Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, October 23, 2020

Appellate skills the focus of November CLE course

With more than 30 years of experience, Nashville attorney Don Capparella has established a reputation as a respected litigator at both the trial and appellate levels.

During a virtual CLE on Thursday, Nov. 5, 1-4:45 p.m., Capparella and attorney Kim Macdonald will provide an overview of the issues they say Chattanooga lawyers need to know to be successful on appeal in Tennessee state courts.

Capparella and Macdonald will discuss how to prepare a case for an appeal, provide tips for motion practice, cover briefs and oral arguments and examine issues unique to practicing in the Supreme Court of Tennessee.

Attorneys who attend the event will earn three hours of dual CLE credit.

“Our CLE is a crash course in Tennessee appellate work for civil litigation lawyers,” Macdonald says. “Lawyers at all levels of experience will gain a better understanding of the appellate process.”

Hamilton County Clerk & Master Robin Miller endorses the seminar and encourages Chattanooga attorneys to register.

“Don Capparella’s appellate practice seminar gives lawyers a blueprint for everything from preserving the trial record to successful arguing in court, while his seminar materials will serve as an ongoing guide for the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure.”

Capparella handles all manner of civil litigation in state and federal courts. He secured a landmark award for a widow and child wrongly denied insurance proceeds, served as amicus counsel in McIntyre v. Balentine, which brought comparative fault to Tennessee, and was counsel in the Tennessee Supreme Court case that established loss of consortium damages in wrongful death actions and abolished the open and obvious rule.

Capparella was lead counsel in Martin v. Norfolk Southern Railroad Company, through which the Tennessee Supreme Court clarified the summary judgment standard in Tennessee.

Recently, Capparella was counsel on an appeal in the 6th Circuit against Amazon, where Amazon was held responsible for the first time for a hoverboard that was sold on its website that caused devastating injuries.

Capparella has handled more than 400 appeals in state and federal courts and leads his firm’s appellate practice team, which manages civil, domestic and criminal appeals throughout Tennessee.

As a consultant, Capparella regularly assists trial practitioners, providing services ranging from trial court preparation to handling of the entire appeal.

He also serves as the editor and a contributing author for the Nashville Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Handbook. He is co-author of the Tennessee Practice Volume 17 on Comparative Fault, published by Thomson Reuters.

In addition, Capparella has been an instructor of legal writing at Vanderbilt University School of Law and has taught advanced legal writing at the Nashville School of Law.

He also served as an editor for the Tennessee Tort Law Letter, a monthly report of leading tort cases published by M. Lee Smith Publishers, for more than 20 years.

Frequently in-demand as a speaker, Capparella regularly leads continuing legal education seminars for organizations such as the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations.

His popular “Much Ado About Ethics” seminar combines Shakespeare’s works with modern legal ethical dilemmas, with the proceeds benefiting the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

In 2013, the Tennessee Supreme Court appointed Capparella to serve on the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization.

A passionate supporter of the arts, Capparella founded the Nashville Shakespeare Festival in 1988 and has remained involved as a director, actor, fundraiser and board chairman.

The festival provides professional theater at no charge to more than 15,000 Tennesseans annually through its critically acclaimed “Shakespeare in Centennial Park.”

Capparella is a member of the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations and the Tennessee Association of Justice.

He has served as chair of the appellate practice committee of the Nashville Bar Association and was a barrister in the Nashville Chapter Harry Phillips American Inn of Court.

Macdonald practices civil litigation in state and federal courts, with a focus on appellate work. Her practice includes personal injury matters, contract disputes and family law.

The cost to attend the seminar is $75 for members of the Chattanooga Bar Association, $110 for non-CBA members and $30 for paralegals, legal assistants and legal administrators.

Registration: lhood@chattanoogabar.org, or visit www.chattanoogabar.org.

Sources: Chattanooga Bar Association; Donald Capparella; www.dodsonparker.com