News

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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Federal Funding Approved for Wildfire Legal Hotline

A toll-free legal assistance hotline, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is now available for those in Sevier County who need wildfire-related legal assistance but are unable to afford an attorney. The toll-free line is "piggy backing" on TALS’ existing legal help line 1-844-HELP4TN (1-844-435-7486). Callers may leave a message between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CST and receive a return call from a volunteer attorney. A press release from the TBA and a number of legal partners highlights the type of assistance available, as well as limitations on assistance; details for an upcoming legal clinic on Jan. 23; and instructions for registering with FEMA and applying for federal and state disaster aid.

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Nashville Lawyer Named to National Latina Commission

Nashville attorney Alé Dalton has been chosen to serve on the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Latina Commission, which studies and recommends remedies for barriers to advancement faced by Latina lawyers. Dalton is one of nine delegates chosen nationwide. Her term will run through September 2017. Dalton serves on the healthcare team at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, assisting clients with a wide range of transactional, operational and regulatory matters with a focus on healthcare mergers and acquisitions. Read more from the firm.

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Knoxville Event to Explore ‘Gavel Gap’ Issues

The Knoxville Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society is hosting an event next Tuesday to discuss the so-called “Gavel Gap” – the differences between the race and gender composition of the courts and the communities they serve. Federal District Court Judge Pamela L. Reeves will lead the discussion. Heavy appetizers and drinks will be provided. The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Collective, 923 North Central St., Knoxville 37917. RSVP online.

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Save the Date: AWA 37th Annual Banquet

The Association for Women Attorneys (AWA) will hold its 37th Annual Banquet on Jan. 31 at the Tower Center at Clark Tower in Memphis. The event will posthumously honor Mary Wolff, formerly with Wolff Ardis, as the 2016 recipient of the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award for outstanding achievement in the legal profession. New board members and chairs will be inducted and scholarships will be awarded to local law students. Tickets are $60 for AWA members, $70 for nonmembers and $30 for law students. Contact Laura Deakins, 901-577-6152, for more information or to purchase tickets.

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Paper Sheds Light on Kirby Censure

The Tennessean reports that the censure imposed this week on James “Wally” Kirby, the former head of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, was for giving a part-time job to Glenn Funk after he was elected Nashville district attorney but before he was sworn into office. The censure did not name Funk, but Sandy Garrett, chief disciplinary counsel for the Board of Professional Responsibility, confirmed to the paper that the discipline was related to the hiring of Funk. Kirby responded to the censure saying creating such temporary jobs has been a longstanding practice in the prosecutors group. After the arrangement came to light, the conference suspended Kirby. Funk was required to pay back any financial benefits he received while working at the conference.

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Women’s Law Group Hosts Supreme Court Justices

East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (ETLAW) will host its Annual Supreme Court Luncheon on Monday. The event will take place at noon at The Foundry, 747 Worlds Fair Park Dr. Tickets are $35 or $15 for new admittees. Tables of eight and 10 are also available. The luncheon follows the swearing-in ceremony for new lawyers in Knoxville. For more information, contact ETLAW President-Elect Alyssa Y. Minge, 865-342-4916.

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Board of Law Examiners Closed Through Tuesday for Move

The Tennessee Board of Law Examiners is relocating its offices this week and will be closed today through Tuesday. Staff access to telephones and email will be limited during the move, according to the board. The office is moving from its current location on Church Street to 511 Union Street, Suite 525, in downtown Nashville.

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TDLA Names 2016 Award Recipients

The Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (TDLA) recognized 2016 award recipients at its recent 50th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meeting. The group named Michael L. Haynie as its inaugural Defense Lawyer of the Year. Haynie is a principal with Manier & Herod practicing workers’ compensation law. He has drafted legislation for the association, including a bill this year to modify the Drug-Free Workplace Program. In addition, the group presented Nancy Steer with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan with its “Rising Star Award.” She is an associate in the firm’s Nashville office focusing on general civil litigation.

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Register for AWA Chili Cook Off by Oct. 1

The deadline to register for the Association for Women Lawyers’ First Annual Chili Cook Off is Oct. 1. The cook off will be hosted during the University of Memphis School of Law Student Bar Association’s Fall Festival on Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. An individual entry is $10 while a team of two or three is $20. To enter the contest contact vcooper1@memphis.edu.

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SETLAW Names Judge Williams ‘Lioness of the Bar’

During its third annual Lioness of the Bar event, the Southeast Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (SETLAW) named Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Marie Williams its 2016 Lioness of the Bar. Judge Williams’ dedicated service on the bench and extensive philanthropy were cited as factors in her selection, the Hamilton County Herald reports. The group also recognized her early support for requiring parenting classes and parenting plans for divorcing couples and her work on jury reform. Williams has served on the bench since 1995.

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Warren Seely Named ABA Section Director

Tennessee lawyer Linda Warren Seely has been named the new director of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. She will take office Sept. 1. Seely served as director of pro bono projects for Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) for nine years and later became director of MALS’ Campaign for Equal Justice. She recently left MALS to join a Step Ahead Foundation, working to help women learn about and access birth control. Seely is a past president of the Memphis Bar Association and the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. She currently serves in the TBA House of Delegates, and on the governing boards of the Association of Women Attorneys Foundation, Madison County CASA and Tennessee Bar Foundation. 

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