News

Know Your Bank Fraud History; Punch Up POA Forms

Nashville lawyer Katie Edge writes in the recent Tennessee Bar Journal about Tennessee's famous bank robbers -- with the spotlight on the Butcher brothers and other fraudsters. In her column, Knoxville lawyer Monica Franklin says to avoid the "plain Jane" durable financial power of attorney and gives tips to punch up the forms you use for DPOAs.

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'Guns in Trunks' Article Updated After AG Opinion Issued

In the new Tennessee Bar Journal, Edward G. Philips and Brandon L. Morrow write about the recent "guns in trunks" law. However, after the article went to print, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper issued an opinion on what limitations, if any, 2013 Tenn. Pub. Acts, Chapter 16, places on employers’ rights to terminate an employee who brings a firearm or firearm ammunition onto the employer’s property. In the opinion, Cooper says the law does not impact the employer/employee relationship ”and does not prohibit an employer from terminating an employee for possession of a firearm or ammunition on the employer’s property. This opinion, Phillips and Morrow say, would have significantly, but not completely, altered the article. "Our advice to employers," they write in an updated electronic version of the article, "would be to tread lightly in this area, or risk being a test case for a terminated permit carrier. In the end, the Tennessee appellate courts will have to decide."

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Richard III Was Unlikely Champion of Equal Access to Justice

King Richard III had a soft side? Well, maybe not exactly, but Russell Fowler explains in this issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal how Richard's actions were among the first to acknowledge a need for equal access to justice.

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California, New Jersey Consider Joining New York With 'Pro Bono Mandate'

Last year, the New York State court system announced its first-of-its-kind 50-hour pro bono requirement for new attorneys. Effective in 2015, every applicant must have completed 50 hours of pro bono legal work. The National Law Journal reports that leaders of the State Bar of California are now poised to adopt a similar rule this fall, while a task force of ­judges, legal educators and attorneys in New Jersey is weighing the merits. In Tennessee, there is no similar requirement for new lawyers or practicing lawyers; however 50 hours of pro bono per year is an aspirational goal outlined in Supreme Court Rule 6.1. Learn more about that in this issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal.

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TBJ: Learn the Details Behind Rule 6.1

Why should you do at least 50 hours of pro bono every year? In the current Tennessee Bar Journal, John T. Blankenship and Alexandra T. MacKay explore the origins and evolution of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule. 6.1. Also, this month marks the 148th anniversary of the explosion of the steamboat "Sultana," which caused more deaths than the Titanic. Jerry O. Potter and Donald F. Paine look into the legal aftermath.

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Taxpayer Relief Act Affects Estate Planning

In his Tennessee Bar Journal column this month, Knoxville lawyer Eddy R. Smith explains how estate planning is affected by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Read his column and review the related chart showing the combined federal estate tax and Tennessee inheritance tax exposure for estates through 2016.

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Hearsay Exceptions: What's the Difference?

Knoxville lawyer Donald F. Paine details the differences between Tennessee and federal hearsay exceptions in the current Tennessee Bar Journal.

Know Your Plea Offers

In the recent Tennessee Bar Journal, Knoxville lawyer Wade V. Davies advises readers about plea offers and preventing ineffective assistance of counsel. For one thing, he says, lawyers need to check the sex offender statute every time they have a case, since the standards often change. "In 2010," for example, "the Tennessee Supreme Court noted that the General Assembly had amended the registration act at least 15 times since 2005."

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The 6th Circuit's Take on Student Loan Debt

It's payback time! Third-year Memphis law student Chandler Harris examines the dischargeability of student loan debt in the 6th Circuit. Read his article in the March Tennessee Bar Journal.

Review Gives Thumbs Up to E-Discovery Book

Knoxville lawyer Chris McCarty says one way to alleviate e-discovery anxiety is to read Electronic Discovery in Tennessee: Rules, Case Law and Distinctions, a new book by Nashville lawyer W. Russell Taber III. In his review in the March Tennessee Bar Journal, McCarty recommends you read this book, among other reasons, to keep from drowning in the high seas of data, cloud computing, claw-back agreements and non-waiver orders.

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March TBJ: Tablets Make Partner for Trial Work

Online tools and software geared toward lawyers aren’t new, but in the Tennessee Bar Journal's March issue Stephan Futeral says we are past the days of dragging the laptop into court. In the “Post-PC” era, tablet computing is a game-changer for the 21st-century practice of law -- and you need to be in the game. You can end your week with a laugh as Bill Haltom looks back fondly on the days when he wasn't carrying an iPad, but took the World Almanac to court in his briefcase. Read these and more in the new issue of the TBJ.

