June, 2014

Cover Story

Today’s Tennessee judiciary confronts many changes and proposed changes, ranging from how judges and justices are selected to the handling of workers’ compensation claims. As unsettling and controversial as these current “reforms” are, it is a good time to pause and reflect on past challenges our state’s judicial system has endured. Unquestionably its...

President's Perspective

It seems like only yesterday that I composed my first “President's Perspective”; however, the time has already come for me to share with you some final thoughts. Let me first thank each of you for the privilege of serving as your president. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with so many of you discussing the issues of importance to our...

Letters of the Law

Reaction to Snake Cover Mixed

Considering the title, “Snakebit: Poisonous Serpents and Religious Expression in Tennessee” (April 2014 Tenn. Bar Journal by Joe Jarrett), it may have been wiser to have chosen one of our native pit vipers as the cover illustration of Mr. Jarrett’s article intead of a nonpoisonous boa constrictor.

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

When Should I Choose Hospice?

Hospice is an often misunderstood and underutilized benefit of the Medicare program. Many believe that a loved one must be knocking on death’s door or have end-stage cancer before she will qualify for hospice. In fact, anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness may receive hospice care, when certain qualifying...

Membership Maven
Kathy Prescott

Dear Maven,
Fall is such a nice time of year…the leaves are changing colors, the air is getting cooler and college football is in full swing.  And, then BAM, it’s time to get health insurance!  I need a quick solution to this dilemma.  What can I do???




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.


The Tennessee Supreme Court has named Ann Jarvis Pruitt, executive director of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, as a new member of its Access to Justice Commission.

Phillip Miller’s recent book, Advanced Deposition Strategy and Practice, has been added to the curriculum for the American...


TBA Plans Strategies for Judicial Elections

The Tennessee Bar Association unveiled plans in May to assist in ensuring that the 2014 judicial elections help to maintain a fair,  impartial and accountable judiciary, and honor the dignity of the courts while allowing a vigorous debate. Strict neutrality in judicial elections will remain a...


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

Administrative Suspensions Now Online Notice of attorneys suspended for, and reinstated from, administrative violations — including failure to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility fee, file the IOLTA report, comply with continuing legal education requirements and pay the Tennessee professional privilege tax — is now available exclusively on the...

The Law at Work

Of late, federal agencies have drawn the ire of the courts for trampling the rights of regulated parties in labor and employment enforcement litigation. Indeed, courts have been increasingly critical of agencies’ “sue first, ask questions later” strategy.[1] The following cases illustrate the sometimes-overzealous tactics and positions asserted by the...

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.

Paine on Procedure

Have you looked at Tenn. Code Ann. §47-18-104 lately? It now contains 50 unfair or deceptive acts or practices affecting the conduct of any trade or commerce. Your client who violates the statute is a Class B misdemeanant. Of more practical importance, because criminal prosecutions are rarely brought, is the potential civil liability of your...

But Seriously, Folks

Mark Twain once famously said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”

Many of my law partners and fellow attorneys disagree with this assessment, as golf is the unofficial national pastime of millions of lawyers. But I came to the same conclusion as Mark Twain about 20 years ago when I gave up golf for Lent and never took it back up.

There were...