News

TJC Launches Charlie Warfield Fellowship

Friends and supporters gathered at the Tennessee Justice Center Wednesday to celebrate the establishment of the Charlie Warfield Fellowship. The fund, established with a generous challenge grant from Frank and Amy Garrison, will support a new lawyer to serve low-income adults with disabilities at the TJC. Additional contributions are being sought to ensure its future of the program. 

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Vanderbilt Honors Civil Rights Attorney George Barrett

Vanderbilt Law School’s Social Justice program was named in honor of Nashville civil rights attorney George E. Barrett, a 1957 graduate of the law school who passed away in 2014. The George Barrett Social Justice Program, established by a gift from Vanderbilt law graduate Darren Robbins, will support students pursuing social justice careers. “I am so grateful to Darren and so honored to be able to recognize George’s tremendous legacy. This is a fitting recognition of George’s lifelong dedication to the public interest," Chris Guthrie, Vanderbilt Law School dean, said. Barrett filed one of his most significant cases in 1968, Geier v. Tennessee, which resulted in the desegregation of Tennessee’s state universities.

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Church Will Become Courtroom, Offer Fugitives Second Chance

Non-violent fugitives who accept responsibility for their actions could appear before a judge and be sent home the same day at the upcoming Fugitive Safe Surrender event Sept. 18-19 in Nashville, Memphis Daily News reports. Galilee Missionary Baptist Church will be turned into a courtroom thanks to volunteers, but police say there are no religious requirements. "It is very important that Nashville's citizens understand that this is a genuine special one-time opportunity for wanted persons to stop looking over their shoulders and clear up outstanding arrest warrants," Chief Steve Anderson said in a statement.

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Legal Aid Society Receives 2 Major Grants

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands will receive more than $723,000 over the next three years thanks to two Tennsessee Office of Criminal Justice program grants. Money from a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant and a Service Training Officers Prosecution (STOP) grant will support victims advocacy and counsel at the Legal Aid Society. “The VOCA and STOP grants will help us address the breadth of a victim’s needs and provide legal assistance for matters pertaining to housing, education, immigration, access to benefits and more,” Gary Housepian, executive director of Legal Aid Society, said.

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Comments Sought on 'Plain Language' Forms

The Tennessee Supreme Court is soliciting comments on a number of proposed "plain language" forms and instructions for self-represented litigants to use in uncontested divorces with minor children. The forms were developed by the court's Access to Justice Commission, with input from judges, court clerks, legal aid organizations and others. Comments are due by Oct. 19. Read the order and forms here.

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Save the Date for Upcoming CASA Annual Meeting

The Tennessee CASA 2015 Annual Meeting is planned for Sept. 22, 10 – 11:30 a.m. at the Nashville Public Library located downtown. Watch for more information.

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Golf Tournament to Benefit Legal Aid

Daily and weekly passes can be purchased for the 2015 Knoxville Sentinel Open, planned for Aug. 17-23 at the Fox Den Country Club, to benefit Legal Aid of East Tennessee. Daily passes are $10; weekly passes are $25. Designate Legal Aid of East Tennessee at the bottom of your order form. Use this link for your purchase

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Lipscomb Legal Clinic Set for Aug. 18

Lipscomb University’s next legal clinic will be held Aug. 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 600 28th Ave. North, Nashville. For more information contact Randy Spivey with the school’s Institute for Law, Justice and Society at (615) 966-2503 or randy.spivey@lipscomb.edu.

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LAET Seeks Executive Director

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) seeks an executive director to lead this nonprofit law firm whose mission is to ensure justice for elderly, abused and low income individuals by providing a broad range of civil legal services. The position will be open because LAET’s longtime executive director David R. Yoder will retire Dec. 31. Deadline to apply is Sept. 11.

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EJU Registration Closes Next Wednesday

Registration for the 2015 Equal Justice University (EJU) conference will close next Wednesday. Attendees will hear from national speakers such as Eric Carlson, with Justice in Aging; the National Employment Law Project's Rebecca Dixon; Camille Holmes with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association; and Georgetown University law professor David Super. EJU is hosted by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association.

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Nashville School of Law Receives State Impact Award

The Nashville School of Law recently received a 2015 State Impact Award from Habitat for Humanity for its community partnership with the group. A legal clinic at the school helps Habitat families with legal documents and problems. State Rep. John Ryan presented the award to Dean William Koch and professor John Lewis, who coordinates the clinic. See a photo from Habitat for Humanity or read more about the Habitat clinic.

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LSC Seeks Grant Proposals for Veterans Pro Bono Program

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is currently soliciting proposals for competitive grants under the Veterans Pro Bono Program. LSC seeks proposals from non-profit organizations that provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals or the provision of free services to veterans and from private attorneys or law firms that seek to establish such a non-profit for these purposes. Applicants must submit a Notice of Intent to Compete by email by Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

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National Bar Leaders Learn About OnlineTNJustice.org

Former TBA President Buck Lewis today told attendees at the 2015 National Conference of Bar Presidents about the OnlineTNJustice (OTJ) program that uses technology to help deliver legal services. The platform was developed in Tennessee and has been adopted by several other states. The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service is working to implement a national version. See photos from the event.

