Tennessee Bar Journal

Apr 2016
Cover Story
Jason Smith

For the past 16 years, a hearing to question a criminal defendant regarding his or her decision not to testify at trial has become a common feature of criminal trials in Tennessee. This procedure was adopted by our supreme court in Momon v. State.[1] In Momon, the Tennessee Supreme Court established “a prophylactic procedure designed to...

May 2016
Cover Story
Amy Amundsen
Jeffrey Levy

In the ongoing efforts to protect the children of a divorce, much conflict has arisen in the law regarding the handling of parents’ mental health records in their litigation.  Among lawyers and mental health professionals, two strong camps of thought exist on the topic:  The first is that the counseling and mental health records of a parent are...

May 2016
Cover Story
Amy Amundsen

In Tennessee, trial courts have a duty to protect the best interests of children.[1] As early as 1918, the Tennessee Supreme Court acknowledged that the state has a right “paramount to any parental or other claim[] to dispose of such children as their best interests require” and that “the legal rights of a parent are very gravely considered[] but are not...

President's Perspective
William Harbison

Bar associations have long noticed that lawyers, more than members of many other professions, are disposed to depression, substance abuse, and similar problems. Local and state bars have worked to establish groups for lawyers-helping-lawyers and lawyers’ assistance programs. The TBA has promoted “better next year” as a way of motivating

President's Perspective
William Harbison

The subject of mentor relationships between older and younger lawyers is a staple for bar associations. I was fortunate to have a number of experienced lawyers as mentors and role models when I started practicing. Now that I am a bit older myself, I enjoy interacting with younger lawyers. As I noted in an earlier column, we both have things to teach one...

Letters of the Law
Letters of the Law

The Start of a ‘Long Overdue Conversation About Justice’

Thanks to President Bill Harbison for his February President’s Page about the lynching of Ed Johnson and the contempt trial of Sheriff Shipp (“Contempt Case Helped Develop Due Process Concept”). I share President Harbison’s belief that “...

Book Review
Andrée Blumstein

By Marlene Trestman | Louisiana State University Press Southern Biography Series | $39.95 | 208 pages | 2016

Bessie Margolin may not be a household name, but, it turns out, we live with her legacy every day in our everyday doings. For more than five decades, between the 1930s and the 1970s, her consummate lawyering shaped...

Where There's a Will
Eddy Smith

First you forget names; then you forget faces; then you forget to zip up your fly; and then you forget to unzip your fly.

— Attributed to Branch Rickey

Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

— Ecclesiastes 7:2

No one here gets...

Day on Torts
John Day

Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 20-5-106(a) and 20-5-110(a) tell us that the surviving spouse has the superior right to bring a wrongful death case.[1] Absent the surviving spouse’s affirmative waiver of that right or the circumstances discussed below, the spouse’s right trumps any right of the decedent’s executor, administrator or children to file a...

Family Matters
Marlene Moses

On July 1, 2015, the General Assembly enacted new legislation that addressed the division of public employee pension plans during the course of divorce proceedings. Section 26-2-105(d)(1) of the Tenn.

Bank on It
Kathryn Edge

Among the late Senator Fred Thompson’s acting roles was spokesperson for the efficacy of a financial product called a “reverse mortgage.”

A reverse mortgage or a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is a home loan for homeowners 62 or older that requires no monthly mortgage payments and permits the homeowner to convert her equity in the home into...

Membership Maven
Kathy Prescott

Dear Maven,

What’s going on at TBA? You seem to be running around and out of breath a lot lately. Are you training for a marathon? Is there something I should know about?

Signed,
Curious

Dear Mr. C.,

I am a little frantic this time of year!

Spring is in the air and...

Success!
TBA News

C. Scott Johnson of Fleissner, Davis and Johnson sent this photo in to thank his fellow lawyers in the Chattanooga Bar Association and its “outstanding executive director Lynda Minks Hood,” for their support following a recent lengthy hospital stay. “During this time, my always busy Chattanooga Bar comrades went above...

Success!
TBA News

The Tennessee Supreme Court appointed former judge and Williamson County attorney Robert E. Lee Davies to the position of senior judge. Davies practices family law, personal injury and business litigation and also teaches family law at Nashville School of Law. He previously served from 2000 to 2008 as a circuit court judge in the 21st...

News

Pro Bono Event Pushes Fundraising Past Half Million Mark

Tennessee lawyers helped raise more than $45,000 to help legal aid programs in the state at the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala March 5 in Nashville. Now in its 10th year, the event has raised more than half a million dollars to support pro bono efforts that engage in-house and...

News

TBA Earns Top Pro Bono Award for MLP

The Tennessee Bar Association on April 7 was awarded the Pro Bono Advocacy Award in Medical-Legal Partnership from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. The award was presented in recognition of the TBA’s outstanding leadership in promoting medical-legal partnerships...

Passages
TBA News

Retired Shelby County JUDGE ANN PUGH, one of the area’s first female judges, died Feb 23. She was 70. An Arkansas native, Pugh was a teacher before attending law school. After serving on the City Court, Pugh served four terms on the General Sessions Criminal Court bench. She also led a specialized court handling domestic violence cases....

Passages
TBA News

Retired Maryville attorney ROY D. CRAWFORD died March 20. He was 94. Following service in World War II, Crawford graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1948. He practiced in Maryville until 2000, when he retired at age 79. Crawford also represented Blount County in the Tennessee Senate from 1961 to 1966.

Licensure & Discipline

DISCIPLINARY

Licensure & Discipline

DISCIPLINARY

Censured

But Seriously, Folks
William Haltom

The first televised presidential debate occurred in 1960, as Vice President Richard Nixon took on Senator John F. Kennedy. Kennedy won the debate by a whisker. Literally, Nixon’s. Nixon forgot to shave before the debate and appeared before millions of voters with a heavy five o’clock shadow. He bore an unfortunate resemblance to Yasser Arafat.

But Seriously, Folks
William Haltom

My friend Paul Summers is fond of saying, “There really are only two types of lawyers in Tennessee: Tall building lawyers and courthouse square lawyers.”

I’m a tall building lawyer. My office is on the 29th floor of a Memphis skyscraper. But my heart is with the courthouse square lawyers. I admire the small-town and country lawyers who counsel and...