News

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings Announces New Name

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP will now be known as Bradley. The firm is the third largest in Nashville by local attorneys, according to the Nashville Business Journal. The firm operates with around 500 attorneys in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. “Our Nashville office was founded in 1910 as Boult Cummings Conners & Berry and is proud to continue growing as Bradley," Nashville Managing Partner Lela Hollabaugh said in a press release announcing the change.

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Indigent Task Force Changes Venues for Thursday's Memphis Stop

The location for the Indigent Representation Task Force's statewide listening tour stop tomorrow in Memphis has been moved to the Vasco Smith Building, Shelby County Commission's Chambers, 1st floor, located at 160 North Main. The task force’s next stop is planned for Friday in Trenton. View a full listening tour schedule

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Attorneys Question Avvo's Fixed-Fee

The ABA Journal reports on several issues attorneys across the country have raised with Avvo, an online legal directory. Attorneys contended the site’s fixed-fee legal services could violate rules against fee sharing in several states. Avvo Chief Legal Officer Josh King defended the fee arrangement, saying, “You can’t apply the ethics rules unless there’s consumer harm.” Another lawyer raised concerns about unearned fees held by Avvo each month and said the company is diverting interest that would otherwise go to fund legal aid. 

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Website Will Rate Lawyers Based on Court Records

Two Harvard University undergraduates are launching a website that will rate lawyers based on publicly available court records, Law Sites reports. The site, called Legalist, will analyze court records to match clients with lawyers who win similar cases based on detail and location. The author cites concerns about using winning or losing as a measure of lawyering skill. “It is often the best lawyers who are willing to take on the toughest matters with the lowest odds of success,” Robert Ambrogi writes. 

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LSC to Launch 'Legal Portals'

The Legal Services Corp. (LSC) will develop online “legal portals” to help people who need civil legal help find the most appropriate forms of assistance, the ABA Journal reports. In an announcement today, LSC said Microsoft will provide at least $1 million and provide technical support for the project, which will begin with pilot portals in one or two states, according to a press release. States will be invited to compete for the opportunity to develop the pilot portals.

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Raybin & Weissman Announces New Name, Focus

The Nashville firm of Hollins, Raybin & Weissman has been renamed to Raybin & Weissman, and the firm announced it will focus its practice in criminal defense and personal injury work. John Hollins Jr., a longtime partner, will move his domestics relations practice to Thompson Burton PLLC in Franklin. His move is effective July 1. Raybin & Weissman will continue to be located in the Fifth Third Center, 424 Church St., Suite 2200. 

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Marketing Experts Call for 'Bolder' Content from Firms

“The biggest missed opportunity in marketing is playing it too safe. That’s true even if you’re a lawyer.” That's the word from marketing experts, who shared tips for lawyers on how to build a better brand at the Avvo Lawyernomics conference last week. “Bolder means differentiating yourself through your marketing and how you sound to the folks you’re trying to attract,” said Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs. Read more from the ABA Journal

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Conference Explores Artificial Intelligence and Law

“Will your next lawyer be a machine?” A two-day conference exploring the use of artificial intelligence in law wraps up today at Vanderbilt Law School. The Tennessean reports Richard Susskind, an expert on the intersection of technology and the law, encouraged attendees to consider the various ways technology could impact their profession in coming years. He said that successful lawyers should begin preparing for the impact computing could have on their research and decision-making.

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Robot Lawyer Headed to Nashville

The world’s first artificially intelligent attorney is coming to Vanderbilt University Law School this week. Andrew Arruda, CEO and co-founder of Ross Intelligence, will be show the company’s super-computer lawyer at an event – titled "Watson, Esq.: Will Your Next Lawyer Be a Machine?” – during the school’s two-day conference beginning tomorrow. The Nashville Business Journal reports Arruda does not expect his machine, dubbed “Ross,” to replace attorneys; he believes, rather, Ross will act as a research assistant and expand client services. 

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Avvo Offers Free Legal Forms Online

Online lawyer directory website Avvo announced yesterday it is now offering free legal forms online. Avvo Legal Forms currently offers 20 legal documents, including employee termination notice and purchase agreement, but the company expects its selection to grow to 200 forms by the end of year. Read more from the ABA Journal

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Register Today for the 135th Annual TBA Convention

Join us on June 15-18 in Nashville for the 135th Annual Convention! Registration for the 2016 TBA Convention includes:

  • free access to all TBA CLE programming;
  • the Opening Reception;
  • the Bench Bar Programming and Luncheon;
  • Law School and general breakfasts;
  • the Lawyers Luncheon;
  • the Thursday evening Joint (TBA/TLAW/TABL) Reception;
  • the Thursday night dinner and entertainment at the George Jones Museum;
  • and the Friday night Dance Party.

