The firm handles all claims involving premises liability, truck and auto accidents, third party business contract claims, slander, and other claims arising out of normal business operation.
Insurance and Policy Defense
As trial counsel for several major national and international insurance and re-insurance carriers, the firm is well known and well respected for its expertise in the areas of tort litigation, professional liability, policy defense, fraud and arson. The firm represents EPLI, personal lines, commercial, specialty and excess carriers in all risks on behalf of insureds. The firm provides opinion letters for coverage, engages in declaratory judgment actions and protects the interests of carriers who have direct exposure under state or federal law.
The firm represents regional and national manufacturers, sellers, lessors and contractors in products liability claims involving unsafe and defective products, warranties, negligent design and manufacture, and failure to warn. The firm has an active practice in both state and federal court, and provides advice on a range of products including chemicals, drugs, bikes and recreation products, portable deer stands, chairs, and industrial cleaners. Its members are active in DRI and its Products Liability Practice Group.
The lawyers of Allen Summers have been selected as major case counsel to handle death and serious injury cases involving paralysis, fire and chemical burns, and other debilitating, life changing injuries. These injuries have occurred in transportation, construction, manufacturing and recreational settings. The firm is retained to represent food manufacturers, restaurants and distributors in mass food poisoning cases involving salmonella outbreaks.
The firm's primary emphasis is the defense of its business and personal clients. However, the firm is also retained by business client employees and family members to represent them in personal injury suits. The trial skills gained in decades of defense are very useful in pursuing personal injury claims involving serious injury where no conflict exists. The firm's lawyers have achieved substantial verdicts such that two of its partners, Jim Simpson and Kirk Caraway, have been inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Allen, Summers, Simpson, Lillie & Gresham represents a number of national and regional carriers, both truckload and LTL. General liability, workers' compensation and employment related issues are all handled by several members of the firm on a regular basis.
Jim Summers has attended and graduated from the Mayflower Truck Transportation Institute, where he received hands-on training in driving, stopping and maneuvering 18 wheelers in computer simulators, as well as actual trucks with 53 foot trailers. In addition, he participated in pre-trip inspection routines, brake inspections and received instruction in mechanical issues that frequently affect truckers. Although no longer a member, firm lawyers were active participants in the American Law Firm Association's Transportation Practice Group and published articles and comments regularly in the association newsletter.
The firm has an extensive workers' compensation practice, and represents a number of Fortune 500 companies in all phases of litigation and defense, including Department of Labor conferences, trials and appeals. Our firm has lawyers that have been nominated by the Supreme Court to mediate workers' compensation appeals to the Supreme Court, and they lecture frequently at the Mid South Workers Compensation Seminar, which is held annually in Memphis.
Because of the firm's substantial labor and employment experience, the firm is able to tailor a defense on behalf of its client that recognizes potential conflicts with Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII claims.
Professional liability law also comprises a substantial portion of the firm’s business. The firm is frequently retained in medical malpractice cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Similarly, the firm handles malpractice cases involving various professionals, including engineers, architects, real estate brokers, agents, appraisers and other licensed occupations.
Recreation, Sports, and Playground
Several of the firm’s lawyers have a wide range of experience in recreational safety issues, including school, fast food restaurant, institutional playground safety claims, swimming pools and general recreation injuries and related legal concerns. The firm has engaged in products liability litigation involving sports equipment failures, including the defense of bicycle, gym equipment, hunting and deer stand manufacturers. The firm has access to experts who can assist with litigation involving any type of equipment that is used in a recreational or sports setting.
Environmental Law and Toxic Tort
The firm has a wide range of experience in representing corporations in connection with environmental matters, particularly with respect to toxic torts and mold litigation, refinery accidents, underground storage tanks and related issues. The firm represents entities in contamination disputes flowing from ground water movement, has assisted in Brownfield agreements and related documentation, and has a variety of experts to call upon to assist clients with regulatory violations, lawsuits and claims arising out of pollution and contamination disputes with private and public entities.
Computer and Software
The firm engages in complex litigation in the defense of software manufacturers and sellers, including license disputes, Statement of Work (SOW) and contractual and damages claims arising out of the sale and/or licensing of software.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Although the firm has highly experienced and capable trial lawyers who take cases to trial before juries or judges, those same lawyers have learned that resolution of disputes in a structured format is frequently in the best interest of the firm's clients. Trial courts and many state and federal agencies have come to the same conclusion, and the majority of cases filed in federal and state court are required to be mediated by the courts in advance of trial. The firm is actively engaged in conducting both private and court-ordered mediation, as it has lawyers who are designated as court neutrals and who are certified under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31. The firm also has lawyers who are members of the Federal Court Mediation Board.