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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CME Approved CLE

The TBA Dispute Resolution Forum has been approved for 5.5 hours of CME credit. Speakers include Gail Ashworth of Wiseman Ashworth Law Group, Matt Sweeney of Baker, Mark Travis of Travis ADR Services, Frank Cantrell of Shuttleworth, Stephen Shields of Jackson Shields Yeiser & Holt, and the Hon. John Turnbull of Livingston. See full list of faculty here.
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AOC Accepting Grant Applications for 2 Grant Programs

The Administrative Office of the Courts is now accepting grant applications for the Parent Education and Mediation Fund and the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The grants for the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year will run from July 1 through June 30, 2019. Funding awards are dependent upon the availability of state appropriated funding. Applications are available on the AOC's website, and are due no later than April 20.
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Dispute Resolution Forum 2018

Make plans to join us for the 2018 Dispute Resolution Forum. Learn about why negotiations succeed, ethical considerations for the mediator/advocate, and family law mediation issues are on the agenda for this year's annual dispute resolution forum. We will also hear from speakers regarding the enforceability of ADR provisions. An additional session will address FAQs for attorneys who seldom arbitrate. Lunch will be provided. Make your plans today to join us for this exciting event. 

Where:Tennessee Bar Center

            221 4th Ave

            Nashville, TN 37219

When:  April 11

Time:    9:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

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Court Seeks Comments on Changes to Rule 31

The Tennessee Supreme Court is soliciting comments on proposed changes to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 and Appendix A of Rule 31. The request comes in response to a petition filed by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission on March 9. Written comments from judges, lawyers, bar associations, members of the public, and any other interested parties must be submitted by June 12. Written comments may be e-mailed to or mailed to James M. Hivner, Clerk, Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North Nashville, 37219.

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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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Glen Campbell's Longtime Publicist Subpoenaed Regarding Contested Will

The longtime publicist of Glen Campbell, who passed away from Alzheimer's Disease last year, has been subpoenaed to testify regarding the late singer's competence when he signed a now-disputed will, according to The Tennessean.

Records in Davidson County Probate Court show a subpoena has been issued for Sanford Brokaw to appear for testimony in Nashville on Feb. 20. The subpoena calls on Brokaw to "provide proof of the decedent's capacity since 2002” and submit "all communications regarding the estate of the decedent."

The contention is regarding the exclusion of three of Campbell's children, who have been cut out of his estimated $50 million estate, according to a 13-page will filed by his widow in 2006, Rolling Stone reported. The will states that he was "specifically excluding" the three children from receiving anything under the will or a related trust, and names his wife, Kim, as executor. Court records indicate there was an earlier version of Campbell's will, dated in 2002.

This was not the first interfamilial feud, as Campbell’s eldest daughter Debby and son Travis previously won a legal victory after claiming that Kim Campbell was denying them the right to visit their father during his illness. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam subsequently signed a bill into law called the Campbell / Falk Act, which allows family members and close friends of a person with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other disabilities to visit a loved one in person, or maintain contact with them by phone, email or mail, despite the stated wishes of a legally appointed conservator.

Campbell was first diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s in 2011 and died in August 2017. A Netflix film, "I’ll Be Me", details his diagnosis, final tour and his farewell to fans.

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AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) is now accepting applications for the 2018 AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program. The training component of the program will be hosted in New York during the week of May 21 in order to coincide with the AAA's Annual Meeting. During the program, fellows will engage with leading ADR practitioners for an intensive week of training, seminars and networking events.  
Interested candidates can download the Program Guidelines and Application or apply online. Applications should be received no later than Feb. 9.
The fellows program was established in 2009 to provide training, mentorship and networking opportunities to up and coming diverse alternative dispute resolution professionals.  Since its inception, the Higginbotham Fellows Program has inducted 119 fellows with 33 fellows successfully advancing to the AAA panel.  
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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. 


