Vol 55 No 6

Social Security Benefits: Strategies for Divorcing Spouses

Family law attorneys should anticipate and plan for the impact that divorce will have on their clients’ Social Security benefits, a key source of retirement income for most people. Although more retirement options are available to married couples, important choices are also available to single and divorced individuals.

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Tennessee’s ‘Free and Untrammeled Judiciary’

The Turmoil over the Carmack Murder Case

Because of their indispensable duty to expound the law and resolve disputes, courts cannot avoid controversy. Therefore, throughout history Tennessee’s judiciary has had to overcome many challenges and unwarranted attacks. One of its greatest challenges was occasioned by the death of Edward Ward Carmack, a Tennessee political powerhouse of the early 20th century.

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TBJ's 3rd Annual Fiction Contest Winner: The Mistrial

“We’ll dynamite ‘em!” he said as he pounded his fist on his desk. His green banker’s lamp shook, and the Tennessee Code shelved neatly behind him seemed to shudder. He placed his right index finger into his pattern jury instruction book to save the charge he wanted and quickly rose from his mahogany swivel chair.

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New Statute: Anti-bullying Policy Creates Immunity for Workplace Emotional Distress Claims

Over the last several years, the topic of “bullying” has become more prevalent in our society and has inevitably warranted increased attention in the workplace.  “Bullying” — or mental anguish or emotional distress as it is defined by the courts — has thus been a recent topic of discussion for employment law practitioners.

What steps can employers take to minimize this behavior in the workplace? And what liability does an employer face for the behavior of its employees?

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Health Care Directives for Seniors

In our February 2019 column we asked, “Are you drafting Powers of Attorney for financial decisions with language that is different for seniors than the ones you draft for younger clients?” Now we’re asking you the same question regarding Health Care Directives. In the hope that people will use some type of substituted decision-making authority for medical decisions, Tennessee now recognizes seven different ways that this can be done. Drafting a document that is tailored to your client, and that will be accepted by health care providers, will hopefully result in the most appropriate care for that client.

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Book Review: Jocie

Jocie Wurzburg is a self-confessed Southern, Jewish American Princess, Civil Rights Activist.  However, those labels only scratch the surface.  This is the story of how a Jewish homemaker in Memphis, Tennessee, stepped forward at a pivotal point in the history of the Civil Rights Movement – making all the difference.

With great candor, Jocie tells her life story, never shirking from truth, regret or self-reproach.  As the author states:  “This is not a sad story of loss and sacrifice, although there was a lot of that and death in various forms.”  What the reader will find is an entertaining voyage of discovery.  Discovery of one’s worth, the worth of others and the worth of committing ourselves to the improvement of the community in which we live.  This is the life of Jocie Wurzburg.

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A Different Kind of Legal Writing

If you got to the back of this magazine without noticing that we have a piece of fiction in this issue, flip back to page 16 in a minute and read our 3rd Annual Fiction Contest’s winning entry. As a nod to that and lawyers who read fiction or dabble in fiction writing, let’s look at some who have made that leap. 

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Closing Time

Serving as the president of the Tennessee Bar Association has been the thrill of my career so far, but it has also been a tremendous responsibility. The TBA is truly a remarkable organization, for which I take none of the credit. We have excellent relationships with the Court, law schools, rural bar associations, metro bar associations, our legislature and many other organizations.

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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.

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Licensure & Dicipline


The Tennessee Supreme Court transferred the law license of Shelby County lawyer J. Lester Crain to disability inactive status on April 18. Crain may not practice law while on inactive status. He may return to the practice of law after reinstatement, which requires a showing of clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit to resume the practice of law.

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