News

Social Media Poses a Threat to Nursing Home Patients

The Washington Post highlights the growing threat of degrading photos and videos of nursing home residents posted on social media. ProPublica identified 35 instances since 2012 in which workers at nursing homes and assisted-living centers have shared images of residents, some of whom were partially or completely naked. At least 16 cases involved Snapchat and some of the posts led to criminal charges. "We have a dedicated Trust & Safety team that reviews abuse reports and takes action when they become aware of a violation, and we comply with valid legal requests from law enforcement," Snapchat said in a statement.

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Age Discrimination in Job Market Bigger Issue for Women

Recent studies from the National Bureau of Economic Research show that older workers who are unemployed are often discriminated against in their job search, according to Five Thirty Eight Economics, and that it's worse for older women than men. One of the study's authors, David Neumark, speculates that anti-discrimination laws actually make it harder to prove the discrimination for older women. Sex is a protected class in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while age is covered by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, he said. "Because different laws cover different categories, those who fall into both may also have a harder time proving they’ve been discriminated against."

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Bill Would Require Vision Test for Drivers Over 76

A bill recently pre-filed for consideration in the 2016 legislative session would require Tennesseans over the age of 76 to take a vision test prior to renewal of their driver’s licenses, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. The bill, which has failed in various forms in past legislative sessions, would allow applicants the option to submit a written statement from an ophthalmologist or optometrist in lieu of going through a Department of Safety test.

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Hooker Asks Supreme Court to Intervene in 'Aid-in-Dying' Case

John Jay Hooker is appealing to the state's highest court to allow his doctors to prescribe him life-ending medication without facing criminal consequences, the Tennessean reports. Hooker, who has said he is dying of cancer, says he does not have time to wait for the normal appeals process and wants the Tennessee Supreme Court to step in and take the case from the intermediate court, the Tennessee Court of Appeals. "This case involves the imminent death of a party (Hooker)," the appeal, filed Tuesday by Nashville attorneys Hal Hardin and Cynthia Chappell, reads. "A terminally ill Tennessee citizen's interest in his or her own manner of death is of utmost personal and public importance." 

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Drugs, Pro Bono and Other Legal Topics Covered in This Issue

Jason R. Smith writes in this issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal about controlled drug purchases and the probable cause necessary to issue a search warrant. TBA President Bill Harbison tells about some of his pro bono heroes and -- thanks everyone who gives of their time to ensure access to justice for all. Columnist Monica Franklin covers changes in the CHOICES Group 3 Program, and Ward Phillips and Brandon Morrow write about a recent win for the Employment-at-Will doctrine. Humor columnist Bill Haltom warns about the “para-lawyers” who might be coming to a courtroom near you. Read the October issue.

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LAET Seeks Executive Director

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) seeks an executive director to lead this nonprofit law firm whose mission is to ensure justice for elderly, abused and low income individuals by providing a broad range of civil legal services. The position will be open because LAET’s longtime executive director David R. Yoder will retire Dec. 31. Deadline to apply is Sept. 11.

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Chancellor Moody to Speak at Kingsport CLE

Chancellor E.G. Moody will share his tips for local practitioners at the annual Court Square CLE in Kingsport on Sept. 9. Also joining him will be attorneys Michael Crowder and Andy Wampler, who will cover the basics of social security retirement benefits and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Friday’s Elder Law Forum

This Friday’s Elder Law Forum will connect practitioners from across the state while addressing issues such as PAE Appeals, dementia and planning for blended families. The program offers 5.75 CLE hours, program sponsors and exhibitors. Learn more or register here.

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Speakers Announced for 2015 Equal Justice University

The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services has announced several national speakers for the 2015 Equal Justice University scheduled for Sept. 2-4 at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. This year’s featured speaker will be Ramón P. Arias, former executive director of Bay Area Legal Aid in California and a member of the Equal Justice Works board. Other presenters include Rebecca Dixon with the National Employment Law Project, Eric Carlson with Justice in Aging and Georgetown University law professor David Super. The annual conference is cosponsored by the TBA.

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Legal Aid to Launch Elder Law Program

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands will launch a new Elder Law Program to help senior citizens in Cheatham, Davidson, Robertson and Sumner counties obtain free legal and educational services. The outreach is made possible by a $40,000 grant from the Memorial Foundation. Among other services offered through the program, legal aid staff will conduct seminars to educate seniors and their caretakers about their rights and responsibilities and address common legal issues faced by older Americans.

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Community Forum Explores Social Security Issues

The year’s first Community Legal Forum – a joint initiative of the Bradley County Bar Association, the Bradley Governmental Law Library Commission and the Cleveland/Bradley Public Library – will take place June 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the library. Cleveland attorney Jack Tapper will lead the session, which is free and open to the public. The program will look at the basics of processing Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income claims as well as ways to increase Social Security benefits for married, divorced and widowed spouses, the Cleveland Banner reports.

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B.B. King Family Loses Battle for Control

Family members of Blues legend B.B. King lost a bid to take control of their ailing father’s affairs in a Las Vegas courtroom on Thursday. Three of King’s 11 surviving children asked the court to take control from King’s longtime business manager because they said he was stealing money and neglecting King’s medical care. The judge ruled there was no evidence to back up the claims, WRCB-TV reports.

