Amid their late-session surge in activity, state lawmakers this week passed a bill reforming several aspects of workplace-related litigation. Among other things, the changes cap compensatory damages that can be awarded — aligning state statutes with their federal counterparts — and streamlines the path for whistleblower claims. Baker Donelson attorneys Ben Bodzy and Larry Eastwood, who drafted most of the legislation, have a summary here.
Under the new legislation, an employee may only proceed under the statutory claim, which requires the employee to prove that the alleged whistleblowing was the "sole cause" of the termination. This effectuates the legislature's "sole cause" standard already incorporated into the TPPA, and it prevents employees from invoking the common law's lower causation standard. The effect of this legislation will be to facilitate the defense of questionable whistleblower claims.
SEE ALSO: The bill summary from The General Assembly's website
Music Row-based law firm Crownover Blevins has recruited real estate attorney Phil Irwin as of counsel. Irwin grew up in Maryland, where he also was a real estate broker and still owns a title company. He brings Crownover's attorney roster to five. The firm also said Charity Asher has come on board as executive assistant and that it has moved its offices from the second floor to the third floor of its 54 Music Square East home.
State lawmakers on Monday sent to Gov. Bill Haslam a bill that will hit with damages and costs entities filing bad-faith patent infringement cases — so called "patent trolls" — against Tennessee companies. A trio of Bass Berry & Sims attorneys has some insights on the legislation.
Under the bill, intended recipients of communications that meet any of these requirements may file suit in any Tennessee circuit or chancery court. Those who prevail shall be awarded litigation costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, and may be awarded actual damages as well as punitive damages equal to three times the amount of actual damages. In addition, the office of the attorney general is empowered to enforce the bill through its investigative and prosecutorial authority.
- BRASWELL, ROBERT
- GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR
- GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR
- GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR