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Recent Tennessee Judiciary Report (Fiscal Year 2015 – 2016) Shows Tennessee Case Filings Continue to Decline

Posted on Jan 13 2018 3:44PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Each year the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts issues a report on the Tennessee judiciary that provides many different useful statistics for case filings and results Tennessee.  The most recent report is the one for fiscal year 2015 – 2016 (covering July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016).  For some reason, there is a delay in receiving the report for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year (as of the sate of this posting, it has been almost 7 months since the end of the fiscal year). This report once again confirms the longstanding trends in the law in Tennessee.  There is now a longstanding trend downward in the case filings in both Circuit and Chancery courts since at least 2005 (although Chancery Court stabilized some this year, Circuit court even had a more drastic drop in filings.    

 

The statistics show a continued decrease in the filing of Tennessee Circuit Court cases.  This decrease has accelerated in recent years.  The total number of case filings for Tennessee Circuit Courts from 2005 to 2016 are as follows:

 

            2005 – 2006                                                                  67,090

            2006 – 2007                                                                  64,837

            2007 – 2008                                                                  62,204

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Statistics Show Damages Awarded in Tennessee Personal Injury Cases

Posted on Nov 13 2016 7:07PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The most recent Tennessee judiciary annual report provided many interesting statistics on personal injury cases in Tennessee.  The most recent report covered the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015).  Incredibly, there were only 367 total personal injury or death cases that proceeded to trial in the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year.  Of those cases, only 116 of them resulted in damages.  The total monetary award for these 116 cases that resulted in damages was $46,901,449.00.  This constitutes an average award of $404,323.00 per case where damages were awarded.  However, like in most years, these statistics are very deceiving.  Specifically, this statistic was significantly warped by one single award in Shelby County totaling $30,000,000.00.  When this one award is removed, the total damages awarded in personal injury or death trials in Tennessee for the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year totals $16,901,449.00.  This results in average award of $146,969.12. 

 

Interestingly, out of the 116 cases where damages were awarded, only 14 cases resulted in awards of $100,000.00 to $1,000,000.00.  There were only 7 cases that were awarded over $1,000,000.00 in the State of Tennessee for 2014 – 2015.  This is actually a large number of million dollar verdicts when compared to recent prior years.  The remaining 95 cases were all awarded damages somewhere between $1 and $99,999.99.  Obviously, I am sure there are very significant cases that never go to trial and are instead are settled due to apparent risks to both parties.  However these statistics show how few large jury verdicts there are in Tennessee each year.  Further, like I have discussed before, cases simply do not go to trial like they used to do.  This is unfortunate because it inhibits the ability of young litigation attorneys to gain valuable trial experience.  Fewer and fewer attorneys are obtaining real jury trial experience.  This makes is even more important to make sure you hire attorneys with real jury trail experience whether you are on the defense or plaintiff side of the case.  Also, these numbers show, once again, how favorable things are for the defense in Tennessee as Tennessee has become a more and more conservative state from a legal and political perspective. 

 

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Most Recent Tennessee Judiciary Report (Fiscal Year 2014 – 2015) Shows Tennessee Case Filings Continue to Decline

Posted on Aug 22 2016 9:06AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Every year the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts issues a report on the Tennessee judiciary.  This report shows many different useful statistics for case filings (and other important court system information) in Tennessee.  The most recent report for fiscal year 2014 – 2015 (covering July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015) was recently released.  This report confirms the longstanding trends in the law in Tennessee.  There is now a longstanding trend downward in the case filings in both Circuit and Chancery courts since at least 2005.  This new report further confirms, once again, this trend for both courts. 

 

The statistics show a continued decrease in the filing of Tennessee Circuit Court cases.  The total number of case filings for Tennessee Circuit Courts from 2005 to 2015 are as follows:

 

            2005 – 2006                                                                  67,090

            2006 – 2007                                                                  64,837

            2007 – 2008                                                                  62,204

            2008 – 2009                                                      &nb...

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Most Conservative and Liberal Tennessee Jurisdictions for Personal Injury and Death Cases Over the Last 5 Years (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2014) – A Statistical Analysis

Posted on Oct 19 2015 9:42AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

I previously discussed major trends in Tennessee verdicts and the conservative or liberal nature of many counties in Tennessee for verdicts in personal injury cases.  This post is designed to provide updated statistics on the most recent data available so you have the best information covering the last five years.  This information can provide valuable insight on the risks associated with taking a case to trial in the various Tennessee jurisdictions.

