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9th Annual Medical Malpractice Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials

9th Annual Medical Malpractice Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

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9th Annual Medical Malpractice Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

Held at the Nashville School of Law on May 13, 2016

Order your materials today and enhance your professional skill set.

Get up to date on the hottest issues in Tennessee healthcare liability law: 

  • Pre-suit notice requirement 
  • Certificate of good faith requirement 
  • New summary judgment procedure 
  • Deposition strategies and techniques 
  • Raising causation defenses in a healthcare liability case 
  • Trial tactics and tips 
  • Using today’s technology to be an effective advocate 
  • Patient medical records and HIPAA issues 

Event Speakers:

  • Brandon Bass, Law Offices of John Day PC, Brentwood
  • Judge Tom Brothers, Davidson County Circuit Court
  • Philip N. Elbert, Neal & Harwell, PLC, Nashville
  • C. Bennett Harrison, Jr., Cornelius & Collins, LLP, Nashville
  • Marty Phillips, Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC, Jackson
  • Chris Tardio, Gideon, Cooper & Essary, PLC, Nashville
  • Mathew Zenner, McCune, Zenner and Happell, Brentwood


  • What constitutes substantial compliance with the pre-suit notice requirement 
  • When does the 120-day extension to the statute of limitation apply 
  • How the ACA affects plaintiffs’ damages awards 
  • How to use illustrative aids during trial 
  • How to comply with HIPAA requirements 


  • How to challenge the plaintiff’s compliance with the pre-suit notice and certificate of good faith requirements 
  • Techniques for attacking expert depositions 
  • Tips for defending a case from beginning to end 
  • Using technology to show weaknesses in the plaintiff’s case 
  • How to raise the plaintiff’s negligence to defeat a healthcare claim 

Comments from past conferences: 

“The case law update was fantastic.” 
“This is one of the best, most comprehensive CLEs out there. I am so grateful for this annual event.”  
“Relevant, timely, well-organized, great presentations.” 
“Every speaker was excellent and at the top of their field.” 
“Excellent materials and experienced and knowledgeable speakers.” 
“A great seminar year-in and year-out.” 

Reasons Tennessee attorneys attended this conference: 

  • Quality presenters. Your presenters were all authorities in the healthcare liability arena. 
  • Judicial perspective. Attendees heard from Davidson County Circuit Judge Tom Brothers on the use of technology in a healthcare liability case. 
  • Balance. Programs were presented by both plaintiffs’ attorneys, as well defense attorneys. 
  • Practical information. Attendees gained information applicable to practice right away. 
  • Dynamic interaction. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions and present their own situations for discussion. 
  • Timely information. Get up to date on the latest developments in the healthcare liability area. 
  • Useful materials. You’ll receive a notebook of materials to take back to the office with you for future reference.

Your Conference Leaders

Brandon BassBrandon Bass was named Shareholder in the Law Offices of John Day P.C. in Brentwood in 2010. He focuses on helping people who have been badly injured or lost a loved one. He has assisted victims of medical malpractice in recovering for their losses from doctors and other healthcare providers. His core practice areas include products liability, medical malpractice, and trucking lawsuits. He has experience in products liability lawsuits, including industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, automotive and tractor-trailer defects, and defects in construction materials. Mr. Bass serves on the Board of Governors for the Tennessee Association for Justice, and is the organization’s Amicus Curiae Committee Chair. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, serving on the Board of Governors of its New Lawyers Division, as well as the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations. He has been a member of the John Marshall American Inn of Court in Williamson County. He is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Tennessee College of Law. He frequently writes on personal injury and wrongful death legal issues. In addition, Mr. Bass is Associate Editor of the Tennessee Trial Law Report – Tort Edition. The Trial Law Report is a monthly newsletter on tort law, evidence, civil procedure and trial in Tennessee. He was formerly Associate Editor of the Tennessee Tort Law Letter. 

