News

JASON LONG WILL BE TBA PRESIDENT IN 2016

Knoxville attorney Jason H. Long will be president of the Tennessee Bar Association in 2016-2017, according to election-qualifying results. No other candidate filed for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. After serving a year as vice president, Long will become president-elect in 2015-2016 before taking over the organization’s leadership in June 2016.

With more than 17 years of experience and more than a decade representing health care professionals in malpractice matters, Long recently joined Lowe Yeager & Brown in its established practice, representing and defending attorneys in disciplinary and malpractice matters. The firm’s new Knoxville offices are located at 2102 Riverview Tower, 900 S. Gay Street.

Long is a past president of the TBA Young Lawyers Division. He has extensive experience in complex litigation, including medical malpractice defense, corporate litigation, health care regulatory law and general plaintiff’s litigation. He earned his law degree at the University of Tennessee and his undergraduate degree from Emory University.

ELECTIONS

New Board Begins Work in June
Candidates who filed for the following Tennessee Bar Association positions will take office at the June annual meeting, as they did not draw opponents: Tasha Blakney, 2nd District governor; Donna Pierce, 4th District governor; Dan Berexa, 5th District governor; Michelle Sellers, 7th District governor; Lucian Pera, West Grand Division governor, Position 1; Brian Faughnan, West Grand Division governor, Position 2; Gary Shockley, Middle Grand Division governor, Position 1; and Andy Roskind, East Grand Division governor, Position 2.

Also winning without opposition are three TBA delegates to the ABA House of Delegates: Buck Lewis, Position 2; John Tarpley, Position 4; and Paul Campbell III, Position 5.
Results for the contested election for two TBA leadership posts were not complete at press time. For Middle Grand Division governor, Position 2, Nashville attorney Jim Cartiglia faces Franklin attorney David Veile. Knoxville attorney Sarah Sheppeard faces Chattanooga attorney David McDowell for the East Grand Division governor, Position 1 slot.

HONORS

Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Attorneys from Caterpillar Financial
Services Corp. in Nashville and the Knoxville office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz were honored March 1 during the Eighth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala in Nashville.

Baker Donelson was recognized for two projects undertaken in partnership with Legal Aid of East Tennessee: serving as a Pillar Law Firm, representing people seeking to obtain a conservatorship over a disabled adult and working to bring “Project H.E.L.P.” to the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission. CAT Financial was recognized for an ongoing partnership with Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), which offers immigration legal services, education and advocacy. In addition, the gala raised nearly $60,000 to support pro bono activities across the state.

COURTS

Amending Complaints Rule Clarified In a unanimous opinion, Michael S. Becker et al. v. Ford Motor Company, the Tennessee Supreme Court has held that state law allows a plaintiff to add a defendant whose involvement was raised by the original defendant, even when the plaintiff was aware of the new defendant before the statute of limitations expired.

Freedom of the Press Buoyed It has been 50 years since the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in The New York Times v. Sullivan. This decision expanded first-amendment protection for the press, making it harder for celebrities, politicians and other public figures to prove defamation or libel.

Sit, Stay, Comfort The 19th Judicial District began using its first facility dog earlier this year. Orson, the two-year-old black lab/golden retriever mix, was bred and trained to serve those with special needs by Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Lund attended extensive training in Orlando with Orson before bringing him home to Clarksville in November 2013. He has been present in the circuit courts of Montgomery County, the Child Advocacy Center and District Attorney’s Office since his arrival, bonding with child victims of physical and sexual abuse.

PRACTICE

Study the Numbers Accounting, statistics and financial analysis skills are among the most important for equipping students to practice at a big law firm, a study from Harvard Law School says, according to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. The school polled 124 lawyers at the 11 major firms that employ the most Harvard law grads and found that in addition to accounting, the attorneys advised students to take courses in corporate finance, negotiation, business strategy, corporations and securities regulation.

Meth Addicts Take Twice as Long to Help The Davidson County Drug Court program serves about 200 current and recovering drug addicts, one in 10 of whom are there because of methamphetamine. Led by Criminal Court Judge Seth Norman, the program has a success rate of more than 60 percent, the Tennessean reports. While alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and even heroin users typically take a little more than a year to complete the program, meth addicts take about 24 months, Norman said.

Youth Courts Grow There are 16 Youth Courts in Tennessee — diversionary programs that allow non-violent, first-time offenders to have their cases heard by a jury of kids their own age. Denise Bentley, the TBA’s Youth Court coordinator, says fewer than 7 percent of respondents who participate in Tennessee youth courts re-offend within a year.