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Hooker Weighs in as Committee Considers 'Death with Dignity'

This summer, state lawmakers will gather to discuss the controversial issue of death with dignity and whether or not those with a terminal illness have the right to decide when to die. Now John Jay Hooker, who has been diagnosed with terminal melanoma, is championing this cause and fighting for the right to die with dignity. “I think if a person is suffering wants to leave this earth that the government’s got no business to tell them that they got to suffer and stay,” he told WKRN.

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New Series for Elder and Health Law Attorneys Starts in May

A new webcast series starts May 5 and runs to the end of the month for elder law and health law attorneys. This series addresses TennCare changes, managed care delivery, intellectual disabilities and Medicaid coverage.

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New CLE Series for Elder, Health Law Lawyers

A new CLE webcast series starts May 5 and runs through the end of the month for elder law and health law lawyers. The series will address TennCare changes, managed care delivery, intellectual disabilities and Medicaid coverage. Sign up for one or all of the sessions on the TBA CLE website.

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Nashville Lawyers Form New Firm

Four Nashville lawyers have joined together to form the law firm of Surber, Asher, Surber & Moushon. The firm will focus on personal injury, business and construction law, professional liability and insurance defense, and probate and conservatorship law. Joel Surber, Garrett Asher and Matt Moushon were formerly partners at Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell & Smith. Jennifer Surber formerly served as counsel to the Davidson County Probate Court and as Special Probate Master for the Seventh Circuit Court.

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Legal Aid Releases Public Guide to Conservatorships

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has released a new free brochure on conservatorship in Tennessee, the Leaf Chronicle reports. It provides information to family members, caregivers and friends who may want to help someone by becoming their conservator, as well as to those who need or already have a conservator making their decisions. For both groups, the booklet outlines basic information such as what a conservatorship is, the types of conservatorships available, the legal requirements to become a conservator, how to apply for a conservator to be appointed and how to end a conservatorship. Download a copy or pick up hard copies from your local legal aid office.

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Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Forms Alzheimer’s Directory

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson has announced the formation of an Alzheimer’s Directory for the use of officers and staff at BCSO. At the request of family members, a senior assist officer will respond to a residence to take a photograph of and collect information for the log book that will describe a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. All information, including the family member’s photograph, will remain confidential unless needed to assist law enforcement personnel identify and return home a family member who has wandered away. The Chattanoogan has more.

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New App Helps with Health Care Decisions

A new smartphone app developed by the ABA’s Commission on Law and Aging allows individuals and families to manage and share their health care advance directives and related information. The app, which offers unlimited storage and management of personal and family profiles and documents, is the latest resources released by the commission to help individuals make health care decisions. Other tools include a multi-state health care power of attorney, a consumer’s toolkit for health care advance planning and a guide to making medical decisions for others.

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KBA Offers Free LawTalk Program

The Knoxville Barr Association will offer its 2014 LawTalk Program Nov. 7 and 8 for area residents. This year’s program will cover two topics: (1) wills and estate planning, and (2) legal protections for the elderly, disabled and their caregivers. On both days, the wills presentation will take place from 9 to 10:45 a.m. followed by the legal protections presentation from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The first session will take place at the O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St. The Nov. 8 session will be held at Fellowship Church, 8000 Middlebrook Pike. Free parking is available at both locations and handout material will be provided. Download a flyer with details.

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TBJ Has Employment Law Updates, Elder Law Resources

Journal columnists Edward G. Phillips and Brandon L. Morrow tell you about recent amendments to employment law, which you need to know whether you represent employees, employers or both. In the same issue, columnist Monica Franklin explains and gives valuable resources for talking with senior adults about driving and help in determining when Momma needs to get off the road.

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Clinic, Free CLE Offered in Memphis Saturday

Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) will hold a legal clinic this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Ave. Clinic co-sponsors include the Memphis Bar Association, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs and the legal department at International Paper. Following the clinic there will be a free CLE on working with clients and caregivers dealing with dementia. In exchange for the free credit, attendees must agree to handle a pro bono case or work at a legal clinic. For more information about either of these events contact Linda Seely. Learn about other Celebrate Pro Bono events across the state.

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Slatery Addresses Amendment 2, Upcoming Term

Newly appointed state Attorney General Herbert Slatery was in Knoxville yesterday with former Gov. Phil Bredesen campaigning for Amendment 2 to the state constitution. When asked by reporters how he would differ from his predecessor, Slatery said, “I think I will do it differently, which is not to say better. I am a people person. I like to build relationships.” Slatery also said he will spend time talking to legislators. “I want to see all of the sides of an issue,” he explained. Finally, he pledged the office would continue fighting Medicare fraud and protecting consumers. Knoxnews has more.

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Deadline Extended for Conservatorship Director

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County has announced that the application deadline for the newly created position of director of the Office of Conservatorship Management has been extended to Sept. 2. The goal of the new position is to improve the administration of justice and delivery of legal services to the impaired elderly and persons with disabilities. The director will manage guardianships and conservatorships within the Metro area. The position reports to the Probate Court judge and trial court administrator. Candidates should have at least three years experience as a practicing attorney. Learn more online or download a job description.

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Money, Money, Money in August TBJ

In the August Journal, get some pointers on how to "take charge of your own economy" that will help you and your law practice. Also, our columnists cover banking and estate planning: Kathryn Reed Edge gives you the history of money and Eddy Smith explains some new trust options for married clients.

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