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OnlineTnJustice.org Featured at National Bar Presidents Conference

(CHICAGO, July 30, 2015) — Former TBA President Buck Lewis (below) tells attendees at the 2015 National Conference of Bar Presidents about the OnlineTNJustice (OTJ) program that uses technology to help deliver legal services. The platform has been adopted in several other states and the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service is working to implement a national version of OTJ.

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2015 Access to Justice Award Winners Announced

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Service (TALS) today announced the recipients of its 2015 Access to Justice Awards. The recipients will be honored on Sept. 2 in conjunction with the Equal Justice University Conference. David Yoder with Legal Aid of East Tennessee will receive the Janice M. Holder Award for his contributions to increasing access to justice in Tennessee, especially in the areas of domestic violence advocacy and medical legal partnerships. Lenny Croce with Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands will receive the B. Riney Green Award for his collaborative efforts to promote law reform for the protection of low income Tennesseans. And Robert Downs with Legal Aid of East Tennessee will receive the New Advocate of the Year Award for his creative and effective advocacy efforts on behalf of domestic violence victims in the Knoxville area.

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NALS Silent Auction Raises $4,700 for Legal Aid

The Nashville Chapter of NALS raised more than $4,700 in proceeds for the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands during its third annual NALS After Hours Silent Auction held July 16. “We are thrilled with the auction’s success and are thankful for the generosity of NALS, local businesses and the auction attendees,” said Gary Housepian, Legal Aid Society’s executive director

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Bar Foundation Grant Deadline is Aug. 31

A news item in yesterday’s issue of TBA Today had the wrong date for the Memphis Bar Foundation’s deadline for a law-related grant program. Applications are due by Aug. 31. The grant funds programs and projects that advocate and support public awareness of the legal profession, promote social justice, promote legal education, and recognize professionalism among members of the bar. Applications are available on the MBA's website or by contacting MBA Executive Director Anne Fritz at (901) 527-3575.

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Apply Now for Memphis Bar Foundation Grants

The Memphis Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Memphis Bar Association, is now accepting grant applications for law-related programs and projects that fall within its mission, including those that advocate and support public awareness of the legal profession; promote social justice; promote legal education; and recognize professionalism among members of the bar. Applications are available on the MBA's website  or by contacting Anne Fritz  at (901) 527-3575. The deadline for submitting a grant application is 5 p.m. Central on Aug. 31.

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Services for Guess Set for This Week

Visitation for Francis Scott Guess will take place Tuesday from 2 to 6 p.m. at Lewis and Wright Funeral Home and on Wednesday from 11 a.m to 12:30 p.m. at the Music City Center, followed by funeral services from 12:30 to 2 p.m. The Tennessean has details.

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AOC Seeking Wilson County Attorneys Interested in Indigent Representation

The AOC is seeking Wilson County attorneys who are interested in contracting with the AOC to represent indigent litigants, including respondents facing involuntary emergency judicial hospitalization. Judges will continue to have the discretion to assign attorneys, but only attorneys who have agreed to the contract terms will receive appointments. For more information, contact David Byrne, 615-741-2687.

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Harbison to Address 2015 Equal Justice University

TBA President Bill Harbison will be among Tennessee leaders speaking to attendees at this year’s Equal Justice University, set for Sept. 2-4 in Murfreesboro. Harbison, who was part of a team that challenged Tennessee law on marriage equality, will provide an update on legal issues in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same sex marriage across the country. He also will speak at the Leadership Lunch. Other prominent Tennesseans scheduled to address the conference are Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby and Department of Human Services Commissioner Dr. Raquel Hatter.

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Bernstein to be Honored at LAET Pro Bono Event

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will host its Annual Celebrate Pro Bono event next Tuesday at the Square Room in Knoxville’s Market Square. The group will celebrate local attorneys who have donated time and legal services during the past year and present awards for Law Student of the Year, Pro Bono Advocate, Pro Bono Partner and Law Firm of the Year. The group also will induct Knoxville lawyer Bernard E. Bernstein into the Donald F. Paine Memorial Pro Bono Hall of Fame. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online.

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Nashville Lawyer to Donate Book Proceeds to Local Nonprofits

Nashville lawyer Randy Kinnard with Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge will donate proceeds from his book, Respect: Through the Eyes of Children, to the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee and Nashville CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), LAS announced. Released last fall, the book is a collection of essays written by local students illustrating the definition of respect from a youth’s perspective.

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TJC Elects New Board Officers

The Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) has appointed eight new board members: Ronette Adams-Taylor, associate general counsel at Meharry Medical College; Mark Behr, professor of English Literature and Fiction Writing at Rhodes College; Marvin Berry Jr., motivational speaker and former TJC client; Nashville lawyer Robb Bigelow; Terri Lynn Casola, litigation paralegal and former TJC client; Justice Janice Holder, former chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court; Brad Morgan, associate director for the Institute for Professional Leadership at the University of Tennessee College of Law; and Jerry Taylor, attorney and partner at Burr & Forman LLP. The TJC also announced its new board chair, Mike Abelow, an attorney at Sherrard & Roe PLC.

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NALS Silent Auction to Benefit Legal Aid

NALS will host its third annual After Hours Silent Auction Thursday at 5:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, the state’s largest non-profit law firm. Attendees will have the chance to bid on donated items such as massages, gift certificates, hotel stays and more.

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