News

High School Students Compete in State Mock Trial Championship This Weekend

Schools from across the state to gather March 15-16th in Nashville

NASHVILLE, March 12, 2013— High school teams from across Tennessee will put their legal skills to the test during the Tennessee Bar Association's 33rd annual mock trial championship in Nashville this coming weekend, March 15-16. The event will be held at the historic Davidson County Courthouse.

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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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Young Lawyers Help Boy Scouts Get Law Merit Badge

Attorneys from the firm of Lee & Lee in Lebanon, along with area lawyers, are hosting a Boy Scout Law Merit Badge program on March 9 in conjunction with the Annual Cumberland Merit Badge University. The program will include a presentation by lawyers with the district attorney’s office, law enforcement and local firms. It will culminate with a mock trial held in a local courtroom. Scouts will act as plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses and experts with local attorneys serving as “elbow counsel.” Wilson County General Sessions Court Judge Judge Barry Tatum will preside over the trial. The students will consider the question of whether scouts should be prohibited from advancement due to a refusal to affirm a belief in God and whether the Boy Scouts organization falls within the definition of a “business establishment.” Approximately 24 scouts from Middle Tennessee are expected to participate. Contact YLD District Representative Mike Kurtz at mkurtz@leeandlee.com for more information.

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2013 Law Day Art & Essay Contests Announced

The TBA YLD has announced the 2013 Law Day Art & Essay Contest, which gives students the opportunity to express their ideas about living in a society that is governed by the rule of law, and achieve statewide recognition for their work. The 2013 competition theme, "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All" challenges students to explore civil and human rights movements in America and the impact they have had in promoting the ideal of equality under the law. Deadline for submissions was April 12. Winners will be announced in May.

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Mock Trial Becomes Conduit for Service

In addition to preparing the 2013 mock trial case for their local competition, high school mock trial teams in Erwin and Springfield took time to reach out and serve their communities. In Unicoi County, the local high school team held a “dress rehearsal” of the official local mock trial competition to raise money in honor of their long-time coach Sarah Shults after she was diagnosed with cancer. The students made and sold tickets to the event at school and throughout the community. They even auctioned off chairs in the jury box for prime seating! And of course, they had a bake sale to supplement tickets sales. Former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Penny White presided over the trial. All funds raised went to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

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Preds Game Launches Spring Membership Events

The TBA YLD will hold membership events across the state this spring to showcase benefits of membership, encourage networking among lawyers and provide an opportunity for some fun. The series of events kicks off with a happy hour and Predators game on March 25 for law students and young lawyers in Middle Tennessee. Space will be limited for this fun night watching the Nashville Predators take on the Edmonton Oilers so start making plans to attend now. Details about price and location will be sent soon. If you are interested in joining the fun, contact Mary Beth Haltom, TBA YLD Middle Tennessee Governor, at (615) 259-1386 or mhaltom@lewisking.com.

Watch for details about events in other cities coming soon.

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YLD Promotes Civics at Teachers’ Event

The TBA YLD will host a table at the Tennessee Conference for Social Studies March 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin. Volunteers are needed to help staff the table and encourage elementary, high school and college instructors to include civics education in their lesson plans. All materials will be provided. The annual conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Council for the Social Studies, which is devoted to providing information, resources and support for educators interested in or involved with social studies curriculum. To learn more about the conference or to volunteer please contact Shauna Billingsley at shauna.billingsley@franklintn.gov or (615) 550-6652.

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YLD Affiliate News for February 2013

American Bar Association YLD -- The ABA YLD is accepting applications through Friday for its subgrant program, which provides funding for bar association activities that benefit local communities, leaders or members. The group will hold its next meeting -- the Spring Conference --  in Minneapolis May 16-18. For information about the ABA YLD or to get involved contact Matt Potempa at matt@potempafirm.com or (615) 255-5007.

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Upcoming Wills for Heroes Clinics (as of 2/28/13)

The following Wills for Heroes events have been scheduled across the state. Please contact the event organizer for more details or to volunteer. To get involved in the Wills for Heroes Committee or to request a clinic in your area, please contact committee chair Bradley Carter at bcarter@runyonandrunyon.com. Learn more about the Wills for Heroes program.

