News

TBA CLE Geared Towards Starting or Advancing Your Solo Practice on Feb. 8

Are you ready to go solo? The Go SOLO: Tools for Starting Your Practice program will help you decide if a solo practice is right for you. Sessions addressing business and marketing will help you determine whether you have the entrepreneurial know-how to start your own practice. 
What about after you've already hung your own shingle... what's next? The I am SOLO: What’s Next for The Solo Practice? program will help you discover methods to fine-tune your services. It may be time to think about expanding your office. You may be considering additional partners, combining services with another small firm, opening another office or adding more support staff. We will talk about each of these challenges and provide insight as to branding your new services and maximizing your presence online.
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Mock Trial 2018 Now Accepting Volunteers

 
The Mock Trial Committee, which plans and executes the Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition each year, is seeking volunteer judges, attorneys, paralegals, legal staff and law students to help with the 2018 competition as presiding judges, scorers and bailiffs. 
 
This year’s problem is a civil case and the two-day state competition involving dozens of teams and hundreds of volunteers will take place on March 23-24, 2018, in downtown Nashville. The winning team will get a chance to take part in the National High School Mock Trial competition in Reno, Nevada on May 10-13, 2018. 
 
The 2018 Mock Trial Problem with Exhibits is available on the TBA.org website.
 
Many TBA members have participated in this long-running, successful competition over the years and have enjoyed their experiences. Those with questions about the case or about volunteering should contact Mock Trial Committee Chair Rob Sands.
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YLD Election Petitions Due Feb. 15

Young lawyers interested in running for leadership positions within the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) have until February 15, 2018 to file a nominating petition with YLD Secretary John R. Wilks. Positions open for the 2018-2019 bar year include the following:
 
• Vice President (must be from the Western Grand Division; ascends to presidency in 2020-2021)
• East Tennessee Governor
• Middle Tennessee Governor
• West Tennessee Governor
• Secretary
• Treasurer
• Even-numbered District Representatives:
District 2: Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Fentress, Grainger, Jefferson, Scott, Sevier, Union counties
District 4: Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Loudon, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Rhea, Roane counties
District 6: Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Van Buren, Warren, White counties
District 8: Macon, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Wilson counties
District 10: Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart counties
District 12: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Weakley counties
District 14: Shelby County
  
Be reminded that candidates for Executive Committee positions must complete a nominating petition signed by at least 25 TBA members in good standing. These positions include: vice president, secretary, treasurer, and the three grand division governors. Candidates for district representative seats may file the standard nomination petition.
 
Ballots will be submitted electronically. Guidelines adopted by the YLD Board of Governors dictate that all YLD members will be presumed to have opted for voting via electronic ballot unless a member expresses a desire for paper ballot in either a separate writing or by selecting this option in the member profile section in the TBA membership database. Such preference must be designated by February 1, 2018. For more details about the electronic voting process instituted last year, see the TBA website.
 
For all YLD positions, candidates must be members of the division at the time of their nomination. Petitions should be submitted to John Wilks by email no later than February 15, 2018. Questions about the election should be directed to Wilks by email or phone, (615) 800-7096. 
 
Read the full election notice and download nominating petitions or visit the YLD’s election webpage for details about length of term and qualifications for office.
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TBALL Kicks Off with Opening Retreat at Montgomery Bell State Park

 
The TBA Leadership Law (TBALL) Class of 2018 met for the first time in January and had a successful and invigorating opening retreat at Montgomery Bell State Park. This year’s class is being led by co-chairs Loretta Cravens of Knoxville and Judge Brandon Gibson of Jackson. TBALL’s next meeting will be on Feb. 13 in Nashville as the group learns about "Issues in Policy and Politics."
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Knoxville 40 Under 40 Includes Attorney Beale

An item about the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in Thursday's TBAToday failed to include Leslie Beale, the founder and a success coach with Profusion Strategies. She was also selected among this year’s honorees.
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Attorneys Named to Knoxville 40 Under 40

Three attorneys were among the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s annual 40 Under 40 list. Crista Cuccaro, a staff attorney at the City of Knoxville, Valeria Gomez, an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow with Volunteer Immigrant Defense Advocates, and Rachel Lokitz, associate general counsel and corporate secretary for ORAU all were honored this year.
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Resolution to be Considered at YLD Mid-Year Meeting

E-DICT Special Edition

The members of the TBA Young Lawyers Division are hereby notified pursuant to the notice provision of Article IX, Section 5, of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Bylaws, that the following resolution will be considered at the TBA Young Lawyers Division Winter Board Meeting on Saturday, Jan. 13, in Nashville. 
 
