TBA Elections: Sellers to Lead TBA in 2020

Jackson attorney Michelle Greenway Sellers of Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC will take the office of Tennessee Bar Association President in 2020, according to election-qualifying results released today. No other candidate qualified for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. Sellers, a former YLD President and graduate of the TBA Leadership Law program, currently serves as 7th District Governor on the TBA Board of Governors. She will assume the office of vice president this summer at the TBA Convention in Memphis, then become president-elect during the 2019-2020 bar year prior to assuming her presidency.

Also qualifying without opposition were: East Tennessee Governor candidates Tasha Blakney and Mary Beth Maddox; West Tennessee Governor candidates Mason Wilson and Trey Thacher; Middle Tennessee Governor candidates Rachel Moses and Ramona DeSalvo; Third District Governor candidate David McDowell; Fifth District Governor candidate John Farringer; and Sixth District Governor candidate David Veile. No candidates applied to fill the Eighth District seat, so the Board of Governors may fill the post at its April meeting.

Others qualifying without opposition included: TBA Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates candidates George "Buck" Lewis (position 2), Jackie Dixon (position 4), Danny Van Horn (position 5), and Gail Vaughn Ashworth (position 6).

read more »

Pera Spills on Favorite Movies, BBQ, TBA Conventions

In the final video of our interview series, TBA President Lucian Pera answers a series of rapid-fire questions about topics ranging from past TBA conventions to favorite films. If you’ve ever wanted to know which Memphis barbeque place Pera thinks is number one, check out our video on YouTube. This is the fourth video in our series, which has covered Pera’s thoughts on the importance of bar work, the future of the legal profession, and the role of lawyers as leaders in their communities.
read more »

Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming TBA Events

You probably already have these upcoming TBA events on your calendar. If not, do it now: 

• Jan. 12-13, 2018, TBA Mid-Winter Leadership Conference and Public Service Luncheon in Nashville

• Feb. 13, 2018, Big Shrimp Legislative Reception in Nashville

• March 3, 2018, TBA Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala in Nashville

• March 23, 2018, TBA House of Delegates Meeting in Nashville

• April 6-7, 2018, TBA Sections and Committees Leadership Orientation in Nashville

• April 20-21, 2018, TBA Board of Governors Spring Meeting in Nashville

• June 13-16, 2018, TBA Annual Convention (including House of Delegates and Board of Governors meeting) in Memphis

• October 26-27, 2018, TBA Board of Governors Fall Meeting in Nashville

read more »

Board Materials Are All Available Online

Remember, you can access all board materials by logging into your account and going to the Board of Governors Resources page.

read more »

Stay Connected During TBA Events in Memphis

You will be able to stay connected with the world while at the Madison Hotel and The Halloran Center. To connect to Wi-Fi:

• Madison Hotel, choose the guest account and use the password gomadison (all lower case)
• The Halloran Center, choose the guest account and use the password Orpheum225

read more »

New TBJ: What You Should Know About Data Breaches

The General Assembly’s 2017 amendments to the data breach law are a step toward addressing the threats of cyber-theft and the challenges it poses to residents and businesses. W. Russell Taber III writes in the November Tennessee Bar Journal what you need to know to advise your clients in the event of such a breach. Also read Marshall L. Davidson III’s how-to for oral arguments so your appeals will stay on track. In his column, TBA President Lucian T. Pera addresses the problematic gap between existing legal needs of ordinary Americans and the ability of the legal profession to meet those needs.

read more »

Meet Your New TBA Staff Members

The past few months, there have been a couple of new additions to the TBA staff. Here's a brief bio on each. 

Wil Hammond

William Hammond

Sections and Committees Coordinator
Wil Hammond is a Sections and Committees Coordinator at the Tennessee Bar Association. In that position, he works with a number of the TBA's 32 sections and 16 committees, facilitating meetings, assisting with newsletters and ensuring they operate smoothly.

