News

Tennessee Adopts Uniform Bar Exam

The Tennessee Supreme Court today amended Rule 7 and adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) as the key testing component for bar admission for aspiring Tennessee attorneys. The UBE is a nationwide test that has been adopted in 31 jurisdictions and allows test takers to transfer scores between states, greatly improving the mobility of Tennessee attorneys. The change comes after the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners filed a petition with the Supreme Court to adopt the change. Comments received by the Court were overwhelmingly supportive. The UBE will be given for the first time in Tennessee in February 2019.

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Company to Build Home in Chattanooga Using Robotic Technology

A new architectural startup called Branch Technology will use 3D-printing robots to build its first home this year in Chattanooga, The South China Morning Post reports. Branch's machines will print the walls, roof and floor of the 1,0000-square-foot model over the span of a few months, and then a construction crew will assemble the components on-site.
 
Branch says that the construction process will produce less waste than traditional homebuilding because the machines will print only the necessary parts and that the method will make homes that are three to four times stronger than typical wood construction. The company estimates that the prototype will cost $300 to $400 per square foot to build but plans to get that price down before it starts selling homes.
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‘Face the Future’ at the 2018 TBA Convention in Memphis

Get ready to “Face the Future” at the 137th annual TBA Convention, held this year from June 13 – 16 at the historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Learn about our changing court system, how data will affect your practice and about the future of the legal profession. You’ll also get a chance to meet the candidates for governor at the Bench/Bar Candidate Forum, as well as improve your well-being with our annual “better right now” CLE. Book your hotel today and register now at the TBA member rate.
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Topgolf CLE: Estate Planning Tee-off

The TBA Estate Planning & Probate Section will host the Topgolf CLE: Estate Planning Tee-off on June 26. The program will feature 2.5 hours of CLE programming, focused on information relevant to new attorneys interested in Estate Planning and lawyers who desire to add this area to their practice.
 
The CLE package includes breakfast, lunch, plus two hours of Topgolf after the presentations. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to build your practice knowledge and fine-tune your drive game, all in one day! 
 
When: Tuesday, June 26, 9 a.m., CDT
 
Where: Topgolf Nashville, 500 Cowan Street, Nashville, TN, 37207
 
 
 
 
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Senate Advances Bill Overturning Some Short-Term Rental Rules

The Senate today passed a bill that would overturn a Nashville ordinance set to gradually eliminate certain types of short-term rentals, as well as similar prohibitions in other cities, the Tennessean reports. Called a strong win for the booming short-term rental industry, the measure will now go back to the House for final approval.

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Lawsuit Involving Construction of Oak Ridge Uranium Processing Facility Moved to Knoxville

A federal lawsuit that asks for an environmental review of the new multi-building design for the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) at the Y-12 National Security Complex has been transferred from Washington, D.C., to Knoxville, reports Oak Ridge Today. The transfer was requested in September by the defendants, U.S. Energy Secretary James Richard “Rick” Perry and Frank G. Klotz, former administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that manages nuclear weapons programs and facilities. United States District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, who was assigned the case in December, granted the motion to transfer the lawsuit from the District of Columbia to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on March 23.
 
The complaint argues that a new environmental impact statement should be prepared for the new design for the UPF, the largest federal construction project in Tennessee since World War II. The plaintiffs allege that the use of several old buildings at Y-12 to house nuclear weapons work is risky because the old buildings could collapse during a major earthquake, possibly leading to a nuclear accident that could cause the release of radiological materials. Federal officials denied that allegation and others in a 29-page answer filed Sept. 29, 2017, calling the allegations vague, ambiguous or speculative, adding that safety and technical analyses are underway at Y-12.
 
The plaintiffs previously listed the reasons for filing their complaint in the District of Columbia, citing the fact that multi-building UPF was made by a federal agency in the Washington, D.C., area; the named defendants are (or were) located there; and the information that the NNSA allegedly failed to consider originated in other federal agencies in the nation’s capital. The plaintiffs also said the important issues raised in the litigation — issues regarding the safety of the nation’s nuclear weapons program are “issues of overriding national significance and interest,” which favored keeping the case in Washington, D.C.
 
The defendants, however, asked to move the lawsuit to East Tennessee stating, “This question should be decided in the Eastern District of Tennessee, where the Y-12 Complex is located,” a September 28 memorandum supporting its motion to transfer. “The matters at issue, in this case, are local at every turn,” the government attorneys said.
 
Granting the motion to transfer, Friedrich said private and public interest factors both weigh in favor of moving the case to East Tennessee.“There is a substantial local interest in having this action decided in Tennessee,” she said. “The potential health and environmental effects in the locality of the Y-12 Complex and its surrounding areas present unique hazards that gravely impact residents in the Eastern District of Tennessee."
 
