Firm News

SUMMERS, RUFOLO & RODGERS and the CHATTANOOGA AREA LABOR COUNCIL ANNOUNCE NEW LABOR SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT


For the past several years, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers and the Chattanooga Area Labor Council have co-sponsored a $2,000 scholarship to benefit a college student whose parents or relatives are members of an area labor union. From the standpoint of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, this scholarship is a means to further demonstrate our support of the local labor community. It is also a way for us to show our appreciation for all the labor union support we have received over the years.

As always, the selection process was competitive. After much evaluation, thought, and debate, we are pleased to announce that this year's scholarship is being awarded to Blake Easterly from Red Bank, Tennessee. After serving four years in the U.S. Army, Blake returned to school and will be a junior this coming fall at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Blake's mother, Shelia Easterly, is a member of the Carpenters Local 74.

Congratulations Blake, and thank you for your service to our country. Best of luck to you and all the many other fine applicants!

Rufolo Elected to TTLA Board

Jeff Rufolo, at the recent Annual Convention of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA) in Asheville, North Carolina, was elected as a representative of the 4th District on the Board of Governors.

TTLA is the largest bar association in the State of Tennessee whose members represent only injured persons in accidents and on the job injuries as well as defective products.

As previously announced Jeff was recently inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers by a vote of his peers in the Chattanooga and Tennessee areas and approved by the national board. It is a high honor that has to be earned and cannot be bought with the purchase of a badge or membership.

Jeff is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville College of Law and has been with our firm for 26 years handling personal injury cases for plaintiffs.

The Firms Involvement in Legal Organizations

With the election of Jeff Rufolo to the Board of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers continues its activities in legal groups that participate in areas of the law that the firm is involved.

Founding senior member Jerry H. Summers has served on the national boards of the Association of Justice (personal injury) and American Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (criminal law) and has served as state president in Tennessee of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL).

Jimmy Rodgers currently is a member of the Board of Governors of the Chattanooga Bar Association while Ben McGowan is a member of the Board of Governors of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Marya Schalk is an active member of the Federal Bar Association in Chattanooga due to her involvement in federal criminal cases in Chattanooga and the Eastern District of Tennessee.

While voluntary participation in any legal organization does not guarantee any successful results in a case it does show that the individual or firm has an interest in a particular area(s) of the law which might encourage them to stay abreast of any developments that might help them to further assist a client in that area.

Xarelto Case UPdate

We previously announced that we had been looking into cases involving the blood thinner Xarelto which has caused bleeding complications and even death. We have since been retained in several cases and it has been projected that there are now presently 15,000 cases in the legal system.

There have been warnings by the Federal Drug Administration about bleeding side effects but the manufacturer continues to heavily advertise the drug in the social media. One of the most popular ads promoting Xarelto involved the late great golfer, Arnold Palmer and Nascar driver Brian Vickers and comedian Kevin Nealon. The drug manufacturer did not disclose in its ads that Palmer had undergone surgery in August 2016 for gastrointestinal problems. He later died on September 25, 2016.

If you are taking Xarelto or the other blood thinner Prodoxa and incur internal bleeding problems or are an atrial fibrillation patient please contact us if your rights or the status of the ongoing litigation in this case. Over 2 million Americans have been treated with this drug and unfortunately more physicians are now recommending this new and more expensive drug.

The first Xarelto trial in New Orleans in May 2017 ended in a jury verdict in favor of the drug manufacturer. This is not unusual in mass tort cases as sometimes cases have to be tried in order to be successful later. The lawyers handling these cases are committed to continuing to seek justice in various jurisdictions. The medical science still supports the theories that Xarelto is a dangerous drug and the manufacturer did not warn patients of all the problems associated with the drug.

If you or your loved one has a bleeding problem with Xarelto you should still investigate your legal remedies.

Jeffrey Rufolo recently successfully settled a slip-and-fall case

Jeffrey Rufolo recently successfully settled a slip-and-fall case at mediation. The plaintiff, a seventy-seven (77) year old individual fell while walking across a gymnasium floor of a local municipality, sustaining a fractured hip and right arm, both necessitating surgery. Settlement reached for $262,000.00. When suing a municipality, under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, the maximum award is $300,000.00. This case was referred to Jeff by another attorney. Slip and fall cases are difficult to prosecute and for this reason most of the law firms that advertise through the media do not attempt to solicit those types of cases.

