Links from February 2010

In December, the Tennessee Supreme Court published rules amendments to be effective July 1, 2010, subject to approval by resolutions of the Tennessee General Assembly.

As signaled in the proposed rule published by the court in November, the civil procedure rules amendment includes a provision permitting discovery of insurance limits. The amendment to the civil procedure rules also includes new provisions allowing lawyers to accomplish service of pleadings and other papers electronically and permission to file electronically if permitted by local rule. In addition, the rules package includes an amendment to the Rules of Appellate Procedure requiring that briefs include a statement as to the applicable standard of review. The Rules of Criminal Procedure would be modified to clarify the entitlement to a preliminary hearing and addressing the administration of competency hearings. Evidence rules would be changed to protect against inadvertent disclosure of privileged information working a waiver of the privilege.

Read the rules amendment proposals at
http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2009/rulesamendments_121509.html

Memphis schools and juvenile court to team up
Memphis City Schools is partnering with the Shelby County Juvenile Court to link youths awaiting court dates to formal schooling that until now has been limited to an hour a day with a guest speaker. But in January, it began running classes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with five full-time staff -- including two teachers and a school counselor -- followed by an hour of physical education. Each student will be provided a laptop for class use, plus textbooks and access to district-owned software.

The Commercial Appeal has the story
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/dec/26/making-jail-quality-time/

       
Extension granted in student loan default rule
At the request of the Tennessee Bar Association and Chief Disciplinary Counsel to the Board of Professional Responsibility, the Tennessee Supreme Court has granted an extension of time to file comments on a proposed amendment to the court's disciplinary enforcement rule, which would require suspension of law licenses of lawyers who default or become delinquent on certain guaranteed student loans.

The original deadline for comments was Dec. 31, but with the extension the new deadline is March 1. The TBA request said that a close analysis of the proposal "discloses some substantial and material weaknesses in the substantive and due process procedures" for making a determination of default.

Download the proposed amendment at http://www.tba2.org/rule9_amend_120409.pdf
    
New MJP admission instructions available
The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners now has information available on how in-house counsel can register to comply with the new aspects of Rule 7. The new rules for multi-jurisdictional practice/in-house counsel admission went into effect Jan. 1.

Access new MJP admission rules at http://www.tennessee.gov/lawexaminers/HowToApply.htm#MJP

'Consensus' on religious expression and law published
A consenus statement aimed at advancing public understanding of legal issues in religious expression is now available. Led by Wake Forest University Divinity School's Center for Religion and Public Affairs, the document outlines what experts in church-state relations agree that the law currently says in an effort to stave off needlessly divisive debates and lawsuits. ABPNews.com reports http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/4718/53/