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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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TBA President Long Among TALS EJU Speakers

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) has announced the lineup of speakers for its 2016 Equal Justice University (EJU) conference. Among those speaking is TBA President Jason Long, who will address the group during the Leadership Lunch on Sept. 1. Registration for the conference closes Aug. 19.

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New TBA President Outlines Initiatives in Convention Speech

New TBA President Jason Long outlined his plans and objectives for the coming year after being sworn in to office during the TBA Annual Convention last week. Long brought special attention to the work of the recently created Evolving Legal Marketplace Committee, which is analyzing the landscape of legal services delivery in Tennessee and will lead educational efforts and other projects to help Tennessee lawyers thrive in this environment. View Long's speech now.

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Jason Long Sworn in as TBA President; Others Honored

Knoxville lawyer Jason H. Long was sworn in as president of the Tennessee Bar Association today during the group’s annual convention in Nashville, with Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Lee administering the oath of office. In his remarks, Long paid tribute to the many people who had inspired him in the law, including “all of the great TBA presidents who have shown me what a difference one person with a vision can make." The luncheon also featured recognition of Senior Counselors and the outstanding work of several members throughout the past year. Andrée Sophia Blumstein was honored with the Justice Joe Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing; the Hon. William Joseph Haynes Jr. was given the Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award; the Hon. Pamela L. Reeves was awarded the Young Lawyers Division Fellows' William M. Leech Public Service Award; and Gail Vaughn Ashworth was given the President’s Award. The convention wraps up on Saturday.

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June 16 Declared 'Seersucker Day' for Legal Community

TBA President Bill Harbison and Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee issued a joint proclamation announcing Seersucker Day for the legal community on June 16. “…The wearing of seersucker has been known to cool tempers and promote great civility among lawyers,” the proclamation reads in part. Seersucker Day will fall next week during the TBA Annual Convention in Nashville, so TBA members are encouraged to celebrate the striped cotton fabric. You can read more about the history of seersucker in a new book authored by former TBA President Bill Haltom.

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TBA Convention Hotel Deadline is Friday

Make your hotel reservations now for the 2016 TBA Annual Convention in Nashville. The special TBA rate at the Sheraton Music City Hotel expires Friday, May 20. This year's convention, June 15-18, is packed with compelling programming, along with dinner and music at the George Jones Museum. 

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TBA Board to Fill 3 Open Positions

Three open positions will be filled by the TBA Board of Governors at its meeting June 18. The positions are West Grand Division Governor - Position 1; Governor, First District (three-year term); and Governor, Fifth District - Position 2 (three-year term). If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, contact TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur by June 1 indicating your interest and include a resume.

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Apply by June 1:  Board of Governors to Fill Open Positions

Three open positions will be filled by the Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors at its meeting Saturday, June 18.

• West Grand Division Governor - Position 1 is an open seat created when no one sought to be considered for the seat by the deadline.

The West Grand Division includes the counties of Henry, Decatur, Hardeman, McNairy, Carroll, Chester, Hardin, Madison, Henderson, Fayette, Benton, Gibson, Weakley, Obion, Haywood, Crockett, Lake, Dyer, Tipton, Lauderdale and Shelby.

• Governor, First District (Three-Year Term) is an open seat created when no one sought to be considered for the seat by the deadline.

The First District includes the counties of Johnson, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hancock, Grainger, Jefferson, Sullivan, Washington, Unicoi, Hawkins, Claiborne, Hamblen and Sevier.

• Governor, Fifth District - Position 2 (Three-Year Term) is an open seat created when no one sought to be considered for the seat by the deadline.

The Fifth District includes Davidson County.

In accordance with Article 47 of the TBA Bylaws, the board may fill the vacancies, with terms through Spring 2017, at its June 2016 meeting.  

If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, contact TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur in writing indicating your interest by June 1. Please include a resume.

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Register Now for the Annual TBA Convention

Registration is now open for the 2016 TBA Annual Convention in Nashville June 15-18. Along with compelling CLE programming, attendees will have time to catch up with colleagues and enjoy some of Music City’s top musicians. Hotel reservations are available at a special discounted rate at the Sheraton Music City Hotel. Call (888) 627-7060 before May 13 to receive the rate.

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Harbison: Remembering Justice Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia "counted among his close friends fellow Justices Ruth Ginsberg and Elena Kagan, members of the court with whom he often disagreed," TBA President Bill Harbison writes in the new issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. "The ability to disagree without having the disagreement become personal is of immense importance in our system of justice." Read this and more in the March issue.

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Pannu to Lead TBA in 2018-2019

Jason Pannu of Lewis Thomason in Nashville will lead the Tennessee Bar Association in 2018-2019, according to election-qualifying results released today. No other candidate filed for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. After taking office as vice president this summer, Pannu will become president-elect in 2017-2018 and take over the organization’s leadership in June 2018. Candidates who filed for the following positions will take office at the June annual meeting as they did not draw opponents: Scott Sims and David Veile, Middle Grand Division Governors; Sarah Sheppeard and Shelly Wilson, East Grand Division Governors; Carl Carter, West Grand Division Governor; Donna Pierce, Fourth District Governor; and Buck Lewis, John Tarpley, Danny Van Horn and Gail Ashworth as TBA Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates. No candidates filed for a second West Grand Division Governor position, and the First and Fifth District positions. Those slots may be filled by the Board of Governors.

