Close X
Attorney Spotlight

How does Jordana Nelson's prior experience as a general counsel inform her work with firm clients? Read more>


Close X


Search our Experience

Experience Spotlight

The M&A Advisor Winner 2017The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the 16th Annual M&A Advisor Awards on Monday, November 13 at the 2017 M&A Advisor Awards. Bass, Berry & Sims was named a winner in the two categories related to the following deals:

M&A Deal of the Year (from $1B-$5B) – Acquisition of CLARCOR Inc. by Parker Hannifin Corporation

Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year (over $1B) – Acquisition of BNC Bancorp by Pinnacle Financial Partners

Close X

Thought Leadership

Enter your search terms in the relevant box(es) below to search for specific Thought Leadership.
To see a recent listing of Thought Leadership, click the blue Search button below.

Thought Leadership Spotlight

Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

Read now

Chris Lazarini Examines Genuine Issue of Material Fact Standard

Securities Litigation Commentator


December 19, 2016

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini continues to examine an ongoing case questioning the validity of an arbitration agreement. Read Chris' earlier analysis here. In this most recent installment challenging the arbitration request, the court found no genuine issue of material fact and dismissed the case.

Chris provided the analysis for Securities Litigation Commentator (SLC). The full text of the analysis is below and used with permission from the publication. If you would like to receive additional content from the SLC, please visit the SLC website to sign up for the newsletter.

MetLife Securities, Inc. vs. Holt, No. 2:16-CV-32 (E.D. Tenn., 11/14/16) 

*The burden of showing that the validity of an arbitration agreement is in issue rests with the party opposing arbitration, and a trial is necessary only if the non-moving party can establish a genuine issue of material fact regarding the arbitration agreement's validity.

**A genuine issue of material fact exists only if a reasonable finder of fact could conclude that no valid agreement to arbitrate exists. 

Respondent Holt opened four IRA accounts with MetLife. She signed one of the account applications and, at the direction of her MetLife representative (allegedly her son-in-law), her daughter signed the others. Ms. Holt's MetLife representative later allegedly misappropriated her funds, and Ms. Holt sued. We previously reported on two preliminary matters – the denial of Ms. Holt's Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend the Court's order compelling arbitration of claims relating to the account for which Ms. Holt signed the application (SLA 2016-40) and the denial of Ms. Holt's late-filed request for a jury trial on the arbitrability of her other claims (SLA 2016-43). 

In this installment, the Court, after conducting an evidentiary hearing on the circumstances surrounding the signing of the account documents, grants MetLife's petition to compel arbitration of the remaining claims. The Court has no trouble concluding that Ms. Holt's daughter acted as her authorized agent in signing MetLife documents on her behalf, based on their testimony. No genuine issue of material fact existed because Ms. Holt's daughter could not recall the specific documents she signed and was non-committal when asked if the signatures on the documents were her own. Because the FAA obligates courts to resolve any doubts regarding arbitration in favor of arbitration, the Court concludes that merely creating "some doubt" about the signatures creates no genuine issue of material fact.

For the same reason, the Court rejects Ms. Holt's argument that her daughter's signatures were forged, where the best, but insufficient, evidence of an alleged forgery was an expert’s statement that the signatures "might conceivably be 'a cut and paste.'" Having found no genuine issue of material fact, the Court grants MetLife's petition and elects to dismiss the case rather than stay it.

Related Professionals

Related Services


Visiting, or interacting with, this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Although we are always interested in hearing from visitors to our website, we cannot accept representation on a new matter from either existing clients or new clients until we know that we do not have a conflict of interest that would prevent us from doing so. Therefore, please do not send us any information about any new matter that may involve a potential legal representation until we have confirmed that a conflict of interest does not exist and we have expressly agreed in writing to the representation. Until there is such an agreement, we will not be deemed to have given you any advice, any information you send may not be deemed privileged and confidential, and we may be able to represent adverse parties.