Recent Change to Tennessee Statute Governing Retirement and Pension Plans Impacts Divorce Cases

An important change impacting divorce proceedings in Tennessee has been made to the Tennessee statute which governs retirement and pension plans. As of July 1, 2015, T.C.A. § 26-2-105(d)(1) now provides that “a local government that establishes and maintains for its employees a qualified plan, and the qualified plan’s administrator, shall honor claims under a qualified domestic relations order, if …

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Signature on Self-Proving Affidavit but Not on Will Falls Short of Statutory Requirements

In early 2015, the Tennessee Court of Appeals provided valuable guidance to practitioners on will execution requirements. The case of In re Estate of Bill Morris (2015 WL 557970, Tenn. Ct. App. 2015) concerned a will contest in which the children of the decedent challenged the validity of their father’s Last Will and Testament based on alleged noncompliance with T.C.A. …

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The Continuing Struggle over Class Action Waivers in Arbitration

The issue of mandatory arbitration of employment and consumer disputes continues to be controversial. The principal bone of contention appears to be the requirement that the employee or consumer waive the right to participate in class or collective actions, so that his or her sole recourse is the pursuit of individual claims in arbitration. No matter how employee- or consumer-friendly …

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Attorney’s’ Fees – Who Pays?

If you believe the loser pays the attorney’s fees of the winner in a lawsuit, you are probably wrong. The general rule in the United States is that each party is liable for its own attorney’s fees. The loser pays only court costs (filing fees) and in some cases, in the discretion of the Court, is awarded other costs such …

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Why a Document Retention Plan Is Important

We are often called upon to litigate disputes involving lost or missing documents. Contracts, receipts, cancelled checks, invoices and other documents are often the best evidence to prove – or disprove – a claim. A litigant who enters a courtroom without this evidence is at a serious disadvantage. Consider, for example, the case of a vendor who swears that invoices …

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Tennessee’s Treatment of Pretermitted Children

The structure of a family tree can change quickly, especially for parents planning to have additional children.  Can children born into the family after the execution of a Will still inherit from their parents?  If a testator doesn’t provide for one of his or her children in the Will, is that child considered to be disinherited?  Tennessee law answers these …

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Liability For Injury Occuring On One’s Property

When is a homeowner or business owner responsible for injuries occurring on his or her property? Like many legal questions the answer is “it depends.” As a general rule the owner is required to exercise reasonable care to maintain the premises in a safe condition for those who come on the property. An owner must correct or warn against any …

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Special Taxation Districts: Use with Care

Business communities looking to improve their infrastructure may consider funding improvements through special taxation districts. These districts go by different names in different states: Special Service Areas, Community Improvement Districts, or—in Tennessee—Central Business Improvement Districts. The basic idea is that property owners create a district and levy a special tax on the properties within the district. The tax revenue is …

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Department of Labor, Administrator’s Interpretation on Worker Classification

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor provided recent guidance in determining classification of workers.  The WHD says a business “‘suffers or permits’ an individual to work if, as a matter of economic reality, the individual is dependent on the entity.”  The factors of the economic reality test include: (a) the extent to which the work performed …

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Wilson Worley Attorneys Obtain Favorable Verdict in Auto Injury Case

Wilson Worley shareholder, Steve Huret, and associate, Katie Steffen, recently obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of their client, who was the defendant in an automobile injury lawsuit.  The lawsuit was tried before a jury in one (1) day in Sullivan County Circuit Court.  The defendant admitted fault for the car wreck, but she died during the pendency of the …

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