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14 Teams to Compete at State Mock Trial

With district mock trial competitions wrapping up this week, the stage is now set for the Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition, which will take place March 15-16 at the Historic Davidson County Courthouse in downtown Nashville. Volunteers are still needed to assist with the event. Sitting judges in Tennessee may volunteer to serve as presiding judges of trial rounds, lawyers may serve as scorers, and law students or legal staff may serve as bailiffs. Those who want to volunteer should download the appropriate form and submit it to Mock Trial Chair Troy Weston at tweston@eblaw.us. Volunteers traveling from out of town will be provided with meals, mileage reimbursement and hotel accommodations for Friday night. The following 14 teams will compete during the two-day event:

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Entries for Law Day Contests Now Being Accepted

The 2013 Law Day Art & Essay Contest is underway. Sponsored by the TBA Young Lawyers Division, the competition this year will center on the theme "Realizing the Dream: Equality for All." This provides an opportunity for students to explore civil and human rights movements in America and the impact they have had in promoting the ideal of equality under the law. Students also are asked to consider what remains to be done to rectify injustice in society, including eliminating all forms of discrimination, putting an end to human trafficking and ending other violations of human rights. Art and essay submissions depicting this theme must be submitted by April 12.

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Volunteers Needed for Saturday Events

The TBA Young Lawyers Division has two events taking place on Saturday that still need attorney volunteers. First, in Franklin, the Williamson County Mock Trial Competition begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs throughout the day. Attorneys are needed to serve as scorers while law students or legal staff are needed to serve as bailiffs. Please contact Shauna Billingsley at (615) 550-6603 or shauna.billingsley@franklintn.gov for more information. On the western side of the state, the Memphis Wills for Heroes clinic is drawing record numbers of first responders. Approximately 10 attorneys are still needed for the afternoon shift at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. Please contact Joann Coston-Holloway at (901) 577-8223 or jholloway@bakerdonelson.com for details.

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YLD Affiliate News for January 2013

American Bar Association YLD -- Those interested in applying for a 2013-2014 ABA YLD leadership appointment should submit their application by Feb. 15. In addition, affiliates have until March 1 to submit applications for the ABA YLD subgrant program, which provides funding for activities that benefit the local organization's communities, leaders or members.

The ABA YLD's next meeting will take place Feb. 7-9 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. This year's meeting agenda includes a New Partner Workshop, which will feature a nationally known law firm marketing expert and a day of interactive learning and networking to help new partners, aspiring partners and attorneys who have launched their own firms prepare for their new roles. For information about the ABA YLD or to get involved contact Matt Potempa at matt@potempafirm.com or (615) 255-5007.

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Upcoming Wills for Heroes Clinics (as of 1/31/13)

The following Wills for Heroes events have been scheduled across the state. Please contact the event organizer for more details or to volunteer. To get involved in the Wills for Heroes Committee or to request a clinic in your area, please contact committee chair Bradley Carter at bcarter@runyonandrunyon.com. Learn more about the Wills for Heroes program.

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Young Lawyers in the News

TBA YLD District 11 Representative Shauna Billingsley was recognized for her district's public service project "Badges with Bears" with a story in The Tennessean. The project collected donated stuffed bears for Franklin police to use to calm and comfort children they encounter at accident scenes or domestic disturbances. Commenting on the donation, Billingsley said, "Things like car crashes or family fights can be extremely frightening to young children. Helping police connect with them during times of trouble is something we felt compelled to help with. Many of us are parents and agreed that helping to make our children more comfortable with our police force is important."

Young lawyers in Chattanooga were recognized in an article in The Hamilton County Herald for creating a children’s area at the juvenile court building. The effort was a result of a partnership between the Chattanooga YLD, TBA YLD, Green Form Construction, the local CASA program and Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey. The area will provide a quiet and comforting place for children to wait while their parents are in court or they prepare to give testimony. Books for the area were donated by the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

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Mock Trial Coach Needed in Coffee County

A school in Coffee County (Mock Trial District 3) has contacted the TBA seeking a coach to help its new mock trial team. Anyone willing to provide assistance to this team should contact Mock Trial Committee Chair Troy Weston at tweston@ebtlaw.com. The team needs to be ready to compete in its local contest on Feb. 23.

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Local Mock Trial Contests Start This Weekend

Local mock trial competitions will take place throughout the month of February with the first one scheduled for this Saturday. To get involved in a local competition contact the appropriate coordinator listed below. Get additional contact information online.

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State Mock Trial Volunteers Needed!

The 2013 State High School Mock Trial Competition will take place March 15-16 at the Metro Courthouse in Nashville. This annual competition brings students together from across the state to test their advocacy skills. The 2013 case presents the prosecution of Cameron Paul for the first-degree murder of Thor Brush. The competition also presents an opportunity for young lawyers to network with other young practitioners from across the state, as well as members of the state and federal judiciary. Reimbursement for meals and mileage is available. Also, for individuals willing to judge at least one round on Friday and one round on Saturday (and residing outside of Davidson County), the TBA will provide lodging on Friday night at the downtown DoubleTree Hotel. The competition needs lots of volunteers to run smoothly! Sitting judges in Tennessee may volunteer to serve as presiding judges of trial rounds, lawyers may serve as scorers, and law students and legal staff may serve as bailiffs. Those who want to volunteer should download the appropriate form and submit it to Mock Trial Chair Troy Weston at tweston@ebtlaw.com.

