News

Clio Practice Management Tutorials and Discount

TBA members get a 10% lifetime discount on Clio, a practice management tool. Take these free tutorials on client matter managementintake best practices, how to build intake forms and billing. Sign up for Clio today and use your member discount.

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Hamblen County Trustee Indicted for Theft, Coverup

Hamblen County Trustee John Baskette has been indicted on charges that he pocketed nearly $90,000 in government cash, fabricated records to hide the theft, then replaced the missing funds after state officials launched an investigation, Knoxnews reports. A grand jury recently indicted Baskette on 40 counts of failure to deposit public funds, two counts of official misconduct, one count of destruction of government records, one count of theft over $60,000 and one count of writing a worthless check over $1,000. An investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation found Baskette withheld $89,478 from county coffers after finding himself in debt personally.
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Johns Hopkins Health Policy Expert, White House Health Policy Advisor to Speak at TBA Health Law Forum

The Tennessee Bar Association’s Health Law Section has selected Johns Hopkins health policy expert and New York Times bestselling author Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H. along with health care policy advisor Larry Van Horn as the keynote speakers for its 31st Annual Health Law Forum to take place on Oct. 17-18 in Franklin. Makary has written for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TIME, Newsweek and regularly appears on various news networks as a health care expert. Van Horn has advised the state of Tennessee on health policy and is currently working with the White House on issues related to price transparency in health care markets — regularly meeting with the White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Federal Trade Commission on the topic. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear from the preeminent voices in today’s health care sector and enjoy other exceptional programming from top players in the field. Here are the key details:

When: Oct. 17-18; registration begins at 7 a.m., CDT on Thursday, Oct. 17

Where: Embassy Suites Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, TN 37067

REGISTER NOW

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Aug. 30 Deadline: 36th Annual TBA Academy & U.S. Supreme Court Admissions Ceremony

If admission to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court is one of your career goals, don’t miss the opportunity to make it a reality during the 36th Annual TBA Academy on Nov. 3-4 in Washington, D.C., where a select group of Tennessee attorneys will be able to take part in a private admissions ceremony at the court. Prior to the private swearing-in ceremony, admittees are invited to attend a President's Reception and special dinner to celebrate with colleagues and bar leadership. The registration deadline to participate in this opportunity is Aug. 30. You can learn more and register here.

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Member Access to Solo Practice Toolkit

The TBA offers a user-friendly guide for new solo and small firm attorneys opening their own practices. The information contained in the TBA Solo in a Box Toolkit was gathered from numerous existing TBA resources, practitioners from across the state and input from TBA Sections. Start with exploring business structures most often used for solo and small firm practice.

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Tune in to TBA Podcast Network

The Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network is home to a collection of podcasts for the Tennessee attorney. Sidebar features human interest stories from attorneys across the state. BarBuzz is a monthly rundown of TBA news and upcoming events at the local and state bar levels and HealthyBar offers tips and guidance on attorney well being. All three shows are now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA's website. Simply search the show title or "Tennessee Bar Association" wherever you listen to podcasts. Do you have a story lead you'd like to submit for a future episode? Submit your ideas here.

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Better Research Support at No Additional Cost

Your TBA membership includes full access to Fastcase for your legal research needs. As your legal research ninja, Fastcase tracks recent searches and documents so you can monitor your work. Attorneys also are available to assist with research or navigating the database. Start using your member benefit now. You can contact Fastcase for support by email, using the LiveChat feature located on the Fastcase website, or by phone at 866-773-2782 to speak with a research attorney.

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Creditors Practice Annual Forum, Sept. 18

The annual Creditors Practice Forum will give practitioners in the creditors practice field the opportunity to earn 3 general and 1 dual CLE credits. On Sept. 18 in Nashville, attendees will learn about construction liens, hear tips for bankruptcy and judgement collection and learn how to ethically collect debt while avoiding FDCPA violations and potential lawsuits.
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Creditors Practice Annual Forum, Sept. 18

At the Creditors Practice annual forum on Sept. 18 in Nashville, attendees will learn about construction liens, hear tips for bankruptcy and judgement collection and learn how to ethically collect debt while avoiding FDCPA violations and potential lawsuits. Earn three general and one dual CLE credits. Register here.
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Fastcase 7 New Features

A new Fastcase 7 update provides highlighting for your search terms when viewing the full text of a document. Each term is highlighted with a different color so that you can see the occurrence of each item separately. You can also turn off the highlighting function for both, and each term individually by choosing the highlight dropdown option, then selecting the ‘x’ across from the term. See this and all new features of TBA’s member benefit Fastcase 7 here.

