News

Employment, Elder Law are Column Topics in Current TBJ

Columnists in this month's Tennessee Bar Journal cover a variety of topics. Edward Phillips and Brandon Morrow take on public employers and the battle over gun rights; Monica Franklin surveys services and rights for seniors; and Bill Haltom's shares his take on women in the courtroom. Read the October issue.

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Robertson Celebrates 30 Years Service as TBJ Editor

Tennessee Bar Journal editor Suzanne Craig Robertson today celebrated 30 years of service to the TBA. "For decades, the Tennessee Bar Journal has been the finest bar publication in the country," TBA President Lucian Pera said. "And, much as I love our editorial board members and authors — I've been in both camps — I bet they'd all agree with me that the most important reason is Suzanne Robertson. Even though many don't know it, the entire Tennessee legal community owes an immense debt of gratitude for her service." Robertson also received congratulations from her colleagues at the National Association of Bar Executives' Communication Section, which is meeting this week in St. Louis. The group has named the Journal best in the country several times during her tenure. 

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October TBJ: The Scandalous Start of Tennessee's Written Bar Exam

The October Tennessee Bar Journal documents a time when just about anyone could practice law with little or no formal training. Lewis Laska writes about a "fake law school" that sold degrees, one of the factors that propelled the legal community to work toward uniformity, education and a written bar exam as standards to practice law. President Lucian Pera tells about lawyers' efforts in the wake of recent hurricanes, as well as ways you can help. Scott Ross gives an update on injury damages under Tennessee law. Russell Fowler shows how Louis Brandeis promoted the idea of pro bono — which is fitting because October is "Celebrate Pro Bono Month!"

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August Columns Laser in On Technologies

Don't miss the columns this month in the August Journal, offering various takes on new technologies. Knoxville lawyer Eddy Smith explains how to plan for and administer digital assets in the estate planning process. Nashville lawyer Kathryn Reed Edge explains "fintech" companies -- firms "that use new technology and innovation with available resources in order to compete in the marketplace of traditional financial institutions and intermediaries in the delivery of financial services." If your head is not spinning after that, read Memphis lawyer Bill Haltom's take on a lawsuit where at issue is laser sensor technology used in driverless cars. The suit is between Google and Uber and it's "shaping up to be a huge legal battle. And there is no one in the driver’s seat."

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TBJ August Issue Features Fiction Contest Winners

The Journal has never published fiction before and certainly not an eerie story about an inmate who is the subject of an experimental drug program designed to keep him alive long enough to serve consecutive sentences -- 100 years for murder, in this case. But in its First Annual Fiction Competition, that's what the winning entry, "The Sentence," is about. It was written by Kristi Wilcox Arth, an attorney with Bradley in Nashville. D. Adam Moore, who is with Pinnacle Financial Partners in Knoxville, earned an Honorable Mention in the contest. Both stories are published in this issue. The submission period for next year's contest will be Jan. 12 through March 12, 2018, so start thinking about what you are going to write. Also in this issue, more fiction by lawyers and judges, as Reelfoot Killins’ by the Hon. Joe G. Riley is reviewed by Covington lawyer J. Houston Gordon.

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August Issue: Meet TBA's New Executive Director

The August TBJ features the Tennessee Bar Association’s new executive director, Joycelyn Stevenson, as she steps into the role held for nearly 20 years by Allan Ramsaur, who is now executive director emeritus. Read about what makes her perfect for the job, as well as what her plans and dreams are for the association. In his column, President Lucian T. Pera asks readers to consider the possibilities that the changing market for legal services will bring. "Today we can visualize a time in Tennessee when 'going to court' might not mean walking to the courthouse on court square," he writes. "It might mean firing up your tablet and logging in to an online session with a judge, other lawyers, and even witnesses." Pera writes about Modria and companies like it, that provide online dispute resolution services, and what that and related technologies may mean for the practice of law.

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July Columns: Bitcoin, Temporary Insanity and the President's Tweets

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that appears to be favored by cybercriminals, Knoxville lawyer Wade Davies writes in his July Tennessee Bar Journal column. There are fascinating cases involving the use of Bitcoin, but because the cases were solved, Davies points out that "Bitcoin isn’t foolproof for the criminal." Chattanooga lawyer Russell Fowler writes about the first case of temporary insanity. He writes that the insanity defense is especially unpopular when it is based on so-called “temporary insanity.” But in the first case when this plea was used, "people rejoiced in the streets when the defendant was acquitted." Nashville lawyer Jim Thomas reviews Broken Scales: Reflections on Injustice, a book by Joel Cohen. Memphis and self-professed non-Tweeting lawyer Bill Haltom asks in his column, "should lawyers vet the president’s Tweets?"

