Tennessee Legal Overview
The highest court in Tennessee is the Tennessee Supreme Court, comprised of five justices elected for 8-year terms. Tennessee has two intermediate appellate courts in the court of appeals and court of criminal appeals, with jurisdiction over civil and criminal appeals respectively. Each appellate court is divided into the three grand divisions of east, west and middle Tennessee. The circuit courts divided into 31 judicial districts across 95 counties are the main trial courts with general jurisdiction over both civil and criminal matters. Tennessee also has separate chancery courts, and some districts also have criminal and probate courts.
Top metro Tennessee areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment is legal in Tennessee, with the death penalty being administered by lethal injection. In the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a high school teacher accused of unlawfully teaching evolution appealed all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently overturned state bans on teaching evolution in Epperson v. Arkansas (1968). In TVA v. Hill (1978), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the federal law on protecting endangered species when pitted against states' rights. In Baker v. Carr (1962), the court again reaffirmed the federal court's right to intervene with the state redistricting process.
2. A lawsuit has been filed in Tennessee regarding vaginal mesh complications.
3. A Tennessee family is being sued over a railroad accident that led to wrongful death.
Trending Tennessee Legal Topics: The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) was founded in 1881 as a voluntary organization. The TBA currently has more than 9,000 members, a majority of whom belong to the group of more than 16,600 attorneys licensed to practice law in Tennessee. The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (BLE) governs the admission of attorneys into the practice of law in the state. Bar exams are also administered by the BLE, whose members are appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The BLE, TBA, the Tennessee Supreme Court and all the administrative offices and agencies of the judiciary are based in Nashville, TN.