We, of course, agree that judgment should be entered in favor of the Plaintiffs, but we think that it should go further than what TVA offered. We think that the injunction should not only enjoin TVA from further implementing its new practice known as the 15-foot rule, but should also order TVA to revert to its prior practices, and define what those prior practices were. The prior practices included leaving […]

SHERWOOD V. TVA: TVA CONFESSES JUDGMENT

By |March 2nd, 2017|Categories: Appellate Law|

Interesting development yesterday. TVA, the defendant in the case, filed a “Confession of Judgment in Plaintiffs’ Favor” 2017-03-01 Doc. 377 Confession of Judgment in Plaintiffs’ Favor and a “Motion for Judgment in Plaintiffs’ Favor.” 2017-03-01 Doc. 378 Motion for Judgment in Plaintiffs’ Favor. They also filed a supporting brief. 2017-03-01 Doc. 379 Brief in Support of TVA’s Motion for Judgment in Plaintiffs’ Favor. A little unusual to ask for judgment to be entered in favor of the opposing party. It was an official surrender. It is what TVA should have done five years ago, at the beginning of the case. […]