 

The statistics contained in the below chart are for the 5 year period covering July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2014 (based on the most recent Tennessee judiciary reports currently available).  These numbers include both jury and non-jury cases (because the statistics available do not separate them out). I will list the counties in order with the most conservative at the beginning of the list and the most liberal at the bottom of the list (when I use the terms “conservative” and “liberal” I am simply referring to the percentages of cases where damages were actually awarded). 

 

District and County

Cases Tried

Cases Awarded Damages

Percentage of cases awarded damages

District 27 (Obion, Weakley)

7

0

0

District 28 (Crockett, Gibson, Haywood)

4

0

0

District 29 (Dyer, Lake)

10

0

0

District 25 (Fayette, Hardeman, Lauderdale, McNairy, Tipton)

36

1

2.8

District 17 (Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall, Moore)

35

1

2.9

District 23 (Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Stewart)

16

1

6.3

District 8 (Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott, Union)

131

14

10.7

District 15 (Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale, Wilson)

39

6

15.4

District 12 (Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Rhea, Sequatchie)

50

10

20.0

District 24 (Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin, Henry)

30

6

20.0

District 10 (Bradley, McMinn, Monroe, Polk)

99

22

22.2

District 13 (Clay, Cumberland, Dekalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, White)

96

23

24.0

District 4 (Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson Sevier)

66

19

28.8

District 16 (Cannon, Rutherford)

116

34

29.3

District 2 (Sullivan)

28

9

32.1

District 3 (Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins)

31

10

32.3

District 21 (Hickman, Lewis, Perry, Williamson)

37

12

32.4

District 1 (Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, Washington)

49

16

32.7

District 11 (Hamilton)

191

66

34.6

District 5 (Blount)

31

11

35.5

District 6 (Knox)

256

94

36.7

District 18 (Sumner)

60

23

38.3

District 31 (Van Buren, Warren)

10

4

40.0

District 22 (Giles, Lawrence, Maury, Wayne)

24

10

41.7

District 9 (Loudon, Meigs, Morgan, Roane)

32

15

46.8

District 26 (Chester, Henderson, Madison)

82

39

47.6

District 19 (Montgomery, Robertson)

77

39

50.6

District 7 (Anderson)

71

36

50.7

District 30 (Shelby)

415

211

50.8

District 20 (Davidson)

313

185

59.1

District 14 (Coffee)

19

14

73.7

 

Generally, most Tennessee counties are conservative when it comes to assessing damages in personal injury or death cases.  Overall, there were 2471 cases tried in Tennessee during this 5 year period.  A total of 931 resulted in monetary damages.  This means only 37.7% of personal injury cases that went to trial in Tennessee actually resulted in monetary damages over the last five years.  Also, remember that some cases go to trial where there is a stipulation or concession of liability and the only issue is the extent of monetary damages.  As a result, the actual percentage of cases where damages are awarded are probably significantly lower than the above statistics because of this factor that cannot be determined by the statistics.

 

The above information can provide valuable insight to attorneys, corporations and insurance companies on the general proclivities of certain Tennessee jurisdictions in personal injury cases.  The two most liberal jurisdictions (setting aside Coffee County which has a very small sample size) are Davidson County and Shelby County, as would be expected.  However, even in those counties, it is close to a 50/50 proposition on whether damages will be awarded or not.  When compared to my prior statistical report that was done covering a 7 year period from 2005 to 2012, it is clear most Tennessee jurisdictions have become more reluctant to award damages in personal injury or death cases.

 

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Most Recent Tennessee Judiciary Report Shows Damages Awarded in Personal Injury or Death Trials Only 31% of the Time

Posted on May 29 2015 7:41AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The most recent Tennessee judiciary annual report was published providing statistics for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year for Tennessee cases.  This is another in a series of posts where I will discuss the interesting statistics found in this report.  Today I will discuss the personal injury and death cases in Tennessee where there was an actual trial. 

