News

Music City Legal Hackers to Host Meet Up Thursday

The Music City Legal Hackers have a meet up planned for Thursday at Vanderbilt Law School from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Planning for Nashville’s second annual legal hackathon, scheduled for April 14, is one item on the agenda.
read more »

Avvo Acquired by Internet Brands

Online legal referral and attorney rating service Avvo has been purchased by Internet Brands, the ABA Journal reports. Internet Brands already owns Nolo.com and Total Attorneys, which are lead generators for attorneys. While the details of the deal have not been released, Avvo was valued in 2015 at $650 million. The company was founded in 2006 and employs about 350 people.
read more »

Baker, Kinsman, Hollis & Clelland Joins Rainey Kizer

Lawyers from the Chattanooga firm of Baker, Kinsman, Hollis & Clelland PC are joining with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere and Bell PLC to operate as a Chattanooga office for the regional firm. With the addition of Baker, Kinsman’s attorneys, Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC will have more than 40 attorneys serving its clients from its five offices across Tennessee.
read more »

Waller’s Nashville Office Hires Hospitality Team from Bone

The Nashville office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP has hired a whole team of retail and hospitality attorneys from another prominent firm, the Nashville Business Journal reports. William Cheek, Robert Pinson, Olatayo Atanda and Kimberly Faye all departed Bone McAllester Norton PLLC for Waller. Cheek is known for his work in alcoholic beverage law, and is a founding member of the Alliance of Alcohol Industry Attorneys and Consultants.
read more »

Tax Bill Includes Law Firms in Pass-Through Tax Relief, With Limits

Under the new tax bill signed into law last week, law firms will see tax relief for pass-through entities, the ABA Journal reports. The bill gives a tax deduction to owners of pass-through businesses, but caps will phase out the deduction for higher-income professional service providers. Owners of pass-through businesses will be able to take a 20 percent deduction for qualified business income they receive from the entity.
read more »

Frost Brown Todd Names Nashville's Sartin as Chairman

The members of Louisville-based law firm Frost Brown Todd have elected Nashville member Robert V. Sartin as chairman, the Nashville Post reports. His three-year term as chairman begins in the new year. Sartin has served on FBT’s executive committee since 2012 and co-chairs its automotive industry group.
read more »

Oregon Lawyer Named Legal Innovator for Using Analytics in Detainee Representation

The Financial Times has named Stephen Manning, legal director of the Innovation Law Lab, as the top legal innovator in North America, the ABA Journal reports. Manning was recognized for using data analytics and technology to help lawyers in immigration and refugee cases. The Innovation Law Lab has advocated for the release of over 30,000 women and children from detention centers with a 99 percent success rate. The online platform fosters links between lawyers and provides legal support and resources to detainees and volunteers.
read more »

TBA Attorney’s App Makes Semi-Final in ABA Law Tech Competition

The American Bar Association is hosting its second-annual Startup Alley program, offering startups a shot at being one of 15 companies to face off in a pitch competition at the ABA TECHSHOW conference, and TBA lawyer Sean Martin’s app is the running as a top 25 semifinalist. Martin’s app, Time Miner, is designed to capture and recover billable time on an attorney’s phone. To read more about Time Miner, see the full list of semifinalists (and to cast a vote), visit Above the Law.

read more »

Miller & Martin Appoints New Leadership

The Miller & Martin PLLC law firm has announced changes to its leadership team, which will continue to be led by Jim Haley as chairman, the Hamilton County Herald reports. Mike Marshall from the firm’s Atlanta office and Zac Greene from the Chattanooga office have been elected to serve on the firm’s policy committee, along with Haley, Hugh Sharber, Chris Parker and Scott Parrish. The policy committee serves as the firm’s managing board of directors.
read more »

AI: Beyond the Hype, Lots of Applications

Is the hype of artificial intelligence in law practice justified? Above the Law’s Nicole Black reports from the College of Law Practice Management’s 2017 Futures Conference and says the answer is yes. “The bottom line,” she says, “AI is coming of age, and quickly, and the legal profession may not be prepared for the rapid pace of change instigated by AI in the years to come.” One speaker at the conference was Fastcase co-founder Ed Walters, who said his company is already using AI to improve search results using the history of tens of millions of searches. “[W]e’ve had these ideas for more than a decade, but AI is finally good enough to build some mind-blowing tools. The time is now.”

