Defense Victory

DRI member Steven C. Huret of Wilson Worley PC in Kingsport, successfully defended an appeal of the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant. The defendant was the brother of deceased federal postal worker and named as the sole beneficiary on the decedent’s life insurance policy. The decedent’s two children filed a lawsuit to enforce their status as …

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Apologies, lawsuits and John Wayne

We live in a society where apologies seem out of fashion. John Wayne is quoted as saying: “Never apologize and never explain. It’s a sign of weakness.” But what should you say if you are involved in an accident and someone else is injured? It is only natural to show concern for another person’s suffering. Does it show weakness? And …

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Tennessee Statute on Will Execution Amended to Permit Signatures on Affidavit of Will to Satisfy Witness Signature Requirement for Wills Executed Prior to July 1, 2016.

The Tennessee legislature passed a law effective July 1, 2016, to address and overrule a recent Tennessee Court of Appeals decision that disallowed the enforcement of a will in which the witnesses had signed the affidavit attached to the will rather than the will itself. The Tennessee Court of Appeals decision was in the case of In Re: Estate of …

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Prenuptial Agreements Must be Entered Into Knowledgeably to be Valid

An antenuptial agreement (informally called a “prenup”) is binding on each party if both parties signed it “freely, knowledgeably and in good faith and without exertion of duress or undue influence upon either spouse ” Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-3-501. Whether an agreement is valid can be an issue in the probate as well as divorce context. In a recent …

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HIPAA Compliance – Not Just for Healthcare Providers

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPPA”) is designed to require the protection and confidential handling of protected health information by mandating a certain standards for its transmission and storage. Generally, Protected Health Information is individually identifiable information that is transmitted by electronic media, maintained in electronic media, or transmitted or maintained in any other medium. It …

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New DOL Persuader Requirements Effective July 1, 2016

More detailed reporting will now be required for both employers and their attorneys related to an employer’s “persuader” activities (See 29 C.F.R. Parts 405 and 406).  “Persuader activities” are defined as “any actions, conduct, or communications that are undertaken with an object, explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly, to affect an employee’s decisions regarding his or her representation or collective …

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Thinking of Organizing a Business?

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Pub. Law 114-113, extended, indefinitely, the 100% exclusion from tax of the proceeds from the sale of qualified small business stock, Int. Rev. Code §1202.      Briefly, a taxpayer, other than a corporation, can exclude, from federal income tax, 100% of the gain from the sale or exchange of stock which is held for more …

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Department Of Labor Issues Rule Altering Exemption From Overtime

            The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued a final rule effective December 1, 2016 raising the minimum salary level of exempt employees classified as executive, administrative and professional (“white collar”) from $23,660 per year to $47,476 or $455 a week to $913 per week, and the minimum salary for “highly compensated” employees who are exempt from the overtime requirement …

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Vaccine Injury Compensation program Serves Manufacturers And The Public

The National Childhood Vaccination Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA), as amended, created the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Congress created the VICP primarily to protect our nation’s vaccine supply. In the 1980’s, public attention was focused on the allegation that vaccines were causing injuries to children. Many parents sued vaccine manufacturers for alleged injuries. The few vaccine manufacturers in existence …

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Estate Planning and Pets

Many families fail to address the needs of their pets when undertaking estate planning. Pets and other animals such as livestock are considered personal property and pass as such under an individual’s will, unless there are specific provisions dealing with pets or animals.  Only a small percentage of pet owners include provisions for their pets in their estate planning documents.  …

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