News

ABA Journal Profiles Nashville Legal Entrepreneur, Others Who Work in Managed Services

The ABA Journal this month reported on the growth of managed services business, which design, build and staff process systems that efficiently complete legal work. A leader in the industry profiled in the piece is Counsel on Call, founded by Jane Allen in Nashville back in 2000. The company started after Allen saw room in the market for attorneys who would work for a reduced hourly rate in order to accommodate more flexible schedules, and those attorneys could help firms with peaks in workflow or a need to fill temporary positions. Counsel on Call is now a $50-million-per-year business that employs more than 1,000 lawyers.
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Defending Trade Secrets, Jason Long's Last President's Column and More in June Bar Journal

Read about the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act from Nashville lawyer Andrew B. Campbell in the June issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal, out today. Jason R. Smith explains the dangers of plea agreements that provide for concurrent Tennessee and federal sentences. In his last column of his term, Tennessee Bar Association President Jason Long tells the secret of his presidential success as he thanks the TBA staff members who have been instrumental to his year.

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Professional Privilege Tax Due Date Extended

The Tennessee Department of Revenue has extended the professional privilege tax due date to June 30, citing high call volumes and an increased number of help desk tickets. For more information on how to file and pay the professional privilege tax, please visit the department's website.
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Find Out About Ethical Obligations for Cybersecurity with Online CLE

Interested in law office tech? Attorney AJ Bahou will give an overview of cybersecurity for lawyers in an online CLE available now from the Tennessee Bar Association. The session will cover ethical issues of cybersecurity with rules and formal ethics opinions, data privacy and data security.
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Burchett Confesses, Gets 4 Years Probation in Cyber-Attacks

Knox County’s former first lady confessed Thursday to cyber-harassing the cancer-stricken estranged wife of her millionaire beau, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. Allison Burchett, 35, pleaded guilty in Knox County Criminal Court to six misdemeanor charges of unlawful access to computer accounts. She will serve no jail time, but will spend four years on probation.

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'Browser Act' Would Bring Back Internet Privacy Rules

This week Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced the “Browser Act,” a bill that would reapply internet privacy rules to internet service providers (ISPs), as well as to search engines, social networks and other websites. It would put millions of websites in a position to have to ask consumers for the right to sell their data, turning what traditionally has been an opt-out mechanism into an opt-in mechanism. The bill would also prevent states from passing their own privacy rules. Earlier this year, the passage of legislation targeted at revoking Federal Communications Commission oversight on online privacy for ISPs drew a major outcry from online observers. AssociationsNow.com has the story.

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Survey: Lawyers Are Underperforming, Slow to Change

A recent survey of nearly 400 managing partners and chairs nationwide suggests that changes in the legal market are continuing to affect performance, Bloomberg Law reports. In response to survey questions posed by legal management consulting firm Altman Weil, 88 percent of respondents said they have chronically underperforming lawyers, 61 percent said overcapacity is diluting their profitability, and 65 percent said their partners resist most efforts to change how to they do business. This comes at a time when most (72 percent) law firm leaders said the pace of change in the legal industry will only continue to increase in the coming years. Join the TBA's Evolving Legal Market Discussion Forum to weigh in on this.

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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 http://www.tba.org/submit-an-article, 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 http://www.cletn.com/.

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Baker Donelson Names New Managing Shareholder in Nashville

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz has named Brigid Carpenter as new managing shareholder for its Nashville office, the Nashville Business Journal reports. Carpenter, the first woman to lead the office, will replace Scott Carey, who is returning to full-time practice with the firm. Carpenter will continue her practice, which includes products liability defense, catastrophic personal injury defense and prosecutions and defense of commercial disputes.

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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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Call For Submissions — Law Practice Pointers

One of the benefits of being a TBA Section Member is having access to information from experienced practitioners to assist in your day-to-day practice. The sharing of this information amongst colleagues is one of the best traits of the profession. It is also a way of helping each other to maneuver the evolving legal market and strengthen your legal practice.

How can you help your fellow Section Members?  If you have some Law Practice Pointers you would like to share with your fellow section members, write an article between 300-500 words and submit it to the Section Coordinator for review and approval. These Law Practice Pointers can be related to a court opinion, piece of legislation, or current event or industry trend that affects the practice of law as it relates to the specific Section. The main requirement is to make sure the article gives lawyers practical tips, based on experience, to include in their day-to-day practice.

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Scam Alert: Imposters Seeking Legal Aid Donations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning citizens to be on the lookout for a scam soliciting donations to the "Legal Aid Society." The scam would likely come from a caller pretending to be from the “national legal aid/defenders office.” Telephone numbers that have been used in this scam have been linked to several other imposter scams. Imposters can make a caller ID display appear with virtually any number, so trusting caller ID is not a reliable way to avoid the scam. The FTC urges anyone who receives a dubious call to report it on its website.
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Bookkeeper Accused of Stealing $300k from Law Firm

A 72-year-old bookkeeper is accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from a Memphis law firm where she worked, the Commercial Appeal reports. Olive Wong, an employee of Spicer Rudstrom, was arrested and charged yesterday with theft of property greater than $250,000. She is accused of stealing $290,714 from the firm between January 2010 and January 2014.
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Lampley Named Partner in Charge at Adams and Reese in Nashville

Adams and Reese Government Relations Team Leader Brad Lampley has been named partner in charge of the firm’s Nashville office, the Nashville Post reports. Lampley previously served as partner in charge from 2008 to 2015. Current partner in charge Kolin Holladay will depart for the Kansas City-based firm Polsinelli.

