News

Is A Net Neutrality Fight Headed For Your State

Open internet legislation has been proposed in 29 states in an attempt to fill the void that was left with the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules. The Hill takes a closer look into the issue.

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A Wellness Tip from the Attorney Well-Being Committee

Consider waking 10 minutes earlier so you can incorporate a brief mindfulness meditation into your preparations for the day. Set a timer for 3-10 minutes (depending on how much time you feel you want to use). Begin by sitting in a relaxed and comfortable but dignified and upright position, with your spine and head aligned. Place both feet on the ground, with legs uncrossed, and rest your hands gently on your lap. Gently close your eyes and allow yourself to notice the sensation of sitting in the chair, of your feet on the ground, of your hands resting in your lap.

Gently bring your attention to your breath, slowly taking a deep breath in, pausing briefly, then slowly exhaling. Now repeat this twice and as you do so, observe your breath as it goes in your nostrils and as it exits your nostrils. Sense the flow of air as it moves in and out, and the space between breaths. You may notice the air feels cool as you inhale, but warmer as you exhale.

Return to your normal breathing. Don’t try to change your breath, just continue to observe it, with a sense of curiosity. Allow yourself to feel your body relax and yield to gravity as you sit quietly in your chair, focusing on your breath. Notice any tense areas in your body and with your next breath, imagine it as a cool breeze touching those areas holding tension and as you exhale, release the tension along with the breath. Continue observing your breath.

When thoughts or concerns arise – as they inevitably will – simply acknowledge their presence, without judgment or opinion, and let them pass by while you gently bring your attention back to your breath. There is no need to grab hold of any thought right now -- just allow your breath to guide you back to the present moment.

Our minds will wander, as intrusive thoughts are constantly vying for our attention. When you realize this has happened, simply observe without judgment and gently guide your attention back to your breath. You might find it helpful to label the thought – “worry” “laundry” “clients” – then let it go and return to your breath. Although thoughts and feelings will come and go in the background, you can prevent them from highjacking your attention by simply acknowledging them without judgment, then gently returning to the breath and this present moment.

Julie Sandine is a graduate of Wake Forest School of Law. She serves as the Chair of the TBA Attorney Well-Being Committee.

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2018 Communications Law Forum Available Now

Did you miss the 2018 Communications Law Forum? Want to catch up on what you've missed? Good news, everything is now available online! Click here for more information.

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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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Memphis Reporter Wins Stay of Deportation

Memphis Spanish-language reporter Manuel Duran, who was arrested in April while reporting on protests, received a stay of deportation, The Commercial Appeal reports. Duran, who was scheduled to be deported to El Salvador today, now remains in detention in Louisiana while his appeal is pending. Supporters of Duran say that as a reporter, his life is at risk were he to return to El Salvador.
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Open Government Group Seeks Unsealing of State’s Opioid Lawsuit

The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government and the Knoxville News Sentinel have joined together to file a motion to unseal documents related the state’s opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, Humphrey on the Hill reports. The motion claims there is a “compelling interest” by Tennesseans in the information contained in the suit “because the State is a public litigant, the Complaint involves a matter of immense public concern, and the Defendant in unlikely to show specific harm as a result from disclosure of the Complaint.”
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Court Records: To Seal or Not to Seal

Article I, Section 17 of the Tennessee Constitution states: "the courts shall be open." In this webcast on June 5, hear from Judge Frank Clement on this and the public's right to access. Topics include: A judge's supervisory discretion over court records, Tennessee Public Records Act, unfiled discovery and a lengthy discussion on protective orders.
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Share Your Thoughts on Proposed Amendments to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 6

The Supreme Court recently requested comment on proposed amendments to TSC Rule 6 that would require new attorneys to complete a Tennessee Law Course within one year of admission to the Tennessee bar. The Tennessee Bar Association has a working group on this issue and will be drafting comments in response to the court's Order for Comment. To ensure this comment best reflects members’ views and positions, the groups is looking for your feedback. Share your thoughts about the proposed amendments through this form by June 8.
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    Right to Know

    Paul McAdoo's article, The Right to Know, concerning stipulated protective orders appeared on the cover of this month's Tennessee Bar Journal. McAdoo is the incoming Chair of the Communications Section.

