News

You Need to Know

Ethics Opinion: Guidance for Lawyers Who Change Firms

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released guidance Dec. 4 on the ethical obligations for lawyers when they change firms. Formal Opinion 489 acknowledges that a lawyer has the right to switch firms and notes that ethics rules do not allow non-competition clauses in partnership, member, shareholder or employment agreements.

When a lawyer gives notice, the formal opinion suggests the lawyer and the firm develop a plan that is orderly, flexible and “protects client interests during the lawyer’s transition.”

read more »

You Need to Know

Twelve Tennessee lawyers were sworn in Nov. 4 to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. TBA Past President Jason Pannu was on hand to move the admission of the group, which also included TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson and TBA President Sarah Sheppeard. The group arrived in D.C. Sunday afternoon for a reception at the historic Hay-Adams Hotel, and following the morning’s ceremony, heard oral arguments in Barton v. Barr and Kansas v. Glover. They later enjoyed a tour of the Capitol conducted by staff from Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s office. The events were part of the TBA Academy, an annual program.

read more »

You Need to Know

For the Record

13th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Wesley Bray was sworn into office by Gov. Bill Lee in September at the Putnam County Courthouse. He replaces longtime judge David Patterson, who retired this summer. The 13th Judicial District covers Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White counties.

read more »

You Need to Know

For the Record

Three Tennessee attorneys were honored at the Equal Justice University Awards Dinner. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins and Legal Aid of East Tennessee Executive Director Sheri Fox joined with honorees Jeannie Kosciolek, Lucy Boateng and Benjamin Danforth at the program.

read more »

You Need to Know

For the Record

TBA Board approves bylaws change to accommodate new benefits

The TBA Board of Governors voted on proposed revisions to the organization’s bylaws after a 21-day period for members to review the proposal. The vote took place in late August. One of the revisions creates a category of nonvoting, law firm, employer-level membership. Any law firm in which 100 percent of its Tennessee-based attorneys are members of the TBA will be eligible to become a law firm member of the association under rules established by the Board of Governors.
The bylaws change will accommodate future benefits including a new health insurance plan that the TBA would like to offer its members this fall. The future health plan will offer coverage to a variety of employer members including solo practitioners with at least one qualifying W-2 employee.

read more »

You Need to Know

Opioid Task Force Report Shows Impact on Legal Aid Organizations

Legal Services Corporation released its Opioid Task Force Report this summer at the Tennessee Supreme Court in Nashville. The report provides background on the opioid epidemic and addresses the intersection of civil legal aid and the need for coordinated responses to this crisis. Speakers included Chief Justice Jeff Bivins and Tennessee Courts Director Deborah Taylor Tate. Tate served as a member of the LSC task force and is the co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force.

read more »

You Need to Know

Bar Foundation Awards More Than $1.1 Million

The Tennessee Bar Foundation has awarded $1,122,735, from the Tennessee Legal Initiatives Fund (TLIF) intended to be used to “extend the capacity of organizations to break the cycle of poverty and the barriers to justice by using civil legal aid and education to increase productivity and success for vulnerable populations.”

read more »

You Need to Know

Leaders from Tennessee’s legal community gathered at the Equal Justice Conference in Louisville in May. Among those organizations represented at the event were the TBA Access to Justice Committee, Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Memphis Area Legal Services and West Tennessee Legal Services.

read more »

You Need to Know

TBA Delegation Visits Capitol Hill for Lobbying Event

A delegation of eight lawyers from Tennessee met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., in April for “ABA Day on the Hill.” U.S. Rep. David Kustoff met with TBA President Jason Pannu, President-elect Sarah Sheppeard and other members of the group. They also met with Reps. Scott DesJarlais, Steve Cohen and Tim Burchett, and Senators Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander. Main topics were increased funding for the Legal Services Corporation and maintaining the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

read more »

You Need to Know

TBA OFFERS WEEKLY LEGISLATIVE UPDATES VIA LIVESTREAM, TBATODAY

The Tennessee Bar Association launched a series of weekly legislative video updates in February, which are livestreamed most Thursdays via Facebook while the Tennessee General Assembly is in session. Also available are weekly round-ups of bills from the previous week impacting the legal community each Friday in TBAToday.

read more »