Transactional Practice CLE in Memphis Tomorrow

CLE on transactional practice will be held tomorrow at the University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology. Sessions will provide lawyers with the information, tools and tips needed to successfully handle transactional, business and probate matters. Speakers will cover practical approaches for handling mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions and title concerns.  
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Pilot Flying J Fraud Conspiracy Trial Postponed

A federal judge has delayed the upcoming trial of four former Pilot Flying J executives charged in a scam to defraud trucking firms, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. The trial will now begin on Nov. 6. The entry revealing the trial delay is labeled as a “notice of hearing,” however, no such hearing notice appeared on the publicly available docket.
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CLE Webcast on Principles of Practice: Business Law

Joan Heminway, William Kent and Taylor Wirth are presenting an online CLE on the basics of business law for Tennessee practitioners. Topics will include common pitfalls, what issues are likely to end up in court, challenges and rewards, and additional practice pointers. If you are unavailable to attend at 3 p.m. on Nov. 14, the webcast will be available online for up to one year.

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Global & Tennessee Specific Trade & Investment Perspectives & Policies for 2018 & Beyond

The International Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association is sponsoring a free seminar “Global & Tennessee Specific Trade & Investment Perspectives & Policies for 2018 & Beyond” to be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Nashville School of Law, Appellate Courtroom, 4013 Armory Oaks Drive, Nashville, Tenn. 
The speakers on the panel include:
  • Terry Olsen, Chair of the TBA International Law Section, as Moderator
  • Clay Banks, Regional Director of Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
  • James Forde, Prosperity and Economics Officer of British Consulate General, Atlanta
  • Ms. Joanne Chu, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (New York)
  • Mr. Michael Kwan, Deputy Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (New York)
The seminar will provide an overview of the global & U.S. trade & investment landscape as it concerns Tennessee for 2018 & beyond, and both policy & legal views of the ever-changing global standard of Tennessee in the international investment environment.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to have direct interactive discussions with the speakers at the end of the seminar.
The panel discussion will last from 6pm thru 7pm, and then followed with a FAQ session for attendees, along with a light reception of beverage & desserts. 
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Pinnacle, First Tennessee Resolve Legal Battle

Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners and Memphis-based First Tennessee Bank have ended their long-standing legal feud over recruitment, the Nashville Business Journal reports. It is unknown at this time whether Pinnacle paid any damages. The dispute began when First Tennessee sued a former employee who had defected to Pinnacle, shortly after Pinnacle entered the Memphis market, alleging that he recruited his former coworkers to Pinnacle while still employed by First Tennessee.
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Tenn. AG: Nearly Half of Tennessee Residents Affected by Equifax Breach

In a letter to Equifax, the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office revealed that more than 3 million residents had personal information stolen through the company’s data breach, The Tennessean reports. In a news release, Attorney General Herbert Slatery called the breach “distressing” and said that while it is important for consumers to monitor their financial accounts, Equifax must “actively assist” consumers in doing so. He also advised Equifax to extend the free credit freezes past the current Nov. 21 deadline.
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Chatbot Allows Users to Sue Equifax Without Lawyer

Legal chatbot DoNotPay is now allowing users to file suits against credit-reporting agency Equifax, in light of last week’s news of a massive data breach, the ABA Journal reports. The online platform can help file negligence claims by walking users through a set of questions that generates a PDF they can file in small claims court. The service is free and available to the public in all 50 states. "It is particularly exciting that a lawyer is never needed in the process," Joshua Browder of DoNotPay said. "The class action lawsuit against the company will only give successful consumers around $500 (with the rest going to greedy lawyers in commissions). I hope that my product will replace those lawyers, and, with enough success, bankrupt Equifax.”

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CLE Transactional Practice Memphis

A CLE on transactional practice will be held at the University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology on Oct. 27. Sessions will provide lawyers with the information, tools and tips needed to successfully handle transactional, business and probate matters. Speakers will cover practical approaches for handling mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions and title concerns.