To: Tennessee Bar Association: Young Lawyers Division
From: YLD Public Policy Committee
Re: Recommendation and Report to The Board of The Young Lawyers Division
 
RESOLVED, that the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association urges the Board of Governors to support the Tennessee Board of Law Examiner’s Petition to Amend Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, Docket No. ADM2017-02083, which urges the Supreme Court of Tennessee to adopt the Uniform Bar Exam (“UBE”) as the standard for applications to demonstrate the knowledge and skills for licensing and admission in Tennessee. A copy of the Petition to Amend Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7 is attached as Exhibit 1 and is expressly incorporated as if fully stated herein.

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2018 Mock Trial Case Released

Mock Trial Champions in 2017

This year’s problem is a civil case and the two-day state competition involving dozens of teams and hundreds of volunteers will take place on March 23-24 in downtown Nashville. The winning team will get a chance to take part in the National High School Mock Trial competition in Reno, Nevada on May 10-13.

The Montgomery Bell Academy mock trial team repeated as champions for the second year in a row in 2017. The 2018 Mock Trial Problem with Exhibits is available on the TBA.org website.

Many TBA members have participated in this long-running, successful competition over the years and have enjoyed their experiences. Those with questions about the case or about volunteering should contact Mock Trial Committee Chair Rob Sands.

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YLD Invited Guest News

The TBA YLD Board invites specialty and minority bars in the state to name a representative to serve as a funded but 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.
 
Association for Women Attorneys (AWA) –  The Association for Woman Attorneys (AWA) has some exciting events coming up.  First, on May 12 the AWA is sponsoring the MBA Access to Justice – Saturday Legal Clinic.  As always, help is needed and pro bono hours will be given. 
 
Next, the annual "Mary Wolff Memorial Golf Tournament" will be held on June 1 at The Links at Galloway.  Summer schedules fill up quickly, so mark it on your calendars.  Stay tuned for more details. 
 
Finally, although several months out, the AWA's annual Judicial Reception will be held on Dec. 4. Save the date now, and more details to come at a later date. For more information about the AWA, or if you have any questions, please email us or contact Meagan Jones.
 
East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (ETLAW) – The group’s next meeting will be April 18. For more information about the group, contact Loretta Cravens or visit etlawtn.org.
 
Lawyers Association for Women, Anne Schneider Chapter – For information about the group and its activities, contact Terica Smith Anderson, 731-423-5805.
 
Lawyers Association for Women, Marion Griffin Chapter –  LAW Networking Event: Clyde's on Church, 1700 Church Street, April 11, 5:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Cocktails, wine, and beer available for purchase. LAW will provide the food.  Following Clyde's, join the Health & Wellness committee for a salsa dance night at PLAY at 7:30!

The LAW Annual Meeting & Awards Banquet is April 26 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel!  Register today.
 
For information about the group and its activities, contact Maria Campbell.
 
National Bar Association, Ballard Taylor Chapter For information about the group and its activities, contact Taylor Eskridge.
 
National Bar Association, Ben F. Jones Chapter – For more information about the National Bar Association, Ben F. Jones Chapter, please contact Latanyia Walker.
 
National Bar Association, Napier Looby Chapter – For information about the group and its activities, contact David Jones.
 
National Bar Association, S.L. Hutchins Chapter – For information about the group and its activities, contact Ariel Anthony, (432) 755-2661.
 
Southeast Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (SETLAW) – Please join SETLAW for its next meeting on April 12 to discuss “Law and the Media: Effective Representation in Highly Publicized Trials” with attorney Amanda Dunn and Judge Lila Statom. For more information about SETLAW, contact Lauren Sherrell, or email the chapter directly.
 
Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association – For information about TAPABA and its activities, contact Lanta Wang, (615) 850-8194.
 
Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (TLAW) – Tennessee Lawyer's Association for Women (TLAW) will be hosting its annual Empowerment Conference on April 20. For information about TLAW and its activities, contact Connie Chadwick.
 
Tennessee Stonewall Bar Association – For information about the group and its activities, contact Charles McLaurin.
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YLD Affiliate News for December 2017

American Bar Association YLD – The 2018 ABA Mid-Year Meeting will be in Vancouver, Canada, from Feb. 2-4.  Registration can be found at ambar.org/yldmidyear18. To learn more about the ABA YLD visit the group online, follow them on Facebook and Twitter or connect on Linkedin

Blount County Bar Association YLD – The Blount County YLD has a new president, Sarah Miracle.   For more information email Sarah or call at 865-705-7011.

