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Dail Cantrell

Cantrell Goodge & Associates
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Dail Cantrell
Cantrell Goodge & Associates

The best way to judge an attorney is to look at his trial record. In the two decades that Dail R. Cantrell has practiced law in the State of Tennessee he has obtained trial verdicts and settlements in the tens of millions of dollars. He was recently selected as one of the few attorneys in the United States to participate in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Membership is limited to attorneys who have obtained trial verdicts or settlements in excess of $1,000.000.00.

Mr. Cantrell has earned the following accolades due to

his outstanding legal work:

• Attorney for Justice, Tennessee Supreme Court

• Million Dollar Advocate, Million Dollar Advocates Forum

• Advocacy Award, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

• McClung Medal of Trial Advocacy, The University of Tennessee College of Law

Mr. Cantrell has been recognized at a national level for excellence in trial advocacy. He is a past recipient of the Ray H. Jenkins Award for Trial Advocacy and the McClung Medal. He has taken hundreds of cases to trial, and his win percentage is close to 100%.


In April of 2000, an Anderson County jury awarded $641,000.00 to one of Dail R. Cantrell's clients who had been struck by an uninsured motorist. After the jury came back with the verdict, the insurance company appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals arguing that the damage award was too high given the extent of the injuries and that the liability should have been capped at $130,000.00 because of the Governmental Tort Liability Act.

Dail R. Cantrell successfully argued his client's entitlement to every penny of the award. The Court of Appeals increased the jury verdict by awarding Dail R. Cantrell's client an additional $62,772.23 as a result of the firm's efforts. Wakefield v. Loncmirg. 54 S.W. 2d 300 (Term. App. 2001).

In 1998, Dail R. Cantrell was consulted about a case where an 18 year-old man that had been tragically injured in a motor vehicle accident. The plaintiff was left in critical condition by the side of road after he had been run over by an uninsured motorist who fled the scene. The insurance company claimed that it was not responsible and refused to pay any of the injured man's medical bills, a large law firm that the Plaintiffs family had hired essentially gave up on the injured man's case and the insurance company had the lawsuit dismissed before it went to trial. Dail R. Cantrell was hired by the victim's family to see if there was anything that he could do to help. Ultimately he convinced the Court of Appeals to expand the definition of the uninsured motorist policy to allow coverage for the young man's injuries. His victory at the Court of Appeals was so complete that the insurance company offered the amount of its policy limits to the client's family, which totaled several hundred thousand dollars. Renfro v. Doe. 979 S.W. 2d 311 (Tenn. App. 1998).

In the fall of 2001 Dail R. Cantrell became involved in a national class action lawsuit involving a prosthesis that was manufactured by Sulzer Orthopedics, Inc. Faulty artificial hips had been implanted in men and women all across the United States. Sulzer Orthopedics, Inc., was responsible for the majority of all prosthetic implants used worldwide, and attempted to persuade the recipients of the faulty products to accept a nominal sum as settlement for their injuries.

As a result of Dail R. Cantrell's efforts, it was possible for his clients to opt out of the class action lawsuit and proceed directly against the manufacturer. Juries in Texas have awarded some of the Plaintiffs several million dollars, including punitive damages, for trying to conceal the problems caused by the faulty implants. In Re: Sulzer Hip Prosthesis and Knee Prosthesis Product Liability Litigation Case No. A:01CV9000.


Dail R. Cantrell is a former adjunct Professor of Law at the University Of Tennessee College Of Law where he taught trial practice; trial advocacy/evidence; and legal process. He authored a textbook in 1999 on trial strategies. His most recent book, Equal to the Task, was dedicated to his son, Benjamin, and the struggles he faced in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Mr. Cantrell is licensed to practice in every Tennessee State and Federal Court, and is licensed all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States. He is an active member of the Second Baptist Church in Clinton, Tennessee.

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