News

2 Legal Clinics Planned for Tuesday

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands has two free legal clinics planned for Tuesday. The Oak Ridge office will hold a clinic at its office at 575 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge 37830 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Prospective clients can call 865-483-8454 for an appointment. In Clarksville, a clinic will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Operation Stand Down, 400 Madison St., Clarksville 37040. Contact Kendra Cheek, 615-780-7131 for more information.

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Volunteer Opportunity Available with Disability Rights Tennessee

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is currently recruiting volunteers to conduct poll site accessibility surveys for its Voting Access Program. This survey is important for helping DRT work with counties to assess and resolve voting accessibility issues. This year, surveys will be conducted during the primaries on March 3 and presidential election on Nov. 3. DRT is actively recruiting volunteers, including firms and legal aid societies, to help gather this data. Those interested in helping with this project can go online and fill out an interest form.

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Belmont Apologizes to Pregnant Law Students for "Misunderstanding"

Belmont University College of Law has issued an apology one month after four past and present female students claimed the law school’s attendance policy discriminated against pregnant women. Interviews with the group of women claiming the school treated them unfairly during pregnancy were published in Belmont’s student-run newspaper, The Vision, in December and prompted an investigation by the university’s Title IX Office. In a statement, the school said the investigation found no discriminatory or illegal practices, but still apologized for any “misunderstandings” and said it would take steps to clarify how pregnant students can obtain pregnancy-related accommodations. The Vision has the full story and statement.

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Military, Veterans Legal Clinics Taking Place Next Week

West Tennessee Legal Services will hold its “Military Monday” legal clinic on Monday from 9 to 11 a.m. The event will take place at Starbucks, 2034 N. Highland Ave., Jackson 38305. The clinic provides general civil legal advice for U.S. veterans, military members and their families. For more information, call 800-372-8346. Then on Tuesday, Memphis Area Legal Services will hold its Vets Legal Clinic from noon to 2 p.m. at the Memphis Vet Center, 1407 Union Ave. Ste. 410, Memphis 38104.

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January TBA BarBuzz Podcast Now Streaming

This month's episode of the TBA BarBuzz podcast is now available. BarBuzz is a monthly show from the TBA Podcast Network that recaps legal happenings from across Tennessee, upcoming events at the bar, attorney shout outs and more. Other shows in the network include Sidebar, a podcast featuring human interest stories from Tennessee attorneys, HealthyBar, which focuses on attorney well being, and TBA YLD Presents: War Stories. All shows are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA's website. Simply search the show's title or "Tennessee Bar Association" wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Estate Planning & Probate Forum 2020

The TBA’s highly regarded Estate Planning & Probate Forum will return to the Embassy Suites Cool Springs on Friday, Feb. 21. This annual staple for planning professionals will feature best practices and tips regarding timely topics such as:
 
  • Practical will and trust drafting, including basic forms
  • A panel discussion regarding administration of trusts
  • Testimonials regarding probate litigation and will contests
  • What Tennessee has done to to become a top trust jurisdiction
  • A probate panel with representatives from the three grand divisions
  • Legislative updates
  • Ethics for planners
  • And more
Attendees of the forum who wish to stay at the hotel will receive a discounted TBA rate. You can reserve your room at the TBA rate by using this link, or by calling 1-800-EMBASSY and referencing the group code EPF. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from seasoned practitioners and top players in the field while being a beneficiary of necessary CLE credits. Missing out is irrevocable.
 
When: Friday, Feb. 21, registration begins at 8 a.m., CST
Where: Embassy Suites Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin
 
 
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Veterans Legal Clinic Next Week in Knoxville

Knoxville-area legal organizations will hold their monthly Veterans’ Legal Advice Clinic on Jan. 8 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office. Lawyers interested in volunteering can sign up online to help. The clinic is a joint project of the Knoxville Bar Association and its Access to Justice Committee; the Knoxville Barristers and it’s Access to Justice Committee; Legal Aid of East Tennessee; the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office; the University of Tennessee College of Law; Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law; and the local Veterans Affairs office.