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Durand Remembered as Kind, Giving Advocate

Memphis lawyer Kemper Durand, who died last Saturday, is remembered by friend and law partner Bill Haltom in this tribute out today. Among Durand's notable accomplishments was his pro bono work that secured freedom for an innocent man who had been in jail 22 years. Read that inspiring story in a 2002 Tennessee Bar Journal article. A crime victim himself, Durand once testified, Haltom writes, for one of his kidnappers to recieve the most lenient sentence possible because he felt the man was an unwilling accomplice. Details for a memorial service, set for next month, are incomplete.

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New Journal Looks at Consumer Protection Cuts, More

In the February Tennessee Bar Journal, James M. Davis covers the effects updates to the TCPA had on relief available to consumers and businesses. Steven W. Feldman analyzes employee handbooks and makes the distinction between employee contractual rights and workplace policies. Columnists cover differences in state and federal pleading standards, demonstrative evidence and long-term care planning.

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New TBJ: Innovative Ways to Boost Access Justice

Lawyers in Tennessee are helping those who need it, not only through pro bono representation, but by working to change the structure and services available. The January Tennessee Bar Journal details efforts like new funding and rules for court interpreters and a new legal telephone hotline, 1-888-aLEGALz.

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Collateral Source Rule Examined in New TBJ

In the December Tennessee Bar Journal, Nashville lawyer Bill Walton writes why he believes the Collateral Source Rule should probably be reexamined. President Jackie Dixon talks with some former lawyer-legislators and studies the sacrifice a person makes to run for office, but also the need for more lawyers to serve. There is a lot more in this issue, including civil jury trials, banking and estate planning. Read it online or look in the stack of your weekend mail for the printed copy.

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TBJ: Gift-Tax Exemption Expiration Explained

On Dec. 31, the $5.2 million gift-tax exemption expires, making your job helping your clients with year-end gifts even more important. Hunter Mobley and Jeffrey Mobley help you know the details for this year in the November Tennessee Bar Journal. The issue also gives a glimpse into the history of Nashville's Supreme Court Building in preparation for its 75th anniversary celebration next month. Read these and much more -- and don't miss Jackie Dixon's president's column and Bill Haltom's humor column as they both give their takes on being thankful -- and how cornbread figures in.

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Real Property, Employment Law Headline October 'Journal'

The Tennessee Bar Journal this month studies the state’s real property rules and the available tools in an article by Chancellor Telford E. Forgety Jr., George W. Kuney and Devin P. Lyon. Also, Mark C. Travis explains the T.E.A.M Act, involving public sector employment law. President Jackie Dixon stresses the importance of civility, especially for lawyers, and columnists Don Paine, Edward G. Phillips and Monica J. Franklin update you on evidence, the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act, and Medicaid in Estate Recovery, respectively. Bill Haltom explores the thinking of jurors who in a recent case dressed alike or with a coordinated theme every day of the trial. Look in your mailbox for the October issue, or read the Journal online

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Hooker May Challenge Blumstein's Impartiality

John Jay Hooker on Friday told The TNReport that he expects to file a motion challenging Special Court Justice Andrée Sophia Blumstein's impartiality to hear his case on the constitutionality of the state’s judicial selection method. Gov. Haslam appointed Blumstein and four others to sit on a Special Supreme Court to hear the matter. Three of them recused themselves last week. Hooker says Blumstein's role on the editorial board of the Tennessee Bar Journal, a publication of the Tennessee Bar Association, poses a conflict because the association is in favor of the Tennessee Plan.

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New TBJ Covers Arbitration, Divorce, Wrongful Death Proceeds

Don't miss the September Tennessee Bar Journal, featuring two articles on arbitration. One, by Adam Eckstein, explores when Rule 31 and the Tennessee Uniform Arbitration Act meet; the second, by Shelby R. Grubbs and Glenn P. Hendrix, unveils a new international concept for arbitration services. Columnists Marlene Eskind Moses and Beth A. Townsend give you ideas for finding hidden assest in divorces, and John A. Day discusses distribution of net proceeds in wrongful death cases. Humor columnist Bill Haltom pays tribute to a queen and a princess -- Pat Summitt and the influence she has had on his daughter and many other girls. President Jackie Dixon speaks out about merit selection. You probably already have it in hand, but you can also read it online here

