Highlights from TBA Fall Board of Governors Meeting

The TBA Board of Governors and relevant committees met over the course of two days in October, discussing issues of importance to the association. Highlights of the meeting included the adoption of an official TBA Public Policy that recognizes and approves the Path to Lawyer Well-Being, which is the comprehensive report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. The Board also considered recommendations from TBA’s House of Delegates, approving several section-sponsored pieces of legislation reviewed by the House. In response to concerns raised by the House of Delegates related to Tennessee Supreme Court Sanctioned Pro Se Divorce Forms, the Board voted in favor of the creation of a task force to work with other legal organizations including the Administrative Office of the Courts to collect data from practitioners, judges and clerks in order to document and properly address those concerns.
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TBA Board of Governors to Vote on Proposed Bylaw Amendments

The TBA Board of Governors on Oct. 27 accepted recommendations from the Operations Committee to amend the TBA Bylaws. These amendments provide clarification of various sections associated with board governance. A link to the most recent version of the bylaws can be found here. The amendments provide clarification and revision to the following sections: parenthetical reference to the “Association," the definition of a regularly scheduled meeting of the members, eligibility requirements for election to the Board of Governors, the rotation of election of Governors, Board authority to change composition of District and Grand Divisions, Executive Committee responsibilities, notice of meetings protocol, Board action on policy recommendations of the House (this item has only been moved to another section with no changes made), eligibility requirements for election to the House of Delegates, responsibilities of Board officers, nomination protocol, vacancies of Board membership and vacancy of officer protocol. The draft revisions will be posted for 21 days, after which the Board of Governors will vote on the amendments at a specially set board meeting. CORRECTION NOTE: The original bylaws proposal attached to this article contained an error. Here is the corrected bylaws proposal

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New Members Elected to TBA Board at Convention

Three Tennessee attorneys were elected to fill open positions on the Tennessee Bar Association’s Board of Governors during the recent TBA Annual Convention in Memphis. Aimee Luna, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro will fill the Fourth District Governor post, Dyersburg attorney Matt Willis will hold the Seventh District Governor post and Germantown attorney Jim Barry will fill the Eighth District position. In addition, Williamson County District Attorney Kim Helper will rejoin the board as the District Attorneys General Conference representative.

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New Adoption Law Featured in July TBJ

Discover the changes to the state’s adoption law, outlined in an article by Dawn Coppock and Mike Jennings in the new Tennessee Bar Journal. Newly installed TBA President Jason Pannu writes in his first column about his goals for the year -– and introduces a new feature on wine pairings! Also, did you know that there is a procedure to change the manner of death on a death certificate from “suicide?” Read this personal account by Nashville lawyer Yarnell Beatty, and learn how to assist your clients through this process. Check out the July issue.

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Watch Jason Pannu’s Presidential Address Online

Nashville lawyer Jason Pannu took the oath of office as President of the Tennessee Bar Association on June 15 in Memphis. For those who missed his inaugural address, you can now stream a high-quality version online at YouTube. Hear about his new programs and his theme for the year, which is “Honoring Tradition, Embracing Modernity.”
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Jason Pannu Sworn-in as President at TBA Convention

Nashville lawyer Jason M. Pannu was sworn in as president of the Tennessee Bar Association today during the TBA’s annual convention in Memphis, with Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins administering the oath of office. Pannu said his top priorities this year will be Access to Justice, launching the TBA Public Service Academy, and establishing the Uniform Statewide Filing Incubator, which will work to implement electronic court filing statewide. The luncheon also featured recognition of Senior Counselors and the outstanding work of several members throughout the past year: Bob E. Lype was honored with the Justice Joe Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing for the best article published in the Tennessee Bar Journal in 2017. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Cornelia A. Clark was presented with the Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award. Memphis attorney Charles F. Newman was honored with this year's prestigious William M. Leech Jr. Public Service Award, presented by the TBA's Young Lawyers Division Fellows. The Leech Award is presented each year to a Tennessee lawyer who has given outstanding service to the legal profession, the legal system and the local community. The TBA’s Fourth Estate Award was given for the first time and was awarded to the News 4 I-Team of WSMV in Nashville. President’s Awards were given to Bill Haltom, Gov. Bill Haslam, Amber Shaw, Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Julie Sandine and Bill Koch. See photos from the event

