Emily L.


Emily L.



2001: Tennessee
2002: U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Tennessee
2003: U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit



Tennessee Bar Association
Knoxville Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women
Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association



Proffitt v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, No. 3:07-cv-183, (E.D. Tenn. 2007) (summary judgment for insurance carrier in first-party insurance/bad faith action).

In complex commercial healthcare litigation involving regional hospital and independent physicians association, co-counsel in ancillary case for former executive director of independent physicians association and PHO and co-counsel in appeal and negotiation of settlement of lead class action suit for independent physicians association. Highlands Physicians, Inc. v. Wellmont Health System (now Ballad), No. C41368 (Sullivan County, Tennessee Law Court, Tennessee Court of Appeals, No. E2019-00554-CCOA-R3-CV (2020), permission to appeal denied by Tennessee Supreme Court) (appellate court affirming jury verdict of $57 million in favor of class action plaintiff independent physicians’ association).

Co-counsel in litigating indemnity claim and suit to recover settlement funds in catastrophic, multi-fatality railroad grade crossing action, obtaining partial summary judgment, and recovering through pre-trial settlement significant recovery of indemnified damages/losses. AGLIC v. Norfolk Southern Ry Co., East Coast Right of Way Maintenance, Inc., and The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Ins. Co., No. 3:16-cv-00129 (E.D. Tenn. 2017).

Obtained summary judgment in several railroad grade crossing motor vehicle/trespasser cases including Silvers et al. v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 1:00-cv-00133 (E.D. Tenn. 2002) (summary judgment for the railroad in catastrophic, multi-fatality elementary school bus-train grade crossing incident).

Lewis v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 2-475-09B (Knox County, Tennessee Circuit Court (2015)) (trial to defense verdict in end of career FELA repetitive trauma case and negotiated nuisance settlement of companion cases).

Kirk v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., No. 1-459-06 (Knox County, Tennessee Circuit Court (2009)) (appellate and motion trial counsel, obtained directed verdict for railroad in FELA alleged toxic exposure case).

Freeman v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 12046 (Bedford County, Tennessee Circuit Court (2011), affirmed by Tenn.Ct.App., No. M2012-01335-COA-R3-CV (2013), perm. Appeal denied by Tennessee Supreme Court) (in railroad grade crossing motor vehicle fatality, co-counsel in first jury trial, resulting in non-suit, and in second bench trial, in-trial appellate counsel, in-trial motion practice counsel, and appellate counsel brief writer for appellate affirmed defense verdict).

Successful motion and appellate practice in complex, high risk cases, including the following: exclusion of medical causation expert witness and appellate affirmed summary judgment in lung cancer asbestos exposure FELA case, Andrews v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. (Knox County, Tennessee Circuit Court No. 2-468-11, Tennessee Court of Appeals, No. E2018-00508-COA-R3-CV (2019)); appellate affirmed summary judgment in FELA catastrophic injury case, Edwards v. CSX Transportation,, Inc., (E.D. Tenn., No. 2:12-cv-00384-DHI and 6th Cir. No. 15-5385 (2016)); summary judgment in FELA trauma case involving manually jacking a railcar, Cottle v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. (E.D. Tenn., No. 3:18-cv-344-HBG (2019)); and summary judgment on alleged take-home asbestos exposure and punitive damages in Mitchell v. Norfolk Southern Ry Co. (Knox County, Tennessee Circuit Court No. 3-134-21 (2023)).

Obtained summary judgment and appeal affirming summary judgment in personal injury and property damage cases arising from Norfolk Southern Railway Company 2002 freight derailment in Knoxville, Tennessee, Beaty Chevrolet Co. v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, 214 Fed.Appx. 563 (6th Cir. Jan. 23, 2007) and co-brief writer in denial of class action decision, Turnage v. Norfolk Southern Ry Co., 2009 WL 140479 (6th Cir. 2009).

Participated in litigation and motion practice leading to successful settlements involving claims arising from CSX Transportation, Inc. 2015 derailment in Maryville, Tennessee.

Multiple on-the-scene response to railroad accidents, including counseling client, leading evidentiary preservation/investigation team, and acting as information/compliance liaison with governmental entities and law enforcement/first responders.

Graduate of invitation-only National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel’s industry trial college, sponsored by Norfolk Southern Corporation.

CSX Transportation, Inc. Award for Outstanding Trial Advocacy

2024 Recognized by Best Lawyers

  • Railroad & FELA Defense Litigation
  • Healthcare Law
  • General Civil Litigation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Insurance Defense & Coverage
  • Motor Carrier (Trucking) Defense Litigation
  • Business Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Personal Injury
  • University of Tennessee (B.A. 1997) Cum Laude
  • University of Tennessee (J.D./MPA 2001)
best-laywer emily herman-thompson