While Jeff was attending a seminar in Las Vegas, Nevada on Mass Torts, one of the speakers in his presentation commented that "there is no greater honor than another attorney referring a case to you".

The law firm of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. takes great pride in the fact that attorneys across the tristate area have referred cases to our firm for well over 50 years. Lawyers know good lawyers. Whether it be past satisfied clients, or other lawyers, a large portion of the clients at Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. come to the firm based on a positive referral. We believe there is no greater compliment as to a firm's ability than a referral.

Marya Schalk ATTENDING the Twenty-Sixth Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Marya Schalk in our Criminal Law Section will attend her ninth consecutive meeting of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association conducting the Twenty-Sixth Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing Guidelines in St. Petersburg, Florida, in June this year.

Since approximately 90% of all federal cases are concluded by pleas of guilty, the sentencing phase of a case is often the most important aspect of any case not concluded by a trial. Recognizing issues that need to be preserved for any appellate review or for use in sentencing are parts of the criminal justice system that Marya is well-experienced. As a former law clerk for an appellate judge in Tennessee her ability to find the law and put it in a legal document has been vital in efforts to get a lower sentence or sentence reduction in many federal (and state) cases handled by her and senior member, Jerry H. Summers.

Ben Mcgowan obtained an exceptional result in a vehicular homicide case

Ben McGowan in our Criminal Law Section has just obtained an exceptional result in a Vehicular Homicide case that originally included charges involving intoxication by use of multiple prescription drugs including Demerol, Soma and Xanax.

Following a successful Motion to Dismiss an A felony Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (carrying mandatory imprisonment of 15 to 25 years), Ben secured a further reduction to a Reckless Aggravated Assault (carrying 3 to 6 years) and pursued a sentencing hearing seeking a non-prison sentence. After three days of contested hearings, the trial judge sentenced the client to a split sentence involving an 11/29 days in the workhouse and fifteen years supervised release. The defendant will be released from the Hamilton County workhouse after serving 6 months of incarceration.

Ben is probably the only Hamilton County attorney to be certified as a Field Sobriety expert and handles a variety of alcohol-related offenses with senior member, Jerry H. Summers.

Jim Neal Reached A Significant Medical Malpractice Settlement With an area nursing home

Jim Neal in our Medical Malpractice Section has recently reached a significant settlement with an area nursing home in an adjacent county.

Said settlement amount is confidential but is consistent with the policy of the firm not to reveal amounts of settlements out of respect for our client's privacy.

The facts of the case are that a seventy-two year old gentleman was admitted to a long-term care nursing facility for rehabilitation following hospitalization. Upon his admission he appeared to be confused and within forty-five minutes of his arrival he was found on the floor in his room with a severe head injury. The bed alarm had not been activated and only one side bedrail had been partially raised.

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers is one of the few law firms in the area that will accept and review medical negligence cases due to the expense and difficulty involved.

We will be glad to review the records and give you an honest opinion as to whether you have a viable case that is worth pursuing.

Marya Schalk's Appellate Talents

The firm has had the benefit of the appellate talents of Marya Schalk for eleven (11) years. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee College of Law, she served as a law clerk for retired Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Joe Tipton and has written many excellent appellate briefs in both Tennessee and federal courts.

Many lawyers feel uncomfortable in attempting to comply with the technical requirements of both state and federal rules in appellate matters.

We are making Marya's talents available to any lawyer or firm in the Chattanooga area if you would like her to assist you in preparing any brief that you need to file on behalf of your client's case. To discuss financial criteria, give Marya or Jerry Summers a call at (423) 265-2385.

Jeff Rufolo settled for the maximum liability insurance coverage, in a recent case.

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. member, Jeff Rufolo, recently represented the mother of a six year old boy who was thrown from a farm tractor. After a valiant fight, the young boy passed away six months after his fall. The case was settled for the maximum liability insurance coverage of the defendant.

Out of respect for the privacy of the injured parties our firm does not normally report the amount of any settlements unless asked to do so by our clients.

The practice of projecting money settlement amounts of say $100,000 on a television screen by some advertising law firms may be a deceptive practice if the case was worth substantially more after protracted discovery or trial.

Ben Mcgowan wins reckless aggravated assault case

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers Criminal Section member Ben McGowan on Thursday, March 30, 2017, won a hotly contested Reckless Aggravated Assault case in Division I of the Criminal Court of Hamilton County with a not guilty verdict. The case was originally charged as Attempted First Degree Murder.

