News

Jackson Attorney Rezabek Dies at 57

Kristi Robbins Rezabek, staff attorney for the Tennessee Court of Appeals, died on May 3. She was 57. Rezabek worked for the Court of Appeals since 2006 and was based in the Jackson Supreme Court Building. She had previously worked as regional general counsel and senior staff attorney for the State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. She is the past president of the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women, serving in 2012-2013, and the Howell Edmunds Jackson chapter of the American Inns of Court, serving in 2017. A native of Martin, Rezabek was a 1993 graduate of The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she served on law review and earned American Jurisprudence Awards in Property, Legal Methods, Evidence, and Domestic Law. Information on arrangements will be posted as available.
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TLAW Panel Addresses Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession

TBA President Lucian Pera led a panel discussion on sexual harassment in the legal profession during today's Empowerment Conference presented by the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women. Joining Pera on the panel were the Hon. Chris Craft of the 30th Judicial District Criminal Court, Baker Donelson shareholder Charles K. Grant, Unum Group Assistant Vice President and Special Counsel Angela A. Ripper and University of Tennessee College of Law Dean Melanie Wilson. The conference continues all day tomorrow at Waller in Nashville.

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National Bar Association to Host Conference in Nashville This Weekend

The National Bar Association’s Corporate Law Section and Region IV membership are hosting their annual “Gateway to Success” conference in Nashville this weekend. Region IV consists of Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.
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TLAW Scores National Award

The National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations (NCWBA) has awarded the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (TLAW) with the NCWBA’s 2018 Outstanding Member Program Award for TLAW’s groundbreaking work on its Empowerment Conferences. The award recognizes innovative projects, programs, and services for organization members or the bar. The award will be presented to TLAW at the NCWBA’s national Women’s Bar Leadership Summit, which will be held on Aug. 3 in Chicago. Learn more about the award and the Empowerment Conference.
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Napier-Looby Bar Foundation Holds Annual Banquet and Awards Program

The Napier Looby Bar Foundation awarded four scholarships to law students and inducted its 2018 Class of Fellows during the annual Barristers' Banquet and Awards Program on Thursday at the Music City Center in Nashville. Among those inducted into the foundation was TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson. Additional recognition included: Danielle Nellis, Justice A.A. Birch Outstanding Service Award; Darryl Stewart, Z. Alexander Looby Lifetime Achievement Award; and Cyrus Booker, J.C. Napier Trailblazer Award. See photos from the event.

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Napier-Looby Barristers' Banquet Planned for Feb. 22

The 14th Annual Napier-Looby Bar Foundation Barristers' Banquet and Awards Program will be held Feb. 22 at the Music City Center in the Davidson Ballroom. The Barristers' Banquet is the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation’s (NLBF) annual signature fundraising event held in celebration of Black History Month. Revenue raised from the event enables the NLBF to award scholarships to deserving students and fund charitable efforts throughout the year. The banquet will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, with dinner and an awards program immediately following at 7 p.m. For more information or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Angela Williams or Andrea Perry.
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AWA Banquet Rescheduled for Feb. 7

The Association for Women Attorneys banquet in Memphis has been rescheduled to Feb. 7. The event had been planned for Jan. 16, but was cancelled due to inclement weather.

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AWA Names New Officers for 2018

The Association for Women Attorneys in Memphis has announced its officers for the new year. Eileen Kuo will serve as president, with Laura Deakins as president-elect. Megan E. Warden was elected vice president, Anita Lotz elected treasurer, and Taylor Oyaas elected secretary. Diana Comes will serve as immediate past president.
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AWA to Honor Claudia Haltom with Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award

The Association for Women Attorneys is honoring A Step Ahead Foundation CEO Claudia Haltom with its 2018 Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award for outstanding achievement in the legal profession. The award will be presented at the group’s 38th Annual Banquet on Jan. 16 in Memphis. For tickets or more information, contact banquet co-chair Megan Warden, 901-821-0044.

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ETLAW Annual Supreme Court Luncheon Monday in Knoxville

The East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (ETLAW) is hosting its Annual Supreme Court Luncheon at noon Monday at The Foundry in Knoxville. The luncheon follows the swearing-in ceremony in Knoxville for new admittees that morning. Individual tickets are $35 and new admittee tickets are available for $15. Tables of eight are available for $280 and tables of 10 for $350. Families and friends of new admittees are welcome to attend at the "individual" ticket price. If you are a judge and intend to attend the event, please email President-elect Loretta Cravens.
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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
(615)383-7421
 
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
(615)383-7421

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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Bar Leaders From Across South Gather at Memphis Event

Bar leaders from across the South are arriving in Memphis today for the annual Southern Conference of Bar Presidents (SCBP), which is hosted this year by the Tennessee Bar Association. While in Memphis, the group of about 200 bar presidents, executive directors, past presidents and presidents-elect from 17 states will visit local attractions and take in programming on Friday and Saturday, ranging from a look at "Civil Rights in the 21st Century" to "Elvis and His Impact on the Law." Follow the event on Twitter at #SCBP2017.