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Rules Unclear for Firms Disclosing Data Breaches

It is unclear when law firms are legally required to reveal data breaches to the public or law enforcement. The Wall Street Journal explores guidelines outlined by 47 states, the American Bar Association and state bar associations following recent data breaches at several prestigious law firms. 

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Artificial Intelligence Could Improve Access to Justice, Professor Says

Larry W. Bridgesmith, coordinator of the Program on Law and Innovation at Vanderbilt Law School, writes for The Tennessean on how the legal profession may be transformed by the capabilities of artificial intelligence. "Improving efficiency and reliability could result in more appropriate justice for more people, especially those who are most in need of adequate legal representation in civil and criminal matters,” he writes.

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Digital Forensics 101

Law Technology Today shares “10 Things Attorneys Should Know About Digital Forensics,” including information on forensic copy, encryption and pricing. "The scope and cost of the analysis often depends on the nature of the case, so it is very important for the forensic examiner to have a clear understanding of what the case is about," the author writes. 

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Author Speaks on Future of Big Law in Video Q&A

Bloomberg BNA features a series of videos from its interview with Richard Susskind, co-author of The Future of the Professions. Susskind answers question about how the ideas in his book apply to the Big Law community, including if technology will ever replace lawyers.

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New Scams Target Lawyers with Emails, Fake Caller IDs

Tennessee lawyers are receiving warnings from their professional liability insurers about new scams targeting law firms. A message from Gallagher Law Firm Solutions offered this article on fake emails that target lawyers who process client funds from attorney trust accounts. The Gallagher notice also called attention to cases in Arizona, where scammers have spoofed caller IDs to make clients think they were being called by their attorneys. They were then directed to make payments to the scammers. The State Bar of Arizona put out information about the cases, and Arizona Attorney magazine editor Tim Eigo offered more resources in his AZ Attorney blog.

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Digital Forensics, Drone Law and More at Friday's Tech UnConference

Learn about digital forensics, drone law and office productivity tools at the Law Tech UnConference tomorrow at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. If you can't make it to the live event, tune in to the Bill and Phil Legal Technology Update webcast at 8:30 a.m. Participants in the live program can earn up to seven hours of dual CLE credits. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. No pre-registration is required, but sign up today to be entered to win an Amazon Echo.

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Overcapacity Could Mean Layoffs for Lawyers

The ABA Journal reports that experts believe more law firm layoffs are expected because firms “can’t keep lawyers busy with work.” The prediction comes after Reed Smith laid off 45 attorneys. In The American Lawyer (sub. req.), Eric Seeger of Altman Weil says a 2015 survey revealed 65 percent of the respondents said equity partners weren’t busy enough.

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Counsel on Call Names New CEO

The Nashville Post reports Vince Verna will serve as CEO for Counsel on Call, an on-demand legal services company. Verna, who replaces founder Jane Allen, previously worked as vice president of strategic accounts and project solution sales for Experis North America. "We have brought in someone with the kind of experience and market savvy to take us to the next level," Allen said. 

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Online Lawyer Directory to Launch in 5 Cities

Lawyer directory websie Avvo Legal Services will test a limited-scope legal advice service at a fixed fee in five cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix. Avvo’s services range from a review of legal documents such as business contracts and nondisclosure agreements to more involved matters such as uncontested divorces and citizenship applications. Clients will be able to choose the attorney they want from a list of those within their area who have registered to participate. Read more from the ABA Journal.

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Despite Emerging Legal Technology, Lawyers Still Needed

Will robots replace lawyers? Bits, a New York Times Blog, argues that adding technology to the workplace is more likely to transform, rather than eliminate, jobs. The article cites a recent study that found “for now, even the most advanced A.I. technology would at best make only modest inroads into the legal profession.” The researchers also suggest start-ups like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer are more likely to expand in underserved markets rather than replace existing legal services.

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Legal Market Added 10,000 Jobs in 2015

The U.S. legal market added 10,000 jobs from the beginning of 2015, Bloomberg BNA reports. Although the job market for lawyers fluctuated during 2015, the statistics put the industry ahead from the beginning of year.

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Want to Learn More about Laws Pertaining to Drones and Other Technology Issues?

If you want to learn more about drone law and more, plan now to attend the Law Tech UnConference 2016, Feb. 19 in Nashville. This year's UnConference CLE will feature discussion on topics including drones, cyber security and digital forensics.

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Did Santa Bring You or Your Clients a Drone for Christmas? Know the Law Before You Fly!

On December 21, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began requiring all drones to be registered.  If you or your clients received a drone for Christmas, the FAA's website has information about the registration process.

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$2.1M Renovation Planned for Bass Berry & Sims' Memphis Office

The Memphis Daily News reports the downtown Memphis office of Bass Berry & Sims will undergo a $2.1 million renovation. The project announcement comes after the Nashville-based firm renewed its lease in October at the office tower located at 100 Peabody Place.

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