Solo in a Box Spotlight: Commonly Used Forms

With more Tennessee attorneys – especially new lawyers – deciding to “hang out” their own shingle and begin a solo or small firm practice, the TBA has developed the Solo in a Box Toolkit. Each issue of E-DICT this year has spotlighted one of the toolkit’s 12 sections. This month we wrap up with a final installment looking at commonly used forms.

In the Commonly Used Forms section, the Solo in a Box Toolkit includes a checklist for opening a law office that covers almost every aspect of launching a solo practice  and provides a handy wrap-up of each category covered in the toolkit. The forms section also offers sample guidelines for developing a file retention and destruction policy.

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YLD Fellows Elect Officers, Induct New Members

The TBA YLD Fellows held its annual meeting and inducted new members at the YLD & Fellows Dinner, held in conjunction with the TBA Convention. New officers elected were President J. Russell Parkes, Circuit Court Judge for the 22nd Judicial District in Columbia; Vice President Lisa Richter, the 19th Judicial District Child Support Referee in Clarksville; Secretary Glenn Walter with Lewis Thomason in Knoxville, and Treasurer Danny Van Horn with Butler Snow in Memphis.

The group also inducted 10 new members. They are:

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Law Student Leadership Class Wraps Up

Law students participating in the YLD’s Diversity Leadership Institute joined lawyers across the state at the TBA Convention this month. The group’s activities included programs on the role the city of Memphis played in the civil rights movement, the history and impact of the Tennessee same-sex marriage case and how to develop a vision for one’s professional self and legal career. On Saturday, the group volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House in Memphis, helping with administrative tasks and cleaning.

Graduates of this year’s class are:

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Young Lawyers Honored for Service During Past Year

At a dinner and awards ceremony on the last night of the TBA Convention, YLD President Rachel Moses recognized several young lawyers with awards for their service to the organization, the profession and the community.

Nashville lawyer Mary Beth Haltom White (left) received the President’s Award for nine years of service to the TBA YLD as a member of the Executive Committee, Long-Range Planning Committee, Membership Committee and CLE Committee, and service as the ABA YLD District Representative for Tennessee and Kentucky for the past two years.

White, an attorney with Lewis Thomason in Nashville, rotated off the YLD Board this month.

Photos by Barry Kolar

Kingsport lawyer Rachel Ralson Mancl (left) received a special recognition award for exceptional service as vice president, Long-Range Planning Committee chair and president-elect during the 2014-2015 bar year.

Mancl, an attorney with Hunter Smith & Davis, oversaw the drafting of new bylaws amendments and served for an extra year as one of two YLD representatives to the TBA Board of Governors.

Jackson lawyer Ben Conley (left) was awarded the 2015 Public Service Project Award for the legal clinic he planned in Paris as part of the YLD’s Statewide Legal Clinic Initiative during the first annual Access to Justice Week.

Conley, an attorney in Alamo, serves as the District 12 Representative on the YLD Board.

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YLD to Move to Electronic Voting in 2016

At the TBA YLD Annual Meeting on June 19, members of the division approved several amendments to the group’s governing bylaws, including replacing in-person voting for elected positions at the Annual Meeting in June with electronic voting in the spring.

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YLD Leadership Takes Office, 2 Contested Elections Decided

Cookeville lawyer Rachel Moses was installed as president of the TBA’s Young Lawyers Division for the 2015-2016 bar year during the TBA Convention earlier this month. Moses, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands, had been serving as president during the past year after the previous president moved out of state. Also taking office at the division’s annual meeting were President-Elect Rachel Ralston Mancl with Hunter Smith & Davis in Kingsport; Vice President Ahsaki Baptist with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs; Secretary Troy Weston with Eldridge & Blakney in Knoxville; and Treasurer Ashley Holliday with West Tennessee Legal Services.

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Apply by July 1 for TBA Mentoring Program

The TBA will launch its fourth mentoring class in August and is accepting applications through July 1. TBA members in their first three years of law practice may apply to be matched with a mentor. Those participating in the program will commit to a formal mentoring relationship for one year, with a requirement to meet face-to-face at least once a month. Participants will choose from a variety of curriculum topics. For more information, visit the TBA Mentoring Program webpage or contact TBA staff member Christy Gibson, (615) 383-7421.

