News

Court Issues Draft Revision to Discipline Rule

The Tennessee Supreme Court today issued a draft "comprehensive revision" and reorganization of its rule on lawyer registration and discipline. Comments on the 118-page proposal are due Feb. 8, 2013. The TBA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility will review the proposal for the TBA. Download a copy of the proposal

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Comments Sought on Judicial Disqualification Rules

The ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence met during the annual meeting in Chicago last week and issued a draft of revised judicial disqualification rules designed to deal with the influx of cash into judicial races. Sept. 15 is the deadline for comments on the draft revisions. Learn more from the ABA Journal

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ABA House Tackles Range of Issues

The ABA House of Delegates considered a range of issues during its meeting yesterday and today in Chicago. Topping the agenda was changes to model ethics rules recommended by the Commission on Ethics 20/20. Among those proposals were changes to help younger lawyers facing a tough job market, rules for online client communications and rules for dealing with electronic files and metadata. The commission did not take a position on nonlawyer ownership of law firms, and delegates voted to postpone that issue indefinitely. Other action items included approving stricter standards on law school marketing, opposing laws that prevent physicians from talking to patients about gun ownership and safety, calling for a ban on religious profiling, calling on lawmakers to extend the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse crimes, calling for criminal defense lawyers to help clients with civil and nonlegal problems, adoption of rules governing conflicts checks when law firms merge or lawyers move to new employment, and adoption of new civil immigration detention standards.

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ABA Ethics Panel Seeks Comments on UPL Issue

While finalizing resolutions to be presented to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates in August, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 continues to grapple with the issue of how technology impacts the unauthorized practice of law. The panel is seeking input about how technology, which now allows lawyers to practice in a jurisdiction without physically being present, affects Rule 5.5 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Download a white paper on the issue or read more in the ABA Journal. Comments should be submitted to Natalie Vera at natalia.vera@americanbar.org no later than July 31. 

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12 New Charges Added to Hawkins County Judge

Former Hawkins County judge James "Jay" Taylor was served Monday with 12 new theft-related charges, bringing the total charges against him to 53. Last week he was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury on 41 counts of theft related to fraudulent payment claims he made to the state while serving as judge. These new charges handed down by the Hawkins County Grand Jury are related to alleged thefts that occurred in his private practice. Taylor, 41, of Rogersville, remains held in the Davidson County Jail on $175,000 bond. The Times News has details

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Court Reviewing Rule on Disciplinary Enforcement

The Tennessee Supreme Court has begun a review of Supreme Court Rule 9: Disciplinary Enforcement. If there are any proposed changes, the Administrative Office of the Courts reports, there will be an announcement and a time for public comment set.

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ABA Ethics Commission Issues Findings

The American Bar Association's Commission on Ethics 20/20 has made final recommendations about the impact of technology and globalization on the practice of law, as well as the structure for regulating U.S. lawyers. The ABA House of Delegates will consider a series of resolutions based on those recommendations when it meets in August. Discussion will center on lawyer mobility, legal process outsourcing and maintaining client confidences. Among the report’s main findings are that (1) lawyers must understand technology in order to provide clients with the competent and cost-effective services they deserve, and (2) globalization means that more clients are confronting legal problems that cross jurisdictional lines, requiring lawyers to cross real and virtual borders. The ABA Journal has more from the report

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Court Adopts Changes to Rules of Professional Conduct

The Tennessee Supreme Court today (Sept. 29,2010) adopted the first set of comprehensive amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct since the new rules became effective in March 2003. These amendments, to be effective Jan. 1, 2011, come as a result of a six-year revision process initiated by the Tennessee Bar Association, an extensive comment period and an oral argument in June 2010.

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