News

ABA Releases Opinion on Attorney Disaster Response

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released today an opinion that underscores the importance of ABA model rules for lawyers affected by disasters and provides specific guidance on their ethical responsibilities in the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and fires. The formal opinion notes that recent large-scale disasters, such as Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, highlight the need for lawyers to understand that extreme weather events and other calamities have the potential to destroy property or cause the long-term loss of power. Lawyers, in turn, have an ethical obligation to implement reasonable measures to safeguard property and funds they hold for clients or third parties, prepare for business interruption and keep clients informed about how to contact them or their successor counsel.
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Nashville Lawyer Named Chair, Managing Partner at Bradley

Jonathan Skeeters, partner in the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, has been named chairman and managing partner of the Birmingham-based regional firm, The Nashville Business Journal reports. Bradley has nine offices in locations across the southeast, and Nashville ranks as the firm’s second-largest.
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iManage Acquires Risk and Compliance Software Provider Elegrity

The Chicago-based legal software company iManage LLC has completed its second large acquisition within two years, Bloomberg Law reports. The acquisition of the risk and compliance software provider, Elegrity, allows iManage to offer risk and compliance solutions to law firms and other professionals that utilize its cloud-based email and document management products. In May 2017, iManage acquired RAVN Systems for its artificial intelligence, including the ability to automatically sort and summarize legal documents. The company aims to offer clients an enhanced information management solution that reduces manual labor and cost, decreases errors and omissions and increases law firm productivity.

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GDPR Privacy Complaints Filed Against Google in the EU

Privacy complaints against Google have been filed in Ireland and Britain by Brendan Eich, known for being the creator of JavaScript, co-founding the web browser Mozilla and founding the private web browser Brave, Reuters reports.  The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new privacy law that had a two-year lead-in period to provide time for companies to comply. However, the complaint argues that Google and the advertising technology industry are not processing personal data in a way that properly secures it.  Noncompliance with the GDPR carries heavy fines for serious violations. This test case could trigger an article in the GDPR and spur an EU-wide investigation.

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Legal Startup Atrium Raises $65 Million

Justin Kan’s one-year-old legal firm and tech startup Atrium has announced that it has raised $65 million in an investment round led by Andreessen Horowitz, Forbes reports.  Over the past year, Atrium has served as the law firm for some of tech’s fastest-growing companies while providing technology to automate filings. It has also helped 250 clients raise a combined $500 million, including scooter company Bird, Alto and Sift Science. Atrium specializes in helping startups with startup financings, commercial contracts, blockchain and outside counsel.

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Supreme Court Solicits More Comments on Rules 6, 7

The Tennessee Supreme Court is soliciting additional comments from judges, lawyers, bar associations and members of the public regarding proposed revisions to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 6. The change would require “new attorneys to complete a Tennessee Law Course within one year of admission to the Tennessee bar.” On April 19, the Tennessee Supreme Court entered an order soliciting comments with regard to the proposed revision. The court received comments from the Tennessee Bar Association, the Knoxville Bar Association, University of Tennessee law professors, and several interested individuals. The overwhelming majority of responses favored the adoption of a Tennessee Law Course as a pre-admission requirement. Similarly, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners submitted a proposal for adopting the Tennessee Law Course as a pre-admission requirement under Supreme Court Rule 7. The deadline for submitting written comments is Sept. 28. Comments should be e-mailed to appellatecourtclerk@tncourts.gov or mailed to: James M. Hivner, Clerk, Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219-1407. See the first and second attachments here.
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Podcasts Focus on AI and the Law

Hey podcast fans, Above the Law founding editor David Lat has produced a series of interviews with legal and technology experts about artificial intelligence’s effects on different fields and issues with the law. Here’s where you can check out the Law2020 podcasts.

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Volunteers Needed for YMCA Model United Nations and Youth in Government Programs

The Tennessee Bar Association's Public Education Committee is partnering with the YMCA to help mentor future lawyers in the Model United Nations and Youth in Government programs. The programs are designed to allow students ages 11-19 to experience the processes of government in a hands-on way. Model United Nations conferences occur in the Fall and Youth in Government conferences happen in the Spring. The YMCA is always in need of volunteers to help our young lawyers argue their cases well and to help our youth justices deliberate wisely. The Public Education Committee seeks volunteers for programs all across the state. Volunteers are welcome help serve for one, two or three days during the conferences. Each conference runs a similar program, just with different students from across Tennessee attending each weekend. For more information about the program, please visit the YMCA's website or contact Elise Dugger

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Section Seeks Your Opinions on Upcoming Law Office Technology Forum

To help build programming for its upcoming Law Tech Forum, the TBA Law Office Technology and Management Executive Council is asking your opinions. Completing this brief web form will assist in ensuring the forum remains timely, relevant and on the cutting edge. Comments can be related to subject matter, length and location of the event. Please respond by Sept. 7. 

