YLD Releases 2016 Mock Trial Case

The TBA YLD Mock Trial Committee has released the problem and rules for the 2016 Tennessee High School Mock Trial Competition. The list of district competition coordinators is also available. Local competitions will take place in February with the state competition set for March 18-19 in Nashville. Feel free to follow along at @tnmocktrial or sign up to receive updates by email.
This year’s case is a products liability lawsuit against Thorobern, a manufacturer of appliances for recreational vehicles. The suit is being brought by Ashton Stepinghuf, a semi professional rodeo junkie and walking horse aficionado who shows horses and rides bulls. In 2011, Stepinghuf purchased a top-of-the-line customized horse trailer that included a luxurious living room, bedroom, full bath and kitchen with a gas range and stove, refrigerator and microwave. In 2014, a fire (which was later determined to have begun near the refrigerator) damaged the trailer and an adjacent barn. While searching for information about Thorobern, Stepinghuf learned that several similar fires had occurred across the country – all tied to the company’s refrigerator. Stepinghuf hired an attorney and filed suit, alleging that the refrigerator was defective and spontaneously caught fire, and that Thorobern acted intentionally, maliciously, fraudulently and/or recklessly. Thorobern denied all liability, asserting that its product was not the cause of the fire, and arguing that Stepinghuf intentionally altered the cooling unit to cause a fire.
read more »

YLD Election Petitions Due Feb. 15

Young lawyers interested in running for leadership positions within the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) have until Feb. 15 to file a nominating petition with YLD Secretary Troy Weston. Positions open for the 2016-2017 bar year include the following:
Vice President (must be from the Middle Grand Division; ascends to presidency in 2018-2019)
East Tennessee Governor
Middle Tennessee Governor
West Tennessee Governor
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
This year, for the first time, candidates for Executive Committee positions must complete a nominating petition signed by at least 25 TBA members who are 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 also be submitted electronically this year. For more details about the electronic voting process, 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 Weston by email no later than Feb. 15, 2016, Questions about the election should be directed to Weston by email or phone, (865) 544-2010. 
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.
read more »

TBA Accepting Applications for Mentoring Class

The TBA will begin its fifth mentoring class in February and is currently accepting applications for the class until Jan. 4, 2016. Mentors should be attorneys with at least eight years of legal practice experience and mentees must be within the first three years of legal practice. If you are interested in participating, click here for more information or contact Christy Gibson at 615-383-7421. 

read more »

Mock Trial Coordinators Needed

The YLD Mock Trial Committee is looking for volunteers to become mock trial coordinators in their area, especially for District 4, which includes Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Loudon, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Polk, Rhea and Roane counties. The coordinator(s) will help organize and run their local district mock trial competition. For more information, contact Kristen Corn.

read more »

Attorney Needed to Coach Mock Trial Team in Johnson City

The Washington County Bar is seeking an attorney to coach a mock trial team at Science Hill High School in Johnson City. Contact the Washington County Bar at 423-631-0326 to volunteer.

read more »

TBA YLD Releases 2016 Mock Trial Case

The TBA YLD Mock Trial Committee has released the problem and rules for the 2016 Tennessee High School Mock Trial Competition. The list of district competition coordinators should be available later this week. This year’s case is a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of appliances for recreational vehicles. The suit is brought by a semi professional rodeo junkie and walking horse aficionado who claims a defective refrigerator is to blame for a fire that damages a high-end customized horse trailer. The manufacturer denies any liability, arguing that the owner intentionally altered the refrigerator’s cooling unit to cause the fire. High school students across the state will put their best arguments forward at local competitions in February, with district winners advancing to the state competition March 18-19 in Nashville. Follow along at @tnmocktrial or sign up to receive updates by email.

read more »

YLD Affiliate News for November 2015

American Bar Association YLD – The ABA Law Student Division has launched a new podcast specifically for law students, covering issues from finals and graduation to the bar exam and finding a job. The program, called the ABA Law Student Podcast, is available through iTunes, the Legal Talk Network app,, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Soundcloud. Listeners can follow the podcast and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #LawStudentPodcast. Law students can join the ABA for free and then subscribe to the podcast at no charge. To learn more about the ABA YLD visit the group online, follow it on Facebook or Twitter or connect on Linkedin. To get involved with the group, contact Nashville lawyer Matt Potempa, (615) 810-8438.

