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W. Paul Whitt

Paul Whitt, a shareholder in the firm’s Knoxville office, practices in the areas of construction law and litigation, including professional liability defense of design professionals, such as engineers, architects and surveyors, as well as professional liability representation of accountants and lawyers. Mr. Whitt also has significant experience representing insurance carriers in first party actions brought by insureds related to coverage matters, claims of bad faith, insurance fraud and other extra-contractual matters, as well as experience in general civil litigation.

AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
  • Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)
  • Knoxville Bar Association (KBA)
  • Tennessee Bar Association (TBA)
  • Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel (TACC)

 PROFESSIONAL HONORS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Listed in Super Lawyers
  • Recipient, 2008 Tennessee Bar Association-Young Lawyers Division President’s Award
  • Former Chair, Tennessee Bar Association-Young Lawyers Division President’s Award Wills for Heroes Committee
  • Adjunct instructor, Business Law, Union University
  • Graduate, 2010, FBI-TBI Citizens Academy
  • Graduate, 2013, National Trial Academy, Reno, NV
  • Graduate, 2014, Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law (TBALL)
  • Top Attorney, 2014-2017, CityView Magazine, Construction Law

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • Lapinsky v. Cook, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 711 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 26, 2016)
  • Mitchell v. Morris, 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 178 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2016)
  • Swafford v. Forestry Mut. Ins. Co., 610 Fed. Appx. 565 (6th Cir. July 23, 2015)
  • Ridenour v. Covenant Health, 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 447 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 9, 2015)
  • Hamilton-Ryker Group, LLC v. Keymon, 2010 Tenn. App. LEXIS 55 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 28, 2010)

W. Paul Whitt

Rated by Super Lawyers

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Knoxville Office

One Centre Square, Fifth Floor
620 Market Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902
Telephone (865) 546-4646
FAX (865) 523-6529

Education

Union University, B.S.B.A., 2001

University of South Carolina, J.D., cum laude, 2005

Bar Admission

Tennessee, 2005

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee

U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee

U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

U.S. Tax Court

  • Construction

    We have a broad and substantial construction practice with a solid record of service to the design and construction industry. Our experienced and dedicated construction practice group attorneys understand the construction industry and can help you navigate its often complex contracts and diverse relationships. We work closely with clients to identify… [Read more]

    Insurance

    We have more than four decades of experience providing counsel and legal defense to insurance companies, self-insured clients, businesses and individuals. The firm has represented thousands of insured clients of leading insurance companies in a wide range of cases and has represented insurers in cases involving coverage disputes, policy interpretation,… [Read more]

    Municipal & Administrative

    We have a long history of providing legal counsel to cities and towns throughout Tennessee. Whether negotiating contracts on behalf of local governments or representing municipalities and utility divisions in litigation involving personal injuries and contract disputes, we understand the special legal needs of city and county governments and their… [Read more]

    Professional Liability

    As a professional, your reputation means everything. We are sensitive to the fact that professional liability lawsuits and claims affect reputations, as well as personal finances, and we stand ready to aggressively protect your practice at both the trial and appellate levels. Representative clients include: Accountants Attorneys* Architects Contractors Directors of Corporations Engineers Financial Advisors Hospitals and Medical Facilities Insurance… [Read more]

  • Representative Experience

    • Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer in federal court action, and affirmed on appeal by the 6th Circuit, concerning an insurance coverage claim under a workers compensation policy on a significant injury claim where the insured claimed the individual was an employee despite the allegations in the complaint claim alleging the individual was an independent contractor, and where the insured attempted to eliminate the “4 corners” rule in Tennessee.
    • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a Certified Public Accountant in federal court action, and affirmed on appeal by the 6th Circuit, on numerous claims, including alleged civil RICO violations, ERISA, fraud and professional negligence.
    • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in Federal Court on declaratory judgment action involving issues of “your work” exclusions and successfully defeated insured’s attempt to claim “coverage by estoppel” based on alleged statements of agent when policy was sold.
    • Successfully represented engineering firm in 3-day arbitration hearing involving claims of professional negligence and breach of contract for slope failures at a project in East Tennessee with no fault or liability being assessed against the engineering firm and complete fault being assigned to the general contractor bringing the claims against the engineering firm.
    • Defense of mechanical engineering firm involving claims related to HVAC system design.
    • Represented surveyor in litigation involving claims of inaccurate elevations on survey.
    • Obtained voluntary dismissal of claims against architect in wrongful death claim involving parking design for food establishment.
    • Successful defense of architect on claims of personal injury related to slope subsidence issue at long-term care facility.
    • Successful defense of regional accounting firm of claim made by former client concerning tax penalties assessed against client for failure to report listed transaction on federal income tax return.
    • Trial and appellate counsel for regional staffing firm involving prosecution of claims against former employee for violation of Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act where nearly $1 million judgment was entered in favor of client.
    • Obtained summary judgment in Federal Court in favor of property and casualty insurer on first-party claims by insured on basis of defense of misrepresentation in the application by the insured.
    • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in Federal Court first-party action by insured on all extra-contractual issues following extensive discovery and development of defense of arson against insured’s claims.
    • April 2011 –  Knoxville Bar Association’s DICTA, “The Finer Points of Finger Pointing: Comparative Fault and Multiple Tortfeasors”
    • October 2012 – Knoxville Bar Association’s DICTA, “The Finer Points of Finger Pointing – Revisited: Comparative Fault and Multiple Tortfeasors”
    • August 2017, Co-Presenter, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA), “Managing the Professional Liability Risks in a CPA Firm”
    • August 2016, Presenter, Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Member Meeting, “Construction Specifications: The Devil is in the Details”
    • February 2016, Presenter, HalfMoon Seminars, “Contract Administration:  Tips for Avoiding Liability”
    • February 2015, Presenter, HalfMoon Seminars, “Professional and General Liability Insurance for Designers”
    • September 2015, Presenter, Construction Group Annual Seminar, “Subcontractors:  Lessons from the Trenches”
    • February 2015, Presenter, HalfMoon Seminars, “Professional and General Liability Insurance for Designers”
    • January 2015, Presenter, Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Member Meeting, “Construction Defects”
    • October 2014, Presenter, National Business Institute, “Is the Subcontractor Responsible? What about the Design Professional?”
    • October 2014, Presenter, National Business Institute, “Construction Defect Litigation from A to Z: Insurance: Covered vs. Uncovered”
    • September 2014, Presenter, Construction Group Annual Seminar, “Virtual Design and Construction: Making it Work and Avoiding Actual Problems”
    • November 2013, Presenter, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, “Annual Case Law Update”
    • September 2013, Presenter, Construction Group Annual Seminar, “General Liability Basics for Contractors”
    • February 2013 – Moderator, Tennessee Bar Association CLE, “Encountering and Avoiding Ethical Traps”
    • June 2012 – Speaker, The American Society of Civil Engineers, Knoxville Branch, “Construction Defects: Types and Causes of Failures”
    • June 2012 – Panelist, Tennessee Bar Association’s Diversity Leadership Institute Forum
    • February 2012 – Moderator, Tennessee Bar Association CLE, “Encountering and Avoiding Ethical Traps”
    • October 2011 – Presenter, HalfMoon Seminar, Law of Construction Defects and Failures, “Liability for Defects”