News

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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Legal Aid, Upper Cumberland and TBA Young Lawyers to Hold Clinic

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands (LAS) will hold a free legal clinic next Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cookeville LAS office, 9 South Jefferson Ave., Suite 102. Clinic co-sponsors include the TBA Young Lawyers Division and the Upper Cumberland Young Lawyers Association. The clinic is open to low-income residents of the Upper Cumberland region and no appointment is necessary. For more information, contact Cookeville legal aid lawyer and TBA YLD President Rachel Moses, (931) 528-7436. See the full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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Hamilton County Sees Mentors Certified for Veterans Court

Hamilton County is a step closer to having a Veterans’ Treatment Court, according to News Channel 9. Chattanooga City Councilman Chip Henderson and four others are the first in the county to become certified mentors. The group traveled to Memphis this week for a two-day training session through the organization Justice for Vets. A judge has not yet been selected for the court but several reportedly have expressed interest.

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Weekend Clinics Planned for Oct. 3, 10

Celebrate Pro Bono Month events are planned for the next two weekends in Knoxville and Memphis. Legal Aid of East Tennessee will hold a legal advice clinic Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at its Knoxville office. Call (865) 637-0484 to learn more. On Oct. 10, the TBA Young Lawyers Division will host a Wills for Heroes Clinic in Memphis. Contact Chasity Grice, (901) 761-3140, to get involved. See the full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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October Issue Features Justice Wade's New Role

Learn about Justice Gary Wade as he leaves the Tennessee Supreme Court to take the helm as dean of the Duncan School of Law at Lincoln Memorial University in the October issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. It is CELEBRATE PRO BONO MONTH and for that author Russell Fowler looks at one former U.S. president who came back as a senior lawyer in a heroic way, representing the Africans aboard the Amistad in 1839.

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2015 Celebrate Pro Bono Month Resources

The 2015 Celebrate Pro Bono Initiative is in full swing with more than 50 events planned across the state during the month of October. Tennessee lawyers help thousands of clients throughout the year by providing free legal advice, but this assistance is especially celebrated and emphasized during the month of October as part of a nationwide celebration. Now in its seventh year, the Tennessee 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. A summary of events is posted online and will be updated throughout the month.

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Free Clinics, Fundraiser Among Events This Week

Tennessee’s 2015 Celebrate Pro Bono Month kicks off tomorrow with five events, including three legal advice clinics and a fundraiser for the Community Legal Center in Memphis. Events continue on Friday with a legal clinic in Knoxville and a Wills for Heroes clinic sponsored by the TBA Young Lawyers Division in Nashville. See the full list of Celebrate Pro Bono Month events.

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Apply Now for Supreme Court’s Pro Bono Recognition Program

The Tennessee Supreme Court has extended the deadline for its annual Pro Bono Recognition Program through Nov. 30. Lawyers and law students who completed at least 50 hours of pro bono in calendar year 2014 may apply to be recognized for their service. Those who meet the goal will be named “Attorney for Justice” and “Law Student for Justice” by the court and will be honored at regional events across the state. Law offices are also eligible to be recognized for pro bono work done by their attorneys. Learn more about the process for firm recognition.

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New White House Panel Could Increase Legal Aid in Tennessee

A new White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable, established last week by President Barack Obama, will bring together 20 federal agencies that will work to increase access to civil legal services for low income individuals. "Gaps in the availability of legal aid...for America's poor and middle class threaten to undermine the promise of justice for all and constitute a crisis worthy of action by the federal government," Obama said in creating the roundtable. According to a press release from Legal Aid of East Tennessee, just 10 percent of those who qualify for services are helped in that region due to limited funding. The agency expressed optimism that the presidential action could mean more resources for the state.

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Volunteers Needed For Civil Law Legal Clinic in Memphis

Lawyer volunteers are needed for the free Incarcerated Civil Law Legal Clinic, Sept. 26, 8 a.m - noon at the Shelby County Jail, 201 Poplar Ave. in Memphis. The clinic will offer free legal advice on veteran issues, divorce, bankruptcy and more for the incarcerated and those who cannot afford legal fees.

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LAET to Host Tenants' Rights Workshop in Spanish

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) will host a free “Tenants’ Rights and Obligations Workshop” for Spanish-speaking residents Oct. 5, 7 p.m. at the Blount County Public Library. Legal topics to be addressed include the eviction process, repairs to property and detainer court. For more information, contact LAET’s Maryville office at 865-981-1818, ext. 1600.

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Tennessee Attorneys' Pro Bono Efforts on the Rise

The number of pro bono hours volunteered by Tennessee attorneys went up by nearly 3,000 in the last reporting year, according to the annual report by the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission featured in The Chattanoogan. "Tennessee attorneys continue to respond to the need for free legal assistance,” said Doug Blaze, chairman of the Commission. About 40 percent of all lawyers completed the voluntary filing -- fewer than the year before -- but those who did report gave an average of more than 78 hours in one year, an increase of nearly 6 percent. Read the full report.

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