Chattanooga Bar Association YLD – The Chattanooga Bar Association YLD continues to have monthly social happy hours and quarterly Coffee Talks with local judges throughout this upcoming year. The group’s next meeting and elections will be January 17. For more information about the group contact President Brittany Faith, (423) 756-8400, or follow the group on Facebook.

Jackson Madison County Bar Association YLD –For more information about the group, contact President Christie Hopper. Stay tuned for more information and follow news on the group's Facebook page.

Knoxville Bar Association Barristers –  The Barristers Volunteer Breakfast is a recurring event on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:15 a.m. The Barristers Volunteer Breakfast Committee always needs volunteers to serve food or sponsor. Sign up here. 

Everyone is invited to attend the Barristers’ monthly meetings, which are held on the second Wednesday of every month beginning at 5 p.m. at the Bistro by the Bijou (807 South Gay Street). Mitchell Panter, Paine | Bickers LLP, is the new Barristers president.
 
The Knoxville Barrister Hunger & Poverty Relief Committee attended the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee Double Your Donation Telethon recently. The group donated over 36,000 meals to families in East Tennessee this year.
 
Volunteers Needed for Barristers High School Mock Trial Competition - Feb. 10 and Feb. 24.  The Barristers Mock Trial Committee is looking for volunteers to help as presiding judges, scoring judges, and bailiffs for this year’s KBA High School Mock Trial Competition. Volunteers are needed for Saturday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 24. If you are interested in volunteering for one or both of those dates, please contact Sarah Watson or Amanda Tonkin as soon as possible. Volunteers will need to be available from 8 a.m. until roughly 2 p.m. (although you might get done earlier). Volunteers will be provided with breakfast and lunch each Saturday.
 
Can you donate a couple of hours of your time to assist area service members and military families? The Knoxville Barristers sponsor a Veterans’ Legal Advice Clinic on the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. at the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office.
 
There are many opportunities to get involved, so please contact Barristers President Mitchell Panter for more information.  Check out the Barristers online or on Facebook.

Maury County Bar Association YLD – For more information contact President Thomas Hutto, (931) 388-2822.

Memphis Bar Association YLD –  The MBA YLD recently held its annual meeting and elections. Mary Wu Tullis of Baker Donelson was elected president.

For more information about the MBA YLD, or if you would like to get involved with the MBA YLD, please contact President Mary Wu Tullis or visit the group’s Facebook page.

Montgomery County Bar Association YLD –  For information about the Montgomery County YLD contact Jamie Durrett.

Nashville Bar Association YLD –  For more information about the NBA YLD contact Lauren Paxton Roberts, or follow the group on Facebook.

Northeast Tennessee Young Lawyers Association –  For more information, please contact Caroline Ross Williams. Follow news from the group on Facebook.

Upper Cumberland Young Lawyers Association – For more information about the group, please contact President Gordon Byars. Follow news from the group on Facebook.

Williamson County Bar Association YLD –  For information about the group contact President Kendall White or follow news from the group on Facebook.

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Turn Your Expertise into a Magazine Article

Tennessee Bar Journal

Have you considered turning your expertise and experience into an article for the Tennessee Bar Journal? Sharing your knowledge with colleagues is one of the best ways to help the profession while also getting your name out there.

How can you become a Journal author? Think of and refine your topic. It should be of interest to Tennessee lawyers, which is a broad criteria. This could mean you might explain a new state law, explain a complicated area of law, or take a larger issue and connect it to what it means for Tennessee attorneys and the justice system. Find a global issue within your particular experience or knowledge and tell about it and how it affects Tennessee law. Then take a look at the writer’s guidelines, which will tell you about length, notes and other details. Once it’s in the proper format, send it in! It goes to the editor, Suzanne Craig Robertson, who will then get it to the seven members of the Editorial Board for review.

If you are published, you may apply for CLE credit for your work under Supreme Court Rule 21 Section 4.07(b). For details on claiming the credit, check with the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

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ABA Recommendations Included in the 'Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017'

The American Bar Association won hard-fought victories on key tax issues affecting the legal profession in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017,” the comprehensive tax reform legislation that President Donald Trump recently signed.