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DLI Class Holds First Session, Hears from Diverse Lawyers

The law student members of the 2013 Diversity Leadership Institute met for their first session this month as part of the TBA Leadership Conference. The group joined legal leaders from across the state to learn about legislative issues impacting lawyers, opportunities to get involved in programs educating the public about the legal system, and dealing with conflict. Class members also held separate sessions that featured a keynote address by Gregg Ramos with North, Pursell & Ramos in Nashville and a panel discussion with Laura Bishop Baker, Law Offices of John Day; Marshall County General Sessions Judge Lee Bussart Bowles; Ashonti Davis, Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada; Brian Frye, Legal Aid of East Tennessee; Matt Potempa, Law Office of Matt Potempa; and William Stover, Law Office of William Stover. TBA President-Elect Cindy Wyrick with the Sevierville law firm of Ogle, Gass & Richardson, and former YLD president Tasha Blakney with the Knoxville law firm of Eldridge, Blakney & Trant, also addressed the group. The weekend's program was produced by YLD Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist, an attorney with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs in Memphis. See a photo of this year's class.

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Law Student Internship Deadline Next Week

Applications for the 2013 Summer Judicial Internship Program -- which matches first and second year Tennessee law students with appellate and trial judges for six or 12-week internships -- are due next Monday, Feb. 4. Learn more about the program and get application instructions online. Questions? Contact TBA Young Lawyers Division Director Stacey Shrader Joslin at (615) 383-7421 or sshrader@tnbar.org.

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YLD Honors Award Winners, CASA Volunteer

At the TBA YLD Mid-Winter Board Meeting this month, President David Veile recognized a number of volunteers for their work since the beginning of the bar year. Franklin lawyer and YLD District 11 Representative Shauna Billingsley was recognized for her service to the YLD and for chairing the Children's Subcommittee of the TBA Public Education Committee. Clarksville lawyer and Wills for Heroes Committee Chair Brad Carter was recognized for his work coordinating Wills for Heroes clinics across the state. Murfreesboro lawyer and YLD CLE Committee Chair Tommy Santel, and Nashville lawyer and YLD CLE Committee Vice Chair Mary Beth Haltom were recognized for their work producing two educational programs for young lawyers.

In addition, Knoxville lawyer and chair of the YLD Membership & Law School Outreach Committee Joe Fanduzz recognized law students serving as TBA's liaisons at each of the law schools in the state.

Finally, Knoxville lawyer and chair of the YLD Children's Issues Committee Katrina Atchley Arbogast presented the 2013 CASA Volunteer of the Year Award to Dale Hedges of Clinton. The award recognizes Hedges' 18 years of service to CASA of the Tennessee Heartland, which serves children in Anderson, Blount and Scott counties. See photos from the event

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Children’s Library Launched at Juvenile Court

The Hamilton County Juvenile Court will launch a children’s library in the lobby of the courthouse for the dozens of young children who must spend untold hours in the lobby daily. The creation of the library is a joint volunteer effort of Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey, the Chattanooga Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, Green Form Construction, CASA and others. The idea, Judge Bailey told the Hamilton County Herald, was not to just relieve the lobby of congestion and noise but also to spark in children an interest in reading.

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Ethics CLE on Tap This Week

A three-hour ethics CLE produced by the TBA YLD and presented tomorrow (Friday) in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville will provide a unique and entertaining look at a range of ethical issues attorneys face. Attendees will observe video presentations of ethical situations and engage in an interactive discussion to gain insights on recognizing and avoiding common ethical traps. Walk ups welcome!

Law Student Group Still Needs Volunteers to Judge Events

Consider serving as a judge for the Southern Regional Black Law Students Association's Mock Trial and Moot Court competitions next week during its convention Jan. 30 through Feb. 3 in Nashville. Event organizers say they are in "dire need" of volunteers for the competitions and ask you to help with the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition and the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. "Empowering our youth by educating them on the importance of civic engagement and assisting in their academic/career planning while encouraging diversity in the legal profession," is one of the goals of the group, says convention chair Charilyn M. Stanberry. For more information, contact her.

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YLD Presents Honors During 2013 Leadership Conference

At the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division's (YLD) Mid-Winter Board Dinner -- held in conjunction with the TBA Leadership Conference -- awards were presented to volunteer lawyers named "Stars of the Quarter" for the first two quarters of the 2012-2013 bar year, law student liaisons representing the TBA at law schools across the state, and the 2013 CASA Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. Photos by Landry Butler

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