 

For the 2013 - 2014 fiscal year there were a total of 416 personal injury or death cases that actually went to trial.  Out of those cases, only 128 (only 30.8%) of them resulted in damage awards.  This is a significant decrease over the 2012 – 2013 year where 41.1% of these trials resulted in damage awards.  Also, keep in mind there are obviously some cases that proceed to trial where the defendants actually admit liability and the only issue at trial is the amount of damages.  As a result, this is a truly stunning number which further reflects how conservative Tennessee courts and juries are becoming in awarding damages in personal injury or death cases.

 

Shelby County Statistics:

 

Some of the statistics for individual counties are also quite surprising.  For instance, in Shelby County a total of 95 such cases proceeded to trial.  Out of those 95 cases only 36 were awarded damages (38% received awards).  This is drastically reduced from the prior fiscal year when 57.9% of the personal injury or death tort trials in Shelby County resulted in an award of damages.   

 

Davidson County Statistics:

 

Davidson County also reported a reduction in number of cases that actually resulted in damages.  There were a total of 57 trials in Davidson County, Tennessee for personal injury or death cases.  A total of 34 resulted in actual damages.  This shows that 59.6% of the time damages were actually awarded in Davidson County cases.  This is reduced from the prior fiscal year where damages were awarded 65% of the time. 

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Statistics for Damages Awarded in Tennessee Personal Injury Cases for Fiscal Year 2013 - 2014

Posted on May 6 2015 10:23AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

This post is another post in a continuing series of discussions about the most recent Tennessee judiciary annual report.  The most recent report was released for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014).  As I previously discussed, out of the 416 personal injury or death cases that went to trial in 2013 – 2014, a total of only 128 of those cases actually resulted in damages.  The total monetary award for these 128 cases that resulted in damages was $44,723,979.00.  This constitutes an average award of $349,406.00 per case where damages were actually awarded.  However, that number is very deceiving.  Specifically, this statistic was significantly warped by one single award in Shelby County totaling $33,591,900.00.  When this one award is removed, the total damages awarded in personal injury or death trials in Tennessee for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year totals $11,132,079.00.  This results in average award of $87,654.16. 

 

Interestingly, out of the 128 cases where damages were awarded, only 27 cases resulted in awards of $100,000.00 to $1,000,000.00.  There were only 2 cases that were awarded over $1,000,000.00 in the State of Tennessee for 2013 – 2014 (this includes the above discussed $33,591.900.00 award).  The remaining 99 cases were all awarded damages somewhere between $1 and $99,999.99.  Once again, obviously a substantial amount of cases settled before going to trial so there are obviously very significant cases that never go to trial and are instead settled.  However these statistics show how few large jury verdicts there are in Tennessee on an annual basis.  These statistics are very helpful in providing a measuring stick to assess Tennessee cases and the value for those Tennessee cases.  These numbers show, once again, how favorable things are for the defense in Tennessee. 

 

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New Tennessee Judiciary Report Shows Tennessee Case Filings Continue to Decline

Posted on Apr 5 2015 11:39AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Each year the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts issues a report on the Tennessee judiciary.  This report shows statistics for case filings (and other important judiciary information) in Tennessee.  The most recent report for fiscal year 2013 – 2014 (covering July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014) was just released and provides confirmation of previous legal trends in Tennessee.  I previously discussed the downward trend for case filings that has continued since at least 2005.  This new report further confirms this trend for both Chancery and Circuit courts. 

 

The statistics show a continued decrease in the filing of Tennessee Circuit Court cases.  The total number of case filings for Tennessee Circuit Courts from 2005 to 2014 are as follows:  

            2005 – 2006                                    67,090
            2006 – 2007                                    64,837
            2007 – 2008                                    62,204
            2008 – 2009      



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Tennessee Personal Injury Trials Have Dropped 55% Since 2000.

Posted on Mar 30 2014 9:50PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  This post is another in a continuing series of posts that analyze the Tennessee Judiciary Annual Report that was recently published providing court statistics for fiscal year 2012 - 2013 (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013).  Today I am going to discuss the very significant reduction in the number of personal injury/death cases that proceed to trial over the last 15 years. 