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Class Action Suit Filed Over Equifax Data Breach

Following a data breach that may have affected 143 million people, a class action lawsuit has been filed against credit-reporting agency Equifax, the ABA Journal reports. Mary McHill of Portland, Oregon, and Brook Reinhard of Eugene, Oregon, filed the suit in federal court yesterday. The breach exposed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license data and addresses. 209,000 people also had their credit card numbers hacked. 
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Counsel on Call Acquires Nashville E-Discovery Firm

Brentwood-based Counsel On Call, an on-demand legal services company, has bought Nashville based DSicovery LLC (DSi), which offers digital forensics and e-discovery services, the Nashville Business Journal reports. Counsel On Call will operate DSi out of its current Nashville officers. Both companies will continue to conduct business under their current names.
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Former CEO, Legislator Gets 21 Years, Ordered to Pay $21 Million

A former CEO and Tennessee state legislator was sentenced today to 21 years in prison for his role in a financial scheme, the Commercial Appeal reports. Larry Bates, alongside his sons and daughter-in-law, was convicted in a precious metals Ponzi scheme that impacted more than 360 people. Bates was ordered to pay more than $21 million in restitution. 
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Inventor Business & Legal Bootcamp Set for Sept. 20

Save the date now for the upcoming Inventor Business & Legal Bootcamp on Sept. 20.
Because intellectual property ("IP") owned by individuals and small businesses is a key component and contributor to the Tennessee and U.S. economy, the Tennessee Bar Association will conduct an Inventor Legal & Business Bootcamp to educate all attendees about the legal and business aspects of Intellectual Property and its role in starting a business. This program is designed for those that create or own intellectual property (inventors, makers, artists, licensing organizations, etc.) and the attorneys that represent them.
Find out more or sign up for CLE credit on the CLE course detail page.
Immediately following the CLE program, join your fellow attendees for a light reception and connect with the panelists, attorneys, makers, inventors, entrepreneurs and community leaders. TBA staff will be on hand to share more information about the TBA patent pro bono program.
Please contact Jarod Word, Sections & Committees Coordinator with any future Section Connect ideas, or Legal Practice Tips you feel may be beneficial to other Section members.
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LAVPA Presents Inventor Legal & Business Bootcamp in Knoxville

Save The Date

LAVPA, the patent pro bono program of the Tennessee Bar Association, is joining forces with the Knoxville Business Support Network to present an Inventor Legal & Business Bootcamp for students, makers, inventors, artisans, small businesses and the attorneys who represent them. The program will feature attorneys, business representatives, professors, community business leaders and the director of the regional office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The program will be held in Knoxville on Sept. 20, as part of Innov865 Start Up Week. The program will focus on the invention process, business organizations, business plans and investing, including crowdfunding. It is open to the public and free to attend. You may register through Eventbrite. Attorneys who want to receive CLE credit may register and pay for CLE through the TBA

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Tennessee and Federal Tax Law Annual Forum 2017

Make plan now to join us for this year’s tax forum. It will focus on both Tennessee and federal tax issues. We will have representatives from the Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service to provide in-person updates on current topics. Topics to be covered during the forum include an introduction to international tax issues, tax issues in hiring family members, lien subordination issues, and licensing and taxing issues in a multi-state practice. Click here to sign up today.

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‘Architect’ of Pilot Flying J Scam, 3 Others Plead Guilty

The man called the “architect” of the Pilot Flying J diesel fuel rebate scam and three other ex-employees of the company have struck a deal with authorities to plead guilty and cooperate in the ongoing investigation, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Ringleader John “Stick” Freeman, John Spiewak, Vicki Borden and Katy Bibee signed plea agreements today admitting to their involvement in the multi-million dollar scam in which smaller trucking companies were promised certain rebates but were paid much less.
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Item of Interest

Below is an article that was published in the the Disability Section Connect. We thought it had information that would be of interest to those of you in this section as well.  

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Business Law Section to Meet at TBA Convention

Please make plans to join the TBA Business Law Section for a business meeting that will be held in conjunction with 2017 Tennessee Bar Association Convention. The TBA Tax Law Section meeting is scheduled as follows:


Friday, June 16, 2017
 2 – 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time


Meadowview Marriott
, 1901 Meadowview Parkway, Kingsport, TN 37660
 (423) 578-6600

Room Location – Holston-Watauga Room

A conference call will be available for those unable to join us in person. The following are the instructions for joining the call:

You will dial in on the following number: 1-855-795-9620

You will then be prompted to enter the following conference ID number, followed by the pound (#) sign: 4424167#


Items for discussion include:

  1. Ideas for CLE programming and webcasts
  2. Pro Bono Opportunities
  3. What items would you like to see in your inbox?  Getting the most out of your Section Connects.
  4. Networking and Mentoring within the Section

Advance registration for the TBA Convention is now closed, however, you can still register at the event.

You do not have to be registered for convention to attend this cection meeting. We hope to see you there!

