Join Clerk of the Appellate Courts James M. Hivner and seasoned practitioners for this discussion on tips and best practices regarding Tennessee's TrueFiling system for appellate briefs. Please submit any questions you might have for the panel in advance to Section Coordinator Jarod Word. We will also field live questions, time permitting, during the discussion.





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DONALD CAPPARELLA has established a reputation as one of Tennessee's most respected litigators at both the trial and appellate levels. Individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations trust him to vigorously represent their interests and get results. He handles all manner of civil litigation throughout the state and federal courts and is regularly called upon to handle complex matters including construction defects, business disputes, personal injury, and insurance matters. Recognized as one of Tennessee's preeminent appellate lawyers,  Capparella has handled more than 150 appeals in state and federal court. As a consultant, he regularly assists trial practitioners, providing services ranging from trial court preparation to handling of the entire appeal. He also serves as the editor and contributing author for the Nashville Bar Association's Appellate Practice Handbook; is co-author of the Tennessee Practice Volume 17 on Comparative Fault; and has been an instructor of legal writing at Vanderbilt University School of Law and legal writing at the Nashville School of Law.
JAMES HIVNER became Clerk of the Appellate Courts in 2014. In his role as Clerk, Hivner oversees a staff of 29 at offices in Jackson, Nashville, and Knoxville. He serves the Supreme Court as well as the Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals. Hivner came to the Appellate Court Clerk's role from Shelby County, where he was Chief Administrative Officer of the Shelby County Chancery Court. Prior to his role in Memphis, Hivner had a solo practice in Alabama before moving back to Tennessee, where he had an extended career with several law firms in Memphis. He also previously worked at NASA and served as an adjunct professor of business law at the University of North Alabama and Faulkner University. Hivner earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee and received his J.D and LL.M. in taxation from the University of Alabama School of Law.

KEVIN RITZ is the Appellate Chief and Special Counsel at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Tennessee. Ritz has written more than 150 appellate briefs and argued 33 cases in the federal courts of appeals, in addition to having tried ten cases in federal court. He is a past president of the Federal Bar Association's Mid-South Chapter; a former member of the Department’s Appellate Chiefs Working Group; and a member of the Sixth Circuit's Pattern Jury Instruction Committee. Ritz currently serves as Chair of the TBA’s Appellate Practice Section. He received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

KIMBERLY MACDONALD practices civil litigation in state and federal courts, with a focus on appellate work. Her diverse practice includes personal injury matters, contract disputes and family law. MacDonald developed her interest in the law serving as an office assistant for a large Nashville law firm, where, among her duties, she created a records guide for the firm’s intellectual property matters. She also served as a campaign assistant for a district attorney campaign, and was recently named an assistant editor of Appellate Advocacy: A Handbook on Appellate Practice in Tennessee. MacDonald holds degrees from Florida Atlantic University and the Belmont University College of Law.