News

Federal Courts Fix ‘Major’ PACER Security Flaw

After the California nonprofit Free Law Project sounded the alarm on the subject, federal courts have fixed a “major security vulnerability” in PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), the ABA Journal reports. Free Law Project found a cross site request forgery vulnerability, which put anyone signed into PACER at risk. Administrators of the site could have theoretically made purchases or file documents through an unwitting user’s PACER account, via the noted security flaw. The groups agree that there is no evidence this vulnerability was ever exploited. The Free Law Project has also made recommendations to the court to prevent future vulnerabilities in the system.
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August Columns Laser in On Technologies

Don't miss the columns this month in the August Journal, offering various takes on new technologies. Knoxville lawyer Eddy Smith explains how to plan for and administer digital assets in the estate planning process. Nashville lawyer Kathryn Reed Edge explains "fintech" companies -- firms "that use new technology and innovation with available resources in order to compete in the marketplace of traditional financial institutions and intermediaries in the delivery of financial services." If your head is not spinning after that, read Memphis lawyer Bill Haltom's take on a lawsuit where at issue is laser sensor technology used in driverless cars. The suit is between Google and Uber and it's "shaping up to be a huge legal battle. And there is no one in the driver’s seat."

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New Cyber Alert Lists Domains, IP Addresses to Watch

The ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force is sharing a new alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division. The alert deals with "IP Addresses and Domains Used by Likely Iran-Based Cyber Actors to Attack Victims Worldwide." It lists 87 IP addresses and 136 domain names associated with this cyber activity.

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7 Tips for Being Your Own Secretary

All lawyers eventually must perform some basic administrative tasks. On July 19, an online CLE will teach you the basics that will help you with administration and productivity. Find more information and register here.

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Learn All About Protecting Data in New Online CLE

As technology advances we encounter more and more challenges in protecting data. Tune in at noon Tuesday for a CLE on this topic from Ben Vincent of The Vertical Group. Vincent will address challenges and ways to protect your practice and advise clients. Learn more and register here.

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Go Paperless with Our Paperless Office CLE

An Aug. 3 CLE offers tips that can lead to full or partial commitment to a paperless practice. Best practices will help you get organized and have better access to all client documents. Find out more and register here.

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Item of Interest

Below is an article that was published in the the Disability Section Connect. We thought it had information that would be of interest to those of you in this section as well.  

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Murfreesboro Emergency Services Hit By Ransomware Attack

Murfreesboro Police confirmed that the MPD and Murfreesboro Fire have been hit by a “different, morphed version” of the WannaCry ransomware attack, The Tennessean reports. Most of the affected data is not retrievable, and it is not clear at this time whether any significant files have been lost. WannaCry is part of a worldwide malware attacked that began in May. 
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July TBJ: Mentors, Annuities and the Challenges of Change

Covington lawyer Amber Griffin Shaw writes about how having a mentor in Houston Gordon made all the difference in her law practice. Read her story — and his advice — in the July Tennessee Bar Journal. Knoxville lawyer Glen A. Kyle writes about planning options for spousal annuities. President Lucian T. Pera writes about the challenges of change – whether it be in the changing of leadership at the helm of the TBA, the need for improvements in indigent defense for Tennessee’s least-privileged citizens, or how lawyers respond to the dramatic changes “facing not just the profession or the business of lawyers, but the whole market for the delivery of legal services.”

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Data Breaches and Avoiding Ransomware Virus Infiltration

Ben Vincent will present a special CLE webcast on data breaches and virus infiltration at noon CET on July 18. Attendees will explore the issues that arise in data breaches for both law practices and clients. Learn what constitutes a data breach and what steps to take to protect your law firm and advise your clients. Find out more and register here.

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Knoxville Firm Named Top Place to Work

Kramer Rayson LLP, a firm with offices in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, was named the Top Workplace among small companies by the Knoxville News Sentinel. Employees surveyed by the publication say that a tight-knit workplace where colleagues are treated like family contributes to the happy office environment. Kramer Rayson was founded in 1948 and currently has 55 employees.
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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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