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New State Laws Go into Effect

While Tennessee's new law allowing would-be gun owners to get a concealed carry handgun permit with video training is garnering the most news coverage, there are 17 other new laws that went into effect on Jan. 1. The Times Free Press has a run-down of some of them, including new requirements for health insurance and medical billing transparency; new protections for elderly and vulnerable adults who are victims of sexual exploitation; a requirement that the state health insurance plan allow proton radiation therapy to treat cancer; a new grant program for volunteer fire departments; and new requirements for residential contractors.

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Disability Law Forum 2020

The Disability Law Forum will take place at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville on Friday, May 29, 2020. This program will offer a full day of essential and useful material applicable to disability law practitioners. Attendees can earn up to 3.5 general hours and 1.5 dual hours. Details on speakers and sessions coming soon.

Reserve your spot by registering now.

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Tomorrow: Environmental Law Forum 2020

The TBA Environmental Law Forum will take place at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville tomorrow, Jan. 17. This annual event for environmental lawyers will present timely updates on legal issues involving the TVA Gallatin Fossil Plant lawsuit, the recent VW settlement, ethics in environmental law and more. Do not miss this opportunity to learn from seasoned practitioners while networking with top players in the field. Here are the key details:
 
When: Friday, Jan. 17, Registration at 10 a.m., CST
Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 Fourth Ave. N., Nashville
 
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Applications Sought for 16th District Circuit Court Judge

The Trial Court Vacancy Commission is accepting applications for a circuit court judge in the 16th Judicial District, which covers Rutherford and Cannon Counties. The vacancy will be created with the retirement of Judge Royce Taylor on March 3, 2020. Applications should be submitted by noon CST on Jan. 7. The commission will hold a public hearing on Jan. 29 at 9 a.m. CST at the Historic Rutherford County Courthouse in Murfreesboro to consider the applicants. A vote to forward three names to the governor is expected to occur immediately following the hearing. Learn more online or download the notice.

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Supreme Court Seeks New Comments on Rules Changes

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Friday issued orders soliciting comments on three proposed amendments to its rules. In each case, the court had previously requested comments but made additional changes to the proposed amendments. The amendment to Rule 9 Section 10 addresses annual registration and payment requirements. The amendment to Rule 9 Section 26 addresses payment of the professional privilege tax. And the amendment to Rule 43 deals with interest on lawyers’ trust accounts. All comments are due by Jan. 30, 2020.

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Hearing Set for 15th District Circuit Court Applicants

The Tennessee Trial Court Vacancy Commission will consider six applicants for a vacancy on the 15th Judicial District circuit court on Jan. 8, the Administrative Office of the Courts announced today. The hearing will take place at 9 a.m. at the Wilson County Courthouse, 228 E. Main St., Lebanon 37087. The commission is expected to vote immediately after the interviews and forward three names to Gov. Bill Lee for consideration. The court vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge John D. Wootten Jr. The court serves Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson counties.

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Have Student Loans? TBA’s Credible Can Help

Do you know if you’re overpaying on your student loans? The TBA has partnered with Credible to help you find out. With Credible, you can check competitive loan options from their vetted lenders so you can pay off your student loans faster, lower your monthly payment — or both. It’s fast, it’s real and it’s private. Do it all online here or call Jackie at 866-540-6005 and let her know you are a TBA Member.

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Memphis Veterans Clinic Set for Next Week

Memphis Area Legal Services will hold a Veterans Clinic on Dec. 10 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Memphis Vet Center, 1407 Union Ave. Ste 410, Memphis 38104. This clinic is specifically for veterans with questions about their rights and benefits, including basic eligibility for benefits, discharge status upgrades/appeals, disability compensation, pensions, dependency and indemnity compensation, representation before the Veterans Affairs Department and appealing a denial of benefits.

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Nashville Veterans Clinic Set for Dec. 4

Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands will hold a Veterans Legal Help Clinic on Dec. 4 at Operation Stand Down Tennessee. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Operation Stand Down is located at 1125 12th Ave. S., 37203. The clinic helps veterans and their family members with a range of legal problems. Call 615-244-6610 for more information.

