June, 2013

Cover Story

With the monumental changes to workers’ compensation in Tennessee, it is time we pause and look back on how we got to where we are today, not only in Tennessee but more broadly. As Justice Holmes said, “The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.”[1] But first, what is workers’ compensation? In brief, it is the oldest form of social...

President's Perspective

It is hard to believe that I am writing my final President’s Perspective. The “bar” year has passed quickly. While my term is ending, the TBA is like that line from a Robert Earl Keen song, “The road goes on forever and the party never ends.” The association will continue on in the good hands of incoming president Cindy Wyrick. I have been amazed at the...

Letters of the Law

We All Lose When Legislature Declares War on Judiciary

I cannot express my disappointment in the actions of the legislature on its final day of the session just concluded. By defeating the Senate’s bill to redistrict judicial lines the House has insured that the issue will not be reexamined until just before the judicial elections in 2030. The...

History's Verdict

The Tennessee Bar Journal welcomes a new column this month. Russell Fowler will look to the past to help inform the practice of today in “History’s Verdict.” His column will appear three times a year.

2015 is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. It is time to pause and ponder its importance and plan how to commemorate this...

Senior Moments

A durable financial power of attorney (DPOA) is one of the most important lifetime documents our clients will sign. Unfortunately, by the time clients reach an elder law attorney, they usually have a “plain jane” DPOA that merely gives the agent the powers listed in Tenn. Code Ann. §34-6-109.

Membership Maven
Kathy Prescott

Dear Maven,

What’s going on at TBA? You seem to be running around and out of breath a lot lately. Are you training for a marathon? Is there something I should know about?


Dear Mr. C.,

I am a little frantic this time of year!

Spring is in the air and...


The Tennessee Bar Association was recognized in October with three Luminary Awards from the National Association of Bar Executives. The Tennessee Bar Journal earned a Luminary Award for The Law Launch Project, which followed 15 law students through their last year of school.


Donald Eugene “Gene” Hayes Jr. has joined the Memphis office of Jackson Lewis as of counsel. He will serve in the Disability, Leave and Health Management Practice Group. Hayes previously worked for the UT Medical Group Inc., where he served as counsel and human resources manager. He earned his law degree from Emory University School of...


The Tennessee General Assembly wrapped up its 2013 session early, but not without acrimony, sending senators and representatives home without passing a number of key pieces of legislation.


Former Criminal Court Judge and TBA senior counselor FRED A. KELLY died Sept. 27 at the age of 93. Kelly graduated from the University of Tennessee and later served in World War II, earning the rank of captain. He graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1948 and began practicing law in Gallatin. A native of the city, he went...

Licensure & Discipline


Knoxville assistant district attorney Ta Kisha Fitzgerald received a public censure on April 16 for failing to timely disclose to opposing counsel the existence of letters and phone calls from a defendant. Fitzgerald submitted a conditional guilty plea acknowledging violations of Rules 3.4(d), 3.8(d) and 8.4(a) and (d)...

Crime & Punishment

Corporate crime is big news. Lawyers practicing in Tennessee face an increasing likelihood of being asked to assist business clients in responding to an allegation of criminal wrongdoing. To protect the business and to avoid inadvertent harm to others (and your license), counsel must both understand the attorney-client privilege of an organization.

Bank on It

My law office sports framed photographs of bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, Willie Sutton and Cousin Jesse James (at least my mother always liked to tell people we were related to the infamous James Boys). Perhaps subconsciously I have felt the need to try and protect banks from the bad guys — more so those who use their positions to steal from the inside...

Paine on Procedure

Black’s Ninth defines “qui tam” as “an action brought under a statute that allows a private person to sue for a penalty, part of which the government … shall receive.” The words are Latin for “who as well.”

The best Tennessee example is our False Claims Act, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. §§4-18-101–108. Categories of false claims covered...

But Seriously, Folks

My fellow Tennesseans, I wish to speak in defense of the Tennessee Legislature. During the past session, the Tennessee General Assembly was subjected to a great deal of scorn and ridicule, which, by the way, should not be confused with the law firm by the same name (Scorn & Ridicule LLC). Late-night comedians including Jay Leno, David Letterman,...