 

For fiscal year 2012 – 2013 there were a total of 10,137 personal injury/death cases that were disposed of in Tennessee in one way or another.  Out of these cases, 438 of them were disposed of by trial (4.3%).  Only 213 of these trials were jury trials (2.1%).  Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Shelby Counties had a total of 216 cases that proceeded to trial which was 49.5% of the total personal injury cases that went to trial in Tennessee.

 

These statistics also show that there has been a great reduction in trials in Tennessee over the last 15 years.  In the 2000 - 2001 fiscal year (the first year Tennessee kept these statistics), there were a total of 967 personal injury or death cases that proceeded to trial.  In 2013 there were only 438.  This means that since 2000 we have had a 55% reduction in trials in personal injury/ death cases.  This has been due to many factors including tort reform and the encouragement of mediation in Tennessee.  It also shows why a lot of attorneys struggle to get good trial experience early in their career.   

 

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More Tennessee Personal Injury Case Statistics for Fiscal Year 2012-2013

Posted on Mar 9 2014 9:36PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  The Tennessee Judiciary has published their new annual report covering fiscal year 2012 to 2013 (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013) on Tennessee Court statistics.  This report provides a significant amount of useful statistics and information about the Tennessee judicial system.  One important part of the report is the information about personal injury tort cases in Tennessee.    

 

Out of the 438 cases that went to trial in fiscal year 2012 to 2013 in Tennessee, a total of 180 received actual monetary awards (41.1% of the trials resulted in a damages award).  The total monetary awards provided in these 180 trials was $34,514,022.00.  This is an average award of $191,744.57 per successful trial.  This statistic is greatly skewed by one Davidson County jury award of $13,623,000.00 which was the largest award in Tennessee for this fiscal year, however this jury verdict was reversed on appeal in a February 2014 Tennessee Court of Appeals decision and this case has been remanded to the trial court to be re-tried.  When this one award is removed, the average monetary award in Tennessee was $116,061.23. 

 

Out of the 180 personal injury tort cases where the jury provided a damages award, 151 of them resulted in an award between $1.00 and $99,999.00.  22 of these cases resulted in an award of between $100,000.00 and $999,999.00.  Only 7 of these cases resulted in awards of greater than $1,000,000.00.  This shows how conservative Tennessee juries are in assessing damages in personal injury cases.  Obviously a lot of cases settle before getting to trial, but these statistics show how few large jury awards there are in Tennessee on an annual basis. 

 

I will likely have a few more posts regarding the statistics found in this report.  These statistics help us assess how liberal or conservative certain jurisdictions are within Tennessee

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Damages Were Awarded in Tennessee Personal Injury or Death Trials Only 41% of the Time Over the Last Year.

Posted on Feb 24 2014 10:41AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  This post is part of a continuing series of posts on the Tennessee Judiciary Annual Report that was recently published providing court statistics for fiscal year 2012 - 2013 (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013).  Today I am going to discuss how often damages are awarded in damages and torts cases involving personal injury or death that proceed to trial in Tennessee over the last year. 

 

For fiscal year 2012 - 2013 there were a total of 438 personal injury or death cases that proceed to trial.  A total of 180 of those cases resulted in actual damages awards.  As a result, only 41.1% of these trials resulted in awarded damages.  This is a slight increase in number of cases resulting in damages over the prior year (2011 – 2012) when 38.5% of these types of cases resulted in damages awards (530 trials and 204 resulted in damages award).  Keep in mind that we do not know how many of these cases were situations where liability was admitted and the only trial issue was the amount of damages to be awarded. 

 

I think it is also beneficial to discuss the statistics for the four largest Tennessee jurisdictions.  Shelby County had a total of 76 personal injury or death tort trials and 44 of those cases resulted in awarded damages (57.9% of the time).  This is above the 54.1% average in Shelby County for 2005 – 2012.  Davidson County had a total of 66 personal injury or death tort trials and 43 of those cases resulted in awarded damages (65% of the time).  This is above the 62.9% average for Davidson County for 2005 – 2012.  Knox County had 38 personal injury or death tort trials and 18 of those cases resulted in awarded damages (47% of the time).  This is slightly above the 45% average for Knox County for 2005 – 2012.  Hamilton County had a total of 37 personal injury or death tort trials and 10 of those cases resulted in awarded damages (only 27% of the time).  This is well below the 36.1% average for...

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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Tennessee Defense Litigation Blog
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