Prior to working for the TBA, he served as Communications Director for the Tennessee AFL-CIO, a Grant Manager the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and on many state and local political campaigns. A Martin native, he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in Political Communications.

Jarod Word

Jarod Word

Sections and Committees Coordinator

Jarod Word is a Sections and Committees Coordinator at the Tennessee Bar Association. In that position, he works with a number of the TBA's 32 sections and 16 committees, facilitating meetings, assisting with newsletters and ensuring they operate smoothly.

Prior to joining TBA, Jarod served as Project Coordinator for Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. While at LAS he assisted with numerous Pro Bono initiatives including legal assistance for veterans with Operation Stand Down of Tennessee, and a project to provide legal assistance to rural communities using video technology. He also established and maintained a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools that facilitated legal clinics and developed informational sessions for families within the school system.

read more »

BOG Memphis Meeting Just Days Away

Madison Hotel

The TBA Fall Board of Governors' meeting is now just days away, so we hope you have completed your travel plans to attend. We look forward to seeing everyone this Friday at the Madison Hotel, 79 Madison Ave. in downtown Memphis. The forecast calls for sunny skies, with high temperatures in the low 60s and little chance for rain, so it should be a great weekend in Memphis, or as President Pera often calls it, The Cultural Center of the Universe (#TCCOTU).

Committee meetings in the Madison's Conference Room kick off Friday activities at 2 p.m., with the Board of Governors meeting to follow Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Halloran Center. Of course, there will be plenty of time over the weekend for talking with friends and colleagues and enjoying some of Memphis' top cuisine. Here's an outline of key activities. Full details are in your board materials.

Friday, Nov. 10 

2 p.m., Membership Committee
2:45 p.m., Finance Committee
3:30 p.m., Programs Committee
4:15 p.m., Operations Committee
5:30 p.m., Reception at the home of TBA President Lucian Pera (transportation provided)
6:45 p.m., Dinner at Restaurant Iris (transportation provided)

Saturday, Nov. 11

7 a.m., Buffet Breakfast at the Madison Hotel
7:30 a.m., Executive Committee Breakfast Meeting 
9 a.m., Board of Governors Meeting at Halloran Center (short walk from Madison Hotel)
Noon, Lunch from Central BBQ at Halloran Center
1 p.m., TLCF Board of Trustees at Halloran Center
1:30 p.m., Free time to explore Memphis
6 p.m., Reception, then dinner at Cafe 1912 (transportation provided)

read more »

SCBP in Memphis a Big Success

SCBP Elvis

Tennessee lawyers hosted more than 200 bar leaders and their guests during the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents gathering last week in Memphis. Programming for the executive directors and volunteer bar leaders in 17 Southern states ranged from "Civil Rights in the 21st Century" to "Elvis and His Impact on the Law." See photos from the programming and activities or check out details of the programming and other activities.

read more »

Pera Talks Role of TBA, Lawyers as Leaders

TBA President Lucian Pera offers his thoughts on the legal profession, the importance of bar work and more in a series of web video interviews. The third video in the four-part series premiered today on YouTube. In this installment, Pera considers the role of the TBA in the legal community and what value it provides to members, as well as the role of lawyers as leaders in their communities. He also discusses his hopes that Tennessee lawyers will take up more local leadership positions in roles such as public office. Stay tuned for the fourth and final video in the series, in which Pera answers the TBA’s “lightening round” questions.
read more »

Memphis Program a Hit with Southern Bar Leaders

Tennessee lawyers hosted more than 200 bar leaders and their guests during the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents gathering last week in Memphis. Programming for the executive directors and volunteer bar leaders in 17 Southern states ranged from "Civil Rights in the 21st Century" to "Elvis and His Impact on the Law." See photos from the programming and activities.

read more »