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3 Honored With Joe Henry Award for Journal Articles

Nashville lawyer Benjamin K. Raybin, Memphis Lawyer Amy J. Amundsen and former Nashville attorney Jeffrey L. Levy were honored on Friday with the Justice Joseph W. Henry Memorial Award for Outstanding Legal Writing at the Tennessee Bar Association’s annual Convention in Kingsport. The award is given each year to a member of the TBA who contributes the most outstanding article to the Tennessee Bar Journal. Raybin won for his article “Pardon Me: How Executive Clemency Works in Tennessee (and How It Doesn’t),” published in August 2016, and Amundsen and Levy were honored for their point/counterpoint articles, “Confusion / Clarity: Two Family Law Attorneys on How to Balance Best Interests of Children and Doctor-Patient Privilege,” published in May 2016.
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Defending Trade Secrets, Jason Long's Last President's Column and More in June Bar Journal

Read about the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act from Nashville lawyer Andrew B. Campbell in the June issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal, out today. Jason R. Smith explains the dangers of plea agreements that provide for concurrent Tennessee and federal sentences. In his last column of his term, Tennessee Bar Association President Jason Long tells the secret of his presidential success as he thanks the TBA staff members who have been instrumental to his year.

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Last Weekend Before Fiction Contest Deadline

With this long weekend ahead of you, it's a good time to whip out that fiction piece you've been pondering so you can send it to the Tennessee Bar Journal's First Annual Fiction Competition. Deadline is next Wednesday, May 31!

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Send in Your TBJ Article Submission

The Tennessee Bar Journal is accepting submissions for publication, so now is the time to consider writing for the TBA’s monthly magazine. Articles should be of interest to Tennessee attorneys -- you could explain a new state law or a complicated area of law, or take a larger issue and connect it to what it means for Tennessee attorneys and the justice system. Find a global issue within your particular experience or knowledge and tell about it and how it affects Tennessee law. Then take a look at the writer’s guidelines and send it in!

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Vote for Your Favorite Book, Enter Your Fiction

Three finalists have been chosen for the seventh annual Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, and you can weigh in on which book should win. The prize was authorized by the late Harper Lee, and established in 2011 by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. Vote for your favorite among Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, Gone Again by James Grippando, or The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. While you are in book mode, send in your entry to the Tennessee Bar Journal's First Annual Fiction Competition. The deadline is May 31, so get to writing!

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May 'Journal' Now Available Online

“The withdrawal of the Legal Services Corporation funding would be a crippling blow to our access to justice community at a time when need for their services has never been greater,” writes TBA President Jason Long in the June Tennessee Bar Journal. Long speaks out for the LSC in the face of a proposed budget that would obliterate it, asking lawyers to contact their representatives. Also read about how more than 300 years ago when pirates terrorized the Caribbean it appeared to be a free-for-all on the high seas. But there was a certain form of democracy being carried out among them, as the pirates operated their own form of the Rule of Law. It's detailed in this month’s Journal.

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Banking, Estate Planning … and Someone Named Juris P. Prudence

Here's what you can expect from Tennessee Bar Journal columnists if you haven't gotten all the way through this month's issue yet. Kathryn Reed Edges looks at what the Trump Administration will mean for bankers. Eddy R. Smith explains why Tennessee is an attractive jurisdiction for establishing and maintaining trusts, and Bill Haltom writes about the introduction of a fictional character sure to steal the hearts of law-loving kids everywhere.

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Call for Entries: 'Journal' Announces Fiction Contest

The Tennessee Bar Journal usually keeps just to the facts, but this summer the publication will publish some outright lies — or what some call fiction. The winning entry of the First Annual Tennessee Bar Journal Fiction Contest will appear in the August issue. The magazine's Editorial Board announces the competition with the purpose of celebrating and encouraging lawyers' creative sides and to provide an outlet for lawyer-writers as they seek to illuminate the law and the lives of lawyers through fiction. The original work should touch on something law-related, no matter how slight. The deadline is May 31, so get to work!

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How to Deal With Bullying, Threats and Physical Violence in the Workplace

Violence in the workplace is a growing threat. Read in the April Journal about its many forms -- including bullying, intimidation, and of course, physical harm -- and what to do about them. Chattanooga lawyer Bob Lype details the issue. And read Nashville lawyer David Hudson's article about the “jailhouse lawyer” case that significantly changed the legal landscape in the state regarding prisoner rights and access to the courts. Also in this issue, TBA President Jason Long thanks the Young Lawyers Division on its many accomplishments. Read the entire issue online.

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From Fees to Dogs in Court, March TBJ Has It

In the March Tennessee Bar Journal, Tim Warnock explains last year's Supreme Court decision about assessing fee applications. Commissioner Robert Hibbett and Justin Hickerson give you the scoop on a "court" you may not even know the state has: the Tennessee Claims Commission. On its 190th anniversary, Russell Fowler looks back at how Chancery Court got started in Tennessee, and Wade Davies explains using the summary rule to advance your trial theory. Humor columnist Bill Haltom recalls a dog who presided over a courtroom, and considers taking his own dogs with him to try his next case.

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TBA President Speaks Out on Judicial Independence

“A strong Judiciary is essential to a functioning democracy,” writes TBA President Jason Long in the March Tennessee Bar Journal. “Our Judiciary is only strong when it is credible and independent. Reckless criticism of the courts and over-politicizing the selection process of our judges will undermine those goals. Lawyers are the first and best guardians of our courts.” Other comments from bar leaders are featured on the American Bar Association's Judicial Independence resource page, where the legal community has responded to recent attacks on the independence of the judiciary. The new Journal is online.

