News

Article Captures Knox Courthouse History

An article in the News Sentinel by Robert J. Booker, former executive director of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, details the history of the Knox County Courthouse, which was first established in 1792. According to Booker, at the laying of the current building’s cornerstone in 1885, the keynote speaker recounted how the original courthouse was burned to the ground by a lawyer “resolved to hasten the end of the unworthy structure.” Booker also provides details about subsequent structures used to house the court, and ultimately the construction of what at the time was called "the finest building of the kind in East Tennessee.”

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Lawyer Finds Volunteering at P.A.T.H. Rewarding

Chattanooga lawyer Bo Hixson talks about his 25 years of commercial litigation practice -- and his involvement with P.A.T.H. (Partnering With Attorneys to Help) to General Sessions Court. Through this program, individuals with a case on the Monday docket can receive basic information about Sessions Court rules and procedures from volunteer attorneys. Although Hixson is on the board of the Chattanooga Bar Association, which launched the program, he was not an immediate believer in P.A.T.H. “I was skeptical about it at first because of my concern about an attorney crossing the line from giving general guidance to giving legal advice,” he says. Then he volunteered one Monday morning, and the experience changed his opinion. Read more from the Hamilton County Herald

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Bradley Co. Bar Helps Bring Candidate Forums

The third and final in a series of debates hosted by the Bradley County Bar Association and the Cleveland Lions Club is set for July 17, with candidates in the 3rd and 4th Congressional district races. The forum will be at the Johnson Theatre at Cleveland State Community College at 6:30 p.m., with a theme of  "An informed vote is the best vote." The Cleveland Daily Banner urges readers to attend the forum and writes that "sometimes it’s just best to hear what [candidates] have to say, and how they say it, in person and up-close in a comfortable, nonpartisan and enclosed atmosphere," and praises the bar association and Lions Club for organizing the events.

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Memphis Pro Bono Events in the News

Lawyers from AutoZone, Bass, Berry & Sims and Memphis Area Legal Services on Tuesday donated their time to help seniors and low-income residents draft wills, powers of attorney and other legal documents. It was the fourth year the groups have joined efforts to serve Memphis-area senior citizens. Read about it in the Commercial Appeal. Today, the Memphis Bar Association’s (MBA) Access to Justice Committee provided legal advice at the Project Homeless Connect event at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. The event was organized by Linda Warren Seely with Memphis Area Legal Services and MBA Executive Director Anne Fritz.

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NBA Forms Veterans Committee

The Nashville Bar Association (NBA) has formed a new Veterans Committee and named Bass Berry & Sims lawyer Robert Echols as chair of the group. The NBA says the committee “offers a great opportunity to meet new veteran friends in the bar, share experiences and…serve other less fortunate veterans in [the] community.” It kicked off its activities recently with a reception at Echol's firm. Learn more online or contact Vicki Shoulders at (615) 242-9272 or vicki.shoulders@nashvillebar.org.

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Apply for a Grant From the Memphis Bar Foundation

The Memphis Bar Foundation is now soliciting grant applications from non-profit organizations. Grants are awarded to 501(c)(3) organizations for law-related programs and activities that further the foundation’s mission to advocate and support public awareness of the legal profession; promote social justice; promote legal education, and recognize professionalism among members of the bar. The typical grant award is less than $10,000. The deadline to apply is July 31. Contact MBA Executive Director Anne Fritz to learn more or download an application.

