News

DA Organization Suspends Executive Director

Tennessee prosecutors suspended the longtime executive director of their statewide organization Tuesday amid questions about a deal that he orchestrated to help Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk boost his state pension. Members of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference voted to suspend Wally Kirby without pay for one month following an almost three-hour special meeting. News Channel 5 has more.

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Napier Looby Foundation to Hold Annual Banquet

The Napier-Looby Bar Foundation’s 11th Annual Barristers’ Banquet will take place Feb. 26 at Nashville’s Music City Center. The banquet will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by a dinner and awards program. This year’s honorees include Judge Kelvin Jones, Susan Short Jones, Judge Allegra Walker and Luther Wright Jr. The Barristers’ Banquet is the group’s annual fundraising event, with revenue supporting its scholarship program and other charitable activities. Contact Andrea Perry, (615) 238-6303, with any questions.

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NBA President’s Reception Postponed

The Nashville Bar Association announced today that the reception for new president Ed Lanquist – originally scheduled for Thursday – will be postponed. A new date will be announced soon, the association said.

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Former Chattanooga Bar President Dies

Former Chattanooga Bar Association president Josiah “Jody” Carr Eggleston Baker, 85, died today (Feb. 10). Baker, who grew up in Chattanooga, graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School and the U.S Naval Intelligence School. He worked in Washington D.C. for four years but returned to Tennessee in 1995 to serve as deputy clerk and master of the Davidson County Chancery Court. In 1958, he relocated to Chattanooga and became a partner at Goins, Gammons, Baker and Robinson. In 1984, he started Josiah Baker and Associates, which later became Baker, Kinsman, Hollis, Clelland & Hogue. Funeral services will be held Friday at the First Centenary United Methodist Church, 419 McCallie Ave. Visitation will take place from noon to 2 p.m. A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. to be followed by a reception. The Chattanoogan has more on Baker’s life.

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AWA Inducts New Leadership

The 2015 board for the Association for Women Attorneys was inducted last night at the annual AWA Banquet. Keating Lowry will lead the association as president. An associate with Lawrence & Russell PLC, Lowry’s practice is focused on litigating Employee Retirement Income Security Act matters on behalf of employers, plan fiduciaries and third-party administrators. The Memphis Business Journal has more.

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Deadline Extended for AWA Banquet

The Association for Women Attorneys (AWA) will hold its annual banquet and silent auction Jan. 29 at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis. The deadline for responding to attend the event has been extended through next week. During the dinner, the group will present its 2015 Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award to Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby. It will also name new officers and scholarship recipients. RSVP to Keating Lowery, (901) 844-4438.

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Foundation Welcomes New Class of Fellows

The Tennessee Bar Foundation welcomed its latest class of Fellows during the organization’s annual reception and dinner earlier this month in Nashville. Those selected in East Tennessee include: Tasha C. Blakney of Eldridge & Blakney PC; Charles M. Finn of Kramer Rayson LLP; Thomas C. Greenholtz of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC; Reggie E. Keaton of Frantz, McConnell & Seymour LLP; Robin L. Miller, Clerk & Master for Hamilton County; Deborah C. Stevens, Sixth Judicial District Circuit Court Judge; Christopher T. Varner of Evans Harrison Hackett PLLC; Laura Steel Woods of Care Centers Management Consulting Inc.; and Terry J. Woods of Legal Aid of East Tennessee.

In Middle Tennessee, Robert M. Burns of Howell & Fisher PLLC; George H. Cate III of Neal & Harwell PLC; Lisa Ramsay Cole of Lewis Thomason; Alberto R. Gonzales, Dean of the Belmont University College of Law; Brad A. Lampley of Adams and Reese LLP; Patrick T. McNally of Weatherly, McNally & Dixon PLC; Gerald D. Neenan of Neal & Harwell PLC; Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee; Mary Dohner Smith of Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLP; and Irwin B. Venick of Dobbins, Venick, Kuhn & Byassee PLLC.

