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Tennessee Appeals – Tennessee Interlocutory and Extraordinary appeals in fiscal year 2011 – 2012.

Posted on May 28 2013 8:19AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Every year the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts publishes the “Annual Report of the Tennessee Judiciary” to provide, in part, information on appellate cases in Tennessee (this report also provides comprehensive statistics on the trial courts in Tennessee).  The fiscal year, 2011 - 2012 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012), report is the most recent report that has been released and it provides fascinating details about all aspects of Tennessee litigation.  This post will concentrate on some statistical information on interlocutory (Rule 9) and extraordinary (Rule 10) Appeals in Tennessee.  I cannot cover everything in this post so I recommend you review the full report if you have the opportunity.  It is 339 pages long so there is a lot of good statistical information.


Interlocutory Appeal by Permission of the Trial Court:


Under Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 9, parties have the ability to pursue an interlocutory appeal by permission from the trial court.  An interlocutory appeal is an appeal in a case before the entire case is final.  Under Rule 9, a party must file a motion seeking an interlocutory appeal within 30 days “after the date of entry of the order appealed from.”  If the trial court grants this motion, a party is not guaranteed to be heard by the appellate court.  Rule 9 provides that if the trial court grants the motion, then an application for permission to appeal must be filed with the appellate clerk within 10 days of the trial court order.  Then, “the appellate court may thereupon in its discretion allow an appeal from the order.”  If the intermediate appellate court denies the application for permission to appeal, then a “Application for Permission to Appeal from Denial of Rule 9 Application” can be filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court.


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TAGS: Tennessee Legal Statistics, Appeal Comments [0]

Corporation and LLC law - Piercing the corporate veil under Tennessee Law.

Posted on May 20 2013 8:10AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  The recent Tennessee Court of Appeals decision of Robert Thomas Edmunds v. Delta Partners, LLC, No. M2012-00047-COA-R3-CV, 2012 WL 6604580 (Tenn. Ct. App. December 18, 2012) discussed the concept of piercing the corporate veil under Tennessee law.  This case, in part, dealt with what is required to be established under Tennessee law in order to pierce the veil of a corporation.  In short, the doctrine of piercing the corporate veil allows, in certain circumstances, individual members or executives of a corporation (including an LLC - Limited Liability Company) to be personally responsible for the liabilities of the corporation.  This cased involved a dispute between an employer and a former employee over back pay (see detailed prior post on this same case on what constitutes an employment contract under Tennessee law). Edmunds at 1 - 3.  The employee was ultimately awarded damages by the trial court which were affirmed by the Appellate Court for back pay pursuant to an employment contract. Edmunds at 4 - 5. The plaintiff tried to hold the owner of the company personally responsible under the doctrine of “piercing the corporate veil”. 


The Tennessee Court of Appeals in this case discussed that a corporation is presumed to be a distinct legal entity that is separate from its members, shareholders, officers, as follows:


There is a presumption that a corporation is a distinct legal entity, wholly separate and apart from its shareholders, officers, directors, or affiliated corporations. In an appropriate case and in furtherance of the ends of justice, the separate identity of a corporation may be discarded and the individual or individuals owning all its stock and assets will be treated as identical to the corporation.  Discarding the fiction of the corporate entity, or piercing the corporate veil, is appropriate when the corporation is liable for a debt but is without funds to pay the debt, and the lack of funds is due to some misconduct on the part of the officers and directors.


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TAGS: Defenses, Corporation/LLC Law, Immunity Comments [0]

Employment Contract - When do documents between an employer and employee consist of an "employment contract" under Tennessee Law?

Posted on May 6 2013 9:26PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently discussed the important issue of when a document or series of documents should be considered an “employment contract” under Tennessee law in Robert Thomas Edmunds v. Delta Partners, LLC, No. M2012-00047-COA-R3-CV, 2012 WL 6604580 (Tenn. Ct. App. December 18, 2012).  In this case the employee received several documents from his employer about his employment with Delta, the employer.  These documents included both a non-disclosure agreement and a non-competition agreement, to which the employee agreed to and signed.  (Edmunds at 1).  These employment documents (that the employee and employer executed) included the following language:


In consideration of the performance of all services required by Delta [ ], the confidentiality provisions and covenant not-to-compete set forth herein, the Company [i.e. Delta] agrees to pay Employee [i.e. Mr. Edmunds] a salary outlined in the Employee Offer Letter. This initial salary and other benefits provided to Employee pursuant to the Offer Letter may, from time to time as agreed by Employee and Company, be modified.


It is of note that both the employer representative and the employee signed the documents as well as the offer letter identifying the $65,000.00 starting salary.  (Edmunds at 1).  A dispute eventually arose about the compensation the employee was owed after the employer informed the employee in 2006 that the employer could no longer afford to pay the employee.  (Edmunds at 1).  Despite this representation from the employer, the employee continued to work for the company "out of personal loyalty" for over two years despite the fact he was only sporadically paid by the employer.  (Edmunds at 1 - 3).  Eventually the employee resigned in the fall of 2008 and then brought suit against the employ...

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TAGS: Breach of Contract, Employment Law, Contracts Comments [0]

Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals - Reversal and timing statistics

Posted on May 2 2013 11:17AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

This is a good article that I thought you might be interested in concerning reversal statistics for the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  This is from the Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog which is a great blog that keeps you up to date on cases and information pertaining to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  This information is essential for anyone practicing in Federal Court within the Sixth Circuit.


One interesting statistic is that 16% of the decisions appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals were reversed on appeal.  This is higher then any Federal Circuit other then the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  Also, it takes an average of 14.7 months for an appeal in the Sixth Circuit.


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TAGS: Tennessee Legal Statistics, Sixth Circuit, Appeal Comments [0]

Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Tennessee Defense Litigation Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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