  • 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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CLE and CME Series

Take one or all four CLE/CME courses sponsored by TBA's Dispute Resolution Section. Topics touch on ethics, preparation skills and family law. All sessions offer CLE and CME credit for Tennessee lawyers and mediators. 
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Tennessee Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section to offer CLE and CME credit through webcasts

Tennessee Lawyers and Mediators:
A series of webcasts produced by the Tennessee Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section will offer CLE and CME credit.  Topics in this year's series includes ethics, family law issues, and tips on preparing for mediation.
Program Details: 
Speaker: Jan Walden
CME Credit: 1 hour General Mediation or Family Law
CLE Credit: 1 hour General
Speaker: Beverly Nelms
CME Credit: 1 hour Mediation Ethics
CLE Credit: 1 hour Dual/Ethics
Speaker: Michael Geiger
CME Credit: 1 hour General Mediation 
CLE Credit: 1 hour General 
Speaker: Joe Manuel
CME Credit: 1 hour Mediation Ethics
CLE Credit: 1 hour Dual/Ethics
For more information about Tennessee Bar Association CLE programs please visit our course listings. 
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Greetings from the Section Chair

As the new chair of the TBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, I’m taking this opportunity to introduce myself. 
I am Debbie Fulton, and I practice with Frantz, McConnell & Seymour in Knoxville. During my 36-year career I have primarily been a litigator. (Stop doing the math on how old that makes me.). Yes, Grasshopper, there  was a time in the distant past when lawyers actually tried lawsuits. I have been a mediator since 1997. In 2015, I became interested in the field of ADR in health care and have been trained by the American Health Lawyers Association in both mediation and arbitration of health law disputes. This led me into another interest, cybersecurity and data breach.
I look forward to the coming year, and I need your help to develop a more robust membership on the TBA Executive Council for the ADR section.  Are you willing to serve? As an Executive Council member, you may be called on to assist with brainstorming CLE ideas, write an article about a mediation topic you found interesting for the Connect, share updates from your jurisdiction or find ways to serve our section.
Please give me a call or e-mail me with your ideas, and remember that I am a facilitator for what the section wants, not its dictator.
Debbie Fulton 
TBA Dispute Resolution Section, Chair
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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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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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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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Discover How Technology is Changing Dispute Resolution

This year's Dispute Resolution Forum in Nashville will focus on the changing landscape of mediation from live to digital. Speakers at the April 10 program will address the implications of online dispute resolution technology and provide practical examples of this new technology in action. Another session will address how online dispute resolution can improve access to justice. Further sessions will cover the ethical issues arising out of online dispute resolution.

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Come to the 2017 Dispute Resolution Forum

Join the Tennessee Bar Association for the 2017 Dispute Resolution Forum April 10 in Nashville. The day will focus on the changing landscape of mediation from live to digital. Speakers will address the implications of online dispute resolution technology and provide practical examples of this new technology in action. Another session will address how online dispute resolution can improve access to justice. Other sessions will cover the ethical issues arising out of online dispute resolution. Find out more and register here.

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TBA Mashup and Mini Legal Hackathon this Friday

In conjunction with the Law Tech UnConference CLE this Friday, the TBA is also offering a variety of free events and programs for lawyers we’re calling a Mashup. One program will teach you about Legal Hackathons and see one in action. A Legal Hackathon is a collaborative effort of experts in the legal profession collaborating with a computer programmer to find a technology assisted solution to a problem in the legal industry. Join the TBA Special Committee on the Evolving Legal Market for a mini legal hackathon that will demonstrate the power of collaborative minds at work. We will have tasty beverages and snacks to help you get your collaborative juices flowing.  
Other programs that will be a part of the Mashup include Pro Bono In Action which will show you various pro bono programs you can participate in to help your fellow Tennesseans and Member Benefit Programs that will provide you information on  Fastcase 7, health insurance options for small firms, ABA retirement funds and professional liability insurance.
Please sign up now to let us know you are coming.