read more »

3 Hours of Dual CLE in Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville

Established and efficient practice management processes and procedures can pay big dividends in protecting against malpractice claims and ethics complaints. Topics at this program presented by the Bar Plan's Chris Stiegemeyer include: fee agreements, resolving conflicts and client relationships. Program will be offered in Knoxville on Oct. 24, Nashville on Oct. 25 and Memphis on Oct. 26.
read more »

BPR Issues Ethics Opinion on Interstate Law Firm Using Trade Name

The Board of Professional Responsibility has issued a formal ethics opinion regarding the opening and operation of a proposed interstate law firm between Tennessee and Florida, using a trade name, SETCO law. The opinion deals with the growth, development and diversity of the legal profession, which has spawned a proliferation of new ways of conducting the practice, taking lawyers far beyond the sole practitioner and single office law firm models of an earlier era.
read more »

Rutherford County Chancery Court Celebrates E-Filing System Launch

To celebrate the launch of Rutherford County Chancery Court’s e-filing program, a ribbon cutting was held last week at the Rutherford County Judicial Building. Hosted by Chancellor Howard Wilson and Clerk and Master John Bratcher, the event celebrated four years of hard work to put the system into place. “We look forward to the time when our Circuit Court and all of the other state trial courts come online with e-filing,” Wilson said.

read more »

CLE Court Square 2017 Comes to Cookeville Oct. 13

On Oct. 13, this year’s Court Square CLE in Cookeville will be held at the Higher Education Campus. Tim Takacs will focus on the importance of succession planning for your law firm or law practice. Other topics covered will be law practice management, best practices, client communication and life planning.

read more »

CLE Webcast: Making the Right Call on Telemedicine

On Sept. 19, a TBA CLE webcast presentation by Yarnell Beatty will touch on the capabilities of telemedicine, licensure requirements for providers, state and federal regulation as to how it is delivered, billing and payment, barriers to delivery, and future trends. Emphasis will be placed on helping lawyers develop a checklist for advising health care professionals, with some guidance for counseling facilities. Learn more and register.

read more »

Privacy Concerns Raised Over iPhone's New Facial Recognition Technology

Users of the new iPhone X from Apple will be able to unlock their phones using facial recognition technology, prompting questions from civil liberties groups about whether or not police can use the new feature to access users' information. The ABA Journal reports that, while the Riley v. California decision established that police would need a warrant to search the contents of a phone, whether they can force you to unlock it is unclear. Read the full story here

read more »

Chatbot Allows Users to Sue Equifax Without Lawyer

Legal chatbot DoNotPay is now allowing users to file suits against credit-reporting agency Equifax, in light of last week’s news of a massive data breach, the ABA Journal reports. The online platform can help file negligence claims by walking users through a set of questions that generates a PDF they can file in small claims court. The service is free and available to the public in all 50 states. "It is particularly exciting that a lawyer is never needed in the process," Joshua Browder of DoNotPay said. "The class action lawsuit against the company will only give successful consumers around $500 (with the rest going to greedy lawyers in commissions). I hope that my product will replace those lawyers, and, with enough success, bankrupt Equifax.”

read more »

Counsel on Call Acquires Nashville E-Discovery Firm

Brentwood-based Counsel On Call, an on-demand legal services company, has bought Nashville based DSicovery LLC (DSi), which offers digital forensics and e-discovery services, the Nashville Business Journal reports. Counsel On Call will operate DSi out of its current Nashville officers. Both companies will continue to conduct business under their current names.
read more »

Frost Brown Todd to Accept Bitcoin for Legal Fees

Regional firm Frost Brown Todd announced today that it will accept bitcoin as payment for legal fees. The firm already boasts a blockchain and digital currency group. That group’s co-chair, Nashville attorney Joshua S. Rosenblatt, said Frost Brown Todd would “be one of the earliest movers among law firms in Middle America” on the issue of bitcoin.
read more »

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.
read more »

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."

read more »

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.

read more »

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.

read more »

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.

read more »

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.  

read more »