News

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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Constitution Day Celebration to Focus on Bill of Rights

Sept. 17 is recognized each year as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. This year, the celebration is focused on the the 225th anniversary of Congress’ approval of the Bill of Rights. The purpose of Constitution Day is to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. Judges and lawyers have a unique opportunity to bring awareness to the nation’s founding document. The TBA offers a number of resources for those who wish to speak on these issues. Also on Wednesday, a new partnership of 26 nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations dedicated to raising awareness of civics education and providing free, high-quality resources for teachers and classes will be announced in Washington, D.C. The groups, including the American Bar Association and the U.S. Courts, will form the new Civics Renewal Network.

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TBA Unveils Resources for Amendment 2

Tennessee voters will be asked to vote on four amendments to the state constitution on Nov. 4. Among them is Amendment 2, which would change the way appellate judges are appointed and retained in the state. The TBA has created an Amendment 2 Resource Page to help lawyers and members of the public understand the issues at stake. The page includes the text of the amendment, a frequently-asked-questions section that answers common questions about the amendment, the text of and rationale for the TBA’s resolution supporting the amendment and links to resources offered by the Yes on 2 Campaign.

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UTC Hosts Constitution Day Lecture Sept. 17

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will host the fourth annual Constitution Day public lecture Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the UTC Center Auditorium. In the lecture, “American Constitutional Politics in Perspective: Why Parchment Barriers are Insufficient,” Dr. Michael Federici will discuss why the underlying “Unwritten Constitution”—the attitudes about ethics and religion, human nature, the individual and the role of government in society— has and always will shape American constitutional theory, practice and our public and private lives. The Chattanoogan has more.

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Handbook for Tennessee Seniors Receives National Award

The TBA today received the LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Award for production and distribution of the 2014 Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors. The award, given each year by the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE), was presented during the NABE Annual Meeting taking place in Boston in advance of the ABA meeting this weekend. Since the handbook was released earlier this year, it has been distributed to thousands of Tennesseans through live presentations and more than 8,000 visitors have been on the TBA’s website to learn about the resource. The award honors outstanding public service and law-related education programs by state and local bar associations.

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Handbook for Tennessee Seniors Wins National Award

“Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors” recognized by national legal group in Boston today

NASHVILLE, Aug. 7, 2014 – The Tennessee Bar Association today received the LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Award for production and distribution of the 2014 Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors. The award, given each year by the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE), was presented to the TBA during the NABE Annual Meeting in Boston.

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Roberts to Launch Magna Carta Celebration at Annual Meeting

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts will launch the ABA's yearlong, 800th anniversary commemoration of the Magna Carta during the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston this week. In his address to the House of Delegates, Roberts will talk about the historical and current significance of the document sealed by King John of England in 1215 in response to demands by landowning barons. A traveling exhibit curated by the Library of Congress, “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215-2015,” will be unveiled at the meeting and then move to cities around the country. Its travel will culminate with the ABA's London Sessions next June in England. The ABA Journal has more.

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League of Women Voters Recognizes Nashville Lawyer

The Nashville League of Women Voters has awarded this year’s Molly Todd Award to lawyer Diane Di Ianni, who has practiced for two decades in the areas of civil rights litigation, public sector law and government relations, and teaches at Vanderbilt University Law School. Di Ianni, who has been active with the league for many years, has been involved in the group's promotion of the Informed Voters–Fair Judges project this year. Prior to relocating to Tennessee, she served as general counsel to the Boston Public Schools during a time of historic litigation involving the use of race in school assignments.

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TBA Resource for Seniors Wins Statewide Award

Legal handbook named best public service project by a Tennessee association

NASHVILLE, July 23, 2014 – For the second consecutive year, the Tennessee Bar Association earned the top public service award from the Tennessee Society of Association Executives. The Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors won the Association’s Advance Tennessee Award as the best public service project by an association in the state. The award was presented last week at a luncheon in Nashville.

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TBA Wins Top Award for Public Education Project

For the second consecutive year, the Tennessee Bar Association earned the top public service award from the Tennessee Society of Association Executives. The 2014 Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors was named winner of the Association's Advance Tennessee Award. The TBA’s Public Education Committee updated the Handbook and is continuing to conduct outreach and education across the state. TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur and Access to Justice/Public Education Coordinator Liz Todaro accepted the Award today at a Nashville luncheon.

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Federal Bar Marks Civil Rights Milestone

U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier, the senior federal judge in Chattanooga, spoke at the Federal Bar Association’s 50th anniversary civil rights celebration this week. Hundreds of people – blacks, whites, attorneys, students and professionals – listened to speeches, freedom songs and soul-moving music to commemorate the event, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. “Civil rights didn’t happen by magic,” Collier told the crowd. “People made tremendous sacrifice. That’s why we come to celebrate.”

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Law Camp Teaches Youth About Legal Professioon

The Tennessee Bar Association joined Lipscomb University in sponsoring the annual Law Camp program this week in Nashville. TBA volunteers presenting at Law Camp included TBA Public Education Committee Chair Shauna Billingsley, past TBA President Jackie Dixon, Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur and Tiffani Pope. TBA staff members Denise Bentley, Josie Beets and Liz Todaro also led sessions. The school's Institute for Law, Justice & Society hosts high school students from across the country to participate in the week-long residential camp that exposes the students to various aspects of the legal profession. The Napier-Looby Bar Association and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings were also camp sponsors.

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TBA Public Ed. Volunteers Take Message to Law Camp

The TBA partnered with Lipscomb University for its annual Law Camp, held in Nashville this week (June 23-27). Other Law Camp sponsors included the Napier-Looby Bar Association and law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. Each summer, Lipscomb University’s Institute for Law, Justice & Society hosts high school students from across the country to participate in a week long residential camp that exposes them to various aspects of the legal profession.

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