Donald N. Capparella

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Appellate Attorney in Nashville, TN

Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, P.C.
 | 1310 6th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208
Phone: 615-649-6240
Fax: 615-726-2241
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1985
Practice Areas:
  • Appellate (50%),
  • Business Litigation (30%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%)
Attorney Profile

A highly decorated personal injury and appellate attorney, Donald N. Capparella has over 25 years of experience and represents the people of Nashville, Tennessee, and the rest of the state as a part of Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, PC. He has handled more than 200 appeals in federal and state courts; been named one of the Best Lawyers of the Year for appellate practice and insurance law; been awarded the pro bono service award three times by the Tennessee Supreme Court Attorneys for Justice; and for his commitment to legal ethics and professional accomplishments, he earned the highest possible peer rating of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Capparella handles personal injury cases involving car wrecks, wrongful deaths and auto accidents, and he does appellate and appeal work as he leads the appellate practice of the firm, managing civil, domestic and criminal appeals throughout the state. An engaging, knowledgeable speaker, he teaches legal seminars of continuing legal education for the Tennessee Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctor in 1985, Mr. Capparella is also a member of the Tennessee Association of Justice, the Tennessee Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association. He also taught at Vanderbilt University School of Law as a legal writing instructor and at the Nashville School of Law as a teacher of advanced legal writing.

An experienced consultant, Mr. Capparella also advises trial practitioners in all aspects of the appeal process, including trial court preparation. With extensive work in tort litigation, he also serves as the contributing author and editor for Nashville Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Handbook.

* AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Appellate (50%): Appeals

Business Litigation (30%)

Personal Injury - General (20%): Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Focus Areas

Appeals, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Premises Liability - Plaintiff


Selected to Super Lawyers for 10 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2009 - 2018

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About Donald Capparella

Admitted: 1985, Tennessee

Professional Webpage:


  • AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • One of Business TN magazine’s “150 Best Lawyers,”
  • Nashville Business Journal as “Best of the Bar”
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2018 Nashville Appellate Practice “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Best Lawyers® 2017 Nashville Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year”

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Nashville Chapter Harry Phillips American Inn of Court, Barrister
  • Nashville Bar Association, Appellate Practice Committee, Chair
  • Tennessee Association of Justice
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member
  • Nashville Bar Association, Member


  • Luna v. Sherwood, 208 S.W.3d 403, 404 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006). Preserving right to pursue medical malpractice claim in Davidson County, Tennessee and preventing adoption of intrastate forum non conveniens doctrine
  • State v. Magness, 165 S.W.3d 300, 301 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2004). Substantially reducing defendant’s sentence on appea
  • Knight v. Metro. Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson Cnty., Tenn., 136 F. App’x 755, 757 (6th Cir. 2005). Affirming $200,000 jury verdict for plaintiff in discrimination case
  • Rusnak v. Phebus, M2007-01592-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. 2008). Reversing trial court and holding in case of first impression that pending partition action between joint tenants with right of survivorship is extinguished upon death of joint tenant
  • Phoenix Ins. Co. v. Estate of Ganier, 212 S.W.3d 270 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006).  Reinstating $1.3 million subrogation action, reversing trial court for second time on appeal
  • Downs ex. rel Downs v.Bush,263 S.W.3d 812 (Tenn. 2008). Reversing lower court grant of summary judgment in wrongful death claim and reinstating case for jury trial
  • Robles v. Vanderbilt Univ. Med. Ctr., M2010-01771-COA-R3CV, 2011 WL 1532069 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 19, 2011).  Preserving client’s right to pursue medical malpractice claim
  • Westmoreland v. Bacon, M2011-01811-COA-RMCV (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2013). Successful Supreme Court Application for Permission to Appeal resulting in remand and preservation of medical malpractice claim
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Fenelon, 76 Fed.Appx. 581 (6th Cir. July 30, 2003). Trial and appellate counsel for breach of contract case affirming verdict of $3 million
  • Morrison v. Allen, 338 S.W.3d  (Tenn. 2011).  Securing $1.2 million judgment in life insurance action
  • Mayfield v. Mayfield, 395 S.W.3d 108, 110 (Tenn. 2012).  Reversing award of alimony to at-fault spouse
  • In re Estate of Smallman, 398 S.W.3d 134 (Tenn. 2013).  Secured new trial regarding widow’s right to pursue benefits of husband’s estate
  • Russell v. Illinois Central Ry. Co.,No. W2013–02453–COA–R3–CV, 2015 WL 4039982 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 30, 2015), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Nov. 25, 2015). Upheld over $3 million verdict for wrongful death of coworker.
  • Moneypeny v. Kheiv, No. W2014–00656–COA–R3–CV, 2015 WL 1541333 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 1, 2015). Trial & appellate counsel obtaining $1.3 million verdict for injured driver in car collision.
  • United States v. Lanier, 870 F.3d 546, 547 (6th Cir. 2017). Successfully vacated criminal conviction for lack of Remmer hearing.
  • TWB Architects, Inc. v. The Braxton, LLC, NO. M2017–00423–COA–R3–CV2018 WL 638251 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2018). Obtaining nearly $1 million recovery for architect in dispute with developer.
  • Colin v. City of Savannah, 966 S.W. 2d 34 (Tenn. 1998).  Abolishing open and obvious rule.
  • Jordan v. Baptist Three Rivers Hosp., 984 S.W. 2d 593 (Tenn. 1999).  Allowing loss of consortium damages in wrongful death case.
  • McIntyre v. Ballentine, 833 S.W. 2d 52 (Tenn. 1992).   Adoption of comparative fault.
  • Martin v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co., 271 S.W. 3d 76 (Tenn. 2008).   Clarifying summary judgment jurisprudence.
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Office Location for Donald N. Capparella

1310 6th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37208

Phone: 615-649-6240

Fax: 615-726-2241

Donald N. Capparella:

Last Updated: 4/3/2019

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