Judge Thomas BrothersJudge Thomas W. Brothers was appointed to a term on the Davidson County Circuit Court in February 1989 by Governor Ned McWherter, was elected in 1990, and re-elected in 1998, 2006, and 2014. He practiced law in Nashville as a solo practitioner (1978-89) in the law offices of Jack Norman. Judge Brothers is a member of the Tennessee, Nashville and American Bar Associations and L.A.W. He is a member of the ABA Judicial Division’s Technology Committee. As a member of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, he serves as Chair of the Technology for the Courts Committee and is a member of the Pattern Civil Jury Instructions Committee and the Delay Reduction Committee. He is a past Secretary for the Conference. He has served as chair of the Minorities Opportunities Committee and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association. He is an emeritus Master of the Bench of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court. Judge Brothers was Presiding Judge for the 20th Judicial District for two terms, from 1991 to 1993. He is the Vice-Chair for the Justice Information System (JIS) of Nashville-Metropolitan Government as well as being the Circuit Court Representative on the Policy and Operations Committees of JIS. 

Philip ElbertPhilip N. Elbert joined the Nashville law firm of Neal & Harwell, PLC, in 1981. He has broad experience in both civil and criminal cases. He has won multimillion-dollar verdicts at trial and negotiated many millions of dollars in settlements for clients in cases involving serious personal injury or death. In the aggregate, he and the attorneys under his supervision have recovered close to $100 million in verdicts and settlements in personal injury cases. He has both prosecuted and defended a wide variety of different types of commercial cases, has defended class action cases and also served as plaintiffs’ counsel in class action cases, has represented individuals whose civil rights have been aggrieved, and has successfully challenged unfair or unconstitutional zoning practices on behalf of corporate clients. Mr. Elbert is a lawyer other lawyers turn to for help in complex cases or when they need representation themselves. Although in recent years Mr. Elbert’s practice has increasingly focused on civil litigation, he has defended individuals charged with serious crimes in both state and federal courts. He is a frequent speaker at legal seminars on a variety of topics. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1978 with a double major in history and economics. He received his law degree in 1981 from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he served as director of the Civil Justice Program of the Legal Aid Society. 

Ben HarrisonC. Bennett Harrison, Jr., joined the Nashville law firm of Cornelius and Collins, LLP, in 1983 and is a partner in the firm. The focus of his practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis in the areas of professional liability, commercial law, entertainment law, and bankruptcy. He represents plaintiffs and defendants, and is admitted to practice in all state courts, as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He is also certified by the Tennessee Supreme Court as a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator. With over 30 years of litigation experience, Mr. Harrison is adept at resolving a broad range of civil disputes, and he has handled a considerable amount of professional liability cases. In the healthcare field, he has litigated numerous medical malpractice claims for healthcare professionals and hospitals. He also resolves credentialing issues between doctors and hospitals, and commercial disputes arising out of the practice of medicine. He represents the interests of numerous other professionals in liability actions, including attorneys, accountants, engineers, and contractors. He was named 2014 “Lawyer of the Year” in Medical Malpractice Defense by Best Lawyers in America® and has been listed in that publication since 2010. In addition to his extensive professional liability experience, Mr. Harrison maintains an active practice representing individuals in the entertainment industry, including artists, personal managers, and business managers, involved in commercial and intellectual property disputes. Following the passage of the new Bankruptcy Code in 1978, Mr. Harrison developed an in-depth knowledge and familiarity with the Code, and as a result, has represented numerous clients in bankruptcy matters, including debtors, creditors, and trustees. He has also served as a trustee by appointment of the Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Harrison received his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University. 

