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Samuel W. Rutherford, Esq.
Insurance Law and Civil Litigation

Samuel W. Rutherford, Special Counsel at Kennerly Montgomery

SAMUEL W. RUTHERFORD is a trial lawyer with over 40 years of litigation experience and over 50 jury trials under his belt.  He is known for his responsiveness, analytical skills, tireless work ethic and consistent commitment to client care. Sam enjoys studying each case and determining the validity of each claim and the best way for his clients to proceed.  He is a trial defense lawyer in personal injury, tort claims, transportation, product liability, workers’ compensation, construction injuries, insurance defense, and insurance coverage claims.  

U.S. News & World Report has recognized Sam in The Best Lawyers in America(C) in the practice area of Insurance Law in 2021.

Sam’s years in the United States Air Force, providing medical emergency and clinical treatment to servicemen and women and their families in medical air evacuation and emergency-room situations, equipped him to understand medical terminology, evidence, procedures, and the complexity of a wide variety of medical issues.  Sam’s knowledge has served his clients well during his practice.

Cityview Magazine has named Sam a Top Attorney of Knoxville in the practice areas of Personal Injury - Auto Accident - Defense and Workers' Compensation - Plaintiff and Defense in 2020.

Sam represents major manufacturers, international companies, distributors, insured, self-insureds, churches, insurance companies and third-party administrators. He also represents transportation companies, has completed an attorney-focused tractor-trailer driver training program, and attended multiple transportation industry seminars.

Sam’s product liability work includes industrial machinery, commercial and recreational vehicles, sport and utility equipment, sports and amusement companies, and food industry litigation. Four decades of trials and jury verdicts include defense of industrial equipment related deaths, closed head injuries, professional sports associations, vehicle accidents and premises liability accidents involving fatalities and multiple severe injuries.  These cases require the utilization of research and design documents, accident reconstruction and stability engineers, and medical experts in many specialties. Over the years, Sam has become extremely efficient in document review and has extensive contacts who are able to serve as experts for his clients.  Sam has successfully defended claims involving catastrophic injury, multiple fatality accidents, and multi-million-dollar damage claims. Sam's ability to examine expert witnesses, interpret engineering, surveillance and medical data, question witnesses and apply statutory and case law sets him apart from many of his competitors. He also utilizes focus groups to assist his clients and is a Certified Rule 31 Mediator.  His mediation skills often assist him in litigation matters. He often trains his clients on the latest issues that impact their business operations, including safety and employee training.

About Sam

Sam was admitted to practice in Tennessee in 1978. The following year, he was admitted to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee. In 1982, he was also admitted to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sam serves as Co-Chair of the Judicial Committee for the Knoxville Bar Association working with Judges in Knox and surrounding Counties on courtroom procedures and matters of public interest. Sam holds memberships in the Insurance Section of the Tennessee Bar Association, Knoxville Bar Foundation, Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association and the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society. 


Sam graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law with his J.D. in 1978. While in law school, Sam was President of his legal fraternity, Phi Delta Phi. Prior to law school, Sam attended and received his B.S. from East Tennessee State University in 1975.

Contact Sam Today:
865-546-7311 (Phone) | 865-524-1773 (Fax)


Magazines and Journals

Profile of Tennessee Court of Appeals Chief Judge Michael Swiney | DICTA: April 2016

Kennerly Montgomery Top Listed in Best Lawyers