News

Lipscomb Plans 2nd Legal Clinic

The Institute for Law, Justice and Society at Lipscomb University is planning its second free community legal clinic Nov. 4 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 324 of the Burton Health Sciences Building. An additional six volunteer attorneys are needed. Please email Randy Spivey, academic director of the institute, or call him at (615) 966-2503 for more information or to sign up to help.

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Legal Aid Attorney Honored with Reception

The Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence recently honored Legal Aid attorney and domestic violence prevention advocate Jean Crowe. Crowe retired in September after 28 years of service in the Nashville office of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. Her nearly three decades with Legal Aid included 15 years as managing attorney of the Family Law Section, where she crafted a program centered on holistic advocacy and helping clients become self-sufficient. See photos from the event.

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Saturday's 'Race for Grace’ to Benefit MALS

One of the last events of this year’s Celebrate Pro Bono Month will be Saturday in Memphis. The 2014 Race for Grace 5K benefits a range of organizations but runners may pick Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) on the registration form as their charity of choice. The race starts at 9 a.m. Runners should be there by 8:30 a.m. Register online or contact Shayla Purifoy at spurifoy@malsi.org with any questions.

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LAET Chattanooga Offers 2 Free Programs

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will offer two free CLE programs next week at its Chattanooga office. LAET will present a one-hour CLE on the Affordable Care Act Tuesday at 2 p.m. The three-hour CLE program “Top 10 Chancery Practice Principles” will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m.

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TJC Recruiting Pro Bono Attorneys with Program

The Tennessee Justice Center will present a free one-hour CLE on the Affordable Care Act at the University of Tennessee College of Law next Wednesday at noon. Attorneys will be asked to take one pro bono referral after completing the class. For more information, visit the TJC website or call (615} 255-0331.

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Jean Crowe Honored for Service

Legal Aid attorney retires after long and influential career

The Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence honored Legal Aid attorney and domestic violence prevention advocate Jean Crowe at a recent reception. Crowe retired this September after 28 years of service in the Nashville office of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.

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Memphis Pro Bono Celebration Set for Oct. 29

Lawyers in Memphis will honor outstanding pro bono volunteers during a Pro Bono Reception and Celebration next Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event, which will take place at Butler Snow, is hosted by the Memphis Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee, Memphis Area Legal Services and the Community Legal Center. Email Mary Lynes or call (901) 271-0660 to RSVP. Learn more about this and other Celebrate Pro Bono events across the state.

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2 CLEs Offered Next Week as Enticement for Pro Bono Work

Celebrate Pro Bono month continues next week with two free CLEs for those who agree to take a case from their local legal aid office. Elvis Law: The State and Federal Cases Dealing with the King of Rock & Roll will be presented in Jackson on Oct. 21 and in Chattanooga on Oct. 24. Learn more about these events and others across the state on the TBA website.

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Miller & Martin Adopts New Model For Pro Bono

Miller & Martin PLLC will become the first Chattanooga firm to adopt the Pillar Law Firm Model for its pro bono efforts. Working with Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET), Miller & Martin has chosen to designate housing as its area of focus for pro bono activities, becoming Legal Aid’s main resource for cases in that practice area. “This model will serve as a way of streamlining our work in coordinating pro bono cases with the right firms for those in need in our area,” said Charlie McDaniel, Pro Bono Project Director at LAET.

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Tishler to Lead Legal Aid Fundraising Campaign

Waller partner and chair John Tishler will serve as 2014 campaign chair for the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands’ Campaign for Equal Justice. “He is a strategic and business-savvy lawyer who is talented at motivating people,” Legal Aid Executive Director Gary Housepian said in announcing Tishler’s appointment. “His selfless attitude and manner are a perfect fit for the committee, and he has already shown his commitment to the campaign.” Learn more about the campaign and see a full list of the campaign committee.

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Tishler to Lead Legal Aid Society Fundraising Campaign

From the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands

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LAET Hosts 2 Open-Door Rural Clinics Friday

Legal Aid of East Tennessee will host two Open-Door Rural Intake And Advice Clinics this Friday. One clinic will be held in Madisonville at the Monroe County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. The clinic in Athens will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the McMinn County Courthouse. For more information, contact Charlie McDaniel or visit www.laet.org/pro-bono.aspx

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Access to Justice Lawyers Learn, Network at EJU

More than 200 lawyers, law students and other advocates gathered for the 2013 Equal Justice University (EJU) in Nashville. EJU is the annual conference for Tennessee’s Access to Justice community and provides an  opportunity for continuing education as well as networking through task force meetings and social functions. The Equal Justice University conference is hosted by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association. Speakers at the 2013 EJU included Chief Justice Gary R. Wade, Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and TBA President Cindy Wyrick.

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Government Shut Down Hits Non Profit Groups

The government shut down is making it harder for Legal Aid of East Tennessee to serve East Tennesseans in need, Knoxville television station WBIR reports. "The poverty population has increased dramatically and our resources have decreased," Executive Director Dave Yoder told the station. "We rely heavily on federal funding -- legal services corporation, Department of Justice, Housing and Urban Development." In addition to the immediate problems, the group reports it has lost more than $1.3 million in funding in the last three years and now only serves 10 percent of those in need. Read more from the report.

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Equal Justice University Offers Education, Networking

More than 200 lawyers, law students and other advocates gathered for the 2013 Equal Justice University (EJU) in Nashville. EJU is the annual conference for Tennessee’s Access to Justice community and provides a unique opportunity for continuing education as well as networking through task force meetings and social functions.

