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Personal Injury Law Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

Personal Injury Law Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

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Personal Injury Law Conference for Tennessee Attorneys - Materials Only

Held at Nashville School of Law on Thursday & Friday, September 19-20, 2019

This program features a faculty of leading defense and plaintiffs’ attorneys, explaining the very latest developments in personal injury law and sharing trial experiences. This two-day satisfaction-guaranteed event and enhance your professional skill set, where you will find engaging sessions on:

  • Negotiating with insurance adjusters
  • Best practices in car wreck cases
  • Voir dire – first impressions, team building, and primary objectives
  • Review of recent personal injury cases
  • Preserving your case for appeal
  • Use of motions and affirmative defenses
  • Common evidentiary issues
  • Litigating premises liability
  • And more! 

Your Distinguished Faculty

Senior Judge Donald Ash Judge Don R. Ash is a senior judge in the Tennessee Senior Judge Program. Judge Ash served as a circuit court judge in the 16th Judicial District, which includes Rutherford and Cannon counties, for 18 years. He was appointed to the bench in 1994 and stepped down on September 1, 2012, to take senior judge status. Judge Ash has also authored appellate opinions while sitting as a Substitute Judge for the Tennessee Court of Appeals. He has taught Civil Procedure at the Nashville School of Law since 2009. He is a past president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. In 1998, he was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary which oversees judicial conduct for all Tennessee judges, and served as presiding judge from 2007 through 2011.

Laura Baker is a Shareholder with the Law Offices of John Day where she has spent more than 12 years representing clients in personal injury, wrongful death, and tort litigation across the state. She has successfully represented clients in hundreds of injury cases including motor vehicle, wrongful death, and slip and fall accidents, as well as medical negligence and products liability cases.

Brandon Bass, with the Law Offices of John Day PC, in Brentwood, was named Tennessee Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2017 by the Tennessee Trial Lawyers’ Association. He has previously been selected by Best Lawyers in America for plaintiffs’ personal injury litigation, and as a top rated personal injury lawyer by Super Lawyers. Mr. Bass serves on the Board of Governors for the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and has testified before the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Eric M. Beasley is a primary shareholder of the Law Office of Eric Beasley, P.C. in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. He practices in the area of civil litigation, focusing on automobile injury cases. Mr. Beasley is a frequent lecturer for National Business Institute. He is an inductee for the National Order of Barristers; and a member of the American and Tennessee bar associations, and the Tennessee Association for Justice. Mr. Beasley earned his B.S. degree from the University of Houston and his J.D. degree from Texas Tech School of Law. In addition to litigating claims and resolving injury cases with insurance companies and their lawyers, Eric Beasley is a frequent lecturer for statewide Continuing Legal Education classes and seminars, instructing Tennessee attorneys on handling personal injury damage claims. In addition, many of Eric Beasley's legal articles have been published through national CLE instruction manuals. 

Rebecca C. Blair, founder of The Blair Law Firm in Brentwood, has developed an immensely diverse practice in 20 years. She has substantial experience in many aspects of civil litigation, including tort law, insurance coverage litigation, business litigation, and probate litigation. She is listed as a Rule 31 General Civil mediator. She was voted one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in the Mid-South in 2012 by Mid-South Super Lawyers/Memphis Magazine. She was also elected to Best Lawyers in America® for her work in Business Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs. Ms. Blair has been elected by her peers as a Mid-South Super Lawyer in the area of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2009. She is a past president of the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, a past board member of the Nashville Bar Association and a past chair of the Bench Bar Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. 

Daniel Clayton, with Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge in Nashville, was named 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in Products Liability Law and 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” in Medical Malpractice Law by Best Lawyers in America[Equation]He has also been selected to Mid-South Super Lawyers[Equation] Top 50 Lawyers in Nashville and Top 100 Lawyers in Tennessee. Mr. Clayton is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist and a Medical Malpractice Specialist. He is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association, which is a national organization composed of The Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state. He has given presentations in Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia not only to other attorneys, but also as a featured speaker at multiple seminars for Tennessee judges. He is a Past President of the Tennessee Association for Justice. 

Sean Antone Hunt is the owner of the Memphis boutique commercial defense law firm, The Hunt Law Firm, where the two-person law firm brings a unique team format to in-house counsel and business clients for their litigation needs. For the past 20 years, he has practiced in the areas of section 1983 litigation, construction litigation, products liability, personal injury, workers' compensation and insurance defense. Recently, Mr. Hunt has become a Rule 31 trained mediator as well.