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June Issue: Title VII, Ageism and the Loss of 2 Legal Icons

In case you missed it, the June Tennessee Bar Journal covers a lot of territory in its columns. Edward Phillips and Brandon Morrow explain "Title VII in Transition," and Monica Franklin and Susie Stiles write "Ageism: It's Time for an Attitude Adjustment." Bill Haltom writes about his dear friends and Tennessee legal icons Frank Drowota and John Waters, who each died in April. Waters was president of the Tennessee Bar Association in 1983-1984, and Drowota served on the Tennessee Supreme Court for 25 years. Haltom shares personal stories about them both, which you will not want to miss.

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June Issue Features Ramsaur, Advertising and Fiction Contest Winners

In the June issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal, tribute is paid to the long career of the Tennessee Bar Association's Executive Director Emeritus Allan F. Ramsaur. He steps down after 20 years with the TBA, leaving an impressive legacy, especially with his work in the legislature. Also, read the top two entries in our 2nd Annual Fiction Contest, and get the answers to every question advertising lawyers are asked. TBA President Lucian Pera writes the last installment of his column, reflecting on successes as well as efforts the TBA will continue. Read the Journal online.

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Tomorrow is Deadline to Book a Room for TBA Convention

Tomorrow at 5 p.m. is the cutoff to book a room at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis for the 2018 TBA Convention. Those who fail to make a reservation by the deadline will be subject to the standard rate instead of the TBA discounted rate. Find out more and register for Convention here
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Apply by June 1: Board of Governors to Fill Open Positions

Three open positions will be filled by the Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors at its meeting on June 16. In accordance with Article 47 of the TBA Bylaws, the board may fill the vacancies, with terms through Spring 2019, at its June 2018 meeting. The fourth, seventh and eighth district governor seats are all open. If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, contact TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson in writing indicating your interest by June 1. Please include a resume with your submission.
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TBA Elections: Sellers to Lead TBA in 2020

Jackson attorney Michelle Greenway Sellers of Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC will take the office of Tennessee Bar Association President in 2020, according to election-qualifying results released today. No other candidate qualified for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. Sellers, a former YLD President and graduate of the TBA Leadership Law program, currently serves as 7th District Governor on the TBA Board of Governors. She will assume the office of vice president this summer at the TBA Convention in Memphis, then become president-elect during the 2019-2020 bar year prior to assuming her presidency.

Also qualifying without opposition were: East Tennessee Governor candidates Tasha Blakney and Mary Beth Maddox; West Tennessee Governor candidates Mason Wilson and Trey Thacher; Middle Tennessee Governor candidates Rachel Moses and Ramona DeSalvo; Third District Governor candidate David McDowell; Fifth District Governor candidate John Farringer; and Sixth District Governor candidate David Veile. No candidates applied to fill the Eighth District seat, so the Board of Governors may fill the post at its April meeting.

Others qualifying without opposition included: TBA Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates candidates George "Buck" Lewis (position 2), Jackie Dixon (position 4), Danny Van Horn (position 5), and Gail Vaughn Ashworth (position 6).

