Journal Online

Even though it may mean more work for judges in the preparation, the Tennessee Supreme Court, according to a recent opinion, really does want summary judgment orders to comply with Rule 56.04. Andrée Sophia Blumstein explains. To commemorate Celebrate Pro Bono Month, Russell Fowler details Alexander Hamilton's upbringing and career, which made him the first known American lawyer who performed pro bono on a wide and systematic scale. Columnists cover employment law, senior adults and the needed conversations about driving -- and the book Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide is reviewed. Bill Haltom declares that "Legally Gray" is now the new normal for the current population of 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. Nominations for the awards are being accepted through Nov. 14. 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.

Tennessee voters will be asked to vote on four amendments to the state constitution on Nov. 4. Among them is Amendment 2, which would change the way appellate judges are appointed and retained in the state. The TBA has created an Amendment 2 Resource Page to help lawyers and members of the public understand the issues at stake. The page includes the text of the amendment, a frequently-asked-questions section that answers common questions about the amendment, the text of and rationale for the TBA’s resolution supporting the amendment and links to resources offered by the Yes on 2 Campaign.

Celebrate Pro Bono Month 2014 is in full swing. Now in its sixth year, the initiative brings together bar associations, law schools, law firms, legal services providers and individual lawyers to offer free services to those unable to afford a lawyer. This year's celebration is expected to involve more than 300 volunteers – including lawyers, law students, paralegals and language interpreters – in dozens of events and activities across the state. Information about events will be updated and promoted throughout the month. Find an event near you.

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 Tennessee Bar Association is seeking to learn more about court-appointed work and the filing of related fee claims with the Administrative Office of the Courts. Your feedback is crucial. Please take two to three minutes to fill out the questionnaire about your experience with court-appointed work. All responses will be kept anonymous. If you would like to be a part of the TBA's effort to change the rate of compensation for court-appointed attorneys by speaking to your legislator, email TBA Public Policy Coordinator Josie Beets.

Events

Calendar

This session will cover the following topics to provide practical tips for mediating family law cases:

1. Effective use of joint meeting
2. Managing participants’ expectations (earning their trust)
3. Balance with letting litigants blow off steam while focusing on obtaining a settlement
4. Step parent/”significant others” involvement in post...

New attorneys will be introduced to the Tennessee Supreme Court and take the oath of office. The court will hold two sessions in Nashville due to the number of admittees: one at 10 a.m. and one at 1:30 p.m. Also that day, new lawyers and their guests are invited to a luncheon and open house at the TBA from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This annual program produced by the Tennessee Bar Association and the Tennessee Land Title Association offers advanced topics in real estate for Tennessee lawyers. This year’s program will offer attendees insight into probate matters, Tennessee Case Law updates, and our annual legislative report. One session will give special consideration to condominium law. Don’t miss...

Nashville’s WPLN reports that more than 13,000 people voted in Davidson County...

It has been a news-packed week for the upcoming trial of two former Vanderbilt University football players accused of rape. On Wednesday, Judge Monte D. Watkins...

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