News

Service Thursday for Pro Bono, Mediation Trailblazer

Knoxville lawyer Milli Cunningham, the first pro bono director for the Knoxville Legal Aid Society, died Saturday (April 12). Cunningham entered the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1973 after putting her husband through school, following him to three international assignments and raising two children, Knoxnews reports. Following graduation, she joined the school’s legal clinic and helped establish its first family law unit. At the Knoxville Legal Aid Society (now Legal Aid of East Tennessee), Cunningham was influential in recruiting private attorneys to provide pro bono services. She also was an early proponent of increased legal protections for domestic violence victims. After five years with Legal Aid, Cunningham opened her own family law practice with an emphasis on mediation and collaboration. A memorial service will take place at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, 3700 Keowee Ave., Knoxville on Thursday at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church, Erskine College, CONTACT Care Line or Jewish Voice for Peace.

read more »

Grants Available for Parent Education, Victim Offender Reconciliation

The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts is accepting applications for two grants funding the Parent Education and Mediation Fund and the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program. The deadline for both grants is April 11.

read more »

6th Circuit Court of Appeals Seeking Mediator

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is seeking applicants for the position of Circuit Mediator, who serves under the direction of the Chief Circuit Mediator and presides at mediations in civil appeals. Duties of circuit mediators include leading discussions of procedural and substantive legal issues, conducting analyses of an appeal’s settlement value and probing each party’s interests in an effort to help the parties create and explore options to continued litigation. Applicants should have a minimum of seven years of post-graduate experience in the practice of law, litigation, negotiation or mediation. Learn more in the attached job description.

read more »

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.

read more »

Tennessee Mediation Day Set for Feb. 14

The TBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, a member of the Tennessee Coalition for Mediation Awareness, will mark Feb. 14 as Mediation Day in Tennessee. At the group’s request, Gov. Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation designating the day and calling on Tennesseans to join him in recognizing the important role mediation plays in the courts. Mediators will gather on Feb. 14 for training at the annual meeting of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators. Also at the event, the Coalition for Mediation Awareness will present the 2014 Grayfred Gray Public Service in Mediation Award to Anne Sides, Carol Berz and Jean Munroe, each of whom has developed mediation programs and trained many of the state’s mediators, especially in East Tennessee.

read more »

AOC Makes Appointments for 2014

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) recently released updated rosters for a variety of boards and commissions that fall under the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Supreme Court. New appointments will take effect Jan. 1, 2014. New members named to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission are Mary Ann Zaha and Virginia Story, who replace Glenna Ramer and Edward Silva. At the Board of Law Examiners, the court appointed Rhynette Hurd and Jeffrey Ward to replace Jimmie Carpenter Miller and Ricky Wilkins. New members named to the CLE Commission are Cynthia Hall and Sarah Creekmore Woodall, who replace Thomas Clifton Greenholtz and John Stanley Rogers. The court also named Ed Lancaster as chair. At the Board of Professional Responsibility, the court appointed Odell Horton to replace Clarence Halmon and named Russell Parkes as chair and Michael King as vice chair. New members named to the Tennessee Lawyers’ Fund For Client Protection are Rep. Vance Dennis, Jonathan Guthrie and Spencer Chinery, who replace Laura Keeton, Katherine Wilson Singleton and Mary Ann Zaha. Fund leaders include Chair Dawn Deaner, Vice Chair Marty McAfee and Secretary/Treasurer Kim Helper.

read more »

Supreme Court Applies Term Limits to 2 Commissions

The Tennessee Supreme Court filed two orders today. The first amends Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, Section 12.01 to impose three-year term limits on members of the Board of Law Examiners. The second order amends Rule 31, Section 19 to impose three-year term limits on members of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. It also formalizes the practice of limiting the commission chair to a two-year term. Download the orders at the links above.

read more »