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Pera Spills on Favorite Movies, BBQ, TBA Conventions

In the final video of our interview series, TBA President Lucian Pera answers a series of rapid-fire questions about topics ranging from past TBA conventions to favorite films. If you’ve ever wanted to know which Memphis barbeque place Pera thinks is number one, check out our video on YouTube. This is the fourth video in our series, which has covered Pera’s thoughts on the importance of bar work, the future of the legal profession, and the role of lawyers as leaders in their communities.
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Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming TBA Events

You probably already have these upcoming TBA events on your calendar. If not, do it now: 

• Jan. 12-13, 2018, TBA Mid-Winter Leadership Conference and Public Service Luncheon in Nashville

• Feb. 13, 2018, Big Shrimp Legislative Reception in Nashville

• March 3, 2018, TBA Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala in Nashville

• March 23, 2018, TBA House of Delegates Meeting in Nashville

• April 6-7, 2018, TBA Sections and Committees Leadership Orientation in Nashville

• April 20-21, 2018, TBA Board of Governors Spring Meeting in Nashville

• June 13-16, 2018, TBA Annual Convention (including House of Delegates and Board of Governors meeting) in Memphis

• October 26-27, 2018, TBA Board of Governors Fall Meeting in Nashville

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Board Materials Are All Available Online

Remember, you can access all board materials by logging into your account and going to the Board of Governors Resources page.

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Stay Connected During TBA Events in Memphis

You will be able to stay connected with the world while at the Madison Hotel and The Halloran Center. To connect to Wi-Fi:

• Madison Hotel, choose the guest account and use the password gomadison (all lower case)
• The Halloran Center, choose the guest account and use the password Orpheum225

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New TBJ: What You Should Know About Data Breaches

The General Assembly’s 2017 amendments to the data breach law are a step toward addressing the threats of cyber-theft and the challenges it poses to residents and businesses. W. Russell Taber III writes in the November Tennessee Bar Journal what you need to know to advise your clients in the event of such a breach. Also read Marshall L. Davidson III’s how-to for oral arguments so your appeals will stay on track. In his column, TBA President Lucian T. Pera addresses the problematic gap between existing legal needs of ordinary Americans and the ability of the legal profession to meet those needs.

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Meet Your New TBA Staff Members

The past few months, there have been a couple of new additions to the TBA staff. Here's a brief bio on each. 

Wil Hammond

William Hammond

Sections and Committees Coordinator
Wil Hammond is a Sections and Committees Coordinator at the Tennessee Bar Association. In that position, he works with a number of the TBA's 32 sections and 16 committees, facilitating meetings, assisting with newsletters and ensuring they operate smoothly.

Prior to working for the TBA, he served as Communications Director for the Tennessee AFL-CIO, a Grant Manager the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and on many state and local political campaigns. A Martin native, he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in Political Communications.

Jarod Word

Jarod Word

Sections and Committees Coordinator

Jarod Word is a Sections and Committees Coordinator at the Tennessee Bar Association. In that position, he works with a number of the TBA's 32 sections and 16 committees, facilitating meetings, assisting with newsletters and ensuring they operate smoothly.

Prior to joining TBA, Jarod served as Project Coordinator for Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. While at LAS he assisted with numerous Pro Bono initiatives including legal assistance for veterans with Operation Stand Down of Tennessee, and a project to provide legal assistance to rural communities using video technology. He also established and maintained a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools that facilitated legal clinics and developed informational sessions for families within the school system.

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BOG Memphis Meeting Just Days Away

Madison Hotel

The TBA Fall Board of Governors' meeting is now just days away, so we hope you have completed your travel plans to attend. We look forward to seeing everyone this Friday at the Madison Hotel, 79 Madison Ave. in downtown Memphis. The forecast calls for sunny skies, with high temperatures in the low 60s and little chance for rain, so it should be a great weekend in Memphis, or as President Pera often calls it, The Cultural Center of the Universe (#TCCOTU).

Committee meetings in the Madison's Conference Room kick off Friday activities at 2 p.m., with the Board of Governors meeting to follow Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Halloran Center. Of course, there will be plenty of time over the weekend for talking with friends and colleagues and enjoying some of Memphis' top cuisine. Here's an outline of key activities. Full details are in your board materials.