Ben is a member of the Board of Governors of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a certified field sobriety expert in DUI cases.

For a decade and a half Ben has been developing a reputation for getting good results in both civil and criminal cases based on his trial experience and hard work.

Law Firm Invests in UTC’s Criminal Justice Program
UTC receives scholarships endowment from Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C.

"The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga announced that an investment has been made by the law firm of Summers, Rufolo and Rodgers to provide scholarships for students of the university’s Criminal Justice program. This educational award will be issued annually, and will alternate its focus each year between students who wish to become prosecuting attorneys and those with aspirations of becoming a defense attorney."

"UTC greatly appreciates Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers for years of loyal support in making Chattanooga better by helping students accomplish their career goals in the field of criminal justice," said Dr. Karen McGuffee, associate professor and Criminal Justice Program Coordinator. "The generosity of this gift will help many young men and women realize both personal and professional success. Thank you."

Jerry Summers: A life lived for the law. After 50 years, "I can still hit the ball." (part 2 of a 2 part series)

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3 changes that have negatively impacted the legal profession: Jerry Summers gets a few things off his chest as he crosses the 50-year mark in the practice of law

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Jeff Rufolo Inducted Into American College of Trial Lawyers

Jeff Rufolo on September 17, 2016, was inducted into the membership of the prestigious American College of Trial Layers (ACTL) at its Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The significance of Jeff's selection is that membership is not based on the purchase of a plaque or a flat fee for selection.

The exclusive membership is by a unanimous vote of lawyers in Tennessee who have tried cases with and against Jeff in litigation and in the courtroom.

Jeff joins Jerry Summers (inducted Class of 1988) as a member of ACTL and the firm now has two of its six attorneys in the Tennessee membership of approximately 135 men and women who have earned this honor.

Jeff and Jerry are two of fourteen attorneys in the Chattanooga legal community that currently have been invited to join ACTL.

Jeff has been a member of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. for 26 years and handles all types of personal injury cases for injured parties in state and federal courts.

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Jerry Summers Selected as UTK Distinguished Alumnus for 2016

Jerry Summers, founding member of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. has been selected as one of three Distinguished Alumnus in 2016 from the 244,000 alumni of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for his commitment to the Law School.

Jerry, a graduate of the Class of 1966 was one of the founders for the Center for Advocacy which trains law students in the art of advocacy in the courtroom and mediation. The Center now bears his name as an honor for chairing the law schools portion of the 1 Billion Dollar fundraising campaign held several years ago and he is the honorary chairman for the latest upcoming campaign by the University.

Jerry is the managing principal at Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. and works closely with the five other lawyers in the firm in all civil and criminal cases of injured individuals or those charged with criminal offenses.

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Jerry Summers' new book "Rush to Justice? Tennessee's Forgotten Trial of the Century" now released

The book, "Rush to Justice? Tennessee's Forgotten Trial of the Century" (Waldenhouse Publishers Inc.) written by Jerry Summers is now available.

Mr. Summers has spent six years of research documenting the 1958 impeachment trial of the late Hamilton County Judge Raulston Schoolfield.

Jerry Summers has recreated Schoolfield's mid-century impeachment by the Tennessee Senate and his subsequent disbarment in a new book. Summers leaves it to readers to decide the merits of the case.

To find out more, please read the recent article on the timesfreepress.com.

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Schoolfield Book Now Available

Volume I of the proposed two book set about the last impeachment by the Tennessee General Assembly on July 12, 1958 and the colorful and controversial life story of Judge Raulston Schoolfield up to that date has now been published by Jerry Summers.

Attached to this blog is a copy of the front and back cover of the book with the reviews by five critics and a short synopsis of the contents.

If you or anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of the book please fill in the order form at the bottom and forward to our law office with a check.

If you have any questions about the book please feel free to contact Jerry at the office number.

Short Summary of Book

Order Your Copy Today

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Defending DUI Vehicular Homicide Cases

Attorney Jerry H. Summers is one of the authors in the afore-styled publication soon to be released by Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business, in 2015-2016.

Jerry's chapter is styled "Creatively Representing and Defending Clients in Alcohol Related Cases and is part of the "Inside the Minds" series and the authors of each chapter have been selected based on their legal experience and standing in the legal community.