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Updates and Resources for ADR Practitioners

by Marnie Huff*

I. Resources

Here is a copy of Appendix N (Checklist for Preparing Clients for First Negotiation Session) from Lawyering with Planned Early Negotiation: How You Can Get Good Results for Clients and Make Money (2d Ed. 2015), reproduced with permission of the author John Lande. Information on Lande’s well-regarded book is available at the ABA Bookstore.

II. Caselaw Update

A. Certiorari Petitions Pending in U.S. Supreme Court

Cases on the SCOTUSblog watch list include the following cases with arbitration issues:

• Epic Systems Corporation v. Jacob Lewis, No. 16-285 (cert petition filed September 2, 2016: “Whether an agreement that requires an employer and an employee to resolve employment-related disputes through individual arbitration, and waive class and collective proceedings, is enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, notwithstanding the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.”).

• Ernst & Young, LLP, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300 (cert petition filed September 8, 2016: issue similar to Epic Systems case).

• Connie Patterson, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, et al., v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc., No. 16-388 (cert petition filed on September 22, 2016: “Whether a provision in an employment arbitration agreement that prohibits employees from seeking adjudication of any work-related claim on a class, collective, joint, or representative basis in any forum is invalid and unenforceable under Sections 2 and 3 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 102, 103, and Sections 7 and 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 157, 158(a)(1), because it ‘interfere[s]’ with the employees' statutory right ‘to engage in . . . concerted activities for the purpose of . . . mutual aid or protection.’”).

• National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307 (cert petition filed September 9, 2016: issue similar to Patterson case)

• Government of Belize v. Newco Limited, No. 16-135 (cert petition filed on July 26, 2016: “(1) Whether, under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, as applied to a confirmation action to enforce a foreign arbitration award, a foreign forum is per se inadequate because assets in the United States cannot be attached by a foreign court, as the D.C. Circuit has held; or is adequate if it has jurisdiction and there are assets of the defendant in the alternative forum, as the Second Circuit held; and (2) whether, under Article V(2)(b) of the New York Convention, the public policy in favor of arbitration yields where confirmation of an arbitral award would be contrary to the countervailing public policies such as international comity and the policy against tax evasion.”).

• Government of Belize v. BCB Holdings Limited, et al., No. 16-136 (cert petition filed July 26, 2016: statement of issue similar to Newco case).

• Government of Belize v. Belize Social Development Limited, No. 15-830 (cert petition filed December 22, 2015: statement of issue similar to Newco case).

B. Selected Cases from U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

1. Arbitration

Continuing to work constitutes assent to employee handbook’s arbitration agreement. Marlena Aldrich; Kristin Nolan v. University of Phoenix, Inc., Case No. 16-5276 (6th Cir. October 24, 2016) (not recommended for publication) involved a suit against the University of Phoenix for wrongful termination and for uncompensated overtime hours. For the latter claim, the plaintiffs sought to represent a class of similarly uncompensated employees. After removal to federal court, the district court dismissed the case without prejudice on the ground that the plaintiffs were required to arbitrate their claims, notwithstanding the plaintiffs’ affidavits asserting they never received or signed the university’s online form acknowledging an agreement to arbitrate in the employee handbook. One of the issues on appeal was whether the district court erred in ordering arbitration because there was a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the plaintiffs signed the acknowledgement form. Under the FAA, if an arbitration agreement’s existence is “in issue,” a court cannot grant a motion to compel arbitration. 9 U.S.C. § 4. Under applicable Kentucky law in this case, an employee who does not sign an arbitration agreement can still demonstrate acceptance of the agreement by continuing to work for an employer. Here, the university’s employee handbook stated that acceptance of the arbitration agreement was a condition of employment. The plaintiffs demonstrated assent to the arbitration agreement by continuing to work at the university, whether or not they signed the acknowledgment form. Access the opinion

