News

OnlineTnJustice.org Hits 10,000 Questions

OnlineTn.justice.org, a website that allows low-income Tennesseans to seek free help with their civil legal problems, is celebrating 10,000 questions posted to the website and the more than 475 Tennessee volunteer lawyers registered to answer those questions. The innovative service, a joint project of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and the Tennessee Bar Association, is designed to make it easier for people in need to access legal help. It also provides lawyers a flexible option for doing pro bono work anywhere there is internet service. Based on the success of OnlineTnjustice.org, the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Public Service Committee recently voted to establish a national online legal advice platform using the Tennessee model.

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Pro Bono Work to be Honored at Memphis Reception

Celebrate the pro bono accomplishments of Memphis attorneys and law firms at a Pro Bono Reception Oct. 29 at Martin Tate Morrow & Marston. Special honorees are the law firms, governmental agencies and corporate legal departments who have sponsored the Saturday Legal Clinics. The event is sponsored by BankTennessee and The Marston Group. The law firm is located on the 10th floor of International Place, Tower II.  For more information, contact Cindy Ettingoff at Memphis Area Legal Services.

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Attorney of the Day Clinic Set for Memphis

Celebrate Pro Bono Month events continue with Memphis Area Legal Services’ (MALS) Attorney of the Day advice and counsel clinic set for Thursday afternoon. Co-sponsored by the Memphis Bar Association's Access to Justice Committee, the weekly clinic runs from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the D’Army Bailey Civil Courthouse, 140 Adams Ave. For more information or to volunteer, contact Cindy Ettingoff or visit the MALS website.

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Law Schools Host 4 Upcoming Pro Bono Events

Tennessee law schools are showing their support for Celebrate Pro Bono Month with a number of events planned over the next week. Three schools are holding virtual clinics using OnlineTNJustice (OTJ), a web-based resource for individuals seeking legal help. The Nashville School of Law goes first with a clinic this Wednesday. The University of Memphis School of Law follows with an event next Monday. Vanderbilt Law School will host the clinic next Tuesday. To volunteer, attorneys must register with OTJ and be licensed in Tennessee. At the end of the month, a two-day law student pro bono summit will take place at the Nashville School of Law. Sponsored by the TBA Access to Justice Committee, the Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission and law schools across the state, the Pro Bono & Public Interest Law School Summit will give law students an opportunity to gather with pro bono leaders to hear about recent developments in access to justice efforts. Get details on these and other events.

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2 Legal Aid Clinics Set for Oct. 27

Legal aid groups will hold two clinics on Oct. 27. The first, sponsored by Legal Aid of East Tennessee, will take place in Jonesborough from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Jonesborough Senior Center. The focus will be on estate planning. Contact Christy Harris for more information. The second is a general legal advice clinic in Jackson. That event will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Regional Inter-Faith Association. Contact Kathryn Tucker for details. See the full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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Save the Date for 2016 EJU Conference

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) announced today that it will hold its 2016 Equal Justice University (EJU) Conference at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro on Aug. 31 – Sept. 2. Learn more about the annual conference.

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Nashville Legal Clinic Set for Next Saturday

Celebrate Pro Bono Month events continue next week with a general legal advice clinic set for Saturday, Oct. 24, in Nashville. The clinic, sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands, will begin at 9 a.m. at the group’s downtown Nashville office. No appointments are needed. To volunteer, contact Lucinda Smith. See the full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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Events Set for Next Week Include 2 Legal Clinics

Events planned across the state for next week include two legal clinics. In Nashville, the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands partners with Nashville Bar Foundation Leadership Forum to hold a legal advice clinic at Casa Azafran on Thursday. Also that day, the Memphis Bar Association Young Lawyers Division partners with the Shelby County public defender to train lawyers on how to handle expungement and restoration of citizenship rights cases. Finally, on Friday, Legal Aid of East Tennessee will hold a pro se clinic in Kingsport. Get details on these and other Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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OnlineTNJustice Nearing 10K Questions Answered

The legal help website OnlineTNJustice is set to hit a major milestone this month with 10,000 questions answered by volunteer lawyers. A virtual celebration is planned to mark the moment. The more than 475 registered volunteers who answer legal questions on the site are being asked to share about their experiences and why they serve. Reflections can be sent to ssanchez@tals.org. Comments will be shared on social media and lawyers are encouraged to share their own posts as well as those posted by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) with the hashtag #OTJ10k. OnlineTNJustice.org is a joint project of TALS and the TBA. 

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7th Annual ‘Celebrate Pro Bono Month’ Underway

Tennessee lawyers offering free legal services across the state during October

NASHVILLE, Oct. 13, 2015 — October is “Celebrate Pro Bono Month” in Tennessee and lawyers across the state are joining in a nationwide effort to provide free legal services to those in need. The celebratory month also honors the good work performed by lawyers every day.

