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Links for July 2011
2011 Law Day contest winners announced
The Tennessee Bar Associaiton today announced the winners of the 2011 Tennessee Law Day Art and Essay Competitions. The theme of this year's contest was "The Legacy of John Adams: From Boston to Guantanamo." It was designed to educate students about Adams' role in defending British soldiers arrested in what would come to be known as the Boston Massacre. Students were asked to explore the historical and contemporary role of lawyers in defending the rights of the accused — even those that are unpopular — and depict those concepts in their work.
The first-place winner in the art competition is Kylie Mackenzie Bowman, a fifth grade student at Cedar Bluff Elementary in Knoxville. The first-place essay contest winner is Ashton Banta, a senior at Red Bank High School in Chattanooga. Students will receive cash prizes and have their work displayed at the TBA Convention in Chattanooga in June.
Jackson lawyer Michelle Sellers with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC served as chair of this year's state competition.
See the list of all winners and the winning entries
Legal help for military families now available
The American Bar Association has created an online legal resource center for military families. The site features the national Directory of Programs, which is a state-by-state listing of programs and offices providing services that may be utilized by military families in need of legal help. Go to ABA Homefront
TBA earns top national award for webcasting
The Tennessee Bar Association was recognized yesterday as the national winner for associations in the Rich Media Impact Awards competition. The award recognized the TBA's efforts in providing timely educational programming following the 2010 flood that devastated much of Tennessee. Since the launch of the TBA webcasting program three years ago this month, about 4,000 lawyers have registered for nearly 9,000 hours of CLE programming on the web. Almost all of the 200 plus webcasts produced by the TBA have featured Tennessee attorneys who volunteered their time and talents to make the educational programs possible.
Watch the video entry now
Nashville School of Law to present awards
Nashville School of Law (NSL) will honor the achievements of two distinguished attorneys at its 18th annual Recognition Dinner on June 3. Robert Ballow, Nashville law pioneer and NSL class of 1963, is the 2011 Recognition Dinner honoree, and Trevor Howell, employment and labor law attorney with Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC, will receive the 2011 Distinguished Faculty Award. To purchase tickets for the event, contact the Nashville School of Law at (615) 256-3684. Tickets are $125 per person, or $1,250 for a table of 10.
CBA to explain procedures to defendants every week
The Chattanooga Bar Association and Southeast Tennessee Legal Services kicked off a public education outreach yesterday for defendants in Sessions Court civil cases. CBA President Ira Long said the bar plans to have staff at the second floor of the courthouse outside Sessions Court each Monday at 11 a.m. to help explain procedures to defendants and their options. The Times Free Press reports
Cameras will roll in federal Western District pilot program
The federal courts of the Western District of Tennessee have been selected to experiment with cameras in civil proceedings, one of 14 districts around the country chosen to take part in the three-year pilot program. The announcement was made by the Judicial Conference of the United States in Washington today. Cameras will be limited to civil proceedings in which all parties have consented to their presence. The decision of the five active and one senior status judge to participate in the pilot program was not unanimous, so there may be a judge or judges who elect not to participate, Clerk Thomas M. Gould said.
The Commercial Appeal has the details
'Restrictive' rules set for federal camera experiment
In a pilot program for camera coverage of federal district courts announced Wednesday, a restrictive set of rules has been announced, including that the cameras must be under the complete control of the court, either owned by the court or a contractor with the court, and no photos of jurors, jury voir dire, or sidebar conferences will be permitted. Also, the presiding judge must have the ability to switch off the coverage at any time, a requirement that has brought criticism for giving judges and the parties too much power over the process. The Western District of Tennessee is one of the 14 districts in the pilot program. The Blog of Legal Times reports
Lawyer numbers at big firms down overall, minorities up
The percentage of minority lawyers at large firms has edged up, erasing the decline reported by last year's American Lawyer Diversity Scorecard. This year, even though overall attorney head count continued to drop slightly, the number of minority lawyers rose. Cumulatively, the firms that responded to the survey this year saw their collective U.S. head count fall by 359; yet they increased their minority head count in U.S. offices by 136. Look at the Diversity Scorecard