Tennessee Bar Journal

May 2016
Cover Story
Amy Amundsen
Jeffrey Levy

In the ongoing efforts to protect the children of a divorce, much conflict has arisen in the law regarding the handling of parents’ mental health records in their litigation.  Among lawyers and mental health professionals, two strong camps of thought exist on the topic:  The first is that the counseling and mental health records of a parent are...

May 2016
Cover Story
Amy Amundsen

In Tennessee, trial courts have a duty to protect the best interests of children.[1] As early as 1918, the Tennessee Supreme Court acknowledged that the state has a right “paramount to any parental or other claim[] to dispose of such children as their best interests require” and that “the legal rights of a parent are very gravely considered[] but are not...

May 2016
Cover Story
Jeffrey Levy

The issues faced by the Court of Appeals in addressing parents’ mental health records are complex. Our courts do have a duty to protect the best interest of children.[1] Important as this may be, this is not the only duty that the courts have. They must also take into account a need to respect patient privacy, encourage individuals to seek treatment,...

President's Perspective
William Harbison

The subject of mentor relationships between older and younger lawyers is a staple for bar associations. I was fortunate to have a number of experienced lawyers as mentors and role models when I started practicing. Now that I am a bit older myself, I enjoy interacting with younger lawyers. As I noted in an earlier column, we both have things to teach one...

Letters of the Law
Letters of the Law

Readers React to ‘We’re All Going to Die’

I really enjoyed Eddy Smith’s article about the magic age of 50 [“We’re All Going to Die (and Other Happy Thoughts of an Estate Planner Turning 50,” April 2016 Tenn. Bar Journal]. I recall that some time in the distant past I, too, turned 50. It can often be a time of reflection and self-...

Day on Torts
John Day

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 20-5-106(a) and 20-5-110(a) tell us that the surviving spouse has the superior right to bring a wrongful death case.[1] Absent the surviving spouse’s affirmative waiver of that right or the circumstances discussed below, the spouse’s right trumps any right of the decedent’s executor, administrator or children to file a...

Family Matters
Marlene Moses

On July 1, 2015, the General Assembly enacted new legislation that addressed the division of public employee pension plans during the course of divorce proceedings. Section 26-2-105(d)(1) of the Tenn.

Success!
TBA News

The Tennessee Supreme Court appointed former judge and Williamson County attorney Robert E. Lee Davies to the position of senior judge. Davies practices family law, personal injury and business litigation and also teaches family law at Nashville School of Law. He previously served from 2000 to 2008 as a circuit court judge in the 21st...

News

TBA Earns Top Pro Bono Award for MLP

The Tennessee Bar Association on April 7 was awarded the Pro Bono Advocacy Award in Medical-Legal Partnership from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. The award was presented in recognition of the TBA’s outstanding leadership in promoting medical-legal partnerships...

Passages
TBA News

Retired Maryville attorney ROY D. CRAWFORD died March 20. He was 94. Following service in World War II, Crawford graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1948. He practiced in Maryville until 2000, when he retired at age 79. Crawford also represented Blount County in the Tennessee Senate from 1961 to 1966.

Licensure & Discipline

DISCIPLINARY

Censured

But Seriously, Folks
William Haltom

My friend Paul Summers is fond of saying, “There really are only two types of lawyers in Tennessee: Tall building lawyers and courthouse square lawyers.”

I’m a tall building lawyer. My office is on the 29th floor of a Memphis skyscraper. But my heart is with the courthouse square lawyers. I admire the small-town and country lawyers who counsel and...