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Tennessee Hospital Sues Own Employees for Nonpayment of Medical Bills

Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital in Memphis is garnering national attention for a reputation of suing its own employees when they can’t pay their medical bills, NPR reports. The report details that just this year, more than a dozen employees faced suits brought by the hospital over their debts. The health insurance benefits for Methodist employees only allow them to seek medical care at Methodist facilities, even if a competitor has better financial assistance policies.
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TBA House of Delegates Seeks to Fill Open Positions

In accordance with Article 29 of the TBA Bylaws, the officers of the House of Delegates will fill 13 open positions in the House. If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, please submit a declaration of candidacy that includes your name, principal place of law practice, district of interest and contact information to TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson by July 15. Read a list of open positions here.
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Use Your Prepaid TBA CLE Credits Before Monday!

TBA members have until June 30 to use the 2018-2019 CLE credits that come with their memberships. Use the credits now to register for any TBA course taking place this summer or fall, or any online course, as long as you register by June 30. Don’t let these valuable credits go to waste! Find more information on how to use your credits, and if you haven’t done so already, remember to renew your TBA membership for the upcoming year to get more CLE credits.
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Full Upgrade to Fastcase 7 Coming July 22

The TBA will be upgrading to Fastcase 7 — the latest in legal research technology — on July 22. Start the transition by reviewing the helpful resource page to learn new and advanced research tools and view training videos and reference guides. Did you know that as a member benefit Fastcase also offers research assistance? Use the LiveChat feature located on the Fastcase website, email support@fastcase.com or call 866-773-2782, Option 2, to speak with a research attorney. 
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Shadow Banks Back in the Forefront of Lending

“Shadow” banks have made a comeback and now surpass regulated banks as the leading source of credit for businesses and consumers, The Washington Post reports. Considered the catalyst for the real estate market collapse in 2008, the shadow system uses money from investors in lieu of depositors and heavily relies on hedge funds, investment banks and private equity funds. Loans from these sources are popular with consumers because of lower credit stipulations, faster approval and more flexible terms than loans from a traditional bank; however, they make the general economy more susceptible to busts.

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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision Regarding Application of CAFA

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed down a 5-4 decision in the case of Home Depot v. Jackson regarding application of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and an alleged scam by the company in cooperation with Citibank, and Carolina Water Systems Inc. (CWSI) over questionable credit lines used to push water purification systems. One customer who purchased the system, George W. Jackson, was sued by Citibank for unpaid debt. Jackson then filed a counterclaim against Citibank asserting class-action consumer-protection claims, further naming Home Depot and CWSI as respondents. Citibank then tried to remove the case to federal court citing the CAFA, when the lower courts and the Fourth Circuit held that a party named in a counterclaim is not a “defendant” that is entitled to remove the case under the law. Justice Thomas joined with Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan to form the majority in affirming the Fourth Circuit judgment.

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Next Week: Creditors Practice Annual Forum

It's not too late to register for next week's Creditors Practice Annual Forum! Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. Attendees will be able to earn 3 general and 1 dual CLE credits, as they learn about construction liens, explore updates to the CFPB, hear tips for bankruptcy and judgement collection and learn how to ethically collect debt while avoiding FDCPA violations and potential lawsuits. Registration begins at 11 a.m. CDT, and the CLE portion concludes at 3:45 p.m. CDT.
 
