Links for August 2017

ABA Launches Homeless Youth Legal Network

June 26, 2017

The American Bar Association today announced the creation of the Homeless Youth Legal Network, spearheaded by the ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty, Commission on Youth at Risk, and Section of Litigation Children’s Rights Litigation Committee. The network aims to serve homeless youth seeking legal assistance, help service providers working with homeless youth and train lawyers who want to help. The ABA will base some of the network’s practices on 12 model programs from across the country.

New Senior Law Website Launched

July 10, 2017

West Tennessee Legal Services has launched a website,, to provide legal information and resources to Tennessee senior citizens. The site includes nearly 60 printable factsheets and informative videos on legal issues relevant to seniors, including conservatorships, long-term care and Medicaid. The project was made possible by a Serving Tennessee Seniors grant and adapted some topics from the TBA's Senior Law Handbook.

Harvard Recognizes 107-Year-Old Alum, Nashville Legal Legend James Bass

July 13, 2017

Harvard Law Today this week profiled Nashville attorney James Bass, the law school’s oldest living alumnus. Born in 1910, Bass graduated in 1934 from Harvard Law before moving to Nashville and running for the state House of Representatives. In addition to his service in public office, Bass served in the U.S. Army as a judge advocate in World War II. As an attorney at the firm his father founded, Bass, Berry and Sims, he is known for his thoroughness and preparation, as well as his ability to bring people together. Bass turned 107 years old yesterday.

Trump Taps Sen. Norris, 3 Others to Federal Bench

July 13, 2017

President Donald Trump today nominated state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, Thomas L. Parker, William L. Campbell Jr. and Eli J. Richardson to serve as federal judges, The Tennessean reports. Norris and Parker were picked to serve as judges on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Trump nominated Campbell and Richardson to serve in the Middle District. Nominees must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before they can take their seats on the bench.

Court Shows Support for Indigent Task Force Recommendations

July 12, 2017

After careful review of recommendations from the Indigent Representation Task Force released earlier this year, members of the Tennessee Supreme Court are voicing their support of the report. “We are very supportive of the recommendations developed by the Task Force, which present a clear roadmap for much-needed improvements to our indigent representation system,” said Chief Justice Jeff Bivins. “Over the coming weeks, the Court will develop a strategy to implement many of these recommendations.”

Supreme Court Creates Court Reporter Task Force

July 11, 2017

In response to a lack of qualified court reporters in Tennessee, the state Supreme Court has created a task force of judges, clerks and court reporters to address the shortage. With grant funding obtained from the Office of Criminal Justice Programs, the AOC and the Court Reporter Task Force have begun work on the development of a pilot educational program with the goal of increasing the number of well-trained court reporters.

Ramsaur Named to Fastcase 50

July 10, 2017

Fastcase has released its annual Fastcase 50 list, and the 2017 class includes TBA Executive Director Emeritus Allan Ramsaur. Started in 2011, Fastcase 50 honors “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Of Ramsaur, the organization noted that he “built his career dedicated to helping those in need, including taking a leading role in the revision of Tennessee's conservatorship laws. A new focus of Allan’s leadership is helping lawyers and the legal system to adapt to the evolving legal market.”


Hargett Denies Trump Request for Detailed Voter Data

June 30, 2017

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett has rejected a Trump administration request for detailed voter data, The Tennessean reports. In a letter from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent to all 50 states, a host of information was requested from each state, including election security and voter data. Kris Kobach, vice chair of the commission, asked that states share the name of all registered voters, their address, date of birth, political party, the last four digits of their social security number and voting history.

ABA Recommends Due Process for Accused and Accuser in Campus Sex Assault Cases

June 27, 2017

The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s Task Force on College Due Process Rights and Victim Protection has released a report that recommends due process protections for both the accused and the accuser in campus sexual assault cases, the ABA Journal reports. It further recommends that both parties receive written notice before a formal investigation begins and that both parties be allowed to review a school’s initial investigative report.

Federal Agencies Fail to Report Hate Crime Data

June 23, 2017

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified at least 120 federal agencies that are not reporting information to the national hate crime database and are withholding a whole range of crime statistics. ProPublica reports that in 2015, the latest year reported, the database tracked more than 5,580 alleged hate crimes, which represented a significant surge from previous years. However, these statistics do not include any offenses handled by federal law enforcement. Most of the information in the database is submitted by state and local police departments, though many local departments also fail to report. The FBI and lawmakers are looking at ways to improve the reporting and tracking of hate crimes at the federal, state and local level.

Notices of Appeal Must Be Filed with Clerk of the Appellate Courts

June 22, 2017

Beginning July 1, all Notices of Appeal filed with the Court of Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals or Supreme Court must be filed in the office of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts rather than in the office of the Trial Court Clerk. The Rules of Appellate Procedure related to the filing of a Notice of Appeal directed to the Appellate Courts will change July 1. After that date, trial court clerks will no longer accept a Notice of Appeal for filing in their office. The Notice of Appeal must be filed in the office of the Appellate Court Clerk in the grand division of the trial court from which the appeal arises.

AOC Updates Parenting Plan Forms

July 14, 2017

The Administrative Office of the Courts has revised the Permanent Parenting Plan and Temporary Parenting Plan Forms. Copies of the revised forms are available for download here.

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