Phone: (865) 546-7311
Fax: (865) 524-1773
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.
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.
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.
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. While in law school, Sam was President of his legal fraternity, Phi Delta Phi.
Areas of Practice
Personal Injury Defense
Products Liability Defense
Construction Injury Defense
Churches, Nonprofit, and Tax-Exempt Organizations
University of Tennessee – J.D., 1978
East Tennessee State University – B.S., 1975
Tennessee – 1978
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee – 1979
6th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals - 1982
Tennessee Bar Association
Knoxville Bar Association
Knoxville Bar Foundation
Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association
US Supreme Court Historical Society
Profile of Tennessee Court of Appeals Chief Judge Michael Swiney | DICTA: April 2016