Five leading criminal defense lawyers across the country were selected to write chapter on this timely topic. Copies can be purchased by contacting Aspatore at www.west.thomson.com/apatore.

SR&R attorneys named to 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers and Mid-South Rising Stars lists

Summers, Rufolo and Rodgers, P.C., is proud to announce that Jerry H. Summers and Jimmy F. Rodgers, Jr., have been named to the 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers list as two of the top attorneys in Tennessee, and Marya L. Schalk has been named to the 2015 Mid-South Rising Stars list. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Jerry Summers was selected for his work in the Criminal Defense field, while Jimmy Rodgers was recognized for his work in the area of Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products. This is the tenth year that Jerry has been named to the list, and the fourth year that Jimmy has been named.

Marya L. Schalk was named to the Mid-South Rising Stars list as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Tennessee for 2015. Each year, no more that 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. This is the fifth year that Marya has been recognized as a Rising Star.

Jerry H. Summers was also recognized as one of only three lawyers from Chattanooga among "The Top 100" lawyers for the entire State of Tennessee in the 2015 Mid-South Super Lawyers magazine.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to www.superlawyers.com.

Finally, Jerry H. Summers was recently chosen once again as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" for 2016. This is the 33 rd consecutive year that Jerry has been chosen. Jerry was selected in the areas of white collar & non-white collar criminal law, & personal injury plaintiff's law.

Please note: unlike many "awards" touted by some lawyers and law firms, these recognitions were not obtained by purchasing an ad, plaque, membership, or some self-serving article from either publication.

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Summers and Rufolo named top attorneys in Best Lawyers

The following article appeared in the September 18-24, 2015, Hamilton County Herald. Jerry Summers would like to make one correction: we do not engage in any deceptive radio, television, or social media advertising. We have a website like all modern law firms and we do support the UTC Mocs sports programs on the radio.

By David Laprad

The six-member law firm of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers has announced that members Jerry Summers and Jeff Rufolo have been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for 2016.

Summers has been selected for Best Lawyers in either criminal defense or personal injury plaintiff counsel every year since the publication began in 1983.

Rufolo's peers selected him as a Best Lawyer in the area of personal injury litigation - plaintiffs.

The two attorneys said they appreciate their respective designations as Lawyer of the Year because the selections were made by attorneys they litigate with and against in the Chattanooga community. "The best source of recognition is referrals from satisfied clients and positive peer reviews," said Summers. "Our firm slogan is, 'Where the practice of law is still a profession, not a business.' As such, we do not engage in ... radio, television, or social media advertising."

The firm currently known as Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers was formed in 1969.

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MCGOWAN RECEIVES FIELD SOBRIETY TESTING and ARIDE CERTIFICATION

The firm is proud to announce that member Ben McGowan has recently been certified in DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) designed program created for law enforcement as well as Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).

It is believed that Ben is the first attorney to be certified in this area of Tennessee and this training and knowledge will allow him and other attorneys to effectively cross-examine police officers on the proper administration of said tests that are given in any suspected DUI investigation but are not mandatory to be given to any driver suspected of being under the influence.

Ben’s certification and his trial experience will help the firm to better represent persons charged with serious alcohol related offenses.

Ben has focused his legal career protecting the rights of individuals accused of crimes in state and federal court. Handling cases running the gamut from First Degree Murder to minor status offenses, his practice has encompassed a broad array of work, however, the increasingly aggressive prosecution of Driving Under the Influence cases has resulted in the practice consisting of a large number of such cases, as well as vehicular homicide and vehicular assault cases related to alleged intoxication.

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SETTLEMENT OBTAINED IN MESOTHELIOMA LAWSUIT AGAINST MAJOR RAILROAD

The law firm of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C., recently settled a mesothelioma lawsuit it brought on behalf of the wife and family of a local man who was diagnosed with and died from the rare asbestos-related malignancy known as mesothelioma. The man had been exposed to asbestos during his lengthy career with the railroad. The lawsuit was filed in Hamilton County (TN) Circuit Court under the Federal Employers Liability Act.

After an extensive and exhaustive pre-trial process that had the case within days of starting trial, the railroad agreed to settle the case for a substantial amount. The case was handled by SRR attorneys Jimmy Rodgers and Jerry Summers, in partnership with Motley Rice attorney Rett Guerry. A related products liability lawsuit filed in another state against various asbestos manufacturers and suppliers remains pending.

