News

2015 Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Gala Set for March 7

The TBA Access to Justice Committee, in partnership with the TBA Corporate Counsel Section and the Tennessee Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, will host the Ninth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala March 7 at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. Law firms, corporations and individuals are invited to support the event by becoming sponsors or purchasing tickets. Presentation of the 2015 Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative (CCPBI) awards – which recognize the Tennessee law firm and corporate legal department that best exemplify a commitment to access to justice – also will take place at the event. Nominations for the awards are being accepted through Nov. 14. CCPBI engages corporate counsel and in-house lawyers in pro bono work. Since the inception of the program, more than $425,000 has been raised and distributed to organizations across the state that connect corporate lawyers to local pro bono projects.

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Top TVA Lawyer to Step Down in December

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) General Counsel Ralph Rodgers will retire at the end of the year, the Times Free Press reports. Rogers, 60, joined TVA in 1979 and rose to the top legal job as executive vice president and secretary to the TVA board. He is the highest paid attorney in TVA history with a compensation package worth $1.9 million last year, according to the paper. The compensation structure, which is set by Congress, has come under fire in recent years. Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe once said, “An equally or more competent attorney could be employed for far less and save ratepayers money.”

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2015 Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala

Saturday, March 7, 2015 - Hermitage Hotel, Nashville

The TBA Access to Justice Committee, in partnership with the TBA Corporate Counsel Section and the Association of Corporate Counsel, are working to help foster a coordinated approach to pro bono work and support for the access to justice community by corporate and in-house legal departments in Tennessee.

This partnership has produced eight successful Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Galas, raising over $425,000 from sponsorships by Tennessee corporate legal departments, law firms and other organizations and individuals. Funds are held by the Tennessee Legal Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. To date, the initiative has awarded over a dozen grants to organizations across the state to engage corporate counsel in local pro bono projects.

Plans are now underway for the Ninth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala, which will be held Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Nashville.

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Mergers, 'Kaley' Ruling, Seersucker and More Covered in July TBJ

Kathryn Reed Edge gives the details of what a merger entails in the July issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. Enjoy TBA Convention photos and stories in the printed version -- and read new TBA President Jonathan Steen's column, "If Not Us, Then Who?" Wade Davies explains the recent Kaley ruling about criminal defendants using their earnings to retain counsel (spoiler: they can't). And if you are wavering about buying a Seersucker suit this summer, read Bill Haltom's column for a nudge in favor of the cool, cotton ensemble.

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Memphis Law Awards Wilder Scholarship

Abigail Mabry is the 2014 recipient of the BankTennessee John S. Wilder Law School Scholarship. The scholarship is named in memory of John S. Wilder Sr., a former lieutenant governor of Tennessee, a former vice-chairman of BankTennessee’s board of directors and one of the founders of the bank. 
It is awarded annually to a University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law third-year student and Tennessee resident who has demonstrated, in the spirit of Wilder, a commitment to public service and to enhancing the common good. The Millington Star has the story.

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TBA Honors Nashville Company for Pro Bono Work

Caterpillar Financial received award at gala Saturday in Nashville

NASHVILLE, March 4, 2014 — Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation of Nashville was recognized for its commitment to providing free legal services at the Eighth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala this past Saturday in Nashville.

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TBA Recognizes Baker Donelson for Pro Bono Work

Firm's Knoxville office receives award for partnership with Legal Aid of East Tennessee

NASHVILLE, March 4, 2014 — The Knoxville office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz was recognized for its commitment to providing free legal services at the Eighth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala this past Saturday in Nashville.

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TBA Recognizes 2014 CCPBI Award Winners

Attorneys from Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. in Nashville and the Knoxville office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz were honored Saturday during the Eighth Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala in Nashville. Baker Donelson was recognized for two projects undertaken in partnership with Legal Aid of East Tennessee: serving as a Pillar Law Firm, representing people seeking to obtain a conservatorship over a disabled adult and working to bring “Project H.E.L.P.” – a program that provides legal assistance to homeless men, women and children – to the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission. CAT Financial was recognized for an ongoing partnership with Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), which offers immigration legal services, education and advocacy. In addition, the gala raised nearly $60,000 to support pro bono activities across the state. See photos from the event or learn more about the initiative.

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If You Did It, Flaunt It With a TBJ Announcement

The Tennessee Bar Journal has a new opportunity for lawyers and firms to promote outstanding achievements, new associates, new partners, mergers, awards and any changes within the firm. Now, Professional Announcements are available at special, lower-rate pricing. You can tell more than 12,000 of your peers about your accomplishments by placing an announcement in the Journal. For information or to place an announcement, contact Debbie Taylor at 503-445-2231 or Debbie@llm.com. To have an announcement placed in the April issue, please contact her before Feb. 18.

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Corporate Counsel Gala Honors Pro Bono Work

Corporate counsel and private bar lawyers, along with a diverse group of sponsors, were honored at the Seventh Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala in Nashville this past Saturday. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary R. Wade gave the keynote address, praising the initiative’s emphasis on pro bono service and encouraging all lawyers to fulfill the ethical responsibility of providing legal assistance to those in need. TBA President Jackie Dixon presented this year’s awards to Memphis-based Burch, Porter & Johnson for its partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and to the corporate legal department of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in Chattanooga for its Street Law program and new Hamilton County Legal Clinic. See photos from the event or read more about the award recipients.

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TBA to Recognize 2013 Corporate Pro Bono Honorees

The Memphis law firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson and Chattanooga-based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will be recognized for their commitment to providing free legal services at the 7th Annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala Saturday in Nashville. The event will feature remarks by Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade and Doug Blaze, dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law. The awards will be presented by TBA President Jackie Dixon along with Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Co-Chairs Jim Barry with International Paper and Andy Branham with Counsel On Call. The 2013 Law Firm Award will be presented to Burch, Porter & Johnson for a partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital that helps low-income families establish conservatorships for children too neurologically impaired to consent to their own treatment. The Legal Department Award will be presented to BlueCross for its continuing partnership with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel to present the Street Law program at Brainerd High School, as well as for a new community legal clinic it organized last year with the support of Legal Aid of East Tennessee and Miller & Martin PLLC.

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New Journal Looks at Consumer Protection Cuts, More

In the February Tennessee Bar Journal, James M. Davis covers the effects updates to the TCPA had on relief available to consumers and businesses. Steven W. Feldman analyzes employee handbooks and makes the distinction between employee contractual rights and workplace policies. Columnists cover differences in state and federal pleading standards, demonstrative evidence and long-term care planning.

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Court: Employee Must Exhaust Benefit Review First

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled today that in a workers’ compensation case, Lacey Chapman v. DaVita Inc., the employee must exhaust the benefit review conference process before filing suit as required by state law. Learn more from the court

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Corporate Criminal Charges Come in Many Forms

In a News Sentinel column, Knoxville lawyer Brian Wanamaker explains what different levels of corporate criminal charges can mean to a company.

Services Set for Memphis Lawyer Nancy Kay Kenley

Nancy Kay Kenley, 54, of Memphis died yesterday (April 26) after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was Senior Counsel for Legal Regulatory Affairs at Federal Express and a 1990 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. Visitation is today from 5 to 8 p.m. at Memorial Park Funeral Home on Poplar Avenue in Memphis. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at White Station Church of Christ. Donations may be made to the Nancy K. Kenley Hope Fund at Independent Bank Memphis. Read her obituary

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