September, 2008

Cover Story

New Tennessee Law May Reduce Frivolous Suits but Make Valid Claims More Difficult

In May, Governor Phil Bredesen signed into law amendments to Tennessee's Medical Malpractice Act. The amendments introduce three new concepts to Tennessee's medical malpractice litigation framework: 1) a pre-suit notice requirement; 2) speedy medical records...

President's Perspective

"You make me want to be a better man."

— Jack Nicholson complimenting Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets

At a recent office party, our office's managing partner was called upon to make some remarks about me. Malinda was in attendance, so he naturally waxed eloquently about how Malinda had done a great job...

Letters of the Law

I began reading this article ("Business License Revocation: Is This What Tennessee Needs?" July 2008 Tenn. Bar Journal) in order to try to determine what the new Tennessee law provided. The deeper I got into the article the more it became clear it was primarily a political opinion piece by two attorneys. I read the Bar Journal to become...

Book Review

By Don Kennan | Balloon Press | $29.95 | 432 pages | 2006

This is a book that could keep a child you love from serious injury or death, and a book that could help you in successfully representing an injured child. Don Keenan, Atlanta trial lawyer extraordinaire, has put together 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe. This book is unusual in method, in format...

Book Review

Edited by John D.W. Guice | Oklahoma University Press | $24.95 | 178 pages | 2008

Several decades past I lectured to the Judicial Conference at Pickwick Landing and returned to Nashville via the Natchez Trace. My companion and I made frequent stops to help turtles across the road; it was that time of year. I wish I had known then what I know now...


Davidson County Judge Dan Eisenstein recently honored representatives of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities in recognition of their assistance to the Davidson County Mental Health Court. Eisenstein presides over the Mental Health Court, which is part of the county's general sessions court. The...


Deadline Sept. 5

The Tennessee Bar Foundation, through the Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, provides grant awards to organizations that provide direct civil legal services to the indigent or that seek to improve the administration of justice. Applications for the 2009 grants are available on the foundation's...

Licensure & Discipline


Chris D. Birkel of Gainesville, Fla., was reinstated to the practice of law on July 14 after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education. He had been suspended in September 2003 for failure to meet CLE deadlines.

Paine on Procedure

In my August 2006 column I wrote about two of the 100-mile rules. There is a third rule that I should have included. Please let me make amends in this column.

Let's review the first two. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(1)(B) allows a summons to be served under Rule 14 (impleader, aka third-party practice) or Rule 19 (required joinder if...

But Seriously, Folks

In a development that may give a whole new meaning to the term "legal footnote," the Memphis Bar Association has recently been taking a close look at lawyers' feet, or more specifically, their toes. To my knowledge, almost all lawyers have toes. I personally have ten of them, five on each foot.