In West Tennessee, Beth Stricklin Bates of West Tennessee Legal Services; Nathan A. Bicks of Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC; Steve Conley of Conley, Campbell, Moss & Smith; John Timothy Edwards of Ballin, Ballin & Fishman PC; Thomas D. Forrester of the Law Office of T. D. Forrester; Eric E. Hudson of Butler Snow; Holly M. Kirby, Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court; Russell E. Reviere of Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell PLC; James B. Summers of Allen, Summers, Simpson, Lillie & Gresham; and Langdon S. Unger Jr. of Unger & Godwin.

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Justice Kirby Honored by Women Attorneys

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby will be honored with the 2015 Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award by the Association for Women Attorneys. The banquet and silent auction will be held Jan. 29 at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis. RSVP by Jan. 21 to Keating Lowery, (901) 844-4438.

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NBA Announces New Board Members

The Nashville Bar Association has announced new board members for 2015. The following individuals will be introduced at the group’s Annual Meeting this Thursday: Robb Bigelow of Dickinson Wright; Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway; Margaret “Marnie” Huff of Margaret Huff Mediation; former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and Nashville School of Law Dean Bill Koch; Erin Palmer Polly of Walker Tipps & Malone; and David Raybin of Hollins Raybin & Weissman.

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Memorial Service Honors NE Tennessee Lawyers

The Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the Federal Bar Association hosted the 27th Annual Memorial Service for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee last Friday in Greeneville. Bar members remembered were Eric Christiansen, Shelton Hillman, Jack Douglas Hodges, Robert Jessee, Carl Kirkpatrick, Tony G. Lee, Mark Slagle, and J. Kenneth Wright. A reception followed the ceremony.

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NBA Executive Director to Leave Association

The Nashville Bar Association announced today that Executive Director Gigi Woodruff is leaving the organization. She is moving to Cincinnati to be closer to family, said NBA President Charles K. Grant. In an email to association members, Grant wrote, “While I am happy for this opportunity for Gigi to spend more time with family, her leadership and dedication will be greatly missed. This has been a very difficult decision for Gigi, and I am sure we all will want to show her our deepest appreciation for her fine work and our unwavering support as she transitions her responsibilities and prepares for her departure.”

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Ben Jones Group Hosts Barristers’ Ball Saturday

The Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association will hold its annual Barristers’ Ball this Saturday at the Tower Center, located on the 33rd floor of the Clark Tower, in Memphis. The event provides an opportunity for lawyers and judges and their families to enjoy a night of food, music, recognition of outstanding achievements and fundraising. Money raised funds programming for the year and scholarships for minority students at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Email info@benfjones.org for more information or with any questions.

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Giles County Bar to Meet on Amendment 2

The Giles County Bar Association will meet at noon on Oct. 20 to consider whether to adopt a resolution in support of Amendment 2. The meeting will take place at Legends in Pulaski. Contact Colby Baddour, (931) 363-7476 for more information.

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Save the Date for NBA Annual Meeting

The Nashville Bar Association (NBA) will hold its Annual Meeting Dec. 4 at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville. A reception for all NBA members will take place at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7 p.m. The passing of the gavel from President Charles Grant to President-Elect Ed Lanquist, introduction of new officers and presentation of several awards will be highlights of the night.

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Supreme Court Historical Society Event Set for Oct. 17

The Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society will hold a cocktail reception Oct. 17 at The Cordelle in Nashville. The event will honor retired Justice William Koch and welcome the newest members of the court. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased on the society’s website or through Linda Knight, (615) 244-4994. The Cordelle is located at 45 Lindsley Ave., Nashville 37210. Download the invitation.

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NBA Annual Member Picnic Sept. 25

The Nashville Bar Association’s annual member picnic, co-sponsored by the Metro Law Department, will take place Sept. 25 at the Walk of Fame Park. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. The Walk of Fame Park is located downtown Nashville between the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hilton Hotel and Schermerhorn Symphony Center. RSVP online

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TLAW Endorses Amendment 2

The Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (TLAW) announced its support for Amendment 2 to the Tennessee Constitution that will be on the November general election ballot. The amendment would continue the current system of gubernatorial appointment of appellate court judges, while adding legislative confirmation. Election Day is Nov. 4. Early voting begins on Oct. 15.