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Pro Bono Month Continues with 6 Events This Week

Six events will take place across the state this week as part of Celebrate Pro Bono Month. Among them is an Operation Stand Down Clinic in Nashville for veterans with civil and criminal legal issues, and a Pro Bono Attorneys Hall of Fame Reception in Chattanooga. The veterans clinic will be held on Wednesday at the Operation Stand Down offices. The reception will be held Thursday at 5 p.m. at Legal Aid of East Tennessee. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade will speak at the event. Get details for these and other events.

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Pro Bono Month Continues with 3 Memphis Events Saturday

While Celebrate Pro Bono events are taking place across the state this week, Memphis lawyers are preparing for three activities on Saturday. The day begins with a Wills for Heroes clinic organized by the TBA Young Lawyers Division to provide free wills and powers of attorney to first responders and their families. Additional volunteers are needed, especially for the afternoon shift. Email Joann Coston-Holloway or call her at (901) 577-8223 to get involved. From 10 a.m. to noon, the Memphis Bar Association and Memphis Area Legal Services will host a clinic to help members of the public with civil legal issues. From noon to 2 p.m., the University of Memphis Student Bar Association will host a pro bono picnic and celebration. All events take place at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. Learn more about these and all Celebrate Pro Bono events on the TBA website.

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Private Firm Hopes to Take Over City's Indigent Cases

The city of Philadelphia plans to retain a private law firm to handle all court-appointed defense work for indigent individuals at an expected savings of $1 million annually, ABAJournal.com reports. The issue is hotly contested, however, pitting the city and a lawyer expected to win the $9.5 million yearly contract against those who currently handle the overflow of up to 27,000 cases annually.

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Lawyers, Judges Testify That Shutdown Hurting Legal System

A panel of lawyers spoke today before the House Judiciary Committee about the effects of the shutdown on the judiciary and access to justice. The judiciary, already grappling with budget cuts from earlier this year, will find it more difficult to cope if the shutdown continues, the Blog of Legal Times reports. There will be more delays in court proceedings and further demoralization of attorneys and other employees who have made sacrifices under the sequester. A.J. Kramer, the federal public defender for the District of Columbia, said he expects to see public defenders file motions to force funding or to dismiss cases because of the lack of funding, citing U.S. Supreme Court case law saying defendants have a right to the services needed to present a defense. Robert Kengle, co-director of the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, also warned that the shutdown could have  long-term effects on the enforcement of voting rights laws.

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Law Firm to Host Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program Oct. 18

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC will host the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program — a training opportunity for pro bono attorneys interested in handling veterans’ claims. The event will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on Oct. 18 at the firm's Nashville office, located at 211 Commerce St. Live webinar locations are also available.

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'Father of Pro Bono' Featured for Pro Bono Month

October is Pro Bono Month, a good time to learn about one of Tennessee's "fathers of pro bono," Pleasant Miller. Read about him and his 19th century colleagues in this Tennessee Bar Journal article by Legal Aid of East Tennessee's Russell Fowler. Don't miss TBA President Cindy Wyrick's column, in which she dreams big about her hope for the profession.

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Leaving Big Law Doesn't Have to Mean Leaving Pro Bono

In a blog post for Public Counsel, Sarah Luppen reflects on her positive experiences working with pro bono cases while employed at a Vault Law 100 firm. Her subsequent move to a smaller firm led to a decrease in the number of pro bono cases she took on due to a lack of firm support. In honor of National Pro Bono week Oct. 21-26, Luppen will blog about getting back into pro bono work and non-traditional pro-bono opportunities that fit small-firm and in-house lawyers’ needs.

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LAET To Host Open Door Rural Clinics Oct. 3&4

Legal Aid of East Tennessee will host four Open-Door Rural Intake and Advice Clinics in rural areas of the state this Thursday and Friday. The Oct. 3 clinics will be held in Dunlap at the Sequatchie County Justice Center at 9 a.m. Central and Pikeville at the Beldsoe County Courthouse at 12:30 p.m. On Oct. 4, the events will take place in Jasper at the Marion County Justice Center at 1 p.m. and in Cleveland at the Blythe Center at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Pro Bono Project Director Charlie McDaniel or visit the Celebrate Pro Bono website.

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Celebrate Pro Bono Brings Help to Tennesseans in October

Tennessee lawyers will offer free legal services to those unable to afford a lawyer throughout the month of October as part of the Celebrate Pro Bono initiative. Now in its fifth year, the initiative brings together bar associations, law schools, law firms, legal services providers and individual lawyers to provide needed services, increase awareness about the justice gap and celebrate the good work of Tennessee lawyers. More than 60 events -- with more to come -- are planned across the state. Visit the Access to Justice Committee's Celebrate Pro Bono page to download event information.

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Celebrate Pro Bono Kicks off Tuesday

Celebrate Pro Bono Month kicks off this week, bringing attention to the thousands of hours of free legal advice Tennessee lawyers provide every year. Now in its fifth year, the Tennessee Bar Association’s Celebrate Pro Bono Initiative brings together bar associations, law schools, law firms, legal services providers and individual lawyers to offer free services to those unable to afford a lawyer. This year's celebration is expected to involve more than 300 volunteers -- including lawyers, law students, paralegals and language interpreters -- in more than 60 events and activities across the state. The effort is also a part of a national pro bono campaign.

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