Journal Online

This issue, learn more about Justice Gary Wade as he leaves the Tennessee Supreme Court to take the helm as dean of the Duncan School of Law at Lincoln Memorial University. It is CELEBRATE PRO BONO MONTH and for that we take a look at one former U.S. president who came back as a senior lawyer in a heroic way, representing the Africans aboard the Amistad in 1839. Also, get the scoop on controlled drug purchases and the probable cause necessary to issue a search warrant. President Bill Harbison writes about some of his pro bono heroes and to thank everyone who gives of their time to ensure access to justice for all. Columnists cover changes in the Group 3 Choices Program, and the Employment-at-Will doctrine. Humor columnist Bill Haltom warns about the “para-lawyers” who might be coming to a courtroom near you!

Sections, Divisions

Writing Contest

The TBA YLD this week announced the application process and deadlines for the 2016 Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI). The DLI is a six-month leadership program for Tennessee law students in their second, third or fourth years of study. Student participants must be TBA members and commit to attend three in-person meetings. Details about the program and downloadable applications are available online and are due by Dec. 1. For more information contact YLD Diversity Committee Chair Amber Floyd, (901) 537-1054. Watch for information to be distributed on law school campuses over the next few weeks!

The 2015 Jon E. Hastings Memorial Award Writing Competition winner is Patty Whitehead, a third-year law student at Belmont University College of Law. Sponsored by the TBA Environmental Law Section, the Hastings award is a juried competition for the best legal writing on a topic of Tennessee or federal environmental law and is open to law students enrolled in a Tennessee law school. Whitehead's paper "Opportunities for Environmental Justice Review in Title V Permits Under the Tennessee Air Quality Act" addresses disproportionate air quality among minority and low-income communities under Title V permit rules.

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 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.  

Committees, Task Forces

Corporate Council Initiative

The 2015 Celebrate Pro Bono Initiative is in full swing with more than 50 events planned across the state during the month of October. Tennessee lawyers help thousands of clients throughout the year by providing free legal advice, but this assistance is especially celebrated and emphasized during the month of October as part of a nationwide celebration. Now in its seventh year, the Tennessee 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. A summary of events is posted online and will be updated throughout the month.

The TBA Board of Governors has adopted a resolution that "encourages lawyers, law firms, legal services agencies, law schools and bar associations to establish, develop and maintain medical-legal partnerships" in collaboration with medical and health care organizations. The resolution, which was recommended by the TBA Access to Justice Committee and the Medical-Legal Partnership Working Group, also won support from the TBA House of Delegates. The full resolution, accompanying report and materials are available on the TBA website.

Attorneys from the Memphis office of Wyatt Tarrant & Combs and medical technology company Medtronic were honored this past Saturday during the Ninth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative (CCPBI) Gala in Nashville. Judge Bernice Donald from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit gave an inspiring keynote address at the program, which also featured comments from Chief Justice Sharon Lee, CCPBI Co-Chairs Andy Branham and Jim Barry and TBA President Jonathan Steen. Over the past nine years, CCPBI has raised nearly $500,000 to support pro bono activities across the state. See photos from the event, read more about the award recipients or learn more about the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative.

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. 



The Tennessee Bar Association Academy offers an exciting opportunity for Tennessee attorneys to be admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and network with some of the nation’s leading appellate practitioners. Find out more or register now.

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