Arbitration clause doesn’t survive expiration of contract. In Linglong Americas, Inc., et al. v. Horizon Tire, Case No. 16-3520 (6th Cir. December 1, 2016) (not recommended for full-text publication), the District Court denied Linglong’s motion to compel arbitration of Horizon's claims. Linglong argued that an agreement between the parties mandated arbitration even though the agreement had expired by its terms four years earlier. In 2006, the companies entered into a "Collaboration Agreement," under which Linglong China would produce a line of light-truck tires, for which Horizon would be the sole distributor. The Agreement would "remain valid for five years" if not renewed. It had an arbitration clause providing that, "if no settlement can be reached through negotiations," the parties would arbitrate in China any "disputes or claims arising out of this agreement." The agreement was not renewed, but the companies continued to do business with each other. The Court of Appeals held that the arbitration clause did not survive expiration of the Collaboration Agreement because: 1) the majority of the material facts and occurrences giving rise to the dispute did not occur before the contract expired; 2) the contractual right at issue did not survive the Agreement’s expiration, given that Horizon expressly waived any claim that it had a permanent right of exclusive distributorship under the Agreement. Access the opinion

Milan Express Co., Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Co., Inc., Case No. 16-5270 (6th Cir. December 2, 2016) (not recommended for full-text publication) involved a contract and tort federal court action in Tennessee based on the parties' diversity of citizenship. In a prior appeal, the Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s order stopping arbitration because, under the parties’ contract, arbitrability was for the arbitrator to decide, not the court. After remand from that earlier appeal, the parties agreed to arbitrate in Tennessee. The arbitration panel decided that the parties’ arbitration clause was not enforceable under governing Nebraska law. Applied Undertwriters then moved the district court to vacate the arbitration award, asserting the arbitrators acted with manifest disregard for the law. It also moved to dismiss the action in federal court. Per the parties' contractual forum-selection clause, the parties had agreed that Nebraska courts had exclusive jurisdiction to enforce any arbitration award and resolve other disputes related to their contract. Enforcing that clause, the district court granted Applied Underwriters’ motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens. Neither party challenged that dismissal order. Rather, Applied Underwriters challenged the district court’s failure to decide the motion to vacate the arbitration award. Applied Underwriters argued the district court's non-ruling on the motion to vacate the award, pending when the case was dismissed was an implied denial of the motion, making it ripe for appeal. The Court of Appeals declined to exercise appellate jurisdiction. The district court properly honored the parties’ agreement to litigate the arbitration award in Nebraska courts. Access the opinion

2. Settlements

Bad faith claim rejected. In Great American Insurance Company v. E.L. Bailey & Company, Inc.; Edward L. Bailey, ___ F.3d ___, No. 15-2149 (6th Cir. November 7, 2016), the State of Michigan contracted with E.L. Bailey & Company, Inc. to construct a prison kitchen. After delays, Bailey and the State sued each other for breach of contract in the Michigan Court of Claims. Bailey had obtained surety bonds from Great American Insurance Company guaranteeing its performance. In exchange, Bailey agreed to assign Great American the right to settle claims related to the construction project if Bailey allegedly breached the construction contract. Exercising this right, Great American negotiated with the State to settle Bailey's claims without Bailey's knowledge. It then sought a declaratory judgment from the district court recognizing its right to settle. The district court granted summary judgment to Great American. On appeal, Bailey argued that Great American settled Bailey's claims against the State in bad faith. Affirming the court below, the Court of Appeals held that Bailey presented insufficient evidence of bad faith. Great American’s failure to inform Bailey until the day before a scheduled ADR proceeding was concerning, but alone did not defeat summary judgment. Bailey also did not establish that Great American failed to adequately investigate Michigan law. Access the opinion.