read more »

Make Plans Now for the 2016 YLD Ethics Series

You know the law but don’t let the business of law slow you down as you build your reputation and client base. The Business of Lawyering: Professional Development for Today’s Attorney is a three-hour ethics seminar that focuses on the practical aspects of lawyering. For four Fridays in February the program will be offered across the state. Make plans now to attend a seminar near you!


read more »

Upcoming Wills for Heroes Clinics (as of 11/24/15)


The YLD again this year is providing free wills and other end of life documents for first responders in Tennessee. Clinics have been scheduled across the state through the fall. Please contact the event organizer for more details or to volunteer. The following clinics are scheduled in the next few months. See the list of all scheduled clinics.

read more »

YLD Helps Welcome New Lawyers

The Tennessee legal community welcomed more than 500 new attorneys to the practice of law earlier this month. Many of those were sworn in during two ceremonies in Nashville. See photos and video from the event and from an Open House at the Tennessee Bar Center. Representatives from the Young Lawyers Division were present at each ceremony to congratulate these new lawyers and introduce them to the benefits of TBA membership.

This year, the YLD added a fun element to the ceremonies: new admittees were invited to join a Social Media Challenge. Those who posted a photo from the day on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and used the hashtag #newTNattorney, were entered into a drawing for a prize.

Breanna Z. Pendilton of Nashville (left), a 2015 Belmont College of Law graduate, won this year’s challenge. Congratulations to all new admittees!

read more »

Deadline Extended for 2016 DLI Applications

The TBA YLD Diversity Committee has extended the deadline for applying for the 2016 Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI) until Friday, Dec. 18, at 5 p.m. CST. The DLI is a six-month program offering opportunities for leadership training, networking and mentoring for 2L and 3L law students. The program will run from January to June 2016. Participants must agree to attend three in-person meetings, complete all program requirements and be a student member of the TBA. Learn more about the program or download an application from the TBA website.

Young lawyers also are needed to serve as mentors for law student class members. Contact Diversity Committee Chair Amber Floyd, (901) 537-1054 to volunteer.

read more »

New YLD Staff Coordinator Named

Katharine Heriges has been named the new staff coordinator for the TBA YLD. She started on Nov. 16 and has been training with outgoing YLD Director Stacey Shrader Joslin, who is leaving the TBA at the end of the month. Shrader Joslin, who has worked with the YLD for the last 11 years, is relocating to Kentucky. Heriges comes to the TBA after two years of working on local political races. Prior to that, she worked as an English teacher abroad in Busan, South Korea. In addition to serving as coordinator for the YLD, she will also work with TBA’s Public Education Committee. She can be reached at (615) 383-7421 or

read more »

TBA, YLD Announce Process for Electronic Voting

Beginning with the 2016 elections, the Tennessee Bar Association elections will be primarily carried out electronically using online balloting. This change was approved by the TBA Board of Governors at its annual meeting in June under bylaw changes adopted by the TBA. Young Lawyers Division elections also will be conducted using the same procedure.

The TBA has used a combination of electronic voting and paper ballots since 2005 and has seen growing acceptance and usage of the online option. Most members are familiar with this method, but those who still prefer to cast paper ballots will be able to choose that method.

read more »

TBA Names 2016 Leadership Law Class

The Tennessee Bar Association announces that 33 attorneys from eight Tennessee cities -- Chattanooga, Cleveland, Gallatin, Jackson, Knoxville, Madisonville, Memphis and Nashville -- have been selected for its 2016 Leadership Law (TBALL) program. Now in its 13th 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. View the 2016 Leadership Law class

read more »

Indigent Task Force Holds First Meeting in Nashville

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s Indigent Representation Task Force held its first meeting Nov. 6 at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Lee highlighted three focus areas for the task force: (1) how indigency is determined; (2) the quality of legal services provided; and (3) the administration or delivery of the compensation and rates.

Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier shared the 2011 AOC report on the Indigent Defense Fund, and staff presented on the administration and mechanics of the fund. The task force’s next meeting is planned for early 2016. Check TBA Impact for more information and stay tuned for information on educational sessions and a call to action on contacting legislators.

