Job Fair: Matching Firms With Diverse Law Students

More than 60 law students from across the country are interviewing with Tennessee firms this weekend as part of the 3rd Annual TBA Diversity Job Fair at the Tennessee Bar Center. The two-day event, sponsored by the TBA's Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, kicks off today with an educational session on "Finding a Job in the Current Market" and a networking reception. On Saturday, 17 Tennessee law firms and agencies will conduct interviews throughout the day for both summer associate and full-time positions. Of the 22 law schools sending students to the job fair, most are in Tennessee and surrounding states, although students are coming from as far away as Louisana and Texas.

Today's Opinions

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format.

00 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
00 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
01 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR
00 - TN Supreme Court - Disciplinary Orders

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer.

TN Attorney General Opinions

Written Reprimands of Police Officers

Court: TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2013-08-22

Opinion Number: 64

Butler Snow Attorney Picked for Appeals Court Seat

Neal McBrayer of Butler Snow O’Mara Stevens & Cannada has been chosen by Gov. Bill Haslam to fill the Tennessee Court of Appeals seat that will be vacated a year from now by Patricia Cottrell, the Nashville Post reports. “Neal McBrayer has a strong background as an attorney, and I am pleased to make this appointment,” Haslam said. “We are fortunate to have someone on the bench with his experience and expertise.”

Expedited Probate Docket Announced

The Davidson County Trial Courts have approved the establishment of an expedited probate docket. Judge Randy Kennedy and Presiding Judge Joe P. Binkley, Jr. jointly announced the signing of an order that authorizes Special Probate Masters to preside over expedited dockets effective Aug. 16. “The adoption of an expedited probate docket, as distinguished from regular probate dockets, is just another step by the Davidson County Trial Courts to ensure the effective and efficient administration of the Courts.” Judge Binkley said. Download the press release for more information.

ABA Releases Road Map to Close Pay Gap

The pay gap between male and female partners at U.S. law firms is widening, according to a 2012 study conducted by Major, Lindsey & Africa and ALM Legal Intelligence, the Careerist reports. To combat the problem, the American Bar Association's Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity, along with its Commission on Women in the Profession, have released a report titled "Closing the Gap: A Road Map for Achieving Gender Pay Equity in Law Firm Partner Compensation." Tips include being transparent, jumping on the metrics bandwagon, creating a succession plan and diversifying your compensation committee.

DOJ to Sue Over Texas Voter ID Law

The Department of Justice will sue to halt a 2011 Texas law that requires voters to show identification at the polls, signaling a new effort on voting rights enforcement following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year that threw out a key part of a landmark federal law. "Today's action marks another step forward in the Justice Department's continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. WCYB has more. 

Holder: Defendant’s Legal Rights Undermined by Budget Cuts

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder asserts that forced budget reductions, due largely to sequestration, are undermining defendants’ legal right to an attorney. Holder states that draconian cuts have forced layoffs in the federal public defenders office, furloughs and personnel reductions through attrition. Five decades after the Supreme Court affirmed that adequate legal representation is a basic right in Gideon v. Wainwright, Holder writes that sequestration is undermining our ability to realize this fundamental promise, and it is past time for our elected representatives to act.

Obama: Two Years of Law School is Enough

During a town hall speech on college affordability at Binghamton University in New York, President Barack Obama said that law schools would be wise to decrease from three years to two. "I believe, for example, that law schools would probably be wise to think about being two years instead of three years — because by the third year — in the first two years young people are learning in the classroom," Obama said. "The third year they'd be better off clerking or practicing in a firm, even if they weren't getting paid that much. But that step alone would reduce the cost for the student." The Blog of the Legal Times has more.

Harwell Asks for BPR Investigation of DA

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has joined other state lawmakers asking the state’s Board of Professional Responsibility to investigate allegations of ethical misconduct by 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Bebb. "Attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee are bound to follow specific and comprehensive ethical rules governing their conduct. These rules are to ensure ethical conduct, maintain the public’s trust, and the integrity of our judicial system. The Board of Professional Responsibility is charged, by statute, with the duty to investigate all allegations of unethical conduct by attorneys.” Harwell spokeswoman Kara Owen said in an emailed statement that offered no specific allegations of misconduct by Bebb. The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the story.

4 Graduate from Madison County Jail Program

Four women incarcerated at the J. Alexander Criminal Justice Complex have graduated from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry Program, which is designed to reduce recidivism, the Jackson Sun reports. The step-by-step cognitive-behavioral treatment system is designed to alter how offenders think and how they make decisions about what’s right and wrong. Sheriff David Woolfork along with Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris, City Court Judge Blake Anderson and Circuit Court Judge Nathan Pride were at the graduation to show their support.

Court Grants Review of 6 Cases

The Tennessee Supreme Court ends the summer with review grants in six cases. The sixth case – although arising in a criminal matter – has application in civil cases as well, considering when successor judges may serve as 13th juror. The case arose from a trial presided over by Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner, who later resigned due to misconduct. A successor judge considered and denied the defendant’s motion for a new trial, concluding that he was able to fulfill his role as “13th juror” despite not personally viewing witness testimony because witness credibility was not an “overriding issue” in the case. The Raybin Perky Hot List has a summary and forecast on all six cases.


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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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