News

Nashville Lawyer to Chair Public Education Panel

Mark P. Chalos, managing partner of the Nashville office of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, has been named chair of the Public Education Committee for the American Association for Justice – a national organization which promotes a fair and effective civil justice system. He also has been re-elected to the Tennessee Association for Justice Board of Governors and Executive Committee. Read more from his firm.

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program on Chopping Block?

Based on reports out of Washington, discussions on the future direction of federal student loans include a possible plan to end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The TBA has begun discussions with representatives of a broad range of groups representing organizations that have members receiving student loan debt relief under the program. Also participating in the discussions are non-profit and public agencies, that are able to employ talented graduates because the program allows them to work for lower public sector salaries. The TBA has set up a TBA IMPACT contact page for members to register their interest and to contact members of Congress, particularly Sen. Lamar Alexander, chair of the Senate HELP Committee that oversees the program.

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5 Lawyers Recognized for Service During Bar Year

Awards presented at TBA Convention in Memphis

NASHVILLE, June 29, 2015 – The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) recognized five lawyers who provided especially distinguished service to the legal community during the past year. Each was recognized by then President Jonathan Steen.

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Jackson Legal Group Recognized for Public Service

Awards presented at TBA Convention in Memphis

NASHVILLE, June 29, 2015 – Outgoing Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) President Jonathan Steen presented the Liberty Bell Award to the Jackson-based Howell Edmunds Jackson American Inn of Court at the TBA Convention in Memphis this month. Inn President Laura Williams with Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell and Vice President Kristi Rezabek with the Tennessee Appellate Courts were on hand to accept the award.

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Law Camp Features Veteran Civil Rights Attorney Fred Gray

High school students from across the country learned about the development of key freedoms and the concept of equality under the law during the annual Law Camp held recently at Lipscomb University. The Tennessee Bar Association, the Napier-Looby Bar Association and law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings were among program sponsors. Veteran civil rights attorney Fred D. Gray was the featured guest at the camp, which this year had a special focus on the Civil Rights Movement.

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Law Camp Participants Learn About Legal System, Civil Rights

(NASHVILLE, June 8-12) — The TBA partnered with Lipscomb University for its annual Law Camp, held in Nashville June 8-12. Other Law Camp sponsors included the Napier-Looby Bar Association and law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

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Fred Gray to Speak Thursday in Nashville

Veteran civil rights attorney Fred D. Gray will speak this Thursday at Lipscomb University as part of the 2015 Law Camp. The camp, which is sponsored by the TBA and the university’s Institute for Law, Justice & Society, brings high school students from across the country to Nashville for a week of programs on historical and currently relevant legal issues. This year’s camp is focused on the development of key freedoms and the concept of equality under the law, with a special focus on the Civil Rights Movement. Gray, who represented Rosa Parks in her fight for equality in Montgomery, Alabama, and was Dr. Martin Luther King’s first lawyer, will speak at 6 p.m. in Swang Chapel of the Ezell Center. The event is open to the public.

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DA Creates Unit to Prosecute Human Trafficking

Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk has formed a human trafficking unit inside the DA's Office. Four assistant district attorneys have been assigned to the unit, led by lawyer Tammy Meade, and will ensure full prosecution of human sex trafficking cases in Nashville, a press release from the office read. The move comes as the TBI creates the Middle Tennessee Human Trafficking Task Force, which this week arrested about a dozen people as part of an operation in Nashville, according to Knoxnews.com. The task force, which will include the DA's Office, End Slavery Tennessee and several local law enforcement agencies, is currently working to secure a federal grant to assist in prosecution of offenders and services for victims. Fox 17 has the story. Earlier this week, Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill giving TBI jurisdiction over investigations of human trafficking. 

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Jackson-Madison Bar Recognizes Law Day Art

In conjunction with this year’s Law Day celebration, the Jackson-Madison County Bar Association sponsored an art contest at Malesus Elementary School, and displayed the winning artwork at its Law Day Luncheon. TBA President Jonathan Steen joined Chancellor James F. Butler and local bar president Matthew West for the presentation of the student awards. Read more in the Jackson Sun.

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Law Firm Creates Texting and Driving Essay Contest

Hollins, Raybin & Weissman PC hopes to raise awareness among young people on the hazards of texting while driving with the creation of an essay contest. The firm will award three scholarships — one for Williamson County, one for Davidson County and one for the rest of the country — to the teenagers who write the best essays encouraging friends to stop texting while driving.

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CBA Presents Liberty Bell Award to Local Educator

The Chattanooga Bar Association (CBA) presented its 2015 Liberty Bell Award to Dr. Patricia Skates at its Law Day celebration last week, the Chattanoogan reports. Skates, who was nominated by Judge Clarence Shattuck and attorney Sam Elliott, is a career transition specialist at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. She was recognized for being a pro-active voice for quality education in the Tennessee Valley for more than 25 years.

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Big Payback: Youth Courts Need Your Support

Help keep the Tennessee Youth Court program alive and growing by giving to The Big Payback Campaign. The Community Foundation fundraiser begins at midnight and runs all day Tuesday. Sponsors have stepped forward to match gifts, so your generosity can have a big impact, even if you donate just $10 or $20. The Youth Courts program is losing a major source of its funding this fall, so your contributions are vital to its future. Learn more about youth courts in Tennessee.