Marty PhillipsMarty Phillips is a member of Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC, in Jackson, and has been associated with the firm since receiving his law degree in 1991 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Mr. Phillips has significant experience representing clinics, hospitals, physicians, and nurses in medical malpractice actions. He also has significant experience in general civil litigation. Mr. Phillips is a member and the Group Leader of the Firm’s Malpractice Practice Group. He is a frequent lecturer on topics related to medical malpractice and trial practice. He is the author of “The Admissibility of Failing the Board Certification Exam,” published by the Defense Research Institute. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America® in the specialty of Medical Malpractice Law. The following are selected reported cases which Mr. Phillips argued in the courts: Elliott v. Cobb, 320 S.W.3d 246 (Tenn. 2010); Calaway ex rel. Calaway v. Schucker, 193 S.W.3d 509 (Tenn. 2005); Abels ex rel. Hunt v. Genie Industries, Inc., 202 S.W.3d 99 (Tenn. 2006); Mabon v. Jackson Madison County General Hospital, 968 S.W.2d 826 (Tenn.Ct.App. 1997); Bowers v. Hammond, 954 S.W.2d 752 (Tenn.Ct.App. 1997); Vestal v. Lawler, 66 S.W.3d 866 (Tenn.Ct.App. 2001); Roberts v. Bicknell, 73 S.W.3d 106, (Tenn.Ct.App. 2001); Daniel v. Hardin County General Hospital, 971 S.W.2d 21 (Tenn.Ct.App. 1997); and Isbell v. Medtronic, Inc., 97 F.Supp.2d 849 (W.D.Tenn. 1998). 

Chris TardioChris Tardio, with Gideon, Cooper & Essary, PLC, in Nashville, has been representing healthcare providers and entities since 2004 in a wide variety of matters. He has represented the largest healthcare companies in the world, medical groups and clinics across the state, and individual physicians from Bristol to Memphis, in virtually all types of matters in federal court, state court, and administrative tribunals. Mr. Tardio has extensive experience defending hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers in virtually all kinds of professional negligence cases, from pre-suit investigation through trial and appeal. He has represented healthcare companies and providers in disputes with federal agencies, state boards, and insurance companies. He has successfully represented parties on both sides of peer review matters – the physician side and the hospital side. He has special interest and experience representing healthcare providers in the most complex of cases, including multi-district litigation and complex birth injury litigation. He has defended birth injury cases in a dozen counties and three different states. He has actively participated in almost a dozen healthcare-related jury trials and administrative trials, including over a half-dozen complex multi-week trials. He has successfully argued appellate matters to Tennessee’s state courts of appeals and to the federal Sixth Circuit. He was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers® in 2015 and was listed in Best Lawyers in America® (Health Care) in 2015. 

Mathew ZennerMathew Zenner is a founding partner of McCune, Zenner and Happell in Brentwood, and he concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury, products liability, employment discrimination, medical malpractice, and commercial litigation. Mr. Zenner was recently selected as one of Tennessee’s “Top 100” by the National Trial Lawyers Association. He is admitted to the bar in both Tennessee and Minnesota, and is admitted to practice in all Tennessee trial courts, the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court (Middle, Western, and Eastern Districts of Tennessee), and the U.S. Court of Appeals (Sixth Circuit). Mr. Zenner graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota College of Law where he served as Student Director of the Civil Practice Clinic and received the BNA Award of Excellence in Employment Law and the Labor and Employment Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association award for Excellence in Employment Discrimination Law. Mr. Zenner is also an avid triathlete and runner. 

Full Agenda

7:30 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. 

Ethics, Evidence and Experts 
8:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. 
Philip N. Elbert - Neal & Harwell, PLC 

  • Who is an expert 
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest 
  • Ethical considerations in expert depositions 
  • TRCP 26.02(4) as compared to FRCP 26 
  • The work product doctrine 
  • Interplay of FRCP 26 and the work product doctrine 
  • Communication between counsel and experts 
  • Practice pointers for state court practice 
  • Influencing testimony 
  • Expert compensation and ethical issues
  • Recent changes to Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure

Healthcare Liability: Case Update 
9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. 
Brandon Bass - Law Offices of John Day PC 

Mr. Bass will review recent appellate court decisions.