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SRR SUPPORTS SPECIAL OLYMPICS. FREEZIN' FOR A REASON POLAR PLUNGE - FEB. 14, 2015

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers is a proud supporter of the Special Olympics. On February 14, 2015 the Freezin' For A Reason Polar Plunge will take place. This will be at Finley Stadium. For more information, please view the attached information.

SRR ATTORNEY JIMMY RODGERS RECENTLY FEATURED ON FRONT PAGE OF NEWSPAPER

Attorney Jimmy Rodgers was recently on the front page of the Hamilton County Herald. The January 16th, 2015 article: "Attorney finds personal, professional satisfaction in work with clients" displayed on the front page. Click here to view the entire article.

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SRR ATTORNEY JERRY SUMMERS RECEIVES SEWANEE DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS AWARD

Chattanooga attorney Jerry H. Summers received the University of the South Distinguished Alumnus Award during Homecoming ceremonies at the university, familiarly known as Sewanee. Mr. Summers is a member of the university’s class of 1963. The Distinguished Alumnus Award honors individuals who have distinguished themselves in their vocation and have demonstrated concern for and service to their community.

Mr, Summers is a lifelong resident of Hamilton County. After graduating from Sewanee with a degree in economics, he received his law degree at the University of Tennessee College of Law, then worked as a prosecutor in the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office before entering private practice in 1969.

He was the founding member of what is now Summers, Rufolo, and Rodgers, P.C., a firm with a diverse practice that includes workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury, labor law, and other practice areas.

Mr. Summers has served as president of the Tennessee Association for Justice and the Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and as a board member for the American Association for Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is one of three attorneys in Tennessee invited to join the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. On two occasions, Mr. Summers has taken cases to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Summers’ belief in giving back to the community is demonstrated by his service on the boards of Area IV Special Olympics, Orange Grove Center (for the mentally and physically impaired), CADAS (treatment of alcohol/drug abuse), and other organizations. Mr. Summers was one of the original founders whose gifts created the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at the UT law school, and he also created the Summers-Wyatt Trial Advocacy Endowment, funding student scholarships.

Mr, Summers’ recent book, "The Turtle and The Lawyer," has been described as a public "thank you" to the people and organizations that made a significant impact on his life. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to charities.

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SRR ATTORNEYS NAMED TO MID-SOUTH SUPER LAWYERS AND MID-SOUTH RISING STARS LISTS FOR 2014

Summers, Rufolo and Rodgers, P.C., is proud to announce that Jerry H. Summers and Jimmy F. Rodgers, Jr., have been named to the 2014 Mid-South Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in Tennessee, and Marya L. Schalk has been named to the 2014 Mid-South Rising Stars list. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Jerry Summers was selected for his work in the Criminal Defense field, while Jimmy Rodgers was recognized for his work in the area of Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products.

Marya L. Schalk was named to the Mid-South Rising Stars list as one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Tennessee for 2014. Each year, no more that 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. Super Lawyers magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to www.superlawyers.com.

Also, Jerry H. Summers was recently chosen once again as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" for 2015. This is the 32nd consecutive year that Jerry has been chosen. Jerry was selected in the areas of white collar & non-white collar criminal law, & personal injury plaintiff's law.

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ACTOS (DIABETES) DRUG USERS -- NO NEED TO CALL A 1- 800 NUMBER

Since 1973, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers has successfully handled asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma cases.

We are trial lawyers who have been located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for 46 years, not brokers who solicit cases on radio and television and then send the cases to other lawyers. We will personally be involved in your case.

Contact Jerry H. Summers or Jimmy Rodgers if you need information, or to set-up a free consultation.

Visit us online at www.summersfirm.com, call us at 423-933-2738, or e-mail us at jsummers@summersfirm.com or jrodgers@summersfirm.com.

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SETTLEMENT OBTAINED IN WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM AGAINST SERODINO, INC.

The law firm of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers recently settled a wrongful death claim it brought on behalf of the siblings of a local man, who drowned when his fishing boat was hit by a barge being pushed by a tugboat operated by Serodino, Inc. Tragically, this was the second incident in a one year period in which the "M/V Bearcat", the tug owned and operated by Serodino, Inc. had collided with a recreational fishing boat, kill its occupants.

The deceased was employed as a janitor at Falling Water Elementary School in Hixson, Tennessee. The impact the deceased had at the school was evident when in a ceremony after his death, the school dedicated its cafeteria to be forever known as "Mr. Rick's Place". Although he was not married and did not have any children, the loss was especially difficult for his siblings and other extended family members.

