Journal Online

Two new laws went into effect in July that impact how family lawyers do their jobs. Siew-Ling Shea and Shaina Zakalik give you the details in the November issue. Josh McCreary explains regulatory takings claims, and two books are reviewed. The Journal introduces a new columnist, Russell Fowler, who in this month's "History's Verdict," reminds lawyers how Magna Carta influenced today's law. Columnist Wade Davies helps you understand diminished capacity. President Jonathan Steen and columnist Bill Haltom each write about being thankful and how it especially applies to lawyers.

Committees, Task Forces

Corporate Council Initiative

The TBA Access to Justice Committee, in partnership with the TBA Corporate Counsel Section and the Tennessee Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, will host the Ninth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala March 7, 2015, at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. Law firms, corporations and individuals are invited to support the event by becoming sponsors or purchasing tickets. Presentation of the 2015 Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative (CCPBI) awards – which recognize the Tennessee law firm and corporate legal department that best exemplify a commitment to access to justice – also will take place at the event. CCPBI engages corporate counsel and in-house lawyers in pro bono work. Since the inception of the program, more than $425,000 has been raised and distributed to organizations across the state that connect corporate lawyers to local pro bono projects.

Two Nashville lawyers and a recent University of Memphis School of Law graduate will be honored with the state’s top pro bono and public service awards at a Nashville ceremony in January, the TBA has announced. Nashville lawyer Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda of Stites & Harbison will receive the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award for handling a number of time-intensive pro bono cases this past year, as well as her service on the board of the Tennessee Justice Center. Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, will receive the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year Award in recognition of nearly 20 years of service with the center, which she co-founded in 1996. And Jennifer Mayham, a 2014 graduate from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, will be recognized as the Law Student Volunteer of the Year for her work with the Memphis Area Legal Services. Read more about the honorees.

The TBA Public Education Committee has updated The Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors for 2014. The updated Handbook contains practical information on a wide range of topics, including issues such as applying for Social Security benefits, long-term care considerations and estate planning, as well as completely new sections addressing online security and new health care legislation. 

Sections, Divisions

Writing Contest

The TBA Environmental Law Section has announced the eighth annual Jon E. Hastings Memorial Award writing competition for law students enrolled in a Tennessee law school in 2014 or 2015. The competition is held in memory of one of the section's most outstanding founding members and has a cash prize pool of $1,200. It is a juried competition for the best legal writing on a topic of Tennessee or federal environmental law. Entries are due May 1, 2015. The competition rules and announcement are available here in downloadable format.

YLD President Rachel Moses has announced her public service initiative for the year. During the first annual Access to Justice Week, young lawyers will be asked to plan and participate in legal clinics across the state. This “Statewide Legal Clinic Initiative” will take place in the week leading up to and following Law Day 2015, which is observed on May 1. Moses, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands, has made pro bono service a key component of her platform for the year. Those interested in helping organize a clinic in their area should contact their local district representative, who will be taking the lead in producing these events. A directory of representatives is available online.

The 12th Edition Alimony Bench Book is now available from the TBA Family Law Section. Produced by the members of the section’s Alimony Committee, the book is available for purchase in a loose-leaf format for $40 or a three-ring binder for $50. To order the book, visit the TBA’s online bookstore or contact TBA at (615) 383-7421. Members of the Family Law Section can download the new edition at no charge by logging in to and going to the Resources link on the Family Law Section's webpage.  



Travis McDonough, a Chattanooga attorney who presently serves as Mayor Andy Berke's chief of staff and legal adviser, has been nominated to become the new judge of the U.S. District Court for the...

A judge today blocked the state’s attempt to derail a lawsuit filed by death row inmates attacking Tennessee’s use of the electric chair, the...

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