Attend the networking reception! Immediately following the program, make plans to mingle with fellow attendees and members of the section's executive council at a casual reception. Enjoy a selection of hor d'oeuvres along with a variety of beer, wine and soft drinks. Don't miss out; reserve your spot today

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CFPB Proposes New Rules Under FDCPA

Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, according to a press release by the CFPB. The proposed rule seeks to clarify how collectors can communicate with consumers. Specifically, the rule addresses how collectors can use newer technologies to communicate, such as voicemails, emails and text messages. Additional clarity on the number of call attempts and telephone conversations allowed are outlined. CFPB invites the public to submit written comments on the proposed rule. Read the proposed rule here.

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Warren, AOC Send Letter and Release Video Questioning Mnuchin’s Role in Sears Bankruptcy

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and released a video last week detailing a series of questions for Mnuchin regarding his advisory role to former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert during the downfall and eventual bankruptcy of the company, The Washington Post reports. Mnuchin was college roommates with Lampert and served on the boards of both Sears and Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments. Mnuchin, Lampert and other board members have been named in a lawsuit filed last month by Sears’ unsecured creditors on behalf of Sears. The suit accuses them of transferring billions of dollars from the company, as it closed stores and cut staff, in order to benefit Lampert, his hedge fund, his real estate investment firm and other insiders. After Sears filed for bankruptcy, its two pension plans were handed over to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), overseen by Mnuchin and two other secretaries. Warren and AOC inquire into the ethical obligations and current status of Mnuchin’s recusal requirements from PBGC’s actions related to Sears. Watch the video and read the full story here.  

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Zillow Class-Action Suit Regarding RESPA Violations to Proceed

The class-action lawsuit filed against Zillow regarding its “co-marketing” program and whether it violated federal anti-kickback laws will proceed as planned, The Washington Post reports. The suit, filed in September 2017, alleges that the company ran afoul of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by allowing lenders share advertising fees with real estate agents — up to 90 percent initially — effectually allowing the lenders to receive leads on active buyers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017 notified Zillow that it was being investigated regarding the alleged violations, to which the company attempted to negotiate with the bureau; however, the case was dropped when the Trump Administration appointed its new CFPB director. Judge John C. Coughenour of the U.S. District Court in Seattle denied Zillow’s motion to dismiss saying: “the court can draw a reasonable inference that Zillow designed the co-marketing program to allow agents to provide referrals to lenders in violation of RESPA.” A trial date has not been set.

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Your TBA Free CLE Credits Expire June 30

TBA members receive three hours of free CLE programming. Your credits expire June 30 for the current bar year. You may apply them to any available course here or donate them. Members can use this credit to cover all or part of the cost of live programs or on any online CLE program. (The course does not have to take place by June 30.)
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Volunteers Needed for a Saturday Clinic in Nashville

The Legal Aid Society and Metro Nashville Public Schools are hosting their monthly clinic this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the MNPS Office of English Learners, which is located at 615 Fessey Park Road, Nashville, TN, 37204. All lawyers are invited to help at this advice-only clinic. To volunteer or for more information please contact Jorge Salles Diaz at jsallesdiaz@las.org, 615-780-7131.
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Mid East Tennessee Community Credit Union Placed Into Conservatorship

The Mid East Tennessee Community Credit Union (METCCU) on Tuesday was placed into conservatorship by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Credit Union Times reports. While NCUA did not cite a specific reason for the conservatorship, METCCU maintains a delinquency rate of around 4 percent, dwarfing the rate of similar unions that hover around 1.1 percent. The organization, incepted in 2008, services 1,855 members in Meigs, Rhea, and McMinn counties.

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U.S. Deficit Provides Boon for Bond Investments

America’s ballooning deficit may have a slight silver lining — an uptick in safe asset investments, Bloomberg reports. Industry leaders point to the fact that consumers flock to less risky, low-yield investments such as treasury bonds in volatile markets that are backed by government liabilities, which have traditionally performed well in the U.S. Though the returns on treasuries are often meager, America raises a net positive while other some developed nations recently produced negative yields.

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CFPB to Address Collection Practices Through Email, Texts

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says it plans to issue new debt collection rules in coming weeks and intends to address the use of text and emails by collectors, The Washington Post reports. According to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, the organization will “modernize the legal regime for debt collection” by reducing “unwarranted” regulatory burdens, a move that detractors argue will add additional avenues for harassment. If approved, this will be the first revision of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in more than 40 years.

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