The Y-12 complex was built to enrich uranium for atomic weapons as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, and it remains the nation’s primary site for processing and storing highly enriched uranium used in nuclear weapons.
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10 Essential Documents for Your Practice

Instructions and rules for client file retention, list of current curse and copy of bank’s form for IOLTA access are three of the top 10 documents attorneys need for succession planning and practice management. Learn more in this 3-hour dual credit workshop with attorney Timothy Takacs.

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TDOT Using Same Construction Technique as Failed Bridge in Florida

Despite the deadly failure of a Florida pedestrian span that was being built using the same sped-up process, Tennessee transportation officials said Friday they don't foresee any changes in a project on Interstate 240 in East Memphis, reports The Commercial Appeal. The process, known as "accelerated bridge construction (ABC)," considers how bridge construction impacts local traffic flow and tries to shift as much construction to be done in advance and off-site before moving those pieces onsite. The Tennessee Department of Transportation began work earlier this year on a $54.1 million project that will replace four aging spans across I-240, with the use of accelerated construction practices allowing the project to be completed in 15 to18 months instead of the two to three years that would be needed for conventional building techniques.  
 
TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in a prepared statement that the 950-ton pedestrian span at Florida International University appears to be of a "unique design." Additionally, the final support columns and the suspension cables had not been installed.” Schroer continued, "Since we do not yet know whether the collapse was caused by a design issue on the front end or an issue related to ABC, it is too early for TDOT to determine whether any changes to our processes will be appropriate.”
 
Unlike the Florida span, the new bridges that will be installed for eastbound and westbound Poplar, the Norfolk Southern Railroad and Park Avenue will involve "very traditional" designs, according to Schroer, with total shutdowns of traffic planned during installation. The ABC process has been used successfully in Nashville and it has been embraced by engineers and transportation departments in many states because it allows for minimal road closures. 
 
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Senate Committee Votes to Overturn Local Short-term Rental Laws

A Senate committee voted to advance controversial Republican-backed legislation that would overturn a Nashville ordinance set to gradually eliminate certain types of short-term rentals, led by companies such as Airbnb, as well as similar prohibitions in other cities, including Knoxville, reports The Tennessean. The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted 7-2 to approve a now-revamped ‘Short Term Rental Unit Act’ introduced by Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon, and Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville. If passed, the bill will block a Nashville ordinance passed in January to phase out most non-owner-occupied short-term rentals that currently exist in residential neighborhoods over the next three years, as well as a similar prohibition that passed last year in Knoxville. However, the bill allows local municipalities to still prohibit certain types of short-term rentals and require grandfathered short-term rentals to acquire permits. In addition, a local government could revoke a permit for a grandfathered unit if it violates standards on three separate occasions.
 
"Obviously, I'm pleased with the outcome," Stevens said after the bill passed in the committee. "I think it is a very difficult issue, but it's our property and it's a very personal issue. It's a distinction between the property rights and government, even if it is local government." Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, who is not a member of the committee, spoke against the measure saying, "If there is a permit that is issued by a local government, there is a mechanism that they might revoke that permit.”
 
"It is my impression that (the amendment) is somewhat too restrictive," Dickerson said. "The bill makes it almost impossible to do that."
 
The Nashville Area Short-Term Rental Association urged approval of the bill in a letter to lawmakers. “We are regular folks working to make a living and want to contribute to our local and state economy,” the short-term rental association’s letter reads. “Please protect the property rights of all. Please vote to pass SB1086 with amendments.” Detractors contend that short-term renting has displaced longtime residents by attracting investors who don’t live in the homes they rent out. 
 
Twenty-seven cities in Tennessee have rules that don't allow non-owner-occupied short-term rentals in residential areas, including Knoxville, Brentwood, Germantown and Smyrna. Local officials say they are just following zoning laws that restrict businesses in residential areas. Some cities have gone further by outlawing all short-term rentals, including owner-occupied types. These include Davidson County's five satellite cities — Belle Meade, Berry Hill, Forest Hills, Goodlettsville and Oak Hill. You can track the legislation using this link.
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Succession Planning for Your Law Firm or Practice

Attorney Timothy Takacs will present a special CLE on succession planning for your law firm or law practice on March 27 in Nashville. Additional topics will include law practice management, best practices, client communication and life planning. Attendees will learn how to develop their own plan using a planning toolkit for lawyers.
 