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SETLAW Honors 2017 Lioness of the Bar

The Southeast Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (SETLAW) recently recognized its 2017 recipient of the Lioness of the Bar award, Marcy Eason of Miller & Martin, The Chattanoogan reports. Eason was honored at a reception on Sept. 28 in Chattanooga. One reason for Eason’s selection was her passion for promoting pro bono services and access to justice efforts, according to SETLAW president Sara McManus. Eason said the award was special to her because of the notable previous recipients, including Selma Cash Paty, Virginia Love and Judge Marie Williams.
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2 Receive 2017 Brock-Cooper Inn of Court Award

The Brock-Cooper Inn of Court in Chattanooga awarded two attorneys with its annual Civility Award, the Hamilton County Herald reports. Richard Marcus of Chattanooga and Stephen Greer of Dunlap were the 2017 honorees. The award recognizes extraordinary civility among local lawyers.
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Services Tomorrow for Former TBA Executive Director Bethel

Former TBA Executive Director Billie Roberta Bethel died Saturday. She was 85. A native of Missouri, Bethel earned her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1957. She practiced in Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee before joining the TBA. She managed the organization for 18 years, until she moved to Gatlinburg in 1982. Following the move, she practiced law alongside her husband, Frank Newman Bratton. Services for Bethel will be held tomorrow, with visitation at 3 p.m. and funeral services following at 4 p.m., at the Atchley Funeral Home in Sevierville.
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Federal Bar Chapter Hosts Berkeley Law Dean Chemerinsky

A packed house of more than 100 gathered at lunch today for a program of the Federal Bar Association's Nashville chapter featuring Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of U.C. Berkeley Law School. Chemerinsky reviewed significant cases from the October 2016 term of the U.S. Supreme Court and discussed the unusual posture of the travel ban case, which will be argued in the upcoming October term. FBA President Michael Russell said the group's next meeting will be Nov. 9.

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Tennessee Bar Foundation Adds New Board Members

At its annual membership meeting in Kingsport, the Tennessee Bar Foundation installed a new chair as well as new Grand Division Trustees. Mark L. Hayes of Dyersburg took office as the 36th Foundation Chair. Hayes practices with the Jenkins Dedmon Hayes Law Group. Judge Amy V. Hollars of Livingston was elected as a Middle Grand Division Trustee and John W. Whitworth of Camdon was elected as a West Grand Division Trustee. Hollars is a Circuit Court judge for the 13th Judicial District and Whitworth serves as judge of the Benton County General Sessions and Juvenile Courts.
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Rutherford County Lawyers Form Women's Association

Lawyers in Rutherford County have formed a new professional organization to address issues of concern to women within the legal profession. The Middle Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (MTLAW) was organized on March 16. Magistrate Diana Benson Burns was elected the group's first president. Any practicing attorney or law student who supports the goals of the association, which include improving the administration of justice, increasing the diversity of the bench and bar, and facilitating personal and professional networking between members, is eligible for membership. Persons interested in membership may contact the group via email.
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Stites Attorney Honored for Service to TLAP

Stites & Harbison PLLC attorney Julian Bibb was awarded the 2017 Elizabeth Collins Award for Distinguished Service by the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP). Supported by the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, the award is named for the late Memphis attorney Elizabeth Collins, who served as a TLAP commissioner and volunteer.

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Justice Clark Receives Martha Craig Daughtrey Award

Justice Cornelia Clark has been selected for the 2017 Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey Award. Judge Clark was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2005 and was elected to a full eight-year term in August 2006. She has served longer than any other member of the current court. In 2010 she was sworn in as Chief Justice, becoming the second woman in Tennessee history to serve in that role. She also was one of the first women partners in a large law firm in Nashville, Farris, Warfield & Kanaday.

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Conference Keynote Speaker Incorrectly Stated

An item in Tuesday's TBAToday incorrectly stated the names of the keynote speaker at the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women's Empowerment Conference. The speakers were Judge Julia Gibbons of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and Col. USAF Linda Strite Murnane, chair of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association.

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Legal Group Opposes Nonpartisan Judicial Elections

Monday's edition of TBAToday contained a wording error involving proposed legislation. A statement from the Lawyers’ Association for Women’s Marion Griffin Chapter should have noted the group’s opposition to a bill in the state legislature that would make judicial elections in Shelby and Davidson counties nonpartisan. 
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LAW Chapter Opposes Judicial Elections Bill

Following previous announcements by the Tennessee Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Association for Women, Marion Griffin Chapter in Nashville has come out in opposition to a bill requiring non-partisan judicial elections in Shelby and Davidson counties. “LAW strongly opposes SB135/HB98 due to its selective application to only two counties in Tennessee and its effect of diminishing the authority of local jurisdictions in state and county judicial elections,” the group’s statement reads.
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Services Today for Memphis Lawyer

James W. Hodges Sr. died Thursday (Jan. 12) at 87. Originally from Arkansas, Hodges attended the Southern School of Law in Memphis and began his legal career with the U.S. Department of Defense in the Washington, D.C., area. Following his retirement, Hodges returned to Memphis, where he started his own law firm and became one of the founding members of the Memphis Federal Bar Association. A memorial service was held today at the West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Germantown. The Commercial Appeal has more on his life.

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Meeting Set to Plan ACS Chapter in Knoxville

Lawyers in Knoxville are making plans to form a local chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS) and invite any interested attorney to attend a planning meeting on Jan. 27. The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. at Cafe 4 in Market Square. Interested individuals are asked to bring the names of other lawyers and organizations that should be invited to join the chapter. RSVP online.

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