  • Pre-suit notice and medical authorizations
  • Complying with the certificate of good faith requirement
  • What damages are recoverable
  • Nursing home arbitration agreements
  • New summary judgment procedure


10:00 A.M. to 10:15 A.M. 

Causation Defenses 

10:15 A.M. to 11:15 A.M. 
Chris Tardio - Gideon, Cooper & Essary, PLC 

Mr. Tardio will discuss means the defense can use to attack the causation proof of the plaintiff's healthcare liability action.

  • Review of legal causation in the malpractice context
  • Special causation defenses
  • “Comparative causation”
  • How to attack the other side’s causation proof

Taking Depositions to Win at Trial 
11:15 A.M. to 12:15 P.M. 
Marty Phillips - Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC 

Mr. Phillips will offer some tips on taking depositions in healthcare liability cases. 

  • Know the rules 
  • Using depositions at trial 
  • Deposing experts 
  • Fact depositions 
  • Preparing your witness 
  • Objections in depositions 


12:15 P.M. to 1:15 P.M.

How to Use Technology to Excel as an Advocate 

1:15 P.M. to 2:15 P.M. 
Judge Tom Brothers - Davidson County Circuit Court 

Appropriate use of technology to display or play evidentiary exhibits or illustrative aids changes the dynamic in a healthcare liability case in productive and helpful ways. For judges, technology can increase opportunities to control the proceedings, set time limits, and decide matters expeditiously. For jurors, it can increase the sense of participation and improve the understanding of the facts. For lawyers, the faster pace, coupled with the need to respond to visual cues for objections as well as the traditional oral cues, puts a premium on a concise case theory and thorough preparation; there is less and less time for “making it up” as one goes along. Let Judge Brothers walk you through the ins and outs of using technology effectively to excel as an advocate. You’ll learn: 

  • What types of technology are available 
  • Why use demonstrative evidence 
  • How to use illustrative aids during trial 
  • How to appeal to emotion 
  • When and how may jurors review computer generated materials 
  • Video court recording 
  • What the future holds 
  • The latest on e-discovery 

Panel Discussion of Hot Topics in the Healthcare Liability Area 
2:15 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. 

Judge Brothers and leading plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys discuss some of the “hottest” issues in the healthcare liability arena. Listeners are invited to ask questions, share their own experiences, and join in the discussion.


3:00 P.M. to 3:15 P.M. 

Turning the Tables on a Plaintiff’s Expert 

3:15 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. 
Ben Harrison, Jr. - Cornelius & Collins, LLP 

Mr. Harrison will discuss how to use the plaintiff’s expert to benefit the defense. Can the deposition of an expert be used to justify a grant of summary judgment in favor of the defense? Can the credibility of the plaintiff’s expert be destroyed on cross-examination by attacking the credentials of the expert or the foundation of the plaintiff’s case? Are there defense traps into which the plaintiff’s expert can fall as a result of the defense counsel’s preparation and skillful cross-examination? 

Litigating Healthcare Liability Claims Under the ACA and HIPAA 
4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. 
Mathew Zenner - McCune, Zenner and Happell 

Mr. Zenner will explain how the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact healthcare liability litigation in Tennessee. Mr. Zenner will discuss: 

  • Key provisions of the ACA 
  • Impact on healthcare liability damages awards 
  • Tennessee’s collateral source rule 
  • Future medical expenses and life care plans 
  • Use of medical records in healthcare liability claims 
  • HIPAA core elements 
  • Litigation and the HIPAA security rule 
  • Health information in litigation 
  • Relevance 

Premium Sponsors

Interested in exhibiting or becoming a conference sponsor for the 9th Annual Medical Malpractice Conference for Tennesee Attorneys?

Contact Rachel Mayo, CLE Specialist
615.661.0249, ext. 8013

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