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Shelby County May Sue Pharma Companies for Opioid Crisis

Shelby County attorneys are exploring a suit against big pharmaceutical companies to recover costs from fighting the county’s opioid epidemic, The Commercial Appeal reports. The attorneys could have a recommendation sometime this month. The states of Ohio and Mississippi have already filed similar lawsuits, and Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, recently asked state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to join them
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First Tennessee v. Pinnacle Financial to Head to Trial

A legal battle between First Tennessee Bank and Pinnacle Financial Partners over the latter’s entry into the Memphis market is set for a jury trial, the Memphis Daily News reports. Shelby County Chancellor Jim Kyle yesterday denied a motion for partial summary judgment made by First Tennessee. The action was first brought in 2015 originally only against Damon Bell, the First Tennessee executive vice president recruited by Pinnacle to serve as its Memphis president. The recruitment was a culmination of secret efforts to recruit Bell and others while they were still employed by First Tennessee, the 2016 amended complaint alleges.
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Judge Rejects Pilot Execs Account of Federal Agents as ‘Storm Troopers’

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton has rejected the portrait drawn by former Pilot Flying J executives of federal agents as scary “storm troopers” who bullied them into talking, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. “The court finds that nothing about the ongoing execution of the search warrant transformed the familiar office location into an environment that a reasonable person would deem to be hostile,” Guyton wrote. Attorney for former Pilot Flying J executives wanted to keep jurors from hearing anything they said to agents during a 2013 Tax Day raid on the company’s headquarters.
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Suit Filed Over Pinnacle Acquisition Deal

Tennessee-based Pinnacle Bank has hit a snag in its attempt to acquire North Carolina-based BNC Bancorp – a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the BNC Bancorp shareholders, the Nashville Business Journal reports. The suit alleges that BNC’s board of directors "failed to disclose certain material information that is necessary for shareholders to properly assess the fairness of the proposed merger, thereby rendering certain statements in the proxy incomplete and misleading."
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SCOTUS Ruling on Printer Cartridges Has Major Retail Ramifications

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on printer toner cartridges this week protects a consumer’s “right to tinker,” The Washington Post reports. The Court found that in Impression Products v. Lexmark, Lexmark’s patent rights on their toner cartridges were not violated by Impression Products refilling Lexmark cartridges at a cheaper price. The decision has implications for companies that try to use patent law to restrict what consumers can do with their products after purchase. 
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Turn Your Expertise into a Magazine Article

It’s no surprise that some of the best articles in the Tennessee Bar Journal have come from TBA section members. Your membership in this section shows that you have a keen interest in trends, developments and case law in this practice area. Sharing this knowledge with your colleagues is one of the best traits of the profession.

How can you become a Journal author? Think of and refine your topic. It should be of interest to Tennessee lawyers, which is a broad criteria. This could mean you might explain a new state law, explain a complicated area of law, or take a larger issue and connect it to what it means for Tennessee attorneys and the justice system. Find a global issue within your particular experience or knowledge and tell about it and how it affects Tennessee law. Then take a look at the writer’s guidelines at, which will tell you about length, notes and other details. Once it’s in the proper format, send it in! It goes to the editor, Suzanne Craig Robertson, who will then get it to the seven members of the Editorial Board for review.

If you are published, you may apply for CLE credit for your work under Supreme Court Rule 21 Section 4.07(b). For details on claiming the credit, check with the Commission on CLE & Specialization at

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Tips for Utilizing Phase 2 of Business Court Pilot Project

With Phase 2 of the Supreme Court’s innovative Business Court Docket Pilot Project now underway, Nashville attorney Stephen Zralek of Bone McAllester Norton offers several takeaways for Tennessee attorneys interested in using the court. Zralek's blog post talks about what sizes and types of claims will be considered in the new phase of the pilot and when they needed to be filed to be considered. The initial phase of the pilot project drew praise from Gov. Bill Haslam, as well as legislative leaders, economic development officers and business leaders across Tennessee. “Phase 1 proved to be a great success,” said Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins. “I am very confident that Phase 2 will be even more successful.”

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TBA Convention in Kingsport is Just Around the Corner

Registration is open for the 2017 TBA Annual Convention. This years programming offers plenty of opportunities to make new friends and renew acquaintances with colleagues from across the state. The highlight comes Thursday night with the Kingsport Karnival at the downtown Farmers Market. Along with fabulous food and drink, there will be live music from two bands, an aerialist, juggler, magician, body and face painters, caricaturist and more. Plus, you'll have access to the fabulous Kingsport Carousel, the delightful project of community artisans. Special thanks to Eastman for support of this event! 

This years convention also offers 12 hours of CLE programming, highlighted by sessions on the Hatfields and McCoys, The Neuroscience of Decision-Making, and the popular Better Right Now wellness program. It is all set at the beautiful MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center. To receive the TBA $129 room rate, you must book your reservation by May 23. Book your room online now or call 423-578-6600.

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