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2015 Law Day Events Planned This Week

Bar associations and legal organizations across the state are gearing up for this year’s Law Day with events that begin this week. Activities include luncheons, a memorial service, recognition of public and legal service and inspiring remarks from Tennessee and national leaders. The theme of the this year’s Law Day is “Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law,” which asks Americans to remember and reflect on the legal concept that no one, no matter how powerful, is above the law. This year marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

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Schools Boards in 7 Counties Sue Over State Funding

Seven school boards filed suit today, claiming the state is not fully funding education and forcing schools boards and communities to fill the gap, the Commercial Appeal reports. The lawsuit was filed in Chancery Court in Davidson County by school boards in Hamilton, Bradley, McMinn, Marion, Grundy, Coffee and Polk counties and names Gov. Bill Haslam, Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, along with the nine members of the state board of education.

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High School Students to Compete in State Mock Trial Competition This Weekend

Schools from across the state to compete March 27-28 in Nashville

NASHVILLE, March 24, 2015— High school teams from across Tennessee will put their legal skills to the test during the Tennessee Bar Association's 35th annual mock trial championship in Nashville this weekend, March 27-28. The event will be held at the historic Davidson County Courthouse.

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Bar Groups Host ‘Law Camp’ for Nashville Middle School Students

Three-day event introduces students to the legal system, careers in the law

NASHVILLE, March 24, 2015 — The Napier-Looby Bar Association (NLBA) and the Tennessee Youth Court Program are hosting 50 middle school students this week for a three-day Law Camp designed to introduce them to the legal system and careers in the law.

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Capitol Bustles with Mock Youth Government

More than 600 high school students filled the Capitol this weekend as part of the Tennessee YMCA's Youth in Government — a mock government program to draw students into the political process, replete with a press corps and robed justices. The student government voted 26 bills into law over the four-day conference. The students penned legislation on topics that could be found on the agenda of the elected officials: health and safety, education, discrimination and the environment took priority. The Tennessean has more.

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KBA Offers Community Law School This Weekend

The Knoxville Bar Association will offer its annual Community Law School this Friday at the O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona St., and on Saturday at Fellowship Church, 8000 Middlebrook Pike. On each day, volunteer lawyers will present a session on wills and estate planning from 9-10:45 a.m. and a session on consumer rights and responsibilities from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Pre-registration is not required but appreciated. Call (865) 522-6522 or register online for Friday or for Saturday's sessions.

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Shelby Moves Closer to Suit Over School Funding

Convinced the state is underfunding Tennessee’s largest public school district, the Shelby County School Board voted Tuesday to explore suing the state over how it funds K-12 education, Tennessee Chalkbeat reports. School boards in Knox, Hamilton and Bradley counties voted earlier this month to pursue legal discussions, and leaders of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools are expected to consider the matter in several weeks.

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Apply By March 13 for Knoxville Bar Foundation Grants

The Knoxville Bar Foundation is accepting applications through March 13 for its 2015 grant program. Organizations should apply if they are engaged in activities that advance the administration of justice, enhance the public’s understanding of the legal system or serve the legal profession. Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered no later than 5 p.m. March 13. For more information contact foundation chair J. Michael Haynes, (865) 292-2307.

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Today is 200th Anniversary of Battle of New Orleans

Today is the 200th anniversary of one of the most important days in Tennessee history: the day an army led by Andrew Jackson defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans. Though the battle did not affect the outcome of the War of 1812, it made Jackson a national hero and perhaps led to his presidency a few years later. It also gave Tennesseans a reputation for toughness. Nashville Public Radio looks at the battle and how it shaped Jackson’s future and changed the nature of presidential campaigns.

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Students See Supreme Court in Action

The Tennessee Supreme Court was in Greeneville yesterday for a SCALES (Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students) program with high school students from 11 schools. The justices presented one criminal and one civil case. See photos from the event.

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Bill Would Require Civics Knowledge to Graduate

Tennessee high school students would be required to pass the same civics test to get their high school degrees that immigrants must pass to become U.S. citizens under legislation sponsored for the upcoming session of the General Assembly by legislative leaders, Nashville Public Radio reports. House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick says he decided to push the measure after reading reports on the “pathetic” lack of knowledge about basic principles behind American government and citizenship, especially among younger people. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris will sponsor the legislation in the Senate.

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Lipscomb Dean Named Education Commissioner

Candice McQueen has been named Tennessee's new education commissioner by Gov. Bill Haslam, the Nashville Business Journal reports. The Lipscomb University's College of Education dean will replace Kevin Huffman. In her prepared remarks, McQueen discussed the importance of making sure Tennessee students are "college and career ready when they leave high school."

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Nashville Bar Foundation Accepting Grant Requests

The Nashville Bar Foundation is accepting grant applications through Jan. 15, 2015, at 4 p.m. Central. Non-profit organizations that support the provision of law-related educational and charitable programs and services that promote the knowledge, understanding and respect for the law among students, the general public and the legal community are encouraged to apply. Download the eligibility and application guidelines.

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