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TBA President Speaks Out on Judicial Independence

“A strong Judiciary is essential to a functioning democracy,” writes TBA President Jason Long in the March Tennessee Bar Journal. “Our Judiciary is only strong when it is credible and independent. Reckless criticism of the courts and over-politicizing the selection process of our judges will undermine those goals. Lawyers are the first and best guardians of our courts.” Other comments from bar leaders are featured on the American Bar Association's Judicial Independence resource page, where the legal community has responded to recent attacks on the independence of the judiciary. The new Journal is online.

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Crime Victims’ Private Records, Elder and Labor Law in This Issue

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s majority opinion in The Tennessean v. Metro last year was a victory for law enforcement and a significant setback for the state’s news media, writes Daniel Horwitz in this month's Tennessee Bar Journal. How the ruling will affect crime victims’ ability to protect their private records from public disclosure after criminal proceedings have concluded is uncertain. Also in the February Journal, Monica Franklin writes about The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act of 2016, Edward G. Phillips and Brandon L. Morrow’s column discusses times when protected activities provide a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for termination, while Bill Haltom enumerates the reasons why your valentine should be a lawyer. Read the entire issue.

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'Journal' Features President Coolidge and His Legacy

In the Roaring Twenties, a man of few words sat in the White House, who was respected by friends and enemies alike, his tenure marked by a commitment to the rule of law. The February Tennessee Bar Journal examines the legacy of this man, President Calvin Coolidge. Read the cover story, Humble Advocate for the Law: His Presidency Advanced the Rule of Law, Judicial Independence, Civil Rights. Another respected president, TBA's Jason Long, looks at the “old school values,” relationships and trust on which the practice of law is built. "As lawyers embrace technology to better serve clients," he writes in his column this month, "the need to maintain personal interaction with the greater legal community is very real. Now, more than ever, when communications are centered in cyberspace … and the ability to withdraw from the world is increasing, lawyers should strive to make true and lasting connections with one another."

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Banking, Estate Planning ... and a Business Relationship with Santa

There's still time to catch the December Tennessee Bar Journal -- in this issue, columns include banking law, estate planning and one man’s long-term business relationship with Santa. Nashville lawyer Kathryn Reed Edge writes in her column Bank On It, about preventing insider fraud and abuse; Knoxville lawyer Eddy Smith's column, Where There's a Will, is "Report for Duty: Protecting Against Fiduciary Liability"; and in his column, Memphis lawyer Bill Haltom reveals the secrets of Santa's changing role over the years.

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TBA President Urges Unity, Consensus Building in Profession

In the new Tennessee Bar Journal, President Jason Long discusses our divided country after the recent election, urging lawyers to be “united now more than ever in our commitment to the profession and its bedrock principles.” He writes that “we can provide that opportunity in a controlled and structured environment, operating within the framework of our democratic institutions. If there is an opportunity for consensus building and unity in today’s political climate, the legal profession can and should facilitate that.” Also in this issue, learn if you are protecting your clients’ electronic information enough, in the cover article by Trey Forgety. Brian Dobbs writes to help you understand the law of construction in Tennessee. Read the December issue.

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Thank Veterans by Helping Them Access Needed Services

"We are allowed to stand on the shoulders of others who gave their time, effort and often their lives to ensure our democracy and the Rule of Law," writes Tennessee Bar Association President Jason Long about veterans. On this Veterans Day, Long urges lawyers to give back to those who have served our country but are unable to access help. "From obtaining needed benefits, to housing, to health care, to a whole host of other issues, veterans need guidance and sometimes patience in navigating what can be a complex administrative and legal system to get the services they need and to which they are entitled. This is where lawyers can begin to repay." He encourages lawyers to help with legal clinics, especially those specifically for veterans, to say thank you by using "skills and talents as lawyers to assist those who have done the heavy lifting for us." Legal organizations in Knox County have partnered on a standing Veterans Legal Advice Clinic. The next clinic is set for Nov. 30 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Knox County Public Defender’s Office, 1101 Liberty St., Knoxville 37912. Volunteers are always needed. Read Long's column in the Tennessee Bar Journal.

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TBJ Columns Cover History, the BPR and What Not to Tweet

The Tennessee Bar Journal this month includes regular columns by Russell Fowler, Wade Davies and Bill Haltom. In "History’s Verdict," Fowler writes about Will Thomas, a lawyer who was embraced by and relentlessly defended the Cherokees in the 1800s. Davies, who is wrapping up his term on the Board of Professional Responsibility, details in his column "Crime & Punishment" some of the ways lawyers get into hot water -- and the relatively easy steps to take to stay out of trouble. In "But Seriously, Folks!" Haltom looks at the series of events that unfolded after University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds tweeted just three words: “Run them down.” Nick McCall reviews the book Almighty: Courage, Resistance and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age. Read the November issue.

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