While not all ABA recommendations were incorporated into the final legislation, these issues were favorable for lawyers and law firms:

  • Mandatory Accrual Accounting for Law Firms. Fortunately, ABA-opposed mandatory accrual accounting proposals were not included in the final bill. Had these proposals been included, they would have required many law firms to switch from cash to accrual accounting and pay taxes on “phantom income” long before it is received from clients. The ABA worked with 30 state and local bars, dozens of law firms, and other leaders for over four years to protect the legal profession from these harmful provisions.
  • Tax Relief for Pass-Through Entities. Individual owners of pass-through entities — including law firms and other professional service businesses, up to certain income thresholds — will be allowed to deduct 20 percent of the “qualified business income” they receive from the entity. Although the ABA did not endorse this or any other specific tax reductions contained in the bill, the ABA worked to ensure that law firms received the same benefits as other pass-through businesses.
  • Student Loan Interest Tax Deduction. The existing deduction is retained in the final legislation, as requested by the ABA in a letter to House and Senate leaders.
  • Deduction of Upfront Litigation Expenses. In an important victory for lawyers who handle contingency fee lawsuits in the 9th Circuit, the final legislation confirms the cash accounting system for plaintiff firms by allowing lawsuit-related expenses to be deducted when they are incurred. In addition to protecting the legal profession from adverse legislation, advocacy on the tax reform bill also helped build stronger ties with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and other professional associations, which can now carry over to other issues of mutual interest.

The ABA will continue to fight for the legal profession and lawyers around the country.

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Are You on the Rise?

Nominations are being accepted for the ABA YLD Annual On the Rise - Top 40 Young Lawyers Award!

This award provides national recognition for ABA young lawyer members who exemplify a broad range of high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and legal and community service.

The deadline to submit nominations is March 1, 2018.

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December 2017 YLD Attorney Spotlight – Brittany J. Williams

Brittany J. Williams

This year the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will be recognizing its outstanding members each month by featuring them in the TBA YLD Attorney Spotlight. For the month of December, the YLD is highlighting Brittany J. Williams.

Brittany J. Williams, a Memphis native, works as an attorney through a partnership between the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and the City of Memphis. She’s the city’s first “Neighborhood Preservation Fellow,” where she represents Memphis in public nuisance lawsuits and in other Shelby County Environmental Court matters against property owners who have vacant, abandoned or dilapidated properties that violate city code. In this role, she also assists in case handling and management for Neighborhood Preservation Act cases and other Environmental Court cases filed by the city. Brittany is a 2015 Memphis Law graduate and a 2012 University of Tennessee graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She has been published in an American Bar Association Journal related to litigating blighted property issues in Memphis.

Brittany currently serves on the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Board as the Public Service Committee – West Tennessee Captain. As a law student she participated in and graduated from the TBA YLD’s 2014 Diversity Leadership Institute. Brittany has been instrumental in organizing various legal clinics as well as encouraging law students to become involved in TBA activities.

Please join us in congratulating Brittany Williams as this month’s Tennessee Bar Association YLD’s Attorney Spotlight! Please send nominations for the January 2018 YLD Attorney Spotlight to Justin Faith.

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Get Certified as an ABA YLD Delegate Today!

Delegate certification is open for the YLD Business Meetings and Assembly at the ABA Mid-Year Meeting, Feb. 2-4 in Vancouver, BC, Canada!

To get certified as a delegate visit the Delegate Certification page. After certifying, please visit YLD Assembly & Business Meetings at 2018 ABA Midyear Meeting page and register. While at the Mid-Year Meeting in Vancouver you can:

  • Get your voice heard at the YLD Assembly;
  • Sharpen your leadership skills at the business meetings;
  • Participate in the thrill of debate at the YLD Fellows Debate;
  • Flex young lawyer muscle during the ABA House of Delegates caucus.
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Registration Now Open for the ABA’s YLD Mid-Year 2018 in Vancouver

Hyatt Hotel Vancouver

The ABA YLD welcomes you to Vancouver on Feb. 2 – 4 for Assembly and Business Meetings at the ABA 2018 Midyear Meeting.

  • While with us in Vancouver, you can:
  • Get your voice heard at the YLD Assembly;
  • Sharpen your leadership skills at our business meetings;
  • Participate in the thrill of debate at the YLD Fellows Debate; and
  • Flex young lawyer muscle during the ABA House of Delegates caucus.

YLD HQ is the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 55 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7 Canada.

Please note: A valid passport is required for travel to Canada; passport must not expire three months before date of travel.

