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Tennessee court advisory commission holds open meeting due to injunction

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(The Center Square) – The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure met virtually Friday morning, discussing the streamlining of the rules for filing motions in appellate court, the rules for experts in court and the rules for appealing based on a perceived area in the court’s finding of fact.

The meeting was open due an injunction granted by a U.S. District Court judge that The Center Square Vice President of News and Content Dan McCaleb received in May.

McCaleb sued on First Amendment grounds to open the meetings, where the committee discusses court rule changes that it will recommend the Tennessee General Assembly pass.

The Tennessee Administrator of courts has continued to fight the lawsuit through the Tennessee Attorney General’s office in an attempt to close the meetings.

A trial is scheduled for May on the matter with McCaleb represented by the Liberty Justice Center and Senior Attorney Buck Dougherty.

The commission discussed several recommendations for court changes during Friday’s meeting but sent all back to committee for further discussion.

The commission is scheduled to meet again March 8, chair and Rep. Gino Bulso, R-Brentwood, said during the meeting.

The commission discussed if actor experts should have specific rules regarding testimony or discovery in a case, much like retained experts are required to fill out specific reports along with testimony. The actor experts are currently treated like regular witnesses by the courts.

The commission also discussed adding a specific deadline to appeal on a termination of parental rights because parents are required to have counsel in those cases but are not required to have competent counsel.

The commission also discussed the rules for filing motions in appellate court and whether an affidavit or memorandum of law should be allowed or required.

“At the end of the day, we want justice to be done in the best and most efficient way that it can be done,” said Justice Dwight E. Tarwater of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

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