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'Journal' Features Chief Justices, Says Goodbye to Columnist

The spotlight has been on Chief Justice John Roberts this summer, but in this month's Tennessee Bar Journal you will see that the 17 occupants of his position have had a history of making history. Also, Taylor J. Phillips looks at how to respond to government procedures. TBA President Jackie Dixon urges you in her column to remember someone who helped you when you first started practicing law, and to do the same for a new lawyer now. Columnist Kathryn Reed Edge explains the different worries that bankers and bank lawyers have, Don Paine explains writ of error coram nobis, while Bill Haltom exposes the gaffes of news reporters who rushed to judgment when the Supreme Court went public with its recent Affordable Care Act decision. He also gives readers his secret on how to read an opinion quickly and correctly. Also in this issue, Dan W. Holbrook wraps up nearly 12 years as a TBJ columnist with information on how to manage gift tax. Holbrook passes the torch to his colleague, Knoxville lawyer Eddy R. Smith, who will begin writing the estate column this fall. Look for the August Journal in your mailbox, or read it online

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TBA Programs Named Best in State

News from the Tennessee Bar Journal Editorial Board
Two Tennessee Bar Association programs were named the best in the state by the Tennessee Society of Association Executives (TNSAE) at a luncheon and award ceremony in Nashville July 20. The Tennessee Bar Journal -– the TBA’s flagship publication -- was named best magazine for the third time. In addition, the TBA Young Lawyers Division was recognized for its Judicial Internship Program, which matches Tennessee law students with trial judges across the state for summer internships. TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur was on hand to accept the awards.

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Dixon Takes Office; Lawyers Honored at Luncheon

Lawyers Luncheon Highlight of 131st Annual TBA Convention

Nashville lawyer Jacqueline B. Dixon took office as the Tennessee Bar Association's 130th president at the association's annual convention in Memphis today. After being sworn into office by Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Connie Clark (above), Dixon laid out her vision for the year, which will include a focus on civics education, civility in the profession, pro bono efforts and working to preserve an impartial judiciary.

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Blumstein, Griswold Win Joe Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing

Nashville lawyer Andrée Sophia Blumstein and Knoxville lawyer J. Scott Griswold were each honored with the Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing today (June 8) at the Lawyers Luncheon during the Tennessee Bar Association's Annual Convention in Memphis. A panel of three judged their two articles to be the best of all those published in the Tennessee Bar Journal during 2011. The judges this year were TBA President Danny Van Horn, Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Connie Clark and Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Dean Kevin H. Smith. It is the first time in the 31-year-history of the award that two articles have been named.

Blumstein’s winning article is “Bye Bye Hannan? What a Difference Two Little Words, at trial, Will Make in the Formulation of Tennessee’s Summary Judgment Standard,” which was published in the August 2011 issue. She is a partner at Sherrard & Roe PLC in Nashville. Her practice, which concentrates on appellate litigation, includes a special focus on state and federal antitrust counseling and litigation. She received her law degree from Vanderbilt University and is chair of the Tennessee Bar Journal Editorial Board. She also wrote in the February 2009 Journal an article called “Bye, Bye Byrd?” which explores the ramifications of Hannan v. Alltel.

Griswold’s article, “Service of Process After Hall v. Haynes: Practice Tips for Counsel and Advice for Management” was published in the March 2011 Journal. He is an associate with Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers LLP in Knoxville. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2007. During law school, he served as chair of the Moot Court Board and as a member of the Trademark Moot Court Team. He was elected to the Order of the Barristers and received awards for academic excellence in Advanced Property and Trial Practice. After graduation he served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William M. Barker of the Tennessee Supreme Court, and joined the firm in September 2008. Last year, he won the TBA’s Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award.

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Journal Readers Now Can Comment on Online Articles

A new feature, beginning this month, allows readers to comment on Tennessee Bar Journal articles posted online. Comments are not anonymous and can only be made by TBA members who are logged in to the site. This new capability is designed to make the online Journal more interactive and useful to readers. Also in this month's issue, Paul J. Krog walks you through the prior-suit-doctrine and James M. Patterson explains how to classify workers correctly as either independent contractors or employees. Columnists Edward G. Phillips, Monica Franklin, Don Paine and Bill Haltom weigh in with informative contributions, and in his last column as president, Danny Van Horn reminds readers to support and remain involved in the association as Tennessee law “faces a future where merit selection is in peril.” Watch for the Journal in your mailbox or read it online and comment now.

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