After an extensive and exhaustive investigation, including the filing of a lawsuit in Federal Court, the claim was settled for a confidential amount. The claim was handled by attorneys Jeffrey W. Rufolo and Jerry H. Summers.

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BEST OF THE BEST AGAIN

Like 2012, Jerry Summers has been selected in 2013 as one of two Chattanooga lawyers selected by Mid-South Super Lawyers as being among the top 100 attorneys in Tennessee. Roger W. Dickson of the Miller and Martin law firm was the other Chattanoogan selected. The significance of the selection is that Jerry and Roger were picked by votes of the practicing attorneys in the State without having to buy a plaque or ad. When looking for an attorney to represent them, members of the public should be wary of the selection by advertising organizations that allow members to be picked by merely buying their way on to any "Best" list.

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ADVOCACY CENTER SUITE NAMED FOR JERRY H. SUMMERS

The Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution now resides proudly on the third floor of the College of Law in the Jerry H. Summers Suite. The center named its new location for one of its most staunch supporters and one of its founders, Jerry H. Summers. Read more about this story from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Law.

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BEST OF THE BEST

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers is proud to announce that senior member Jerry H. Summers has been selected as one of five Chattanooga attorneys to be included in the Super Lawyers overall Top One Hundred Super Attorneys in the State of Tennessee for 2012, along with T. Maxfield Bahner and Bruce C. Bailey of Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel, Harry F. Burnette of Burnette, Dobson and Pinchak and Roger Dickson of Miller and Martin, PLLC.

Said list was based on the criteria of the lawyers who received the highest point totals in the Tennessee nomination research and blue ribbon process by fellow Tennessee attorneys.

Super Lawyers is also a rating service of outstanding lawyers from seventy (70) practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is based on multiple factors and includes research peer nominations and peer evaluations by fellow attorneys.

Jimmy Rodgers of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers has previously been selected in the category of Mid-South Super Lawyer in the area of individuals who have contracted mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related lung diseases and on union-side labor law, and Marya Schalk has been selected as a Rising Young Star Lawyer in the field of criminal law.

The important characteristics of the selection of Jerry, Jimmy and Marya is that they did not have to purchase any listing in said publication to receive their high ratings as attorneys. It is becoming increasingly popular to create a new listing category for profit and to invite lawyers to join and be listed as a Best Lawyer based primarily on their joining said organization and paying a membership fee.

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Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers ATTORNEY FILED SOBRIETY TESTING CERTFIED

The law firm of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers is pleased to announce that Attorney Ben McGowan has successfully completed the "DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing" course taught by nationally recognized instructor, Anthony Palacios, and is believed to be the first non-law enforcement graduate in the Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee area of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) course used to train officers to meet the "particularized" requirement that all field sobriety tests be performed properly or otherwise will not be allowed in court and/or can be subject to cross-examination in DUI and related cases. Since police officers always ask motorists that they have stopped to perform the three NHTSA approved tests (and others that are not approved), it is important that said tests be conducted properly and in the specific requirements of the NHTSA regulations to be admissible in court. Many citizens do not know that it is their right to refuse to do any Field Sobriety Tests but are often erroneously told that the tests may help them. While this is theoretically correct, if a person has any odor of alcohol on their breath in Hamilton County, Tennessee, the reality is that they are going to jail irrespective of the results of said tests.

Ben's training in this area in the DUI Division of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers should help protect the constitutional and statutory rights of persons accused of DUI that said Field Sobriety Tests must be conducted properly.

Remember: "Don't drink and drive" but if you do, you should retain the best qualified and experienced law firm to defend you in DUI cases that may adversely have serious collateral consequences on your life and future.

Ben McGowan, Jerry Summers and Marya Schalk constitute the DUI team at Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers and will be glad to advise you of your rights.

JIMMY RODGERS AGAIN NAMED TO MID-SOUTH SUPER LAWYERS

Jerry H. Summers and the law firm of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C., are proud to announce that Jimmy F. Rodgers, Jr., has been named to the Mid-South Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in Tennessee for 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The area of law for which Mr. Rodgers was selected was in Personal Injury Plaintiff: Products.

