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The March issue explores the “unnecessary rigor” provision of the Tennessee Constitution, legislative initiatives on privacy and criminal law, and also looks at the successes of a residential drug treatment program. President Jonathan Steen explains why the rate for court-appointed lawyers should be increased, especially since it has not been raised in 20 years. Our history column examines Andrew Jackson on the Tennessee Supreme Court. As we continue to celebrate the Journal’s 50th birthday all year long, this month read about some Tennessee lawyers who were born at the same time and what law-related changes have taken place in their lifetimes. Also, smile along with our humor columnist in his excitement over Harper Lee’s newly discovered sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird.

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.

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 2015 State High School Mock Trial Competition will take place March 27-28 at the Metro Courthouse in Nashville. The annual competition brings students together from across the state to test their advocacy skills. The competition requires a lot of volunteers to run smoothly! Sitting judges in Tennessee may volunteer to serve as presiding judges of trial rounds, lawyers may serve as scorers, and law students and legal staff may serve as bailiffs. Those who want to volunteer should fill out the online response form.

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.

TBA members will soon have five new sections to serve them and their practices. Responding to member interest, the TBA Board of Governors this month approved new sections for Communication Law, International Law & Practice, Animal Law, LGBT and Local Government Practice. All TBA sections are self supporting and led by volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a founding member of any of these sections or have an interest in helping lead the development of any of the new sections, you can learn more on



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The Litigation Forum contains everything you need to know about litigation, from oral advocacy to effective case management from the clients perspective. This 7 hour CLE (6.0 General/1.0 Ethics) will cover taking effective depositions, using motion practice to your advantage, and setting up your case to obtain a favorable settlement for your client.  Judges will share...

The 13th 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...

Former Rutherford County District Attorney Bill Whitesell has been named interim executive director of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, the...

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