Friday, Nov. 10 

2 p.m., Membership Committee
2:45 p.m., Finance Committee
3:30 p.m., Programs Committee
4:15 p.m., Operations Committee
5:30 p.m., Reception at the home of TBA President Lucian Pera (transportation provided)
6:45 p.m., Dinner at Restaurant Iris (transportation provided)

Saturday, Nov. 11

7 a.m., Buffet Breakfast at the Madison Hotel
7:30 a.m., Executive Committee Breakfast Meeting 
9 a.m., Board of Governors Meeting at Halloran Center (short walk from Madison Hotel)
Noon, Lunch from Central BBQ at Halloran Center
1 p.m., TLCF Board of Trustees at Halloran Center
1:30 p.m., Free time to explore Memphis
6 p.m., Reception, then dinner at Cafe 1912 (transportation provided)

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SCBP in Memphis a Big Success

SCBP Elvis

Tennessee lawyers hosted more than 200 bar leaders and their guests during the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents gathering last week in Memphis. Programming for the executive directors and volunteer bar leaders in 17 Southern states ranged from "Civil Rights in the 21st Century" to "Elvis and His Impact on the Law." See photos from the programming and activities or check out details of the programming and other activities.

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Pera Talks Role of TBA, Lawyers as Leaders

TBA President Lucian Pera offers his thoughts on the legal profession, the importance of bar work and more in a series of web video interviews. The third video in the four-part series premiered today on YouTube. In this installment, Pera considers the role of the TBA in the legal community and what value it provides to members, as well as the role of lawyers as leaders in their communities. He also discusses his hopes that Tennessee lawyers will take up more local leadership positions in roles such as public office. Stay tuned for the fourth and final video in the series, in which Pera answers the TBA’s “lightening round” questions.
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Memphis Program a Hit with Southern Bar Leaders

Tennessee lawyers hosted more than 200 bar leaders and their guests during the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents gathering last week in Memphis. Programming for the executive directors and volunteer bar leaders in 17 Southern states ranged from "Civil Rights in the 21st Century" to "Elvis and His Impact on the Law." See photos from the programming and activities.

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Pera on the Law, the Bar, Barbecue and More

TBA President Lucian Pera offers his thoughts on the legal profession, the importance of bar work, and more (including his favorite spot for barbecue) in a series of web video interviews. The first video in the four-part series premiered today on YouTube. In the video, Pera discusses the inspiration for his year as president, as well as the importance of bar work to the legal profession. Stay tuned for part two to debut later this week, in which Pera discusses his goals for the bar, as well as challenges and trends he sees emerging.

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October TBJ: The Scandalous Start of Tennessee's Written Bar Exam

The October Tennessee Bar Journal documents a time when just about anyone could practice law with little or no formal training. Lewis Laska writes about a "fake law school" that sold degrees, one of the factors that propelled the legal community to work toward uniformity, education and a written bar exam as standards to practice law. President Lucian Pera tells about lawyers' efforts in the wake of recent hurricanes, as well as ways you can help. Scott Ross gives an update on injury damages under Tennessee law. Russell Fowler shows how Louis Brandeis promoted the idea of pro bono — which is fitting because October is "Celebrate Pro Bono Month!"

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August Issue: Meet TBA's New Executive Director

The August TBJ features the Tennessee Bar Association’s new executive director, Joycelyn Stevenson, as she steps into the role held for nearly 20 years by Allan Ramsaur, who is now executive director emeritus. Read about what makes her perfect for the job, as well as what her plans and dreams are for the association. In his column, President Lucian T. Pera asks readers to consider the possibilities that the changing market for legal services will bring. "Today we can visualize a time in Tennessee when 'going to court' might not mean walking to the courthouse on court square," he writes. "It might mean firing up your tablet and logging in to an online session with a judge, other lawyers, and even witnesses." Pera writes about Modria and companies like it, that provide online dispute resolution services, and what that and related technologies may mean for the practice of law.

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TBA President Lucian Pera Lawyers Luncheon Address

Newly installed TBA President Lucian Pera addresses the profession during the Lawyers Luncheon at the TBA Annual Convention in Kingsport.