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Tennessee Infrastructure Needs $45 Billion for Next 5 Years

Tennessee's annual estimate of costs for needed roads, schools, parks and other infrastructure is now $45 billion in the five years between 2016 and 2021 reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press. This is an increase of about $2 billion, or 4.7 percent, from last year, according to the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, or TACIR, a research institution that explores solutions for state and local governments.
 
In its latest report issued Monday, TACIR hopes that the infrastructure inventory could help local communities to woo federal dollars under President Donald Trump's pending infrastructure plan. The report includes a statewide overview chapter with information by type of infrastructure, the condition and needs of our public-school facilities, the availability of funding to meet reported needs and a comparison of county-area need, including one-page summaries for each Tennessee county.
 
Costs for current infrastructure needs fall into six general categories:
  • Transportation and utilities: $24.8 billion
  • Education: $10.4 billion
  • Health, safety, and welfare: $6.9 billion
  • Recreation and culture: $1.8 billion
  • General government: $767 million
  • Economic development: $360 million
Preliminary discussions of Trump's infrastructure plan indicate states could receive rural infrastructure funds if they have plans for investing the money. The TACIR news release said the report "could provide a foundation for meeting this or similar requirements." The report in its entirety can be found here.
 
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The Protest Movement as a Tool for Social Change: Fifty Years Post-King

The Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association presents a dynamic day of programming in recognition of 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis. This program explores the protest that brought Dr. King to Memphis in 1968 and the legacy that his untimely death has left on the fabric of the city. The event will focus on the protest movement in its current state as well as provide updated information on the law surrounding assembly, protest and municipal responsibility.
 
The program features local historical figures who worked with Dr. King, representatives of the media, City of Memphis, local activists, attorneys and judges.
 
Speakers and producers include:
  • Barbara Arnwine, Esq., CEO and Founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, Washington, D.C. 
  • Judge Earnestine Hunt Dorse, Municipal Court Judge, Memphis
  • Bill Cody, Burch, Porter and Johnson, Memphis
  • Earle Schwartz, Memphis Bar Association President, Memphis
  • Judge Bernice Bouie Donald, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Memphis
When: Feb. 23, 9 a.m. CST
 
Where: Fogleman Business Center, First Floor Amphitheater, 330 Innovation Dr., Memphis, Tennessee 38152
 
Contact Florence Johnson by email or call her at 901-725-7520 for more information.
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TBA Gears Up for 2018 Mock Trial Tournament

The Tennessee Bar Association will host the upcoming Tennessee High School Mock Trial Tournament on March 23 and 24 in Nashville. The Mock Trial is a two-day, single-elimination bracket-style competition where 16 high schools face-off against each other in the Davidson County Courthouse. Each team is scored on their trial preparation and skills. 

We need TBA volunteers to help be bailiffs and jurors (scorers) for the event. After signing up, we will send you a Volunteer Memo with all the information you need for competition including; parking, hotel, downtown map, courthouse rules, and reimbursement information. Come be a part of the Young Lawyers Divisions’ March Madness! Feel free to contact YLD Director Stephanie Vonnahme with any questions.

To volunteer for this event, click here.

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Construction Industry Faces Shortage of Workers Amid Unprecedented Growth

A recent WSMV story highlights concerns of builders in middle Tennessee regarding a shortage of construction workers. The area has seen unprecedented growth, with an estimated 75 people a day moving into the Nashville area alone.
 
"What used to take us about 120 days on average to build a house is now taking us 180 days plus," said Dave McGowan, the owner of Regent Homes, a locally owned home building company in Nashville. "There's a shortage of bricklayers. There's a shortage of different tradesmen from everything, from people who do our carpet work and do our floor work. All the people that really requires skill, there's a true shortage of those people," he continued.
 
This comes at a time when several planned, large-scale construction projects including repaving Interstate 440 and Nashville's proposed metro transit upgrade, will only further exacerbate the problem. Nashville is also on the short list of cities for Amazon's second headquarters, Amazon HQ2, an 8.1-million square foot campus that will create an estimated 50,000 new jobs for the area and a huge need for skilled construction laborers.
 
One way to build the workforce is through high school recruitment. Go Build Tennessee, a nonprofit comprehensive workforce development initiative that seeks to address the problem by getting teens interested in joining the construction workforce, routinely visits area schools to inform young people, parents, educators and influencers about shortages and opportunities in the various construction related trades.
 
"If they are able to go to trade schools and learn that skill set, they would be able to have a job," McGowan said. With only one person replacing every five leaving the construction field, Tennessee will certainly be tasked with finding new and novel ways to address these challenges.
 
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Don't Forget: Winter CLE Blast Tomorrow!