Pera on the Law, the Bar, Barbecue and More

TBA President Lucian Pera offers his thoughts on the legal profession, the importance of bar work, and more (including his favorite spot for barbecue) in a series of web video interviews. The first video in the four-part series premiered today on YouTube. In the video, Pera discusses the inspiration for his year as president, as well as the importance of bar work to the legal profession. Stay tuned for part two to debut later this week, in which Pera discusses his goals for the bar, as well as challenges and trends he sees emerging.

read more »

October TBJ: The Scandalous Start of Tennessee's Written Bar Exam

The October Tennessee Bar Journal documents a time when just about anyone could practice law with little or no formal training. Lewis Laska writes about a "fake law school" that sold degrees, one of the factors that propelled the legal community to work toward uniformity, education and a written bar exam as standards to practice law. President Lucian Pera tells about lawyers' efforts in the wake of recent hurricanes, as well as ways you can help. Scott Ross gives an update on injury damages under Tennessee law. Russell Fowler shows how Louis Brandeis promoted the idea of pro bono — which is fitting because October is "Celebrate Pro Bono Month!"

read more »

August Issue: Meet TBA's New Executive Director

The August TBJ features the Tennessee Bar Association’s new executive director, Joycelyn Stevenson, as she steps into the role held for nearly 20 years by Allan Ramsaur, who is now executive director emeritus. Read about what makes her perfect for the job, as well as what her plans and dreams are for the association. In his column, President Lucian T. Pera asks readers to consider the possibilities that the changing market for legal services will bring. "Today we can visualize a time in Tennessee when 'going to court' might not mean walking to the courthouse on court square," he writes. "It might mean firing up your tablet and logging in to an online session with a judge, other lawyers, and even witnesses." Pera writes about Modria and companies like it, that provide online dispute resolution services, and what that and related technologies may mean for the practice of law.

read more »

TBA President Lucian Pera Lawyers Luncheon Address

Newly installed TBA President Lucian Pera addresses the profession during the Lawyers Luncheon at the TBA Annual Convention in Kingsport.


Lucian Pera Installed as New TBA President

Jason Long concluded his term as the TBA President today and passed the gavel to Memphis attorney Lucian Pera at the TBA’s annual Convention in Kingsport. Pera said his goals will be to ensure a smooth transition and successful first year for incoming Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson, as well as to focus on the recommendations from the recent Indigent Representation Task Force. Also on day three of the convention, the Young Lawyers Division will hold its annual meeting, and YLD President Rachel Mancl will pass the gavel to incoming leader Ahsaki Baptist. See photos from the day's events and award presentations.
read more »

Voting Continues in TBA Election

Reminder emails are being sent today to TBA members who have not yet taken part in the 2017 election. These emails come from, so make sure that address is on your safelist to ensure the emails don't get caught in your spam filter. If you do not receive an email, but are eligible to vote in one of the contested races, you can go to the ElectionsOnline website to get access to the ballot. Voting ends April 1.

read more »

Nashville, Knoxville Services for Former TBA Director Gil Campbell

Former Executive Director of the Tennessee Bar Association Gil Campbell died on Friday in Nashville. He was 84. An East Tennessee native, Campbell worked as the Executive Director of the Decatur/DeKalb Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta for 20 years prior to beginning his tenure at the TBA in 1983. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, a captain in the U.S. Army and a fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. There will be two services in his honor. A celebration of life will be held in Nashville on Thursday at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Nashville, 4815 Franklin Pike, with a reception following. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Knoxville, 620 State Street, at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Memorial donations can be made in his name to the University of Tennessee College of Law.
read more »

Deadline Tomorrow to File for TBA Office

Candidates interested in serving in a TBA leadership position must file a qualifying petition by tomorrow, Feb. 15. A list of positions up for election this year can be found on the website. To qualify as a candidate, members must file a nominating petition with the executive director containing the names of 25 members of the association in good standing. Lawyers interested in running for a Young Lawyers Division post face the same Feb. 15 deadline and should file a nominating petition with YLD Secretary Joshua B. Dougan.