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Volunteers Needed for Nashville Legal Clinic

Volunteers are needed for Lipscomb’s legal clinic in Nashville on Oct. 20, 5:30 – 8 p.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 600 28th Ave. N. Attorneys will meet at 5:15 p.m. For more information, contact Randy Spivey at 615-966-2503.

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Predators Event and Pro Bono Awards Ceremony in Nashville

Two celebrations are planned for the coming weeks in Nashville during Celebrate Pro Bono Month. The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands invites all pro bono lawyers to enjoy a hockey game at the Nashville Predators Celebrate Pro Bono event on Oct. 20. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. before the game at 7 p.m. at the Bridgestone Arena on 501 Broadway. For more information, contact Lucinda Smith.

The Tennessee Supreme Court and Access to Justice Commission will hold its Pro Bono Awards Ceremony on Oct. 28, 5 p.m. at Belmont College of Law, 1900 Belmont Blvd. The commission will recognize attorneys and students who have completed at least 50 hours of pro bono service. Contact Christian Donaldson for more information. See a full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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LAET Attorney Stunned by Knoxville Family's Eviction

Attorney Terry Woods with Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) said she has never seen an eviction like the one that forced Lisa Love and her family out their Knoxville home, WATE reports. Love lost her home due to financial difficulties stemming from Love’s 2009 unemployment and disability application. LAET will host an Open Clinic and InterFaith Legal Advice Clinic in Knoxville during Celebrate Pro Bono Month on Oct. 24, 9:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the John Tarleton Gymnasium Helen Ross McNabb Center, 2455 Sutherland Ave. No appointments are necessary and Spanish-speaking interpreters will be available. Contact Woods for more information.

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Anderson County Juvenile Court Honored

Judge Brian J. Hunt and his staff of the Anderson County Juvenile Court were honored with the inaugural Community Award by the Legal Aid Society’s Oak Ridge office. “The Anderson County Juvenile Court pioneered the first ever Guardian ad litem project between a local juvenile court and Legal Aid Society,” said Janet Mynatt, managing attorney of Legal Aid Society’s Oak Ridge office. “With the court’s help, attorneys are able to identify and provide post-adjudication guardianship for children in the care of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services – some of our most vulnerable youth.”

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Share Your Celebrate Pro Bono Event Photos

Celebrate Pro Bono Month is underway with more than 50 events planned across the state of Tennessee. We have a complied an online list of events and volunteer opportunities. If you or your firm attend a Celebrate Pro Bono event, please share photos with us to help us promote the good work happening across the state during this initiative. Send photos to ttbatoday@tnbar.org or tweet them to us by tagging @TennesseeBar.

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Drugs, Pro Bono and Other Legal Topics Covered in This Issue

Jason R. Smith writes in this issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal about controlled drug purchases and the probable cause necessary to issue a search warrant. TBA President Bill Harbison tells about some of his pro bono heroes and -- thanks everyone who gives of their time to ensure access to justice for all. Columnist Monica Franklin covers changes in the CHOICES Group 3 Program, and Ward Phillips and Brandon Morrow write about a recent win for the Employment-at-Will doctrine. Humor columnist Bill Haltom warns about the “para-lawyers” who might be coming to a courtroom near you. Read the October issue.

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Volunteer Opportunities at Legal Clinics

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & The Cumberlands will hold its Third Tuesday Walk-in Clinic in Oak Ridge on Oct. 20 at 4:30 p.m. The Legal Aid Society’s Oak Ridge Office is located at 226 Broadway. For more information, including volunteer opportunities, contact Mary Lynn Goodman.

In Nashville, Operation Stand Down will hold its Legal Advice Clinic for veterans on Oct. 21, 2 p.m. at 1125 12th Ave. S. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 615-248-1981. To volunteer, contact Lucinda Smith.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee’s ongoing Thursday afternoon clinic will continue in Memphis during Celebrate Pro Bono Month on Oct. 15, 1:30 – 4 p.m. at the D’Army Bailey Civil Courthouse, Room 140. Contact Cindy Ettingoff for more information.

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Legal Clinics in Nashville and Chattanooga

Two legal clinics will be held next week in Nashville. Volunteers from Baker Donelson will offer civil legal advice with no appointment necessary at a walk-in clinic on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., 300 Deaderick St. Then on Oct. 17, volunteers will offer free legal advice at the Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) Legal Advice Clinic at MNPS EL Office, 616 Fessey Park Circle. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. Questions about these events can be directed to Lucinda Smith.

The Chattanooga Bar Association YLD Clinic is scheduled for Oct. 17, 9 a.m. at the Brainerd Recreation Center, 1010 North Moore Road. The event is sponsored by the Chattanooga Bar and Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET). Also in Chattanooga, the The Health Empowerment Clinic, sponsored by LAET, is scheduled for Oct. 20, 3 p.m. at Chattanooga CARES, 1000 East 3rd St., Suite 300. Appointments are required. Contact Charlie McDaniel for more information on these events.