Scott Hurley is the principal shareholder in The Hurley Law Firm, P.C., in Knoxville. His practice focuses on civil litigation, including catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, commercial and probate litigation. Mr. Hurley has been a frequent speaker at legal and continuing education seminars on evidence, expert testimony, direct and cross examination techniques, witness preparation, jury selection and damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases 

Michael H. Johnson is a partner with Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson, PLLC, in Nashville. He has more than 20 years of experience defending lawsuits for individuals and businesses. An experienced litigator, Mr. Johnson has tried well over 100 liability cases to successful conclusion. He has a litigation practice involving insurance, personal injury, consumer law, professional liability, and agribusiness litigation. Mr. Johnson has presented a number of continuing legal education programs on various aspects of litigation, and he is the author of “A Quick Guide to Tennessee Premise Litigation.” He earned his B.A. degree from the University of Tennessee and his J.D. degree from the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Tennessee and American bar associations, as well as the Tennessee Defense Lawyers. 

Melanie M. Stewart is a member of Heaton & Moore, P.C., in Memphis. She is a frequent speaker to various professional groups on insurance law. Ms. Stewart is a member of the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (president, 2010-2011), Defense Research Institute, and The Mississippi Bar. She is licensed to practice in Tennessee and Mississippi. Ms. Stewart earned her B.A. degree from the University of Mississippi and her J.D. degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. 

Chris Tardio, with Gideon, Cooper & Essary in Nashville 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 clients 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 in the most complex of cases, including multi-district litigation and complex birth injury litigation. He has actively participated in almost a dozen healthcare-related jury trials and administrative trials, including over a half-dozen complex multi-week trials. 

Kimberly S. White, Senior VP of Business Development, CaseMetrix, LLC. Prior to co-founding CaseMetrix. Ms. White had 27 years experience as a Litigation Paralegal.  After earning a degree in Paralegal Studies in 1982, she worked at an insurance defense firm in North Carolina before relocating to Atlanta in 1984. She began working at an Atlanta insurance defense firm, then known as Fain, Gorby, Reeves & Moraitakis, in 1984, and remained with that firm until 1994.  At that point, she began a 15-year freelance career in which she assisted many prominent plaintiff and defense firms in metro Atlanta.  Her specialties have included motor vehicle, trucking, premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice and pharmacy malpractice.  She co-founded CaseMetrix, a settlement & verdict database, in 2009.  That company has since expanded throughout the Southeastern US and is utilized by both plaintiff & defense firms.  Ms. White has lectured extensively to Attorneys, Paralegals and insurers sharing her unique perspective with both sides of the Bar. 

Sharon Zinns has dedicated her practice to helping clients affected by asbestos-related illnesses including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. She is one of the Beasley Allen attorneys working out of the firm’s Atlanta office.


Day 1 — Thursday, September 19

8:00 A.M. TO 9:30 A.M. 
Case Law Update
Brandon Bass
Law Offices of John Day, PC

Mr. Bass, Associate Editor of the Tennessee Trial Law Report – Tort Edition, will review recent cases from the Supreme Court of Tennessee and the Tennessee Court of Civil Appeals that affect the practice of Tennessee tort lawyers. He will give the case’s holding and explain its significance. His written materials give an excellent overview of the latest cases.

BREAK 9:30 A.M. TO 9:45 A.M. 

9:45 A.M. TO 10:45 A.M. 
When the Levee Breaks - Premises Liability in Tennessee
Brandon Bass
Law Offices of John Day, PC

A person slips in a puddle of water in a grocery store. A person trips over a curb in a parking lot. A person falls down a flight of stairs. These are just a few of the scenarios that could result in a premises liability lawsuit.

Was the substance on the floor long enough for a store owner or a restaurant owner to be liable? Was the plaintiff guilty of comparative fault for not seeing the curb? Was a step defective? Let Mr. Bass walk you through litigating premises liability cases in Tennessee.

10:45 A.M. TO 11:45 A.M. 
Common Evidentiary Challenges with Medical Evidence
Chris Tardio
Gideon, Cooper & Essary

Mr. Tardio will walk you through common evidentiary issues when your litigation involves medical evidence. Such issues will include using expert testimony, establishing the relevance of your evidence, proper use of discovery methods, and more!