Contact TBA’s Public Policy Coordinator Brenda Gadd, (615) 383-7421 or YLD Public Policy Committee Chair Will Hicky, (615)324-8777 for more information about this or any other policy issue.

read more »

Young Lawyers Named to 2016 TBALL Class


The TBA announced the members of the 2016 Leadership Law class this week. Now in its 13th year, the program is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities.

read more »

Bloomberg Write-On Competition Accepting Articles

The 2016 Bloomberg Law Write-On Competition is open for submissions on topics impacting the legal landscape. Ten winners will have their articles published in a national Bloomberg BNA Law Report and receive $2,500. Submissions must be received by Feb. 17.

read more »

Heriges Joins TBA Staff as YLD Coordinator

Young Lawyers Division Director Stacey Shrader Joslin will be leaving the TBA at the end of the month, concluding 11 years of service with the organization. Taking her place will be Katharine Heriges, who joined the staff on Nov. 16 and has been training under Shrader Joslin this week. Heriges comes to TBA after two years of working on local Nashville political races. Prior to that she worked as an English teacher abroad in Busan, South Korea. In addition to serving as coordinator for the YLD, Heriges will work with the TBA’s Public Education Committee. She can be reached at (615) 383-7421 or

read more »

Still Time to Nominate the 2016 CASA Volunteer of the Year

The YLD Children’s Issues Committee is still accepting nominations from Tennessee CASA agencies for the 2016 CASA Volunteer of the Year Award, but the deadline is coming up fast! All applications must be submitted by Nov. 30.

Please encourage your local CASA directors to nominate a hard-working volunteer for this statewide recognition! The winner, as well as the executive director of the agency where the volunteer works, will be recognized at the YLD Winter Board Meeting in Nashville in January. Contact committee chair Katrina Atchley Arbogast for more information. Get an application form and instructions online.

Don't know how to reach your CASA representative? Find a list of CASA offices across the state here.

read more »

Private Student Loan Lenders Taking Delinquents to Court

An increased number of private student loan lenders are taking delinquent borrowers to court, according to the Associated Press, despite less people missing payments. "Litigation is now an accepted collection effort," Christopher Koegel, assistant director of the Division of Financial Practices at the Federal Trade Commission, said. "In the past, it was rare. We're certainly seeing lawsuits we didn't see five to six years ago." Close to five percent of private student loans were delinquent in the first quarter of this year. The Bristol Herald Courier has the story.

read more »

TBJ Columns Cover Crime, History, Humor and Books

Columns in the November Tennessee Bar Journal include Wade Davies’s criminal law, Russell Fowler’s history and Bill Haltom’s humor. Davies writes about "(Not) Summary Judgment," Fowler is all about Ida B.Wells, and Haltom reminds us the power of a hand-written note. Candi Henry reviews the book, The Billable Hour. The Journal’s 50th Birthday is celebrated this month with a story about the background of the magazine’s and other TBA publications’ proper names (which is not nearly as boring as this makes it sound). Read it!

read more »

Tips for Lawyers on Managing Anxiety

What can lawyers do to manage and conquer anxiety? The ABA Journal features Will Meyerhofer, a psychotherapist who has also been a practicing attorney, in a podcast (with transcripts) with information about anxiety and tips on how lawyers can manage and overcome it.

read more »

New to the Practice of Law?

As new lawyers take the oath of office across the state this month, the TBA would like to welcome you to the practice of law! As you begin your legal career, the TBA and its Young Lawyers Division are here to help you navigate this next chapter. To give you an overview of the benefits of TBA membership and ways you can get involved, we have created a webpage just for you. The page also offers links to photos from the swearing in ceremonies and TBA's Open House. And remember, new admittees who join the TBA during the month of November will receive a free gift. Learn more here.

read more »

TBA Open House Video and Photos

Check out our video on Tennessee's newest lawyers at the TBA Open House earlier this week. The page also features photos from the event and Nashville's swearing-in ceremonies. Search and share photos from swearing-in ceremonies around the state by using #newTNattorney. 

read more »

YLD Invited Guest News for October 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.

Association for Women Attorneys (AWA) - The AWA will host its fall membership meeting at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens (Hughes Pavilion) in Memphis from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11. Then on Nov. 14, the group will have a champagne brunch and holiday gift show benefiting A Step Ahead Foundation. That event will run from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3475 Central Ave. You do not have to be an AWA member to attend either event. For more information about the AWA, contact Megan Warden.

read more »