News

4 Ways to Outsmart Your Smartphone

Tchiki Davis, author of “Outsmart Your Smartphone Technology,” writes that our smartphones and other devices have given us access to “near-infinite amounts of information, tools to help us increase productivity, and even ways to socialize,” but questions whether they have they made us happier. While the answer to that question is complicated, she suggests four tips for building happiness in the digital age: (1) stay in the present moment, (2) make meaningful connections, (3) learn how to manage emotions without your phone, and (4) be authentic both on- and offline. Read more about her tips.

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January TBA BarBuzz Podcast Now Streaming

This month's episode of the TBA BarBuzz podcast is now available. BarBuzz is a monthly show from the TBA Podcast Network that recaps legal happenings from across Tennessee, upcoming events at the bar, attorney shout outs and more. Other shows in the network include Sidebar, a podcast featuring human interest stories from Tennessee attorneys, HealthyBar, which focuses on attorney well being, and TBA YLD Presents: War Stories. All shows are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA's website. Simply search the show's title or "Tennessee Bar Association" wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Estate Planning & Probate Forum 2020

The TBA’s highly regarded Estate Planning & Probate Forum will return to the Embassy Suites Cool Springs on Friday, Feb. 21. This annual staple for planning professionals will feature best practices and tips regarding timely topics such as:
 
  • Practical will and trust drafting, including basic forms
  • A panel discussion regarding administration of trusts
  • Testimonials regarding probate litigation and will contests
  • What Tennessee has done to to become a top trust jurisdiction
  • A probate panel with representatives from the three grand divisions
  • Legislative updates
  • Ethics for planners
  • And more
Attendees of the forum who wish to stay at the hotel will receive a discounted TBA rate. You can reserve your room at the TBA rate by using this link, or by calling 1-800-EMBASSY and referencing the group code EPF. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from seasoned practitioners and top players in the field while being a beneficiary of necessary CLE credits. Missing out is irrevocable.
 
When: Friday, Feb. 21, registration begins at 8 a.m., CST
Where: Embassy Suites Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin
 
 
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Learn More About ‘Perfectly Hidden Depression’

Margaret Robinson Rutherford, clinical psychologist and author of the book “Perfectly Hidden Depression,” writes in a recent blog about clients who are not melancholy, agitated, or even sad, but are highly engaged with life and very successful though they are struggling. This “hidden” depression, she says, exists far beneath the surface and can be overlooked for two reasons: the individual does not “fit” the expected criteria for depression or the need to look perfect gets in the way of confiding in others, including a therapist. Depression, she writes, can wear many faces, even perfect-looking ones. Check out this questionnaire to see where you might fall on the spectrum of perfectly hidden depression.

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TBJ: The Year Just Started and It's Already Time for Hindsight

"It turns out that we actually have an ethical duty to be reasonably prepared for the worst," TBA President Sarah Y. Sheppeard writes in her January Tennessee Bar Journal column. She helps you think through and plan for any disasters that may befall you or your practice, with information about where to get help. Also read about a new law about employee classification that went into effect yesterday. Sandra S. Benson and Dr. Timothy R. Koski give you details you'll need. You'll also find a preview to the TBA's upcoming, newly refreshed website, which will be filled with more features to make your practice go even more smoothly. And have you already given thought to the new year and its built-in hindsight? That's right, it's 20/20! Read more in this month's Spark! column -- and read the whole issue here.

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Tomorrow: Environmental Law Forum 2020

The TBA Environmental Law Forum will take place at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville tomorrow, Jan. 17. This annual event for environmental lawyers will present timely updates on legal issues involving the TVA Gallatin Fossil Plant lawsuit, the recent VW settlement, ethics in environmental law and more. Do not miss this opportunity to learn from seasoned practitioners while networking with top players in the field. Here are the key details:
 
When: Friday, Jan. 17, Registration at 10 a.m., CST
Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 Fourth Ave. N., Nashville
 
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Applications Sought for 16th District Circuit Court Judge

The Trial Court Vacancy Commission is accepting applications for a circuit court judge in the 16th Judicial District, which covers Rutherford and Cannon Counties. The vacancy will be created with the retirement of Judge Royce Taylor on March 3, 2020. Applications should be submitted by noon CST on Jan. 7. The commission will hold a public hearing on Jan. 29 at 9 a.m. CST at the Historic Rutherford County Courthouse in Murfreesboro to consider the applicants. A vote to forward three names to the governor is expected to occur immediately following the hearing. Learn more online or download the notice.

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Motivation by Chocolate?