C. Tennessee Cases

1. Arbitration

Failure to provide services, in context of third party beneficiary claim, means arbitration not a consumer case. Billy Coffey, et al. v. Hamblen County, et al., No. E2016-01116-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. December 28, 2016) was a breach of contract action. On behalf of the decedent, who died as a result of suicide in the county jail, the plaintiffs sought damages from a designated emergency medical services provider, pursuant to a contract between the provider and the county. The EMS provider moved to compel arbitration per the contract’s arbitration clause. The arbitration clause provided for arbitration in accordance with the American Health Lawyers Association ADR Services Rules of Procedure. In consumer cases, the AHLA requires a separate notice about waiver of the right to a jury trial and appeal. The plaintiffs argued that the contract’s arbitration provision was invalid because it did not contain this required notice. Reversing the trial court’s decision denying arbitration, the Court of Appeals remanded for arbitration. After examining the AHLA’s definitions of “Health Care Entity,” “Consumer,” and “Consumer Case,” the Court of Appeals rejected the trial court’s classification of the case as a consumer case because the plaintiffs’ action involved the failure to provide services promised in the service agreement between the EMS provider and the county. The plaintiffs’ claim was dependent on the decedent’s status as a third-party beneficiary to the service agreement. Enforcement of the arbitration clause will result in bifurcated proceedings and possibly inconsistent results, but that possibility does not change the result. The Court of Appeals also rejected the EMS provider’s argument that the arbitrator, not the trial court, had authority to decide whether the arbitration agreement was valid. Access the opinion. Access the concurring and dissenting opinion (disagreeing with majority’s view that case is not a consumer case).

Agreed order setting aside arbitration and setting trial results in waiving prejudice from delay claim. Demquarter Healthcare Investors, L.P. v. OP Chattanooga, LLC, et al., No. E2016-00031-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. December 29, 2016) involved a skilled nursing facility lease. After trial began, the trial court, sua sponte, inquired about a lease provision stating that disputes not resolved within thirty days of notice of the dispute "shall be submitted to arbitration . . . ." The defendants asserted that they had not waived arbitration and orally moved for arbitration, which the trial court granted over the plaintiff’s objections. Two weeks after the trial court ordered arbitration, and before any arbitration took place, the trial court entered an agreed order setting aside its arbitration order and resetting the case for trial. One of the issues on appeal was whether the plaintiff was prejudiced by delay caused by the arbitration order. The Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff had agreed to proceed with the trial per the agreed order setting aside the arbitration order and therefore waived the prejudice issue. Access the opinion.

2. Settlements

Response to settlement offer was an acceptance, not a counteroffer. In Tim Grace v. Jeanna Grace d/b/a Grace Trucking, No. W2016-00650-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. November 29, 2016), Tim Grace filed a breach of contract action against Jeanna Grace. Tim later filed a motion to enforce a settlement agreement. Jeanna conceded that Tim had made an offer, but claimed there was no agreement because her response to the offer was a counteroffer, not an acceptance, and she had then revoked the counteroffer. Affirming the trial court’s decision, the Court of Appeals held that the parties had an enforceable settlement agreement. Jeanna’s response involved accepting the terms of Tim’s offer with an added requirement that the agreed order include language that the case was dismissed with prejudice. This added requirement did not materially alter the terms of Tim’s offer and therefore did not constitute a counteroffer. See Disney v. Henry, 656 S.W. 2d 859 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1983). Access the opinion.

John Christopher Gibbs v. Lisa Stacy Gibbs, No. E2015-01362-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. September 7, 2016) involved a post-divorce civil contempt petition filed by the former wife, asserting that the former husband willfully breached their property settlement agreement that was incorporated into the divorce decree. The husband did not attend the contempt hearing. The trial court found that the husband willfully violated the divorce decree based on the wife’s testimony. The trial court ordered incarceration and $50 per day fine until the husband complied with the divorce decree. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that contempt is a proper remedy for breach of a property settlement agreement that was incorporated into the divorce decree. It also held that the evidence did not preponderate against the trial court’s finding that the husband’s failure to comply with the divorce decree was willful. Access the opinion.

* Marnie Huff is a member and past Chair of the TBA Dispute Resolution Section. As a member of the Nashville Bar Association’s Board, she is liaison to the NBA ADR Committee and Fee Disputes Committee. She chairs the membership subcommittee of the ABA Section of Litigation’s ADR Committee. She is a past member of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Council and past co-chair of the ABA Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute. Marnie is an independent mediator, arbitrator, and workplace conflict management consultant in Nashville.

