March 2016 - Vol. 52, No. 3

Remembering Justice Scalia

News came this past weekend that Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly while visiting a ranch resort in Texas. I began to get calls and emails on Saturday afternoon, and the sad news dominated the news coverage for the rest of the weekend. There is no doubt that Justice Scalia’s death is a huge event in the legal community. I offer a few observations about this provocative and controversial person.

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On the Record

Best Practices for Using Depositions at Trial

The law favors the presentation of live witness testimony at trial. Just because a party takes a deposition does not mean it can be used at trial, and even if it can be used it may be only for limited purposes, or under certain circumstances. The purpose of this article is to discuss the many ways that depositions can be used in the trial of a civil case, including uses for proof, impeachment, to refresh recollection, with unavailable witnesses, experts, adverse parties, for completeness and offers of proof.

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Significant Appeals Board Opinions: 2014-2015

Virtually every opinion bears some new nugget of law, and therefore practitioners should read and familiarize themselves with all of them. Looking back, however, these are some of the weightiest and most frequently cited.

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The New Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims

A Primer

On July 1, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims was born. About a month later, the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board opened its doors. Our courts were part of a historic change in the law: Tennessee joined 48 other states in their approach to workers’ compensation claims. Going forward, state trial courts with general jurisdiction would no longer decide workers’ compensation cases, but rather, specialized courts devoted exclusively to workers’ compensation would resolve them.

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Success!

Maureen T. Holland was awarded the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award for outstanding achievement in the legal profession by The Association for Women Attorneys in January. Her daughter Yvette Holland helped celebrate during the 36th annual Banquet and Silent Auction in Memphis. At the event, the group also honored two women close to the AWA who died recently: attorney Mary Wolff and University of Memphis law professor Janet Richards. The 2016 AWA board officers and committee chairs were also inducted.

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Ask the TBA Membership Maven

Dear Maven,
Another lawyer here in town said she used office space at the Tennessee Bar Center when she was in Nashville for a client meeting. How can I get in on a deal like that? Was this just a special favor to her or can any TBA member like me have a place for meetings in Nashville?
Signed,
In the Dark

Dear Mr. Dark,
I’m glad you asked and I’m happy to enlighten you! This is one of those membership benefits that is not so well known, but I aim to fix that. Here’s the scoop.

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Classifieds

SERVICES

CERTIFIED FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINER
Tennessee’s only full-time ABFDE-certified full-time document examiner. Formerly with U.S. Postal Inspection Service Crime Laboratory. Certified by American Board of Forensic Document Examiners. American Society of Questioned Document Examiners. Substantial civil, criminal and trial experience. Thomas Vastrick, 6025 Stage Road, Suite 42-182, Memphis, TN 38134; (901) 383-9282.

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Public Records as Evidence in Criminal Cases

The hearsay exception for public records could win the prize for the most underutilized evidence rule in criminal cases. Rule 803(8) is also a rule where the differences between the state and federal rule could change the outcome. In criminal cases, both the state and federal versions of the rule allow prosecutors and defense counsel to offer a variety of records created by an agency for the truth of the matters asserted in the records.

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The Triumph and Tragedy of Earl Rogers

He was a new kind of criminal defense lawyer: daring, flamboyant, creative and ready to use forensic evidence, visual aids and reenactments like never before. He moved criminal trials into the modern age. His tactics (some said “tricks”) were shocking yet effective. He appeared for the defense in almost 100 murder cases. He lost only three, and only one client was executed. He made the practice of criminal law exciting and attractive. Young lawyers rushed to handle criminal cases. He was who Clarence Darrow hired when he needed a lawyer.

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