Keep some motivational chocolate in your office for those days when everyone seems stressed. Several chocolate brands have motivational messages on or inside the wrapper. “You rock,” “way to go” or “you slay” may be just what someone needs to hear. And they may find encouragement for a more positive attitude with messages such as “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” Having a treat at your desk also will encourage coworkers to get out of their chair, walk around a bit and take a short break — all good ways to deal with a stressful day. How you feel affects your health and work performance. So grab some chocolate (in moderation!) and feel empowered.

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Supreme Court Seeks New Comments on Rules Changes

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Friday issued orders soliciting comments on three proposed amendments to its rules. In each case, the court had previously requested comments but made additional changes to the proposed amendments. The amendment to Rule 9 Section 10 addresses annual registration and payment requirements. The amendment to Rule 9 Section 26 addresses payment of the professional privilege tax. And the amendment to Rule 43 deals with interest on lawyers’ trust accounts. All comments are due by Jan. 30, 2020.

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Hearing Set for 15th District Circuit Court Applicants

The Tennessee Trial Court Vacancy Commission will consider six applicants for a vacancy on the 15th Judicial District circuit court on Jan. 8, the Administrative Office of the Courts announced today. The hearing will take place at 9 a.m. at the Wilson County Courthouse, 228 E. Main St., Lebanon 37087. The commission is expected to vote immediately after the interviews and forward three names to Gov. Bill Lee for consideration. The court vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge John D. Wootten Jr. The court serves Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson counties.

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Balance Work and Play 3: Finding Your Center

It's the holidays, so maybe you're feeling tired and a little overwhelmed? Maybe work and family demands are too much, but you feel like you just have to "soldier on"? Here's something that will help you reclaim your moxie to battle stressful events like personal and family illness that knock your work and life out of balance. Earn one dual (online) CLE hour.

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Give Yourself Grace

What is it about forgiveness and understanding that is so hard to do for ourselves? Attorneys are known for being task masters and critical of themselves and others. On the one hand, it makes us good at what we do but on the other hand it can be self-destructive. Sometimes things don’t work out as well as we would like or don’t work out at all. If you have done your best, knowing that your best changes from day to day and situation to situation, then think about giving yourself some grace. How does that work? It can be as simple as saying to yourself, “I give you grace.” Or it can be slowing down to do something relaxing if you have been running at full speed. Or it can be giving yourself permission not to load the dishwasher when you are exhausted. Basically, it’s cutting yourself some slack.

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Have Student Loans? TBA’s Credible Can Help

Do you know if you’re overpaying on your student loans? The TBA has partnered with Credible to help you find out. With Credible, you can check competitive loan options from their vetted lenders so you can pay off your student loans faster, lower your monthly payment — or both. It’s fast, it’s real and it’s private. Do it all online here or call Jackie at 866-540-6005 and let her know you are a TBA Member.

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Labor & Employment Section Plans ‘Fall Foray’

The TBA Labor and Employment Law Section has organized two "Fall Foray" events on either end of the state. At each location, the event will include a free one-hour ethics CLE on “Brain Health for Lawyers – the Neuroscience of Resilience” and a casual reception. Plaintiff and defense lawyers are invited to come socialize across "enemy" lines. On Dec. 5, the program will be held in Jackson from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce. On Dec. 9, the program will take place in Knoxville from 4 to 6 p.m. at Kramer Rayson.

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Holiday Survival Guide for Lawyers

For many people, including lawyers, the holiday season is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety. It is a season that comes with concerns about time pressures, family issues, financial worries or memories of past holidays, according to Joseph L. Shea, Jr., past president of Louisiana Bar Association. If you are experiencing the holiday blues, you are not alone! Here are some tips for getting through this season: watch your alcohol consumption, don’t binge on food, move your body, mind your thoughts, practice self-care, be gentle with yourself and others, and seek help if needed. Read more about each of these tips and get other resources in this article from the Anxious Lawyer.

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Deadline Extended to Dec. 15 for Health Insurance Enrollment

Due to overwhelming interest in the TBA’s new Group Health Insurance Plan and this week’s holiday schedule, the deadline for signing up for this member benefit has been extended until Dec. 15. Members can learn more about the plans offered through Humana or get a quote to find out how much coverage for you would cost. Additional questions? Contact TBA Member Insurance Solutions.

