Trial-Related Issues (Including Motions in Limine)

Documentary Evidence Only (Review of Findings)

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion. 

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals


Fisher v. Hargett, No. M2020-00832-SC-RDM-CV, 604 S.W.3d 381, 395 (Tenn. 2022).

Questions of fact normally are reviewed de novo but with a presumption of correctness unless the evidence preponderates otherwise. See Tenn. R. App. P. 13(d) (2020); Hughes v. Tenn. Bd. of Prob. and Parole, 514 S.W.3d 707, 712 (Tenn. 2017). In this appeal, however, all evidence was documentary. There was no live testimony; instead, there were only declarations. Accordingly, we afford no deference and no presumption of correctness to the trial court’s findings of fact. See Kelly v. Kelly, 445 S.W.3d 685, 693 (Tenn. 2014) (“When findings are based on documentary evidence, an appellate court’s ability to assess credibility and to weigh the evidence is the same as the trial court’s. Accordingly, when factual findings are based on documentary evidence, an appellate court may draw its own conclusions with regard to the weight and credibility to be afforded that documentary evidence.” (Citation omitted)); Wells v. Tenn. Bd. of Regents, 9 S.W.3d 779, 783-84 (Tenn. 1999) (citing Corcoran v. Foster Auto GMC, Inc., 746 S.W.2d 452, 456 (Tenn. 1988)).


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