Need CLE hours fast? We can help! The annual Winter CLE Blast is less than a day away. With this program, you can complete up to 11 hours of Dual CLE credit on your own time. Our registration desk will be open from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 21, providing you the flexibility to create your own schedule and take as many or as few hours as you need. Payment will be determined at checkout depending on the number of hours you attend. 

Highlights

  • Flexible to your schedule
  • Up to 11 Hours of CLE
  • Ethics Credits
  • Compliance CLE
  • Live Credit Hours

When: Feb. 21, registration begins at 7 a.m., CST

Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave N., Nashville, TN 37219

 

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Construction Law Forum 2018

CLE on construction law will be held Jan. 26 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. Topics will include available insurance products and particular coverages involved in a construction project, coverage for defective work, drafting complaints to invoke coverage, dealing with exclusions, payment and performance bonds, indemnity agreements necessary to obtain bonds, retainage issues, and conflicts of interest when representing insureds in construction litigation. 
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The Indemnity Agreement — A Benefit to the Surety and Contractor

Indemnity agreements are a standard document in the surety and insurance industry, but for those outside the industry, they can be relatively unknown. If you are outside the construction arena, they can be near impossible to understand and they can be difficult to navigate when your construction client is required to provide a bond to secure its bidding, payment and performance obligations under a construction contract.
 
Surety bonds are third-party contracts between the principal/contractor, the surety and the obligee. By providing the principal/contractor with the bond, the surety is guaranteeing to the obligee that money is available to cover the cost of damages as a result of the principal’s failure to adhere to the terms of the underlying contractual obligation and the bond provided. The surety issues a bond with the assumption that the surety will not lose money if a claim is made against the bond.
 
So, if the surety guarantees to the obligee that money is available to cover any losses or damages where the principal/contractor is at fault, how can the surety assume that it will not lose anything? The surety will look to the ever-important indemnity agreement. While this may sound overwhelming, the indemnity agreement is a necessary component of the construction industry, and understanding the indemnity agreement can assist you and your client, the contractor, in the operation of its business. 
 
An presentation during the upcoming Construction Law Forum will address this and other questions regarding the indemnity agreement. To register for this CLE opportunity, click here
 
Elizabeth "Beth" Stengel is a West Tennessee Delegate for the Tennessee Bar Association's Construction Law Section. Stengel is a shareholder in the Memphis office of Evans Petree. She holds degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis College of Law. Stengel can be contacted at 901-474-6138 or bstengel@evanspetree.com.
 
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Tennessee Retainage Law — BETTER WATCH OUT!

Most Tennessee commercial construction contracts allow for “retainage” to be withheld from monthly payments until the end of a project. However, Tennessee has some of the most restrictive retainage laws in the country, the violation of which can subject an owner or contractor to both criminal and civil penalties. These laws have in the last few years been amended to include these penalties. Many in the construction industry (and their lawyers) are unaware of these laws and recent cases. 

A presentation at the upcoming Construction Law Forum aims to address this and provide a comprehensive discussion of the retainage laws and how lawyers can best advise their clients. To register for this CLE opportunity, click here

David K. Taylor is a Middle Tennessee Delegate for the Tennessee Bar Association's Construction Law Section. Taylor is a partner in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. He holds degrees from Davidson College and the University of Alabama College of Law. Taylor can be contacted at 615-252-2396 or dtaylor@bradley.com.

 

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Construction Law Forum 2018 This Friday!

The Tennessee Bar Association will host the 2018 Construction Law Forum in Nashville on Jan. 26, 2018. This event provides six hours of CLE, including an hour of ethics, and will be focused on understanding insurance coverage and surety bond issues as related to construction projects. These matters can be perplexing— who is covered, what is covered, who is a necessary party to any dispute, and how to trigger coverage. This CLE will address these problems in a way that's informative for all attorneys, regardless of construction law experience. 
 
Do not miss this opportunity to fulfill CLE requirements while networking with attorneys who share your focus and cultivating relationships with fellow practitioners. Section members receive a discounted rate for the program. Here's the key info: 
 
When: Jan. 26, 2018; registration begins at 8 a.m., CDT
 
Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave N., Nashville, TN 37219
 
Topics include:
Available insurance products and particular coverages involved in a construction project
Coverage for defective work
Drafting complaints to invoke coverage
Payment and performance bonds
Indemnity agreements necessary to obtain bonds
Conflicts of interest when representing insureds in construction litigation
 
