Legislature Wraps Up 107th Session

The 107th Tennessee General Assembly adjourned Tuesday – the earliest adjournment since 1998 – after a flurry of action in the final days. Legislation approved and sent to the governor included:

HB 2385/SB 2247, which overhauls the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. Read more from the Knoxville News Sentinel

SB 3597/HB 3576, which prohibits state colleges and private colleges receiving more than $24 million in state funds from imposing antidiscrimination policies on religious student groups. The bill, designed to address a situation at Vanderbilt University, was vetoed by Gov. Bill Haslam today. WATE.com has more

HB 2868/SB 3005, which expands state racketeering laws to include criminal gangs, and imposes additional jail time and fines of up to $250,000 for gang members. The Times Free Press reports

SB 1325/HB 1379, which requires proof of citizenship to get state services. Learn more in the Memphis Daily News

SB 2580/HB 2725, which requires drug testing for some welfare recipients. The Tennessean reports

HB 3234/SB 2908, which authorizes referendums on whether Shelby County’s suburbs may form municipal school districts. The Memphis Daily News has more

The legislature did not act on a contentious gun issue that would have allowed employees to store weapons in vehicles parked on company lots and failed to pass a measure that would have allowed Tennessee to join an interstate compact challenging the federal health care law

Today's Opinions

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TBA YLD Named Finalist for Next Steps Challenge

The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is one of four groups named as a finalist in the American Bar Association YLD’s Next Steps Challenge. The division is being recognized for its Diversity Leadership Institute, a six-month leadership program for diverse law students in Tennessee. The first and second place winner will be announced Friday morning as part of the ABA YLD’s spring meeting, which is taking place in Nashville. On Saturday, YLD Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist will speak about the institute and how other bars can implement similar programs. Learn more about the Diversity Leadership Institute


Juvenile Court Meeting Puts Officials on Defensive

Shelby County Juvenile Court officials went on the defensive at a public meeting Tuesday, at times clashing with parents and community leaders, according to the Commercial Appeal. At one point, the paper reports, the court's chief administrator officer left the meeting. The meeting had been planned weeks ago to discuss a new project to reduce the number of minorities brought to court, but it quickly turned into a referendum on the U.S. Department of Justice’s claims of rights violations and racial discrimination in the juvenile system. Read more from the paper


Courts Recognized for Language Access Programs

The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) recently received several awards from the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts for its efforts to eliminate language barriers for persons with limited English proficiency. Among the initiatives recognized were those providing remote interpreting services through Internet video conferencing, interpreter services in criminal cases for non-indigent defendants, and translation of order of protection forms into five languages. The AOC also was recognized for its successful legislative efforts to secure an additional $2 million in funding to cover interpreter services in all cases. The AOC reports


Rutherford Drug Court Wins Increased Funding

While other state programs and services saw funding cuts in the recently approved budget agreement, the Rutherford County Drug Court secured an additional $37,500 for its operations, for a total of $87,500. Officials who led the fight for the funding increase said this particular court is “setting the standard for intervention and treatment in Tennessee.” Read more in the Murfreesboro Post


Country Club Admits First Female Member

Nashville's Belle Meade Country Club has admitted its first resident female member, a milestone for the 111-year-old private club that has come under fire in recent months for a lack of diversity. According to the club’s most recent newsletter, obtained by The Tennessean, Adelaide D. Stevens, the owner of a stationery and imprinting company, is the newest member. Resident members are entitled to hold office and vote on club matters. The club's lack of diversity came to the forefront last year when a federal judicial panel concluded it engages in race and gender discrimination and reprimanded now-retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George C. Paine II for his membership.


New Family Law Firm Formed in Brentwood

Donna L. Green and Emily Moore Leininger have joined forces to form Green & Leininger PC, a family law firm serving clients in Williamson, Davidson and surrounding counties. Green began her legal career at Neal & Harwell in Nashville after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School in 1998. Leininger graduated from Nashville School of Law in 2006. She previously worked at Hale & Hale in Franklin. Learn more about the new firm


House Committee Cuts $20M from LSC

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee last week approved $328 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in 2013, a cut of $20 million from current levels. The funding is included in the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill, which committee leaders said would be on the House floor May 8. The companion committee in the Senate has approved $402 million for the agency, which received $348 million last year. Read more from the LSC


CASA Fundraiser Set for May 11

Dyer-Lake CASA is hosting its "Cupcakes for CASA" fundraising event May 11 at the King Mansion in Dyersburg from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will feature "decadent desserts in an elegant setting" and a chance for attendees to help abused and neglected children. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased from several area retailers or by calling (731) 334-0192. The Dyersburg State Gazette has more.


Late Fee Waived for Business Corporation Act CLE

It's not too late to register for Monday’s CLE on recently adopted amendments to the Tennessee Business Corporation Act. Sponsored by the TBA Business Law Section, the course will focus on changes to the act, including provisions related to electronic notices, electronic signatures, mergers and conversions, and conflict of interest standards for directors and officers. The seminar also will cover revisions to Article 9 of the UCC that go into effect Jan. 1, 2013. Because legislative changes just passed this week, the late fee for this course has been waived. Get details or register here


 
 

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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.


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