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June TBJ: Paternity Fraud, Economic Losses, Grad Advice

In this issue, learn how to successfully file a paternity fraud lawsuit by reading an article by Peggy R. Smith. You may also need to know how to calculate economic losses in employment termination cases, which Charles Baum explains. In this graduation season, Andra J. Hedrick writes a letter to herself (and new grads) about what to expect and what she would have done differently. There's a lot more in the June issue -- take a look!

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YLD Affiliate News for May 2015

American Bar Association YLD – The group has announced that the deadline for applying for the 2014-2015 Awards of Achievement Program is June 15. Projects can be submitted in five categories including service to the public, service to the bar, diversity project, newsletter and comprehensive, which highlights all of a group’s projects during the year. Get details here.

At the ABA YLD Spring Meeting in Tampa, Florida, last month, young lawyers participated in a legal clinic for homeless youth. A program after the clinic featured a documentary about homeless youth and a panel discussion with stakeholders. The Project Street Youth initiative aims to provide access to justice to more than 1.7 million homeless youth in the United States.

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Solo in a Box Spotlight: CLE for Solos

With more Tennessee attorneys – especially new lawyers – deciding to “hang out” their own shingle and begin a solo or small firm practice, the TBA has developed the Solo in a Box Toolkit. Each issue of E-DICT this year will spotlight one of the toolkit’s 12 sections. This month we look at continuing legal education for solos.

The CLE for Solos section of the Solo in a Box Toolkit highlights the most useful TBA continuing legal education courses for solo and small firm practioners. Programs – a number of which are mobile friendly – include:

  • Ethics courses on topics such as trust account management and operating in cyerspace.
  • General management courses on staffing, billing, goal setting and time management.
  • Technology support through courses on handy apps, new electronic gadgets, rules about using devices in court and securing your data.
  • Law practice courses focused on how to decline or terminate representation, maximize e-discovery and implement a paperless office.
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Book by June 1 for Discounted Convention Price

It is not too late to join your colleagues June 17-20 in Memphis for the 2015 TBA Annual Convention! Register by June 1 and get free access to all TBA CLE programming, the Bench Bar Programming and Luncheon, Lawyers Luncheon, law school breakfasts, several receptions, the Thursday night dinner and entertainment at Beale Street Landing and the Friday night Dance Party sponsored by the YLD and Leadership Law.

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YLD Invited Guest News for May 2015

The TBA YLD Board invites specialty and minority bars in the state to name a representative to serve as an unfunded and non-voting member of the board. The goal of the invited guest program is to increase diversity among the board and provide an opportunity for young lawyers involved in other legal organizations to have a voice in the state bar association. See a list of all organizations invited to send representatives.

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Divorce Lawyers Sought for Study

The TBA has been contacted by a third party vendor seeking to interview young lawyers handling family law cases in West Tennessee. The company is working on a product “focused on saving divorce attorneys time and money, helping them better manage interactions with clients, and helping them create customized strategies based on client preferences.” The company founder is interested in learning more about the challenges practitioners face and how those frustrations might be alleviated. Those interested in being interviewed should contact TBA staff member Stacey Shrader Joslin at (615) 383-7421.

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New Admittees to be Sworn in Next Tuesday

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hold a swearing in ceremony in Nashville on Tuesday, June 2, for new admittees to the bar. Results from the February bar exam came out last month with 184 law students passing the exam. Events on Tuesday include an open house and lunch at the TBA from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for new lawyers and their families. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. at TPAC’s Polk Theater, 505 Deaderick St., Nashville 37219. YLD members will be on hand to congratulate these new lawyers and provide information about TBA membership. Feel free to join us at either location if you would like to welcome these new lawyers into the legal profession!

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YLD to Consider Bylaws Amendments at June Meeting

Members of the TBA YLD will be asked to consider several amendments to the division’s bylaws at this year’s Annual Meeting, set for June 19 at 4 p.m. Central at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. The hotel is located at 149 Union Ave., Memphis, TN 38103 and can be reached at (901) 529-4000.

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YLD Membership Meeting Set for June 19

The TBA Young Lawyers Division will hold its Annual Membership Meeting Friday, June 19, at 4 p.m. Central at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. The hotel is located at 149 Union Ave., Memphis 38103. All members of the division are invited to attend.