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Have You Heard About the TBA Mashup?

Interested in observing a legal hackathon or getting a hands-on demonstration of the new Fastcase 7 platform? Both will be part of the first TBA Mashup, a full-day of activities and free programming set for Feb. 17 at the Tennessee Bar Center in conjunction with the annual TBA Law Tech UnConference CLE program.

In addition to the hackathon and Fastcase 7 demo, the TBA Mashup will feature sessions on: 

  • Current State of Health Insurance for the Small Firms
  • Professional Liability Insurance - What to look for in YOUR Policy
  • A Demo of Fastcase TopForm, a powerful bankruptcy filing software
  • Retirement Planning Guidance from the ABA Retirement Funds
  • Pro Bono in Action: How to help with pro bono events and how to take part in online options

At the annual TBA Law Tech UnConference CLE program, you can take as many or as few hours as you need. Registration will be open all day. Payment will be determined at checkout based on the hours you need. Topics will include: 

  • Bill & Phil Tech Show
  • Ethical Considerations for Cyber Security in Law
  • Evolution of the Legal Marketplace
  • Making e-Discovery Affordable 
  • Drone Law
  • Encryption for Lawyers

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TBA Activates Disaster Legal Assistance for Wildfires

In response to the wildfire disasters in Gatlinburg and Sevier County, the TBA is partnering with the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS), Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) and the Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission to help those affected with their legal needs. Attorneys who want to help can access training resources and other materials on the TBA's Disaster Legal Assistance page. Legal clinics and outreach related to losses from the fires are anticipated and volunteers will be needed. For more information or to volunteer in the area, contact Kathryn Ellis at Legal Aid of East Tennessee. Those who are not in the area but still want to help can volunteer to answer online questions at TN Free Legal Answers or respond to calls on the HELP4TN helpline. The TBA's Young Lawyers Division Disaster Relief Committee has also been activated and will be assisting with volunteer recruitment and coordination efforts. To volunteer, complete the Disaster Legal Assistance Volunteer Form. If you know someone in need of legal assistance, please have them call the legal helpline at 844-HELP4TN, or visit

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A Step Ahead Foundation Honors Late Volunteer

Attorneys and community leaders gathered yesterday at the Nashville home of Colleen Conway Welch to celebrate A Step Ahead of Middle Tennessee, an affiliate of the original A Step Ahead Foundation in Memphis. Program founder Claudia Haltom, an attorney and former juvenile magistrate in Memphis, launched A Step Ahead in 2011. There are now four affiliates in other Tennessee cities. The event also honored the late Mary Ruth Shell, one of the founding board members of the foundation and an active pro bono volunteer with the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and on behalf of children in the juvenile court system. The Administrative Office of the Courts reported the news.

From left: Nashville attorneys Brenda Dowdle, Anne Russell, Claudia Haltom, Deborah Taylor Tate, Jackie Dixon and Mary Walker

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CLE to Focus on Online Dispute Resolution

On Nov. 17, the TBA will present a three-hour CLE on online dispute resolution. The sessions will cover the new world of online dispute resolution, which allows users with civil disputes to forgo court proceedings and instead use web-based technologies to resolve conflicts. Get details and register for the in-person CLE. Those who cannot make to the Bar Center for the course can tune in for a live webcast. Register for the simulcast here.

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Mediation Webcast Series Coming in November

Starting next week, a series of webcasts produced by the TBA’s Dispute Resolution Section and Special Committee on Evolving Legal Markets will offer CLE and CME credit. On Nov. 2, the series will kick off with a focus on creating and managing productive relationships in mediation. On Nov. 17, the series will look at the impact of online dispute resolution tools on the practice of law. Then on Nov. 29, the series will wrap up with a session on mediation in juvenile court. Learn more or register for the courses at the links above.

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