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    Lawsuit Against Restauranteur Over Article Tossed

    A lawsuit against Nashville restaurant owner Randy Rayburn has been tossed out by the Tennessee Court of Appeals for lacking merit, The Tennessean reports. The suit was filed over a Tennessean article that mentioned the culinary arts program at Nashville State Community College, which was once directed by Tom Loftis and was overhauled by Rayburn. Loftis sued Rayburn after the article stated that Loftis was fired during the overhaul, despite the fact that Rayburn was never quoted in the article. Loftis’ case has been sent back to the trial court to determine if he must pay for Rayburn’s legal fees, but Loftis’ attorney said his client is also examining an appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
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    Honor Local Journalists for Outstanding Legal Writing Before May 10

    There is still time to submit entries for the TBA’s first-ever Fourth Estate Award! The honor was created to recognize courageous journalism that enhances public understanding of the legal system and the law. Nominations will be accepted until May 10 for work published from Jan. 1, 2017, until the present.
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    Communication Law Forum 2018

    The Communication Law Forum will be held May 9 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. Charles Naftalin of Holland & Knight LLP will discuss the FCC's regulation of broadcast content and Doug Pierce of King & Ballow will cover recent updates in Tennessee public records cases. Ron Harris of Neal and Harwell and award winning investigative journalist Phil Williams will round out the day with a discussion of a “fair and responsible press.” 
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    Communication Law Forum 2018

     

    The TBA Communication Law Section will host its annual forum at the Tennessee Bar Center on May 9. This insightful program will focus on timely topics beneficial to lawyers of all areas seeking to up their game by staying on top of trends involving both federal laws and regulations on a local level.

    This year's pulled from the headlines presentations will focus on open government, lawsuits concerning speech, reporter's privilege and an award-winning investigative journalist discussing a 'fair and responsible press.' The program will also include recent updates in Tennessee public records cases, designed to keep you clued in on important developments affecting your practice. Here’s the key info:

    • When: Wednesday, May 9, registration begins at 8:30 a.m., CDT
    • Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
    • CLE Credits: 3 General

    REGISTER NOW

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    Attorneys Claim Memphis Reporter Arrested Over Negative Coverage

    Attorneys for Manuel Duran, a reporter who was arrested and then picked up by federal immigration agents in Memphis, claim that their client was targeted for arrest due to critical reporting, The Commercial Appeal reports. Duran was arrested alongside demonstrators during a protest on April 3 because he refused commands to leave the street. Charges stemming from the protest were dropped two days later, but shortly after he was picked up and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He remains in detention at a facility in Louisiana.
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    Nashville Orthodontics Startup Sues Reporter for Negative Story

    SmileDirectClub, a Nashville-based orthodontics startup, is suing Gizmodo Media Group and author Nick Douglas over a story that criticized their company, the Nashville Post reports. The company claims that the story is “filled with unsubstantiated false statements and innuendo.” The article described criticisms from the American Association of Orthodontists about the company’s product. Gizmodo Media Group is made up of the remnants of Gawker Media, which was successfully sued by Hulk Hogan until it folded in 2016.
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    TBA to Honor Excellence in Journalism with New Award

    The Tennessee Bar Association is now accepting nominations for consideration for its first ever Fourth Estate Award, created to honor “courageous reporting on justice and the law.” The winner will be a journalist or journalists from newspapers, TV, radio, digital media, book publishing or social media who have shown courage in exercising First Amendment rights in the promotion of public understanding of how the law and our legal system works. The deadline for submissions is May 10.

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    Pacer Fees Violated Federal Law, Judge Rules

    U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled Saturday that the federal judiciary violated federal law by using Pacer fees for courtroom technology and other projects, the ABA Journal reports. Huvelle’s ruling comes in a lawsuit that contended Pacer fees violate federal law because they exceed the actual costs of providing records. The judge disagreed with the plaintiffs’ contention that law limits Pacer fees to just the cost of running Pacer, but she also rejected the government’s argument that the fees can be used to fund anything related to the dissemination of information through electronic means. Pacer fees must be used for services that provide the public with access to information stored in the docketing system, she ruled. 
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    Communication Law Forum 2018

    Join us on May 10, from 9 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. at the Tennessee Bar Center for the 2018 Communication Law Forum. This years topics include:

    • FCC regulation broadcast content
    • Public Records cases and case law 
    • Fair and Responsible press

