News

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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Knoxville Attorney's Blog on Top 100 List

Editors of the ABA Journal selected Herston on Tennessee Family Law, a blog published by attorney K.O. Herston in Knoxville, as one of the 100 best blogs for a legal audience. “For us at the ABA Journal, this isn’t just another award. We view our annual list as service to our readers, pointing them to a collection of some of the very best legal writing and commentary on the Web,” a release states. View the TBA's Directory of Law Related Blogs produced by Tennessee attorneys.

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Nashville Firm to Celebrate New Location

Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings will host an Open House on Dec. 9 to celebrate its new location at The Freedom Cetner, 223 Rosa L. Parks Ave., Suite 200. The event is scheduled for 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 615-254-8801.

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Legal Sector Adding Jobs, Report Shows

The legal sector added 700 jobs in October, building on the momentum of 3,800 jobs added in September, according to numbers released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, The American Lawyer reports that firms known for their work in the energy industry are among firms that have indicated layoffs to come before the end of the year. 

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Court Adopts Revisions Regarding E-filing System

 A revised TSCR Rule 46, which covers technical and logistical issues in electronic filing of cases in the state appellate courts, was adopted today by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The amended rule has a delayed effective date to be determined in the future. The rule permits the appellate clerk to reject filings, makes no definitive provision for system outages and makes no provision for public access to the documents filed. The revisions do include descriptions of who is authorized to use the system, timing, deadlines, format of documents and fees. Read the complete text of Rule 46.

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Female Lawyers Still Struggle to be Promoted

The Business Journal’s BizWomen says that not much progress has been made in nearly a decade when it comes to promoting female attorneys in the nation’s largest law firms. In 2015, women made up 18 percent of equity partners in the firms surveyed; up only 2 percent from the initial survey in 2006, according to the National Association of Women Lawyers. The organization also found that women who do make partner earn 80 percent of what a male equity partner makes.

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New AIG Business Will Advise Corporations on Legal Costs

American International Group (AIG) plans to launch Legal Operations Company in 2016 to help corporations make their legal operations more efficient. Bloomberg BNA reports that the data-driven business will advise clients on how to set competitive pricing, how to identify areas of improvement within their legal operations and more. “The legal services marketplace … hasn’t been terribly good about delivering information about what the right costs for services are and the right value is for the services that are being delivered,” Aaron Katzel, AIG’s global head of legal operations, said.

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Bradley Arant is a Top Charitable Giver

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings was recently recognized by Law360 as one of the nation’s 10 most charitable law firms, making donations of more than $1.15 million in 2014. According to a Law360 survey, these firms gave back to their communities "by funneling millions of dollars into worthy organizations and programs to fund legal aid efforts, education programs and services for the disadvantaged." See the list and learn more.

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Don't Miss 'New Apps for Lawyers'

Check out new apps available for your iPad to help you organize and manage your virtual office during the upcoming TBA CLE webcast, "New Apps for Lawyers." Ben Vincent with The Vertical Group will show new apps to assist you in managing your practice. Watch this webcast live on Oct. 28, or through the TBA CLE online archive for up to one year.

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Baker Donelson Among 100 Best Firms for Women

Baker Donelson has been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Women, the firm reported yesterday. It is ranked 66th and is one of only two law firms on the list. “Baker Donelson has long been committed to creating a workplace environment in which women thrive,” said Christy Tosh Crider, chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative.

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