Registration information can be found here. Delegate certification information can be found here.

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Supreme Court Soliciting Comments on Proposed Changes to Rule 8

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility and the TBA recently filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to amend Rule 8, RPC 8.4 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court by adopting a new RPC 8.4(g). The court is now soliciting written comments from the bench, the bar and the public. The deadline for submissions is March 21. Written comments may be emailed or mailed to James M. Hivner, Clerk, Re: Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 9, section 32 Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37219-1407. Read the proposed amendments here.

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ABA YLD 2018-2019 Leadership Appointment Process is Open

ABA Appointments

The American Bar Association's YLD 2018-19 Leadership Appointment application process is open! Applications are being accepted now. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15.

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Diversity Leadership Institute Class of 2018 Selected

The YLD Diversity Committee this month selected 21 law students from six different Tennessee law schools for the 2018 Diversity Leadership Institute, a six-month leadership and mentoring program for Tennessee law students. Now in its eighth year, the program is designed to develop skills to succeed as a law student and attorney; empower students to contribute more to the legal community; match students to mentors in a diverse variety of practice areas; and build relationships among students of diverse backgrounds.

The 2018 Diversity Leadership Institute program will begin with an opening retreat at the TBA Leadership Conference on Jan. 12-13 in Nashville. At the retreat, participants will get to know fellow class members and be introduced to leadership and diversity concepts that will be explored throughout the program. Subsequent sessions will be held concurrently with the Tennessee High School Mock Trial Competition in March and the Institute will conclude with a final session and graduation ceremony during the TBA Annual Convention in Memphis in June.

Congratulations to this the 2018 DLI Class!

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TBA Selects 30 for Leadership Law Class

This month the TBA announced the members of the incoming 2018 Leadership Law class. Among the 30 chosen for the program, many are current young lawyers and three currently serve on the TBA YLD Board – Justin Faith, John Rice and Janika White.

Now in its 15th year, Leadership Law is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities. The class will meet for its first session in January, and then spend the next six months learning about leadership in the legal profession, issues in the courts, policy making in state government and the importance of community service.

The class will graduate in June at the Annual TBA Convention in Memphis.

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Revision to Federal Law Clerk Handbook Addresses Sexual Harassment

The federal law clerk handbook was revised on Monday to address sexual harassment complaints against judges, the ABA Journal reports. The revision was made to address concerns that confidentiality rules wouldn’t prevent sexual harassment claims against judges. The new passage, added to the section that covers confidentiality, reads: “However, nothing in this handbook, or in the Code of Conduct, prevents a clerk, or any judiciary employee, from revealing misconduct, including sexual or other forms of harassment, by their judge or any person. Clerks are encouraged to bring such matters to the attention of an appropriate judge or other official.”
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2018 Mock Trial Problem Released

The problem and exhibits for the 2018 Tennessee State High School Mock Trial competition was released on Friday evening. This year’s problem, a civil case, revolves around a sports fan’s protest held during the Tennessee eclipse. This year’s competition will be held in Nashville on March 23-24. Chairing the YLD Mock Trial Committee this year is Rob Sands, with Vice Chair Kati Goodner.

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Save the Date: ABA 2018 Paris Sessions

The ABA 2018 Paris Sessions will be June 7-10 at Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Hotel in Paris, France. More information can be found here.

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Registration Now Open for the ABA’s YLD Mid-Year 2018 in Vancouver

The ABA YLD welcomes you to Vancouver on Feb. 2 – 4 for Assembly and Business Meetings at the ABA 2018 Midyear Meeting.

While with us in Vancouver, you can:

  • Get your voice heard at the YLD Assembly;
  • Sharpen your leadership skills at our business meetings;
  • Participate in the thrill of debate at the YLD Fellows Debate; and
  • Flex young lawyer muscle during the ABA House of Delegates caucus.



YLD HQ is the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 55 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7 Canada.

Please note: A valid passport is required for travel to Canada; passport must not expire three months before date of travel.

Registration information can be found here. Delegate certification information can be found here.

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Supreme Court Soliciting Comments on Proposed Changes to Rule 8

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility and the TBA recently filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to amend Rule 8, RPC 8.4 of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court by adopting a new RPC 8.4(g). The court is now soliciting written comments from the bench, the bar and the public. The deadline for submissions is March 21. Written comments may be emailed or mailed to James M. Hivner, Clerk, Re: Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 9, section 32 Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37219-1407. Read the proposed amendments here.

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