Mr. Rodgers concentrates most of his practice in the representation of individuals who have contracted mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related lung diseases and in union-side labor law. In addition to representing mesothelioma/asbestos victims and their families, his clients include the Chattanooga Building & Construction Trades Council, the Chattanooga Area Labor Council, the I.B.E.W. Local 175, and the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 43. Mr. Rodgers is starting his 20th year as an attorney with Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers.
Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. Super Lawyers magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to www.superlawyers.com.

BENJAMIN L. MCGOWAN JOINS Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers

On October 1, 2012, Benjamin L. McGowan became the seventh attorney to join Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers. Ben is a licensed attorney in the states of Tennessee, Massachusetts and New York. He is a graduate of Northeastern School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts with undergraduate degrees from New York University and the University of the South at Sewanee.

Ben is working primarily in the firm's criminal law defense and complex civil litigation section. Since coming to Chattanooga in 2006, Ben previously worked as an Assistant Public Defender and was also associated with the law firm of Cavett and Abbott. He is married to the former Cara Gavin and they have a six-year-old son, Gavin.

"Ben has an extensive record of handling trials and appellate matters in many parts of both the civil and criminal areas of our legal system. Most importantly, he is well respected by his fellow attorneys and the judiciary. We are pleased to have Ben as a member of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers." - Jerry H. Summers.

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers ESTABLISHES DUI SECTION

Ever since the Tennessee General Assembly enacted a tough Driving Under the Influence Statute (DUI) 1982, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers has probably handled as many DUI, vehicular homicides and vehicle assault cases in the trial and appellate courts in Tennessee as any other law firm as part of its general criminal law practice.

Upon increasing pressure from politicians, law enforcement and special interest groups such as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the National Highway Safety Council (NHSC) and others, the attack on drivers who consume alcoholic beverages and then drive an automobile has resulted in the arrest and prosecution of hundreds of thousands of American citizens and the expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars.

The theme of the above special interest groups and others, including "law and order" politicians, is to "save lives and reduce the accidents by prosecuting the DUIs". This simple sounding goal is appealing to everyone but is inadequate to address a very complex problem.

The purpose of this article and subsequent ones is not to attempt to justify any violation of the law in the area of DUI and related offenses. Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers in many articles and blogs have attempted to inform the public of certain laws and consequences for those who get charged in this area of the law. We have previously published rules concerning the rights of citizens faced with the dilemma of facing the accused. Our first rule of advice has always been "don't drink and drive".

With the addition of former Assistant Public Defender Benjamin McGowan to Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, to assist Jerry H. Summers and Marya Schalk in the representation of individuals charged with criminal offenses, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers announce the creation of a new section to enhance its handling of such cases in this area.

The penalties and collateral consequences of DUI and other related crimes have increased substantially since 1982 and this trend continues. The important issues such as the erosion of fundamental constitutional rights under the Tennessee and United States Constitutions, such as use of sobriety check points (roadblocks), forced blood draws, mandatory blood or breath tests, traffic stops, etc., are just a few issues facing an accused and their attorney in a DUI case.

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers offers free consultation to inform citizens of their rights in these and other matters. Call our toll free number to set up an appointment.

JERRY H. SUMMERS RECEIVES TWO MORE HONORS

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, is pleased to announce that Jerry H. Summers was picked as one of four Chattanooga attorneys selected as one of the Top 100 Mid-South Super Lawyers in Tennessee for 2011 based on recommendations from other attorneys, evaluation by the research department of Mid-South, and a blue ribbon of the candidates with other attorneys. The other three Chattanooga attorneys selected in the Top 100 were T. Maxfield Bahner and Bruce C. Bailey of the law firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, and Roger W. Dickson of the law firm of Miller & Martin.

Jerry H. Summers was also recently selected as one of 1,200 attorneys nationwide to be included in every yearly edition of the "Best Lawyers in America" since its inception almost 30 years ago in both criminal law defense and personal injury plaintiff litigation.

For more information please contact the office at 735 Broad Street, Suite 800, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402, telephone: 423-933-2738.

OTHER RECENT SETTLEMENTS and VERDICTS

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers doesn't publicize verdicts or settlements out of respect for the privacy of our clients. However, over the years we have been successful in obtaining "substantial" and "very substantial" recoveries in many areas.

Jeff Rufolo has this year settled a wrongful death and personal injury case arising out of an automobile accident for one of the largest recoveries in this area over the past few years.