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Bradley Rebrand Provided Cohesion After Merger

Partners at Bradley recently published a piece in JDSupra about their decision to rebrand their firm into the single-word moniker, after a 2008 merger between Bradley Arant Rose & White and Boult Cummings Conners & Berry created confusion among clients and the marketplace. They wrote that not only did the rebrand eliminate confusion, it also created a more modern aesthetic for the firm. 
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CLE Outlines How to Change Your Practice to Meet Market Demands

The fourth and final CLE in the “Modern Law Practice Series” will explore emerging trends in the delivery of legal services and how focusing on consumer behavior could benefit your law firm. This session will examine the ways in which consumer-facing companies like Avvo and LegalZoom have capitalized on tailoring services to the needs of the modern legal client and how you can adjust your practice to meet those same demands. The program will be held April 13, and will be available in person and on-demand.

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How to Deal With Bullying, Threats and Physical Violence in the Workplace

Violence in the workplace is a growing threat. Read in the April Journal about its many forms -- including bullying, intimidation, and of course, physical harm -- and what to do about them. Chattanooga lawyer Bob Lype details the issue. And read Nashville lawyer David Hudson's article about the “jailhouse lawyer” case that significantly changed the legal landscape in the state regarding prisoner rights and access to the courts. Also in this issue, TBA President Jason Long thanks the Young Lawyers Division on its many accomplishments. Read the entire issue online.

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Still Time to Register for 2 Nashville Legal Tech Conferences

Vanderbilt Law School will host the inaugural Music City Legal Hackathon and Unconference on April 7-8, as well as the Blockchain and the Law Conference on April 7. The Hackathon will bring together members of the legal community with coders, developers, programmers and more to “hack” solutions to challenges faced by Tennessee’s nonprofit legal assistance providers. At the Blockchain event, participants will explore what impact blockchain is having on the law and legal professionals. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology most often associated with bitcoin and other digital currency. 

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Waller Elects Two New Partners

Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis elected two new partners to its board of directors, the Nashville Post reports. Katie Stenberg, who previously led the firm’s finance and restructuring practice, and Ken Marlow, who led the firm’s health care department, will join the firm’s six-member board. Waller also announced the promotion of Morgan Ribeiro to the position of chief business development officer.
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Vanderbilt Law Hosts Blockchain Conference

Vanderbilt Law will host the Blockchain and the Law Conference, where participants will explore what impact blockchain is having on the law and legal professionals. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology most often associated with bitcoin and other digital currency. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeff Bivins will serve as the conference’s welcoming speaker. To register for the April 7 event or find out more, visit the conference’s website.

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ABA-Microsoft Launch Fellowship to Improve Legal Services

A new fellowship opportunity for recent law school graduates is now available. The American Bar Association Center for Innovation-Microsoft NextGen fellow will live for a year in residence at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, helping improve legal services in the United States, focusing primarily on partnership projects between the ABA, Microsoft and the Legal Services Corporation. The fellow will receive a $45,000 salary and benefits. Bar admission is not necessary. The deadline to apply is April 15. Learn more from the ABA Center for Innovation.

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Global Firm to Begin Allowing Work-from-Home Options

Associates with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius will soon be allowed to telecommute as much as two days a week, Bloomberg Law reports. The program was tested out in the global firm’s Los Angeles office. Proponents of firms offering alternative schedules say that the option is good for women, especially mothers, in the workplace.
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Davidson County Chancery Court Launches E-Filing

Electronic case filing is now available in Davidson County Chancery Court. The court has implemented a program called Odyssey eFileTN, which allows users to open cases and file documents with the Davidson County Chancery Court from anywhere via a secure website. Davidson County is only the second county in Tennessee to implement e-filing in a state trial court. Learn more about the program, access rules or register for e-filing at the Odyssey eFileTN website.
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Baker Donelson Named Among Best Places to Work

For the eighth consecutive year, Baker Donelson was named one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The list is created based on employee ratings of workplace culture. A national firm, Baker Donelson was founded in Tennessee and has offices in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, Memphis and Nashville.
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Email Scam Targets Employee W-2 Information

Nonprofits in Minnesota have reported being targeted by a scam requesting employees’ W-2 information, and the scam is likely spreading, Nonprofit Quarterly reports. The scam begins with an email requesting lists of employees or staff earnings summaries, and it’s working – many have fallen victim to the scam. A computer forensic expert recalls that last year he was retained by four of the top 10 law firms in Minneapolis after they all fell victim. Those who have seen evidence of the W-2 scam can report it to the IRS.
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