    Presenters will include:

    •   Robb Harvey, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

    •   Ronald Harris, Neal & Harwell PLC, Nashville

    •   Charles Naftalin, Holland & Knight LLP, Washington

    •   Douglas Pierce, King & Ballow, Nashville

    •   Phil Williams , WTVF, Nashville 

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    Special Issue on Evolving Legal Markets: The Future of Law Practice

    “Should we have a rule banning lawyer discrimination and harassment?” President Lucian Pera asks and answers this in his column in the March Journal, urging lawyers to study the issue and comment to the court on proposed Supreme Court Rule 8.4(g) banning discrimination and harassment. This issue, the Special Issue on Evolving Legal Markets and Technology, is packed with information examining the present and future of technology and how it affects law practice. University of Tennessee College of Law Professor Ben Barton is the guest editor who collected these tales of new models of lawyering and business incorporating technologies, Blockchain, how to get more value from the same amount of time, artificial intelligence – and more.

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    Some Private Social Media Photos Subject to Discovery, Rules NY Court

    The New York State Court of Appeals ruled that Facebook photos set as private are discoverable, the ABA Journal reports. The ruling came in a lawsuit involving a horse riding accident, in which the plaintiff, Kelly Forman, alleged that she fell off a horse fitted with a defective stirrup. Forman’s suit claims that the accident caused serious injury and reduced her to being unable to use a computer or compose “coherent messages.” Forman’s use of Facebook pre-accident came up during a deposition, so the defense sought access to Forman’s entire Facebook account on the basis that her photos and posts were relevant to the scope of her injuries. The court granted a motion to compel after Forman refused to provide access.
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    TBA Gears Up for 2018 Mock Trial Tournament

    The Tennessee Bar Association will host the upcoming Tennessee High School Mock Trial Tournament on March 23 and 24 in Nashville. The Mock Trial is a two-day, single-elimination bracket-style competition where 16 high schools face-off against each other in the Davidson County Courthouse. Each team is scored on their trial preparation and skills. 

    We need TBA volunteers to help be bailiffs and jurors (scorers) for the event. After signing up, we will send you a Volunteer Memo with all the information you need for competition including; parking, hotel, downtown map, courthouse rules, and reimbursement information. Come be a part of the Young Lawyers Divisions’ March Madness! Feel free to contact YLD Director Stephanie Vonnahme with any questions.

    To volunteer for this event, click here.

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    WSMV Alleges 'Fabricated' News Story Led to Firing of Ferrier

    Court papers filed Friday allege longtime Channel 4 news reporter Dennis Ferrier was terminated after he “fabricated key details in a local news story he reported," according to The Tennessean. The allegation comes from Channel 4 owner, Meredith Corporation, in response to an age discrimination lawsuit filed by Ferrier and fellow WSMV personalities, Jennifer Johnson and Nancy Van Camp. Ferrier released a statement Monday saying he made a “simple misstatement on the air based on information given to me by the desk” and that he has “never fabricated a story in any way, shape or form."

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    U.S. Attorney’s Office Supports Media Push for Unsealing Pilot Flying J Documents

    Assistant U.S. Attorneys Trey Hamilton and David Lewen have filed a response to the legal effort by local media outlets to unseal a cache of court documents related to the trial of former Pilot Flying J executives, Knoxnews reports. The documents involve secret recordings made by the FBI and IRS of former Pilot Flying J President Mark Hazelwood and his subordinates making racist statements. Hazelwood and three other former employees are currently on trial for their involvement in a scheme to rip off small trucking companies with fuel discounts they never intended to pay.
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    Don't Forget: Winter CLE Blast Tomorrow!

    Need CLE hours fast? We can help! The annual Winter CLE Blast is less than a day away. With this program, you can complete up to 11 hours of Dual CLE credit on your own time. Our registration desk will be open from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 21, providing you the flexibility to create your own schedule and take as many or as few hours as you need. Payment will be determined at checkout depending on the number of hours you attend. 

    Highlights

    • Flexible to your schedule
    • Up to 11 Hours of CLE
    • Ethics Credits
    • Compliance CLE
    • Live Credit Hours

    When: Feb. 21, registration begins at 7 a.m., CST

    Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave N., Nashville, TN 37219

     

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