Members will consider two contested elections, vote on several proposed bylaws amendments and hear from President Rachel Moses about her plans for the year. The contested races are for East Tennessee Governor and District 9 Representative.

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Bylaws Amendments on Tap for June Meeting

Also at the YLD Membership Meeting on June 19, members of the division will be asked to vote on several amendments to the group’s governing bylaws. The amendments deal with four primary issues:

1. Replacing in-person voting with electronic voting for elected positions;
2. Requiring those interested in running for an Executive Committee position (vice president, grand division governor, secretary or treasurer) to file an election petition signed by 25 TBA members;
3. Creating a new process for filling a vacancy in the office of the president if the president-elect is not able or willing to serve; and
4. Providing authority for the president to remove an elected Board member for cause.

Learn more about these provisions and see a redline version of the changes.

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2014 Bar Exam Takers to Get Refund for Software Glitch

Aspiring lawyers who sat for the July 2014 bar examination are eligible for $90 each from software company ExamSoft Worldwide Inc. under a class action settlement. ExamSoft has agreed to pay $2.1 million to bar takers who ran into technical problems while trying to upload their exam responses last year. Participants filed five separate lawsuits in California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington and Florida following the exam, which became known on the Internet as "Barmaggedon." New York Law Journal has more (subscription required).

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Report: Baker Donelson Among Best Work Places for New Dads

The law firm of Baker Donelson has been named among the 50 best places for new dads to work in a report by Fatherly, a digital lifestyle guide for men entering parenthood. Baker Donelson was highlighted for its father-friendly paternity leave policy, reports.

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Key Advice from Tennessee Lawyers for New Attorneys

Do you have new lawyers joining your firm? If so, be sure to send them to the TBA’s Best Practices for New Lawyers program on June 5. The three-hour CLE will feature attorneys talking about the things they wish they had known on their first day as practicing lawyers. Attendees also will learn how to manage clients’ and partners’ expectations, effectively communicate with opposing counsel and avoid the kinds of mistakes rookie lawyers often make.

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Tennessee Lawyers Offer Free Legal Clinics, Educational Seminars Across the State

Events are part of TBA Young Lawyers Division’s Annual Service Project

NASHVILLE, April 28, 2015 – Tennessee young lawyers are combining efforts over the next 10 days to host legal advice clinics, legal awareness fairs and educational seminars across the state to assist low-income individuals in need of legal assistance.

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Legislative Update: Raising the Rate for Court Appointed Attorneys

The TBA this year pushed for legislation to raise the rate for court-appointed work from $40 an hour to $100 an hour and to double the caps. The proposal was introduced in the Senate as SB1009 by Lee Harris, D-Memphis, and in the House as HB1025 by Mike Stewart, D-Nashville.

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YLD Affiliate News for April 2015

American Bar Association YLD – The ABA YLD will hold its Spring Conference May 14-16 in Tampa Bay, Florida. The meeting will include a session specifically to help affiliate leaders plan for their leadership year. The group wrapped up its Mid-Year Meeting in Houston in February. Clarksville lawyer Justin Sensing, an associate with Phillips Law, provides a recap of that meeting in the March/April 2015 issue of The Affiliate.

Bullyproof, the ABA YLD’s service project last year, has been adopted by the ABA Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities. The section has created a Bullyproof Committee to continue the work of educating parents, educators, students and lawyers on the issue.

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YLD Invited Guest News for April 2015

The TBA YLD Board invites specialty and minority bars in the state to name a representative to serve as an unfunded and non-voting member of the board. The goal of the invited guest program is to increase diversity among the board and provide an opportunity for young lawyers involved in other legal organizations to have a voice in the state bar association. See a list of all organizations invited to send representatives.

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Memphis Lawyer Elected YLD VP, 2 Races Set for June Vote

Memphis lawyer Ahsaki Baptist with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs will lead the TBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) in 2017-2018. She will take office in June as vice president, and then assume the office of president-elect in 2016 and president in 2017. Baptist, who will be the first African American woman to lead the group, was deemed elected earlier this month after the filing deadline passed with no opposition. Baptist has been active in the YLD since 2008, serving as the liaison from the Lawyers Association for Women, co-chair of the Diversity Committee for one year and chair of the committee for four years. Under her leadership, the YLD developed the award-winning Diversity Leadership Institute.

Other officers elected without opposition this month were:

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