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New HealthyBar Podcast Available

The TBA recently released the second installment of its HealthyBar podcast. The new episode focuses on the origins and practice of yoga and is, as usual, hosted by Nashville attorney Joanna McCracken of Piper McCracken. The HealthyBar podcast is a bi-monthly program focused on attorney well-being, offering best practices and tips to keep you healthy. It is one feature of the TBA’s Podcast network lineup, which also includes the monthly SideBar and BarBuzz programs, and coming soon, a new show from the TBA Young Lawyers Division. All shows are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA's website. Simply search for the show title or "Tennessee Bar Association" wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Lawyer Shares Experience Returning to Work After Having Kids

Nashville lawyer Amy Willoughby Bryant authored an essay in the November issue of Nashville Parent magazine, where she writes about her decision to go back to work after the birth of her children. "I was not my best self when staying home with two children under the age of two," she writes. "Working feeds me mentally, emotionally and physically." Bryant is director of the Office of Conservatorship Management for the Metro Nashville government, and serves as chair of the TBA Public Education Committee. Read her story here (scroll to page 78).

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Take a Mental Vacation: Final 2 Suggestions

The last two ways to take a mental vacation, according to Sally Connolly, a therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville, is listening to relaxing music and taking a walk. For music, there are many options available online through various streaming services and on record or CD. Connolly recommends looking for music that includes the sounds of rolling waves, gentle rain or chirping birds. Closing your eyes and doing some deep breathing while listening will enhance the experience. Ready to get outside? A short walk in the morning or during a lunch break is also a great way to relieve stress. When possible, walk along a trail or in a peaceful place for even more relaxing moments. Connolly's final advice: try to incorporate one of the six mental vacations she suggests every day to train your body to relax and reduce stress.

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Ethics Roadshow Coming to a City Near You

The TBA is bringing its Ethics Roadshow to a city near you on multiple days in December. The program will be in Knoxville on Dec. 4, Chattanooga on Dec. 5, Memphis on Dec. 9, Nashville on Dec. 10, Jackson on Dec. 16, and Johnson City on Dec. 18. Sign up today to reserve your spot for this annual event, guaranteed to meet your ethics requirements for the year and enhance your knowledge of crucial changes in the legal profession. The course also is always full of surprises and humor. Earn up to three hours of dual CLE credit. See the list of all courses.

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November TBJ: Wellness, Probate and Music Copyrights

"We are human beings in a difficult job," TBA President Sarah Y. Sheppeard writes in her November Tennessee Bar Journal column. She recounts a time early in her career when an older colleague took his own life — and she now urges lawyers to seek help through the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program or elsewhere. Also in this issue, Scott Pilkinton writes in the cover article about how to avoid probate potholes. We also look at the Music Modernization Act, with Monique Brown, a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, writing about how the law has addressed and incorporated new technology and industry trends into antiquated copyright laws. Read these articles and more in this month's issue of the Journal.

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Take a Mental Vacation: The Art of Window Gazing

Ready to take another mental vacation this week? According to Sally Connolly, a therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville, a great way to take a break is to look out the window, focusing on something other than what is causing stress. Just close your door and take a few minutes to watch people, birds or clouds pass by. Allowing yourself to daydream for a short time can be a valuable distraction!

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Take a Mental Vacation: Pull Out Some Old Photos

Ready to take another mental vacation this week? According to Sally Connolly, a therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville, a great way to take a break is to look back at photographs from a happy time. She suggests photos from family vacations, a fun dinner with friends, another endearing activity or a memorable adventure. Reflect on what made that moment so enjoyable and reflect on your unique memories. You can relive these special moments and find yourself more relaxed after spending a few quiet moments reminiscing.

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Take a Mental Vacation: Visualize Relaxation

Did you read a book in a peaceful spot last week? If reading is not your thing, another way to take a mental vacation, according to Sally Connolly, a therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville, is to visualize relaxation. Though this might sound daunting, it’s pretty easy. Take a few moments to close your eyes and visualize an image or place that relaxes you (i.e., sound of ocean waves, country field filled with beautiful flowers, a gurgling brook). Think back to a time when you felt relaxed and peaceful, and once you “are there,” try to release the tension from your head to your toes. By visualizing a stress-free place, you can mentally return to that place and help your body relax.

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Take a Mental Vacation

Even if you don’t have the time or money to just get away from it all, you can reduce your stress by taking a “mental vacation.” Nothing special is required. You can unwind every day in simple ways and for short periods of time and still derive major benefits. Over the next few weeks we will look at six ideas for taking a mental vacation. Sally Connolly, a therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville, recommends adding these stress relievers to your everyday routine. Her first idea? Read a book in a cozy and peaceful spot. This is a great escape, she says, and can leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Getting lost in a good book is a wonderful way to forget what is swirling around our heads and refocus our thoughts. Give it a try this week!

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