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KBA’s Supreme Court Dinner Set for Sept. 3

The Knoxville Bar Association will host its annual Supreme Court dinner Sept. 3 at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park to pay tribute to the justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The event will begin with a 6 p.m. reception, during which the KBA will recognize the district attorney and the five judges who are retiring this year. Dinner will follow at 7 p.m. Historian and story teller Jack Neely will be the featured speaker. Tickets are $50 each and tables of eight may be reserved in advance.

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First Black Lawyer to Head TACDL

Memphis lawyer Sam Perkins was elected president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) last week. He is the first African-American to hold the title and one of few Memphians ever to preside over the organization. Perkins says he is anxious to use the position to continue helping young attorneys flourish, in large part because of his own humble legal beginnings. The Commercial Appeal has a profile of his life and career.

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Williamson Bar Releases Retention Poll Results

The Williamson County Bar Association (WCBA) recently conducted a retention election poll for the justices and judges of the state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Criminal Court of Appeals. Association members voted to recommend retention for all. With regard to the Supreme Court justices, 97 percent of WCBA members recommended retention for Justice Connie Clark; 86 percent recommended retention for Justice Sharon Lee; and 89 percent recommended retention for Chief Justice Gary Wade. In releasing the poll results, WCBA President Neil Campbell stated, “The data gathered from the polling speaks for itself and shows that the Williamson County Bar Association clearly recognizes the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary and court system.”

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Williamson County Bar Elects New Officers

The Williamson County Bar Association has elected new officers for the 2014-2015 bar year. They are President Neil Campbell, a solo practioner in Spring Hill; Vice President Shauna Billingsley with the City of Franklin; Secretary Kristen Corn with the City of Franklin; Treasurer David O’Neil with the City of Brentwood; and Past President Craig Brent, a solo practioner in Franklin.

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Bristol Bar Association Supports Retention of Judges

The members of the Bristol Tennessee Bar Association unanimously adopted a resolution today supporting retention of all judges on the state Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals as well as the three Supreme Court justices who will face voters Aug. 7. The association reported that it took the position based on recommendations from the Tennessee Judicial Evaluation Commission, believing that promotion of a fair and impartial process for electing jurists is necessary to ensure the integrity of the state’s legal system. The group also reports that the five judges present at the meeting did not vote on the resolution in accordance with Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

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Asian Lawyers Gather in Nashville for SE Conference

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is meeting today and tomorrow in Nashville for its 2014 Southeast Regional Conference. The Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association (TAPABA) is serving as host. Speakers at the conference include former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Tu M. Pham of Memphis, Rhonda M. Taylor, general counsel of Dollar General Corporation, and Mary S. Flipse, general counsel of Healthways Inc.

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NBA Joins Coalition for Fair Courts

The Nashville Bar Association Board of Directors recently approved a motion to join the Coalition for Fair Courts, which was established by the Marion Griffin Chapter of the Lawyers’ Association for Women in Nashville. The chapter announced the new group in May to raise public awareness about the upcoming retention elections, educate voters on the role of the appellate courts and the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary, and support women judges. Other members of the coalition include the Anne Schneider Chapter of the Lawyers’ Association for Women in Jackson, the Napier-Looby Bar Association, the Tennessee Alliance of Black Lawyers and the League of Women Voters of Nashville.

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TLAW Installs New Officers

The Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (TLAW) installed new officers during its recent annual meeting in Gatlinburg. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary L. Wade was on hand to administer the oath and swear in the officers and directors. The 2014-2015 leaders are President Cheryl Rice with Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis in Knoxville; Vice President Beth Bates with West Tennessee Legal Services in Jackson; Treasurer Linda Knight with Gullett, Sanford, Robinson & Martin in Nashville; Recording Secretary Ijeoma Ike with West Tennessee Legal Services in Jackson; Corresponding Secretary Kristi Rezabek with the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Western Division; and Immediate Past President Wendy Longmire with Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford in Nashville.

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