Effectively Communicating with Adjusters: Plaintiff & Defense Perspectives
Kimberly S. White  
CaseMetrix, LLC

This session will cover topics for both plaintiff’s and defense counsel on pressing topics like:

  • Setting the tone with a customized demand letter 
  • Focusing on objective value drivers 
  • Establishing credibility 
  • Setting initial reserves 
  • Planning an effective deposition 
  • Effectively presenting a settlement offer 
  • And more!

12:45 P.M. TO 1:45 P.M.
Opening Statements
Sean Hunt
Hunt Law Firm

During this session Mr. Hunt will share strategies for opening statements like maximizing their impact, introducing case themes and key case parties, effectively laying out the sequence of event, introducing evidence, and more!

1:45 P.M. to 2:45 P.M.
Affirmative Defenses
Laura Baker 
Law Offices of John Day, PC

This session will cover:

  • Motions in limine  
  • Objections  
  • Jury instructions  
  • Presenting issues  
  • Preserving error  
  • Pleading with an appeal in mind  
  • Using the record to tell a clear story 

BREAK 2:45 P.M. TO 3:00 P.M.

3:00 P.M. TO 4:00 P.M.
Effective Practices in Voir Dire
Melanie Stewart
Heaton & Moore, P.C.

Join this engaging session lead by Melanie Stewart to learn effective practices in voir dire like who can serve, the right to conduct voir dire, disqualifications, primary objectives, and more!

4:00 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M.  
Roundup Litigation
John Tomlinson
Beasley Allen


Day 2 — Friday, September 20

8:00 A.M. TO 9:30 A.M. 
Ethics Panel Discussion
Rebecca Blair, Scott Hurley, Donald Ash

In this session, panelists discuss ethical considerations attorneys face such as restoring professionalism and civility, rules of professional conduct, dealing with difficult counsel, ethically facing challenging expert witnesses, recusal and discovery changes.

9:30 A.M. TO 10:30 A.M.
Practical Tips for Car Accident Litigation
Eric Beasley
Law Office of Eric M. Beasley, P.C.

During this session, Mr. Beasley will cover practical tips for litigating car accidents. The purpose of this session is to help you make your practice more efficient and to open the channels for new ideas and practices.

BREAK 10:30 A.M. TO 10:45 A.M. 

10:45 A.M. TO 11:45 A.M. 
I’ve Been Everywhere Man – Practical Tips from a Senior Judge
Donald Ash
Senior Judge

During this session, Senior Judge Ash will provide you with practical tips for everyday use. He will share his invaluable insight into what is working for litigants and what is not!

MESO/Asbestos Cases
Sharon Zinns
Beasley Allen

12:45 P.M. to 2:15 P.M. 
Ethical Issues Arising in Personal Injury Case Evaluation
Michael Johnson
Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson

This expert-led session will cover the ethical issues in personal injury case evaluation like the TN Rules of Professional Conduct, accepting representation, case investigation, and attorney’s fees.

BREAK 2:15 P.M. TO 2:30 P.M. 

2:30 P.M. TO 4:00 P.M. 
Personal Injury Law & Probate Law: The Intersection
Rebecca Blair
The Blair Law Firm

Ms. Blair will flesh out the intersection of personal injury law and probate law highlighting areas of your practice that will simplify the planning of your client’s estate when the time comes. Learn how you can look ahead to anticipate your client’s future needs.

4:00 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M. 
Communicating with the Jury
Scott Hurley
Hurley Law Firm

Mr. Hurley will touch on aspects of trial prep including voir dire, preparing your opening statement, and using both of these opportunities to create a dynamic story to lead the jury through the facts in a light favorable to your client.


Thursday, September 19-20, 2019
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The program begins at 8:00 and concludes at 5:00 p.m. There will be morning and afternoon breaks each day and 1 hour for lunch (which is included with registration each day).

Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Drive
Nashville, TN 37204

Beth McDonald


  • $497 for Full Program
  • $427 for Additional Attendees from the same firm
  • $347 for just the One Day Only options
  • $247 for Materials
  • Early Bird: $50 off until August 9!

Our guarantee

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with a M.Lee Smith product, simply return it within 90 days of purchase and we will issue you a full refund. *

*Digital product and event terms may vary.

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