News

Survey: Discontent Among Court-Appointed Attorneys

A recent TBA survey of private attorneys who handle court appointed work shows they feel undervalued, overworked and unfairly compensated. More than half of those who took the survey reported that they frequently hit the fee cap on appointed cases, while 77 percent reported that they do not bother submiting a fee claim given the issues associated with getting paid. Survey responses also indicated an overwhelming number of cases are not adult criminal cases, but dependency, neglect and abuse work, generally as a guardian ad litem or a parent's attorney. More than half of respondents left lengthy comments on their experience with court appointed work, with many reporting that they love doing the work but cannot continue doing so at the current compensation rates, likening the work to doing pro bono. Respondents also reported that the filing requirements frequently add stress to an already difficult-to-handle clientele. With a compensation rate that has not changed since 1994, Tennessee court-appointed attorneys are among the lowest paid in the nation. Read more from the survey results.

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TBA Survey on Court-Appointed Attorneys Closes Soon

Respond by Wednesday to take part in the TBA's survey on court-appointed work and the filing of related fee claims with the Administrative Office of the Courts. Your feedback will help shape policy, so please take a few minutes to fill out the SurveyMonkey questionnaire about your experience with court-appointed work. All responses will be kept anonymous. In addition, if you would like to be a part of the TBA’s efforts to change the rate of compensation for court-appointed attorneys or speak to your legislator about the issue contact TBA Public Policy Coordinator Josie Beets, (615) 383-7421.

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TBA Seeks Input from Court-Appointed Attorneys

The Tennessee Bar Association is seeking to learn more about court-appointed work and the filing of related fee claims with the Administrative Office of the Courts. Your feedback is crucial. Please take two to three minutes to fill out the questionnaire about your experience with court-appointed work. All responses will be kept anonymous. If you would like to be a part of the TBA's effort to change the rate of compensation for court-appointed attorneys by speaking to your legislator, email TBA Public Policy Coordinator Josie Beets.

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New Alimony Bench Book Available

The 12th Edition Alimony Bench Book is now available from the TBA Family Law Section. Produced by the members of the section’s Alimony Committee, the book is available for purchase in a loose-leaf format for $40 or a three-ring binder for $50. To order the book, visit the TBA’s online bookstore or contact TBA at (615) 383-7421. Members of the Family Law Section can download the new edition at no charge by logging in to TBA.org and going to the Resources link on the Family Law Section's webpage.  

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LAET to Hold Senior Handbook Event Thursday

The first of many events featuring the TBA’s new Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors will take place Thursday in Knoxville when Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) holds a training session at the John T. O’Connor Senior Center. The event will begin at 2 p.m. TBA President Cindy Wyrick and Public Education Committee Co-Chair Angelia Nystrom will be joined by representatives from LAET and the Knoxville/Knox County Office on Aging to present the new resource and answer questions. For more information about the event, contact LAET’s Knoxville office at (865) 637-0484. For information on the Handbook, contact TBA Public Education Coordinator Liz Todaro, (615) 383-7421.

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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.

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Free Immigration Seminar Offered in Chattanooga

The Olsen Law Firm and the New Orleans Field Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will hold a free seminar Jan. 21 from noon to 1 p.m. on the issues of immigration enforcement and removal. Topics to be addressed include special provisions for victims of domestic violence and young people who came to the United States as children. The program will feature immigration attorney Terry Olsen and John Bobo, a supervisory detention and deportation officer in Chattanooga. For more information or to RSVP please contact Olson by Jan. 17 at tolsen@tlolaw.com or (423) 648-9390.

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Greetings From the Chair

Hi, my name is Abimbola Salu, and I am the Chair of the TBA General, Solo & Small Firm Practitioners Section for 2013 - 2014. I practice law with my husband at Salu & Salu Law Firm, PLLC in Southaven, Mississippi.  In addition, I have two daughters who are also attorneys licensed in the State of Florida. At dinner, we have enough lawyers to hold a CLE!

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28 Topics Offered at General Practice Summit Next Week

Earn your entire 15 hours of CLE required for the year at the 2013 General Practice Summit Aug. 15-17 in Nashville. The program offers education for general practitioners on 28 topics that matter most to them. Register online at TennBarU or contact CLE Director Mindy Fulks for more information. If you are unable to attend the summit, don’t miss the Fast Track 15-hour programs in Knoxville and Memphis on Aug. 23.

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U.S. Attorney Sued to Remove Supreme Court ... in 1870

In this month's issue, Chattanooga lawyer and former TBA president Sam Elliott looks back into history and tells the surprising story of when the U.S. attorney sued to remove half the Tennessee Supreme Court. Another former TBA president, Knoxville lawyer Don Paine, gives practical advice for collecting a judgment. Read these and more in the August Tennessee Bar Journal.

