Links for April 2013

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office will soon allow Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings to be handled online as part of an effort to make it more convenient and efficient for business to send required documents to the state. Secretary Tre Hargett said a new filing system, which will launch July 1, will make it possible for UCC filings to be handled through an automated process. “In these technology-oriented times in which we are living, it makes sense to automate as much of our department’s filing management systems as we can,” Secretary Hargett said. “Allowing our customers — who are the citizens of Tennessee — to file documents online is one way that we can provide them with better and faster service.”

http://www.tba.org/news/ucc-filings-to-move-online

Corporate Counsel Gala Honors Pro Bono Work

Corporate counsel and private bar lawyers, along with a diverse group of sponsors, were honored at the Seventh Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala in Nashville this past Saturday. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary R. Wade gave the keynote address, praising the initiative’s emphasis on pro bono service and encouraging all lawyers to fulfill the ethical responsibility of providing legal assistance to those in need. TBA President Jackie Dixon presented this year’s awards to Memphis-based Burch, Porter & Johnson for its partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and to the corporate legal department of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in Chattanooga for its Street Law program and new Hamilton County Legal Clinic. See photos from the event or read more about the award recipients.

http://www.tba.org/news/tennessee-lawyers-honored-for-commitment-to-pro-bono-service

http://www.tba.org/press-release/tba-names-2013-corporate-pro-bono-award-winners

Legal Aid Kicks off 2013 Campaign for Equal Justice

More than 150 lawyers gathered today for a Kickoff Luncheon to the 2013 Campaign for Equal Justice benefiting the Legal Aid Society and the Nashville Pro Bono Program. Campaign Chair Thor Urness of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP announced that the campaign has already raised $440,000 towards its goal of $760,000. Featured speaker Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. emphasized the responsibility of every lawyer to provide pro bono assistance, especially given the significant cuts in legal aid funding in recent years. More than 30 law firms in Davidson and Williamson counties were recognized for their role in the Leadership Cabinet, contributing at least $400 per attorney to the campaign. Every year, the Legal Aid Society and its pro bono partners serve thousands of low-income individuals in 48 Tennessee counties. Pinnacle Financial Partners sponsored the event at the City Club. See photos from the event.

New Alimony Bench Book Available

The TBA Family Law Section today announced publication of the 11th Edition Alimony Bench Book. Produced by the members of the section’s Alimony Committee, the book is available for purchase in a loose-leaf format for $40 or a three-ring binder for $50. To order the book, visit the TBA’s online bookstore or contact TBA at (615) 383-7421. Members of the Family Law Section can download the new edition at no charge by logging in to TBA.org and going to the Resources link on the Family Law Section's webpage.  The goal of the publication is to assist judges in the consistent awarding of alimony across the state and help lawyers present their cases in court.

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.

Governors Agree on Importance of Civility

More than 300 people heard Gov. Bill Haslam and former governors Phil Bredesen and Don Sundquist take on the topic of civility and effective governance during a lively panel discussion sponsored by the TBA's Public Education Committee Thursday in Knoxville. The panel was moderated by former TBA President Bill Haltom, who has just completed a book about civility and politics using former U.S. Senator and ambassador to China Howard Baker as the exemplar. All three governors acknowledged the powerful example of respect and cooperation set by Baker, who was in the audience accompanied by his wife Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker. "We cannot preserve our democracy without finding the right balance between civility and free speech," TBA President Jackie Dixon said of the event, which was the final of three held across the state and made possible by a grant from the American Bar Association Division for Public Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The TBA partnered with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee College of Law and the First Amendment Center for the event. Read more from Knoxnews.