Neal & Harwell’s Appellate Practice Group recently secured two unanimous decisions from state and federal courts of appeals.

In Roberts v. Mars Petcare US, Inc., the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the following question: does the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) grant jurisdiction over a class action brought by a group of Tennessee citizens against a company that is a citizen of both Tennessee and Delaware? Reversing the district court below, the Court of Appeals held that CAFA does not allow a corporation to ignore its principal place of business, and rely only on its state of incorporation, for jurisdictional purposes. Neal & Harwell’s Charles Barrett led the appellate effort and argued the case before Sixth Circuit.

In Beard v. Branson, the Tennessee Court of Appeals, on remand from the Tennessee Supreme Court, affirmed the trial court’s finding that a physician was the apparent agent of a hospital and subsequent award of discretionary costs following a verdict for the Plaintiff at trial. Neal & Harwell’s Philip Elbert and Jim Thomas represented the appellee, Linda Beard. N&H attorneys previously secured a unanimous decision from the Tennessee Supreme Court in this case regarding the ability of a surviving spouse to file a pro se wrongful death action, and the case was remanded to the Court of Appeals for resolution of these remaining issues.