Speakers/Producers include:
Jeremy Alpert, Glankler Brown PLLC, Memphis
Briton Collins, Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley PC, Knoxville
James (Tim) Crenshaw, Schulman LeRoy & Bennett PC, Nashville 
Michael Derrick, Shuttleworth PLLC, Memphis 
Timothy Gibbons, Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC, Chattanooga
Elizabeth Stengel, Evans Petree PC, Memphis 
William Tate, Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson PLLC, Nashville
David Taylor, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Nashville
 
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Visitation Today, Services Tomorrow for Nashville Attorney

Nashville lawyer Thaddeus Earl Watkins died on Nov. 19. He was 60. Born in Memphis, Watkins earned his law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. During his 30-year career as an attorney for the State of Tennessee, he served as counsel for the State Fire Marshall’s Office, the State Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners, the Tennessee State Capitol Commission and the Department of Commerce and Insurance before being appointed to the Tennessee Department of General Services. Visitation will be held tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home, 201 25th Ave N. A second visitation will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m., with services to follow at 11 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 900 Broadway. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) or a charity of choice.
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Supreme Court: Home Inspector Liability Doesn’t Extend to 3rd Parties

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled this week that a home inspector is not liable for the injuries of a social guest of a homeowner who was injured when a railing collapsed shortly after purchase. The majority of the court’s justices found that the inspector did not voluntarily assume a duty to third parties like the plaintiff, who was a guest of the homebuyer. Justice Roger A. Page wrote the majority opinion, while Justice Holly Kirby filed a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. Justice Sharon G. Lee filed a third opinion in dissent.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Targeting Affiliated Businesses

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently took action against Meridian Title Corporation (Meridian) for violation of a long-standing provision of the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA). CFPB has been delegated with the enforcement of RESPA.  
 
According to the release, Meridian is a real estate settlement agent and a title insurance agency located in South Bend, Indiana, which was found to have steered “consumers to a title insurer owned in part by several of [Meridian’s] executives without making disclosures about the business affiliation.” 
 
When directed to its affiliated provider, the settlement agent/title agent “was able to keep extra money beyond the commission it would normally have been entitled to collect based on an understanding with the affiliated provider, to add to its bottom line,” according to Director Richard Cordray.
 
Receiving “anything of value” pursuant to a referral agreement has long been a violation of RESPA, but if the referring entity meets the definition of an “affiliated business,” then the referring entity must “generally disclose its relationship to the consumer.” Theoretically, this permits the consumer to exercise independent judgment regarding whether to use that provider. The penalty for Meridian’s failure to disclosure resulted in an order that required the regional company to pay $1.25 million to 7,000 “harmed consumers” and an order to desist from such conduct in the future.
 
Unfortunately, many affiliated providers of services for title agencies and lenders have become lax and brush off this continuing obligatory disclosure to the consumer.
 
This action is noteworthy because the CFPB has identified and taken action against a relatively minor player in the title industry. This should reinforce the importance of compliance by every title agency and lender. Lenders who enjoy affiliated business arrangements with title insurance providers are apt to trivialize this RESPA requirement when dealing with the consumer, especially when the lender views the provider as a business partner through its relationship as a member in the provider’s limited liability company.
 
As with many consumer protection regulations, the consumer often fails to appreciate the value of choosing services through a provider that does not share in the financial interest of the lender. This is especially true when an owners title policy is issued simultaneously with a loan policy. The interest of the consumer and lender are not necessarily the same.
 
Paul "Kelley" Hinsley is an eastern delegate and past chair of the executive council for the Tennessee Bar Association's Real Estate Section. Hinsley holds degrees from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the University of Tennessee College of Law.

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Mechanics' and Materialman's Liens: What Contractors Need to Know

Construction Law Chair Josh Jenkins and Executive Council member Mary Beth Hagan, both of the Hagan Law Group, were recently at the Tennessee Bar Center to give a presentation on mechanics’ and materialman’s liens. The purpose of the seminar was to provide information to contractors and subcontractors in Tennessee about their lien rights on projects and the related timing considerations and requirements for perfecting and enforcing a lien in the event of non-payment.
 
This presentation is part of what will be an ongoing project of the Construction Law Section, with plans to offer future seminars in Tennessee’s eastern and western regions. Video of the recent presentation is available now for viewing.

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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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Lawsuit Filed Against Knoxville Developer

A lawsuit alleging misrepresentation has been filed against prominent Knoxville developer Richard E. “Rick” Dover, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Royal Properties, Inc., which represents the owners of the historic Pryor Brown garage building in Knoxville, is suing Dover for alleged dishonesty over the costs of turning the building into condominiums and commercial space. He is also accused in the lawsuit of tricking the owners into deeding him the property and of using the property as his own personal storage. Dover had six felony convictions in Texas related to financial fraud more than 20 years ago, but built a career in Knoxville after that.
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