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Join the Disability Law Section Email Forum

Do you find yourself wishing you had other disability lawyers willing to roundtable tricky issues? Maybe you are new to the practice and need to know what to expect for your very first ALJ hearing? The Disability Law Section now has its very own email forum!
 
One of the benefits of being a member of the TBA Disability Law Section is access to the Disability Law Section e-forum. This is an email forum devoted only to social security disability practice and open only to section members. This forum will help you be a more effective advocate and allow you to help others along the way. If you want to participate, you must opt-in by filling out the form on this page and following the confirmation directions. Once confirmed, the moderator will check your section membership status and then approve your request. 

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Ethics Roadshow Coming to a City Near You

The TBA is bringing its Ethics Roadshow to a city near you on multiple days in December. The program will be in Knoxville on Dec. 4, Chattanooga on Dec. 5, Memphis on Dec. 9, Nashville on Dec. 10, Jackson on Dec. 16, and Johnson City on Dec. 18. Sign up today to reserve your spot for this annual event, guaranteed to meet your ethics requirements for the year and enhance your knowledge of crucial changes in the legal profession. The course also is always full of surprises and humor. Earn up to three hours of dual CLE credit. See the list of all courses.

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Congress Eyes New Federal Office for Veterans Courts

Under a bipartisan bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, specialized criminal courts for military veterans facing minor charges would get a dedicated office in the U.S. Department of Justice. The office would coordinate grants, training and other assistance to help state and local governments set up such courts. The legislation also authorizes $25 million in new funding for the effort. The Senate recently passed a similar bill. Veterans courts allow low-level offenders to avoid criminal penalties if they complete a rehabilitation program or get treatment for mental health issues or substance abuse, Law360 reports.

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Nashville Bar to Participate in Veterans Parade

The Nashville Bar Association’s Veterans Committee will participate in the city’s Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. All lawyers and their families are invited to march with the group down Broadway from 14th Avenue to 3rd Avenue. Those attending should meet at the White Castle parking lot at the corner of Broadway and I-40 at 10 a.m. The group requests that those who plan to attend RSVP online.

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Civil Rights Abuses Alleged in Suit Against Shelby Schools

A student and her mother are suing Shelby County Schools and the principal of Central High School in Memphis for more than $1 million for civil rights breaches, failing to provide accommodation for a special-needs learner and retaliation against the student when she complained. The suit claims the student, who uses a wheelchair, was made to pound on a door each day to be let into school, resulting in being locked out of the building for 30 minutes or more on several occasions. It also claims the student was left alone during a fire alarm and later punished for using her cellphone to call her mother and the fire department during that alarm. The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial. Read the full story at the Daily Memphian

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Elder Law Program in Jamestown This Friday

The TBA is bringing its Elder Law Basics programming to Fentress County this Friday. The six-hour program is designed for attorneys new to the practice as well as those looking to expand their knowledge in this area. This year’s program will focus on the “ins and outs” of public benefits pertaining to seniors, special needs trusts, veteran's benefits, general practice tips and more.

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Legal Aid Holds Veterans’ Legal Clinic Wednesday

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands will hold a Veterans’ Clinic on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Operation Stand Down, 1125 12th Ave S. Nashville 37203. Call 615-244-6610 or 800-238-1443 for more information.

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Veterans Legal Clinic Next Wednesday in Nashville

Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands will hold a Veterans Project Legal Help Clinic next Wednesday at Operation Stand Down Tennessee. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Operation Stand Down is located at 1125 12th Ave. S., 37203. The clinic helps veterans and their family members with a range of legal problems. Call 615-244-6610 for more information.

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Millions in Cost Overruns Found at Disabilities Department

A Tennessee Comptroller’s audit found a computer system project in the state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities wound up costing nearly $9 million more than expected and still does not perform all planned functions, the Daily Memphian reports. The audit also found that the department still faces a “critical shortage” of caregivers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and failed to perform required background checks on at least one individual. The agency operates Medicaid programs for about 7,500 people with intellectual and development disabilities. Services range from individual education and training to home care support, community transportation and job coaching.

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