Are Attorney’s Fees Recoverable in Construction Dispute Arbitration?


As with most questions in law, it depends. Typically, attorney’s fees are recoverable only if the contract contains an attorney’s fees provision or if the claims involve a statute, such as the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, allowing a party to recover attorney’s fees. Recently, in Lasco, Inc. v. Inman Construction Corp., No. W2014-00802-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 9, 2015), the Tennessee Court of Appeals considered a unique twist on the recoverability of attorney’s fees in a construction contract dispute. In Lasko, a dispute arose between a general contractor and a subcontractor related to a commercial construction project. A few details of the parties’ contract are important here: 1) the contract had an arbitration clause, 2) the contract did not include an attorney’s fees clause, and 3) the contract incorporated the AAA’s Construction Industry Arbitration Rules. The subcontractor filed suit against the general contractor in state court to collect amounts the subcontractor […]

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Arbitration: This is Not the Way It’s Supposed Happen


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently released an opinion with a bizarre set of facts, Thomas Kinkade Co., et al. v. White, et al., 2:09-cv-10757 (6th Cir. Apr. 2, 2013). This case concerns a federal court review of an arbitration involving a business dispute between Thomas Kinkade Co. and one of its art dealers, the Whites. The Sixth Circuit succinctly stated that the “arbitration itself was a model of how not to conduct one.” The circumstances of the arbitration are sorted and full of irregularities, including the following: During the arbitration, counsel for the Whites surreptitiously sent a live feed of the proceedings to disgruntled former employee in a hotel room to assist with the case. The arbitration panel refused to grant Kinkade any relief for the White’s outright failure to respond to pre-arbitration discovery. The panel, over Kinkade’s objections, allowed the Whites after the arbitration to submit further […]

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My Business Has Been Sued, Now What?


If you are a business owner, you probably have been sued, threatened with a lawsuit or fretted over the potential for a lawsuit. In our increasing litigious environment, it is not a matter of if you will be sued; it is a matter of when. For the fiscal year 2011, there were nearly 300,000 civil lawsuits filed in federal district courts in the United States. For the fiscal year 2010-2011, there were over 125,000 lawsuits filed in the chancery and circuit courts in Tennessee. This is the latest data as the statistics for the fiscal year 2011-2012 have not yet been released. Also, this data does not include the thousands of suits filed in the general sessions (small claims) courts in Tennessee each year. Many businesses often find themselves mired in collection disputes with customers, contract clashes with vendors, and employment quarrels with current or former employees. While these are […]

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First Post of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Blog


This year, I began practicing with Thompson Burton, PLLC. Previously, I spent over 7 years with a Nashville litigation firm. I am extremely excited about this opportunity to develop new relationships, expand my practice and service Thompson Burton’s clients. This blog will be an important tool for me to regularly connect with clients, businesses, and lawyers to provide useful information concerning business and commercial litigation. The purpose of this blog is to provide timely, informative and useful commentary and information on the legal issues impacting businesses. I will bring you current legal developments, trends, cases, verdicts and settlements affecting businesses in Tennessee and across the country. My goal is that this blog will be a resource for business owners, in-house counsel, entrepreneurs and others who are interested in commercial litigation and business law.

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