Tennessee General Assembly Changes Standard for Summary Judgment


As the most recent legislative session drew to a close, the Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation that overhauls Tennessee’s standard for summary judgment. Two new laws significantly change Tennessee civil procedure and offer potential benefits to defendants in lawsuits, particularly employers. The bills now head to Governor Bill Haslam’s desk, where, pending his approval, they will take effect on July 1, 2011.

Background to the New Legislation

The story behind these changes begins in October 2008, when the Tennessee Supreme Court handed down Hannan v. Alltel Publishing Company, 270 S.W.3d 1 (Tenn. 2008). Hannan dealt with Tennessee’s standard for summary judgment.

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