Jeff, Jerry Summers and an Omaha, Nebraska, law firm (Gross & Welch) have also received a substantial settlement in the wrongful death of a forty-six year old doctor who was killed when his parked vehicle was run over by a produce truck on I-75 near Athens, Tennessee. The doctor left a widow and two teenage children.

Jim Neal and Jeff Rufolo achieved a very substantial jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in Hamilton County, Tennessee, in Circuit Court, when a young man sustained permanent injuries as a result of a cauda equina syndrome from an untreated herniated disk in the Plaintiff's lower back.

Jim Neal, in association with Atlanta, Georgia, attorney Bill Ballard, has recently settled a very substantial medical malpractice case in Nashville, Tennessee, arising out of a failure to recognize complications from surgery resulting in permanent brain damage and eventual death.

Jim Neal, in an association with a New Orleans law firm (Hermann & Hermann), last year settled a very substantial product liability case arising out of an accident wherein a worker was severely burned while working in an Athens, Tennessee, plant. As a result of Tennessee's repressive ten year statute of repose limiting injured parties from recovery for injuries sustained on a seventeen year old machine, it was necessary to file suit in Louisiana where the product was manufactured.

Jim Neal and Jerry Summers, in an association with attorneys Chris Townley and Thomas Lindsey in Rossville, Georgia, represented sixty families of deceased loved ones whose bodies were improperly disposed of in the infamous Tri-State Crematory cases in Noble, Georgia.

Jim Neal and Jerry Summers, working with the David Cunningham firm of Lafayette, Georgia, settled a substantial medical malpractice case against a hospital and an orthopedic surgeon who operated on the wrong foot in a Georgia case.

Jimmy Rodgers and Jerry Summers, when not handling the labor law issues for various unions represented by Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, continue to work on wrongful death and personal injury cases involving exposure to asbestos products by workers and others. Our firm has been involved in this litigation since 1979 and continues to investigate and handle these cases in the ever changing area of the law as new defendants are found and new clients are diagnosed with asbestos related diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. Due to the complexity of this field, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers has been honored to be associated with many individual attorneys that have only one or a few such cases.

Jerry Summers, in association with a Tacoma, Washington, law firm (Margullis, Luedtke & Ray), settled a slip and fall case for a substantial amount when a Chattanooga lady suffered a fractured hip when she tripped on a sidewalk at a resort in that state.

In the criminal law field, Jerry Summers and Marya Schalk successfully handled an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals wherein the sentence on remand of a Chattanooga physician was reduced after he pled guilty to serious criminal charges.

If you have any inquiry about one of the above results, please feel free to contact one of the listed attorneys. If you are an attorney, feel free to contact one of the associated law firms concerning their working relationship with Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers.

It is the firm's policy to normally have two lawyers responsible for the handling of each case in order to provide better service to the clients and to have two legal minds discuss preparation, settlement and trial strategy, which we believe is in the best interest of our clients.

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers ENDOWMENT AND SYMPOSIUM

In 2008, Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers created an endowment at the University of Tennessee College of Law which provides financial support to a third-year student in the College's Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution to assist that person in becoming a trial attorney.

The endorsement also provides for a yearly Symposium on the right-to-trial by jury in the United States in civil and criminal cases. This year's Symposium was held on March 27, 2009 in Knoxville.

If you are interested in attending the Symposium in the future, you may contact either the Center Office at (865) 974-1477 or Micki Fox, the College of Law C.L.E. Director at (865) 974-4464. Details are also available on the Center's webpage at http://law.utk.edu/centers-clinics/advocacy-center/symposia/.

The public is welcome to participate in this Symposium on the important 7th Amendment right-to-trial by jury in the United States.

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers is very proud to support this progrSUMMERS, RUFOLO & RODGERS and the CHATTANOOGA AREA LABOR COUNCIL ANNOUNCE NEW LABOR SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT.

ASSOCIATION WITH REFERRING LAW FIRMS

Since our firm started in 1969, a major source of our personal injury cases has been from other law firms in the Chattanooga area, State of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and other states.

Our philosophy in handling a referral is to be professional and fair in all dealings with associate counsel in the handling of each case. The division of fees that may be received is always made with the goal of being fair to both firms depending upon the relative work performed and the results achieved. While some flexibility is necessary, we have always been able to reach a satisfactory result between law firms. Therefore, we have established long term relationships with several law firms involving repeat cases.

Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers will be proud to work with your law firm to achieve a good result for your client.