Tennessee Judges Attend Symposium on Civil Justice Issues

December 7, 2021

Four Tennessee judges recently attended the 15th Annual Judicial Symposium on Civil Justice Issues, sponsored by the Law & Economics Center (LEC) of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

“The program presented discussions of a variety of issues currently being faced by our legal system, including trends in expert testimony, public nuisance litigation, and discovery reform,” said Judge Carma McGee of the Court of Appeals. “It was enlightening to hear the opinions of several outstanding attorneys, professors, and judges from across the country. I also enjoyed meeting state and federal judges from other parts of the country and hearing their experiences and perspectives. I would encourage all judges to participate in future symposiums if the opportunity arises.”

According to the LEC website, the court system is constantly changing at the state and federal levels. As a result, judges receive a constant flow of new information. The goal of this conference was to help judges better understand America’s evolving civil justice system. 

“This symposium shed light on many emerging issues the legal community at large is facing and will continue to face in the near future,” said Chancellor Tony Childress, 29th Judicial District. “The issues addressed ranged from the expanding use of the tort of public nuisance to the role third-party financing is beginning to play in mass tort litigation. Each issue discussed had a diverse set of panelists who each gave a thoughtful presentation of a side of the issue. While the sessions and subjects were intense, the lively back and forth banter of the panelists made the day pass rather quickly. Of course, meeting fellow judges from across the United States and spending time with my friends from Tennessee was an added highlight I enjoyed very much.”

This year’s symposium tackled a broad range of timely issues such as liability for businesses during the ever-changing public health crisis with COVID-19, third party litigation funding, the role of judges in evaluating expert testimony, trends in medical liability damages, increasing state efforts to enact new data privacy protections, state efforts to regulate securities markets and mergers, class actions and mass arbitration, trends in opioid litigation, municipality and other public entity litigation for consumer fraud and public nuisance, and issues regarding multi-district litigation (MDLs). 

“Great program where the panelists very effectively, and civilly, discussed several cutting-edge issues the legal community is facing. Along with the problems, a variety of solutions were also debated. Besides the program material, I especially enjoyed meeting colleagues from across the United States,” said Chancellor Doug Jenkins, Third Judicial District.

Judge Kenny Armstrong of the Court of Appeals also attended.

Pictured left to right: Chancellor Tony Childress, 29th Judicial District General Sessions and Juvenile Court Judge; Judge Kenny Armstrong, Court of Appeals; Judge Carma McGee 24th Judicial District Court of Appeals and Chancellor Doug Jenkins, 3rd Judicial District Chancery Court.