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Marion Co. Attorney, Former Lawmaker Howard Swafford Dies

Marion County attorney and former state representative Howard G. Swafford died yesterday (Feb. 4). He was 96. Swafford attended law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law after serving in World War II.  A Republican, he was elected to the state legislature in 1972, practiced law and won his last jury trial at age 92. He is survived by fellow lawyers, his wife Claude Galbreath Swafford; a son, Howard Graham Swafford Jr. of Jasper; a daughter, retired Magistrate Claudia Swafford Haltom and son-in-law, former Tennessee Bar Association President William Haltom, of Memphis. Visitation is Feb. 7 at 1 p.m., at the First Baptist Church of Jasper. The funeral will follow at 3 p.m. The family requests no flowers, but contributions may be made in Swafford’s honor to the First Baptist Church of Jasper, the Family Life Center Fund at McKendree Methodist Church of Jasper, and A Step Ahead Foundation of Memphis or Chattanooga. Read more about his life.

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Decision Due Soon on Balloting Choice

TBA members who choose to opt out of electronic voting and receive a paper ballot for the upcoming 2016 TBA election need to either indicate their presence on their online membership profile,  or provide written notice to TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur at 221 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219. This notice must be provided by Feb. 1. Candidates interested in filing for the 2016 elections need to file qualifying materials by Feb. 15. Voting will take place between March 1 and April 1.

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Attorneys Honored for Volunteer Work

The TBA honored a trio of Tennessee legal professionals Saturday, recognizing their volunteer service during the annual TBA Public Service Luncheon. Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper was the featured speaker. Winter storms kept the event from being held at the War Memorial Auditorium, but the crowd of about 70 still showed their appreciation to those recognized: Libby Sykes, the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year; Dave Yoder, the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year; and Sara Page, the Law Student Volunteer of the Year. Read more about them in the Tennessee Bar Journal, or see photos from the luncheon and other Leadership Conference activities.

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January Issue Explores Access to Justice

The January Journal puts its focus on Access to Justice — where we are in Tennessee and where we still need to go — as well as the history of the Tennessee Justice Center and an article about the needs of the self-represented litigant. Read about the honorees of the TBA’s Public Service Awards: Libby Sykes, Dave Yoder and Sara Page. President Bill Harbison points out that “thinking like a lawyer” includes pro bono work. Read the full issue here.

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Columns: Evolving Legal Markets, Robin Williams, Banking and Fred Thompson

In this issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal, TBA President Bill Harbison writes about the "disruptive changes" that are occurring in the delivery of legal services. Columnist Eddy Smith details the genius of Robin Williams' estate plan and Kathryn Reed Edge covers banking and the U.S. Supreme Court. In his column, Bill Haltom remembers Sen. Fred Thompson and his tremendous contributions to the law and history.

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Harbison, Rubenfeld Named 2015 Nashvillians of the Year

TBA President Bill Harbison and Nashville attorney Abby Rubenfeld have been named the 2015 Nashvillians of the Year by the Nashville Scene for their work in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case. The article details the unlikely team of Harbison, “the diplomat,” and Rubenfeld, “the warrior,” and the attorneys’ work preparing the historic case, which would determine that it is unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriages. “Rubenfeld and Harbison were just two of many players in one of the biggest civil rights cases of our time," author Kim Green writes. Harbison “speaks quietly and deliberately, with a studied diplomacy — he's quick to agree, or at least to see your point. Unruffled, dignified and warmly polite, he behaves as if he has time for you, even if he doesn't.” Rubenfeld, who is chair of the TBA's LGBT Section, reflects on why she chose the law: "Our constitution is a really beautiful and well-constructed document," she says. "But there's so much work to do to enforce it, and to make sure that it's applied equally to everyone.”

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Murfreesboro Paper Features Legacy of City Attorney

The Murfreesboro Post has a feature on city attorney Susan Emery McGannon as she prepares to retire from the post she has held for 14 years. McGannon, who attended law school only after her brother offered to pay for the entrance exam, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career. She helped form the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (TLAW), was the only women at the time to be invited to join the Tennessee Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education, and has served on the Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors. She will retire Nov. 1.

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Nashville Attorney Appointed to LaunchTN Board

Nashville attorney and TBA General Counsel Paul Ney was appointed to the LaunchTN board of directors by House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, the Nashville Ledger reports. Ney is a partner of Patterson Intellectual Property Law PC and previously served as director of the Nashville Davidson County Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development. Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in the state of Tennessee.

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TBA VP Pera to Chair ABA Coordinating Council

Memphis attorney and TBA vice president Lucian T. Pera of Adams and Reese was appointed to chair the Coordinating Council with the American Bar Association's Center for Professional Responsibility. The Center’s Coordinating Council oversees and directs legal and judicial ethical issues that come before the ABA’s policymaking body, the ABA House of Delegates and other national initiatives. Pera, a Vanderbilt University Law School graduate, is the immediate past treasurer of the ABA and a former member of its Board of Governors and Executive Committee.

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