ADR Commission Hosts 180 for Workshop

More than 180 certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mediators attended the 11th Annual Advanced Mediation Techniques Workshop on Oct. 18 in Nashville, the AOC reports. The participants heard presentations from 15 experts in the field of mediation on topics such as Ethical Considerations for the Mediator and Challenges in Early Mediation. There also were several breakout sessions for family law and general civil mediation. The program was sponsored by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission, which approves and trains mediators in Tennessee.

read more »

Institute for Conflict Management Names Scholar-In-Residence

British humanitarian and former Hezbollah hostage Terry Waite has been named scholar-in-residence at Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management. Waite, who garnered international recognition when he successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya while serving as a special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1980s, has a one-year appointment with the institute beginning in September. He was guest lecturer for the institute in 2006. “Dr. Waite will add a new dimension to the work of the institute,” said Steve Joiner, managing director of the institute. “With his experience as a negotiator and a world-renowned agent of peace, he is a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit and has long been devoted to humanitarian causes, intercultural relations and conflict resolution.”

read more »

Court Names ADR Commission Members

The Tennessee Supreme Court has reappointed Hayden D. Lait of Memphis, Howard H. Vogel of Knoxville, and C. Suzanne Landers of Memphis to its Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. Tracy Shaw, a lawyer with Howell & Fisher in Nashville, joins the panel for the first time and replaces Judge Ben Cantrell. There is one vacancy on the body following the death of Harold Archibald. Download the full roster

read more »

Comments Sought on Changes to Supreme Court Rule 31

The Tennessee Supreme Court is soliciting comments on proposed changes to Rule 31 requested by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (ADRC). The commission filed a petition on Nov. 2 asking the court to amend Sections 11(b)(6) and (12) dealing with operations of its Grievance Committee. Written comments should be submitted by Jan. 25. Download the court order and proposed amendments from the AOC website.

read more »

New TBJ Covers Arbitration, Divorce, Wrongful Death Proceeds

Don't miss the September Tennessee Bar Journal, featuring two articles on arbitration. One, by Adam Eckstein, explores when Rule 31 and the Tennessee Uniform Arbitration Act meet; the second, by Shelby R. Grubbs and Glenn P. Hendrix, unveils a new international concept for arbitration services. Columnists Marlene Eskind Moses and Beth A. Townsend give you ideas for finding hidden assest in divorces, and John A. Day discusses distribution of net proceeds in wrongful death cases. Humor columnist Bill Haltom pays tribute to a queen and a princess -- Pat Summitt and the influence she has had on his daughter and many other girls. President Jackie Dixon speaks out about merit selection. You probably already have it in hand, but you can also read it online here

read more »

Huff Featured on ADR Magazine Cover

Nashville lawyer and mediator Marnie Huff is featured on the cover of the Spring 2012 issue of the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Magazine, which focuses on women in ADR. Huff serves as an elected member of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Council and is past chair of the TBA Dispute Resolution Section. (ABA membership is required to access the magazine.)

read more »

Memphis Mediation Team Takes 1st Place in Regionals

Two University of Memphis Law School Advocacy in Mediation Teams recently competed in an ABA Regional Competition in Williamsburg, Va. The team of Christopher Martin and Thomas Williams placed first in the competition, while the team of Caroline Giovannetti and Ryan Hagenbrook placed fourth among the 12 teams. The teams were coached by Steve Shields, with help from various members of the Memphis Bar Association's ADR Section. The first place team will continue to Washington D.C. in April for the national competition. The team is raising funds for its trip. Anyone interested in donating may send a check, made payable to the MBA ADR Section, to Linda Warren Seely at 109 N. Main, Suite 200, Memphis 38103.

read more »

AOC Accepting Applications for 2 Grant Programs

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is seeking applications for two grant programs it administers. The first, the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP), was created by the state legislature in 1993 to provide alternatives to the courts for the resolution of felony, misdemeanor and juvenile delinquent disputes, and encourage community participation in such programs. The second, the Parent Education and Mediation Fund, was created as part of Tennessee's parenting plan law to provide court-ordered mediation, parenting education programs and other related services to families facing child custody matters. Organizations seeking to provide services under these programs should apply by April 23. Notification of grant awards will be sent in late May.

read more »