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Review Gives Thumbs Up to E-Discovery Book

Knoxville lawyer Chris McCarty says one way to alleviate e-discovery anxiety is to read Electronic Discovery in Tennessee: Rules, Case Law and Distinctions, a new book by Nashville lawyer W. Russell Taber III. In his review in the March Tennessee Bar Journal, McCarty recommends you read this book, among other reasons, to keep from drowning in the high seas of data, cloud computing, claw-back agreements and non-waiver orders.

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New Journal Looks at Consumer Protection Cuts, More

In the February Tennessee Bar Journal, James M. Davis covers the effects updates to the TCPA had on relief available to consumers and businesses. Steven W. Feldman analyzes employee handbooks and makes the distinction between employee contractual rights and workplace policies. Columnists cover differences in state and federal pleading standards, demonstrative evidence and long-term care planning.

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TennBarU Offers CLE on the Affordable Care Act for General Practitioners

The election is over, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act is now very real and very near. Your clients and your firm have little time to grasp the fundamental changes that will be taking place in health care over the next 13 months as governments, insurance companies, health care providers and employers make the changes called for in the law. On Dec. 7, TennBar U will present a program that will help you get up to speed on the Affordable Care Act and help you serve your clients. Sessions include an overview of the Affordable Care Act, how to advise your small to mid-sixe business owner, a session on what lawyers need to do for law firm management, and answers to the top 10 questions your clients will ask.

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Court Adopts Forms for General Sessions Courts

The Tennessee Supreme Court today adopted a set of six forms for use in General Sessions Courts. The forms were first proposed by the General Sessions Judges Conference in June 2011 after consultation and assistance from the Tennessee Bar Association Creditor’s Practice Section. The court’s Access to Justice Commission provided more review during the public comment period and later worked with the Commission on further revisions. The order today includes an appendix with forms for:
1. Protected Income and Assets (Affidavit of Claim Exemptions)
2. Request to Make Payments (Motion and Affidavit for Installment Payment and Order)
3. Request Not to Pay Fees for Appeal (Pauper’s Oath in Lieu of Appeal Bond)
4. Request to Postpone Filing Fees and Order (Uniform Civil Affidavit of Indigency)
5. Request to Protect Income and Assets (Motion to Quash Garnishment/Execution and Claim Exemption Rights)
6. Sworn Denial (Sworn Denial on Account)

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Fast Track CLE Friday in Memphis, Knoxville

Need a quick update in the areas of law you deal with every day? The TBA’s General Practice Fast Track program will be held in both Memphis and Knoxville this Friday, with sessions on child parentage, child support, divorce, medical malpractice, wills and estates, intellectual property basics, labor and employment law, DUI law and more. Find out how you can get all 15 hours of needed CLE this Friday.

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Get Year's Worth of CLE at General Practice Boot Camp

Get all of your CLE for 2012 at the Tennessee Bar Association’s General Practice Boot Camp. Topics touch on the areas of law important to general and solo practitioners. For Middle Tennessee lawyers the program will be Aug. 16-18 and for practitioners in West and East Tennessee the program is Aug. 24. Check out the details for the programs in Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville.

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CLE Opportunities for Small Firm, Solo Practitioners

Keeping up to date on a broad scope of practice areas can be a real challenge for solo practitioners and attorneys in small firms. To help, the TBA’s TennBarU has put together three programs this summer that will help you get the knowledge you need in the most efficient manner. The General Practice Bootcamp Aug. 16-18 in Nashville will pack 15 hours of live programming into two and one half days. Fast track programs will be offered Aug. 24 in Memphis and Knoxville, offering a combination of live sessions and online access.

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New Family Law Firm Formed in Brentwood

Donna L. Green and Emily Moore Leininger have joined forces to form Green & Leininger PC, a family law firm serving clients in Williamson, Davidson and surrounding counties. Green began her legal career at Neal & Harwell in Nashville after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School in 1998. Leininger graduated from Nashville School of Law in 2006. She previously worked at Hale & Hale in Franklin. Learn more about the new firm

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TBA All Access Network: Video Focuses on Client Relationships

News from the General-Solo-Small Firm Section
Client relationships need to start from a solid foundation to be successful. In the latest TBA All Access Network video, Memphis attorney and ethics expert Brian Faughnan offers six key steps to consider when beginning these relationships. Watch Faughnan’s program now or review any of the other video programming. All programs are five to 10 minutes long and can be watched at no cost.

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Shelby County Courts Go Paperless

The Shelby County Circuit and Chancery Court clerks’ offices will go to electronic filing of all court records in June. Attorneys will still be able to file a paper version of proceedings but clerks will scan the documents, and the court will go completely to e-filing at some point. Until then, the court will phase in use of the technology with the goal of a two-hour turnaround in approving filings during business hours. Attorneys will be able to file after business hours and will receive an email confirmation later after the office has reviewed the filing. Provided there are no errors in the e-filing, the court record will show the document was filed when it was sent in, instead of when it was reviewed. The Memphis Daily News has more

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