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New U.S. Law Targets Tech Giants

President Trump recently signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act into law, effectively banning U.S. governmental agencies from purchasing or using certain telecommunications and surveillance products, according to Mashable. Two specific Chinese technology companies — ZTE and Huawei — were named in the bill. ZTE is the U.S.’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer. Contractors and companies using communication devices with a “substantial or essential component” manufactured by the specified companies will need to replace the technology if they wish to conduct business with the government. National security concerns about both companies have been previously expressed by U.S. intelligence officials. Huawei has expressed disdain and concern about the legislation. This bill will go into effect over the next two years.
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Put TBA UPS to Work

Have you enrolled in TBA’s UPS account for members? Visit UPS's TBA page and save up to 34 percent on UPS’s broad portfolio. Shipping services include next day air, international, ground and express.
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Nashville Disclosed Social Security Numbers, Personal Info of Citizens

Metro Nashville recently publicized private information, including Social Security numbers, of an undisclosed number of private citizens, The Tennessean reports. Officials say some criminal affidavits attached to publicly available arrest warrants inappropriately included the confidential information. The city is offering one year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to those affected, who will be notified within 45 days that their information was publicly disclosed.
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Law Office Management Tips on Shipping

If your law office uses shipping services, your TBA membership team can help you compare those costs to TBA’s UPS member benefit. Your firm office manager can work directly with TBA staff and UPS services to enroll or transfer shipping accounts. Members can save up to 34 percent on UPS’s broad portfolio of shipping services, including next day air, international, ground and express.
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Cyber-attack Concerns Leads TVA to Boost Security Efforts

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is investing heavily in monitoring systems and equipment for its recently opened Cybersecurity Operations Center in Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. The TVA sees tens of thousands of attempts daily to hack into the company’s networks, the report says. With recent concerns of attacks using these means, including new evidence of attempted Russian cyber-attacks against American power utilities, the TVA is employing a staff of 38 TVA employees and another 20 to 30 contract workers devoted solely to cyber-security. The TVA is the nation's largest government-owned power utility, with 29 power-generating dams, seven nuclear reactors and multiple connections to the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons production arsenal.

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How Blockchain Technology Can Save Healthcare

Forbes takes an in-depth look at how blockchain technology can help the healthcare industry. Medical records, consent management and micropayments are three areas that could benefit from this technology. Data integrity still remains a big question around new technology, but opportunities exist to move the industry into a new age.

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LegalZoom Gains $2 Billion Valuation

LegalZoom.com raised $500 million at a $2 billion valuation to help pay out some investors, Bloomberg reports. The deal signals LegalZoom's progress since a 2012 initial public offering was aborted. The company is increasing revenue at about 20 percent a year with profit margins above 20 percent, according to its CEO.
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Destination CLE Survey

Let's take a trip! The TBA CLE Committee would like your feedback on destination CLE events. Taking a moment to complete this brief survey will greatly assist us in developing the best CLE experience for you. Please complete this survey by Aug. 10. We greatly appreciate your help with this endeavor.
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Tennessee looks to Technology to Support People with Disabilities

The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) has committed $500,000 to "Enabling Technology" program, according to WJHL. The program is designed to help people with disabilities by providing supportive services to help them live on their own. The DIDD aims to spread the use of supportive technology statewide. The state is also developing a model home in Greeneville so people can see for themselves what technology can do.

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Tax Law Forum 2018

The annual Tax Law Forum will be held at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville on Sept. 17. Sessions will focus on the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Topics include the new pass-through entity tax law, an overview of the changes to international tax law, corporate and other business tax changes as well as non-profit law changes.

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National Firm McGlinchey Stafford Opens Nashville Office

National corporate law firm McGlinchey Stafford announced Tuesday that it has opened an office in Nashville, the Nashville Business Journal reports. Shaun Ramey serves as the lead attorney for the office, which is located downtown on Church Street. 
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AI, Analytics are Changing Effectiveness of Online Legal Research

Above the Law’s Law2020 project takes a look at how artificial intelligence and data analytics are changing how attorneys conduct their legal research. Though the process of legal research has been greatly improved since the dawn of online databases like Westlaw, LexisNexis and Fastcase, sheer overload of information, lack of time to parse through data and lack of confidence in the results raise concerns. Artificial intelligence and analytics are beginning to be combined to in an effort to produce more relevant and predictive results for queries – a practice that will only become more widespread in the future.
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How Technology is Shaking Up Law Firms

New technologies are disrupting legal services and changing lawyers' relationships with their clients. Digital Journal takes a look at the main tech trends shaping the legal sector in an interview with Casey Kuhlman, CEO of Monax Industries.

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Pairing Blockchain and Securitization Expertise Lead to Opportunity for Law Firms

The American Lawyer takes a look at how paring blockchain and securitization could lead to opportunities for law firms. With big international financial institutions such as Banco Santander SA, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. launching in-house blockchain investment product development teams, demand has grown for lawyers with traditional securities practice backgrounds and fluency in the ever-changing vernacular of the blockchain enthusiasts’ world. 

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6 Technology Trends for Law Firm Management and E-Discovery

Legal Tech News takes a look at six technology trends in law firm management. We live an interconnected world with ever-greater opportunities and challenges for the legal sector. With the modern arsenal of tools and vendors, the smart legal operations department can prepare for the impending challenges. Monitoring these six trends will contribute towards a more strategic response and save you time and headaches throughout the year, the magazine suggests.

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