read more »

Ramsaur to Step Back From TBA Day-to-Day Management

Longtime TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur will begin stepping back from day-to-day management of the association on the first of the year. “You would be hard pressed to find an individual who has done more to advance our profession, promote access to justice, and facilitate an understanding of the legal profession in the past 20 years,” TBA President Jason Long said of Ramsaur. “We are eternally grateful for Allan’s dedication and skill in leading the association.” As Ramsaur transitions into the new role of Emeritus Director, he will assist in the search for a new executive director and continue to work in governmental affairs and other strategic initiatives until full retirement in June 2018.

read more »

MBA Names New President, Officers

The Memphis Bar Association (MBA) held its Annual Meeting & Elections last night. New officers are President Dean DeCandia of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vice President Earle Schwarz and Secretary/Treasurer Annie T. Christoff with Bass Berry & Sims. Christoff will become president in 2019. The group also presented the Judge Jerome Turner Lawyers’ Lawyer Award to Lewis Thomason shareholder and former TBA President William H. “Bill” Haltom. The award is given annually to an association member who has practiced law for more than 15 years and exemplifies professional courtesy and conduct.

read more »

Nathan Ridley is NBA's New President

Nathan Ridley was elected president of the Nashville Bar Association (NBA) Thursday during the group's annual meeting and banquet at the Music City Center. Erin Palmer Polly is the new president-elect; Robb Bigelow is first vice president; Marnie Huff is second vice president; Stephen Young is treasurer; and Lela Hollabaugh is general counsel. Jocelyn Stevenson, who served as president in the previous bar year, is now immediate past president. Lauren Paxton Roberts is the Young Lawyers Division president. The NBA previously announced the results of contested board elections.

Awards also were presented. The YLD Enterprise Award went to Mollie Gass and Peter Malnchuk. The YLD President's Award was given to Kelly Donley and Lauren Spahn. The Nashville Bar Journal Award was presented to Jim Thomas, Kimberly Faye and Caroline Hudson; the CLE Excellence Award was given to Judges Philip Smith and Phillip Robinson. Pro Bono Awards were given to James A. Beaks and Waller LLP. And the John C. Tune Public Service Award went to Bill Harbison and Abby Rubenfeld.

read more »

TBA President Urges Unity, Consensus Building in Profession

In the new Tennessee Bar Journal, President Jason Long discusses our divided country after the recent election, urging lawyers to be “united now more than ever in our commitment to the profession and its bedrock principles.” He writes that “we can provide that opportunity in a controlled and structured environment, operating within the framework of our democratic institutions. If there is an opportunity for consensus building and unity in today’s political climate, the legal profession can and should facilitate that.” Also in this issue, learn if you are protecting your clients’ electronic information enough, in the cover article by Trey Forgety. Brian Dobbs writes to help you understand the law of construction in Tennessee. Read the December issue.

read more »

MBA to Honor Haltom With Lawyers’ Lawyer Award

Lewis Thomason shareholder and former TBA President William H. “Bill” Haltom will receive the Judge Jerome Turner Lawyers’ Lawyer Award at the Memphis Bar Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting on Dec. 8. The award is given annually to an association member who has practiced law for more than 15 years and exemplifies the aims and aspirations embodied in the group’s Guidelines for Professional Courtesy and Conduct. Haltom is also an author and regular columnist for the Tennessee Bar Journal.

read more »

TBA Director to Speak on Indigent Pay Issues

TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur is among those who will address the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Indigent Representation Task Force when it meets Friday in Nashville for the next stop on its listening tour. The hearing will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Nashville School of Law, Room 200, 4013 Armory Oaks Dr., Nashville 37204. The TBA has long supported an increase in the compensation rate for those who handle court-appointed cases. After Friday's session, the task force will hold one last hearing in Franklin on Aug.11.

read more »