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MALS Names New Director of Pro Bono Programs

Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc. (MALS) named Cindy Cole Ettingoff as its new Director of Pro Bono Programs. Before working at her own firm, Ettingoff was an attorney with Weintraub, Stock, Bennett, Ettingoff & Grisham. She also served as the staff attorney with the City of Memphis. “Cindy has a diverse legal background as a practicing attorney and a pro bono volunteer, but also has extensive involvements with bar associations at all levels and several local community based organizations,” Harrison D. McIver III, MALS executive director, said.

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Legal Clinics and Outreach Event

Several legal clinics will be held next week in Tennessee throughout Celebrate Pro Bono Month. The Bradley County Bar Association and Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will host a clinic on Oct. 13, 2 p.m. in Cleveland. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 423-756-4013, ext. 1113. Contact Charlie McDaniel for more information. LAET will also sponsor the Kingsport Bar Clinic on Oct. 15, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the United Steel Worker’s Building, 243 East Charlemont Ave. This clinic is open to the public. For more information, contact Christy Harris. Also on Oct. 15, Project Homeless Connect will hold a Civil Legal Clinic from 9 – 4 a.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 North Main St. in Memphis. To volunteer, contact Ann Fritz, 901-527-3575. The Higher Ground Worship Center Legal Advice Clinic, open to the public, will be held Oct. 17, 9 – 11 a.m. at 2424 Yearwood Ave. in Murfreesboro. The event is sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & The Cumberlands, Murfreesboro Office. Contact Andrae Crismon for more information. LAET will also hold an outreach event at the Carter County Community Fair on Oct. 16. 9 – 11 a.m. at the Elizabethon-Carter County Public Library, 201 North Sycamore St. Contact Christy Harris for more information.

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Emergency Pro Bono Assistance Needed

The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging is seeking emergency pro bono representation in a possible risk benefit suspension for Kentucky and West Virginia citizens. Many local attorneys have been working to protect these individuals’ rights and benefits, but need additional representation to assist them in obtaining evidence and to represent them before the Appeals Council. To date, 75 attorneys have volunteered to help. For more information, contact Mary Going, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund pro bono coordinator, 800-678-8525, ext.1315.

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JFON Volunteer Events Planned for Nashville

Several Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) events are planned in Nashville during October’s Celebrate Pro Bono Month. U Visa Training for Pro Bono Volunteers will be held Oct. 13, 1 – 4 p.m. at Casa Azafran, 2195 Nolensville Pike. Later that same day, the JFON Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour will be held at 4:30 p.m. at a location to be determined. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Training for Pro Bono Volunteers will be held Oct. 15, 1 – 2 p.m. at Casa Azafran. The DACA Legal Clinic is scheduled for 2 – 6 p.m. that same day at Hillcrest United Methodist Church, 5112 Raywood Lane. The U Visa Legal Clinic will be held Oct. 17, 9 a.m. – noon at Hillcrest United Methodist Church. Contact Wade Munday for more information regarding JFON events. See a full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events

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Free Thursday Afternoon Legal Clinic Continues in Memphis

Memphis Area Legal Services continues to host its free Thursday afternoon legal clinic throughout Celebrate Pro Bono Month. The clinic is held every Thursday from 1:30 – 4 p.m. at the D’Army Bailey Civil Court House, Room 140, 140 Adams Ave., in Memphis. Contact Cindy Ettingoff for more information.

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Pro Bono Celebrations Planned in Memphis, Chattanooga

The Memphis Bar Association, along with Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, will proclaim October as Pro Bono Month on Monday at 10:30 a.m. in the City Hall of Memphis, 125 N Main St. Contact Ann Fritz for more information. Later next week, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins will be featured at the Pro Bono Attorneys Hall of Fame Reception in Chattanooga, hosted by Legal Aid of East Tennessee. The event is planned for Oct. 15, 5 p.m. at 535 Chestnut St., Suite 360. For more information, contact Charlie McDaniel.

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LAET, Memphis Bar Association to Host Legal Clinics

The Legal Aid of East Tennessee will host two free legal clinics this week. A Juvenile Court Clinic in Chattanooga is planned for Oct. 8, 1 p.m. at the Juvenile Court, 1600 East 3rd St. For more information, contact Charlie McDaniel. The Tri-Cities Veteran’s Stand Down Event in Johnson City is open to all veterans Oct. 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 East Market St. Contact Christy Harris for more information.

The Memphis Bar Association Saturday Legal Clinic will be held Oct. 10, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Library, 3030 Poplar Ave. Volunteers can contact Anne Fritz, 901-527-3575. See the full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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