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NBA Releases Poll Results

A recent Nashville Bar Association poll for the Aug. 2 Davidson County General Election shows nearly three-quarters of respondents  "highly recommend" or "recommend" incumbent Phillip Robinson for Davidson County Circuit Court, Division III judge, outpacing John W. Heacock (8 percent) and W. Scott Rosenberg (21.4 percent). About 40 percent of the 882 respondents "highly recommended" or "recommended" Rachel L. Bell for General Session judge, while about 10 percent gave the same ranking for Michael Rowan. As to the retention of Court of Criminal Appeals Middle Section Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins, 63.5 percent recommended retention, with only 2.2 percent not recommending. See the results and details on the survey

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Chattanooga Honors Pro Bono Achievements

2012 Pro Bono Night -- co-hosted by Legal Aid of East Tennessee, the Pro Bono Committee and the Young Lawyers Division of the Chattanooga Bar Association -- recently honored the achievements of a law firm, a philanthropist, a hospital and an attorney. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee gave the keynote address, saying the United States was founded on the principle of equal justice under the law. The Firm of the Year Award was given to Chattanooga law firm Luther-Anderson. Corrine Allen, executive director of the Benwood Foundation, received the Chief Justice William M. Barker Equal Access to Justice Award. LAET also gave the inaugural Alexander Hamilton Award to Erlanger Heath System. Named after the first lawyer to devote nearly his entire practice to pro bono work, the award honored Erlanger for joining LAET in creating the first medical-legal partnership in Tennessee. Attorney Tiffany Campbell was awarded the Bruce C. Bailey Volunteer Attorney of the Year Award. The Hamilton County Herald has more

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Knoxville Mayor Honored With Award Named for Early Women's Rights Advocate

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero was awarded the first ever Lizzie French Women's Leadership Award at the East Tennessee Women's Leadership Summit on Friday. Officials said Rogero received the award for dedicating her career to creating positive and lasting change in the Knoxville community. The award is named for Lucy Crozier French, who addressed the men of the Tennessee Bar Association at its July 11, 1912, meeting in Knoxville about women's rights. She was reportedly the first woman to address the body, and in her speech (recounted verbatim in the official proceedings of the association), French says that since "we want to put Tennessee in the progressive States ... [we must] not alter simply one law concerning women here and there, but to take the whole bunch and burn it up, and begin over again." She then outlined laws that needed changing, including desertion of family by men; that mothers be made equal guardians of her children; that women should be able to vote and hold office; and that women's wages should be her own and not her husband's. French is reportedly also the first woman to address the Tennessee General Assembly, as well as the first woman to run for Knoxville City Council.

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'Ode to Otha' on Tap This Saturday

Nahshville lawyer Bill Ramsey's "Ode to Otha" Block Party is this Saturday at 1711 Sweetbrier Ave. in Nashville. The event, scheduled to run from 2 to 9 p.m., will feature food, drinks and live music for the adults, and clowns and piñatas for the kids. Learn more about the event, which celebrates the life of American music legend Otha Turner and benefits the Second Harvest Food Bank.

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Lane New Bar President in Greene County

The Greene County Bar Association recently elected new officers. They are President Lindsey Wise Lane with Leonard, Kershaw & Hensley LLP; Vice President J. Bradley Mercer; and Secretary/Treasurer Brandy M. Burnette with Milligan & Coleman. All are from Greeneville.

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KBA Seeking Auction Items for LAET Fundraiser

The Knoxville Bar Association is still collecting donations for the silent auction at its upcoming "Cheers for Charity" benefit for Legal Aid of East Tennessee. The wine tasting event has sold out, but the KBA is seeking items such as an elegant dinner hosted by a Tennessee attorney, an assortment of fine wines or a basket that includes donations from restaurants or liquor stores for the silent auction. All proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to LAET, and donors will be recognized during the event and in all follow-up publicity.  Contact KBA Executive Director Marsha Wilson at 865-522-6522 for more information.

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NBA Memorial Service Thursday

The Nashville Bar Association (NBA) will hold its spring memorial service tomorrow, May 24, at 11 a.m. in the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Chancellor Russell Perkins will preside and a reception at the church will follow. Attorneys to be memorialized are: Judge Elmer Davies, Marilyn Devine, James (Jim) Hill, Hugh Howser, Alfred Knight III, Harold Levinson, James Meyer, John Roberts, Judge Leon Ruben, Robert (Bob) Sullivan and Sonny West. Beginning this year, the NBA will hold two memorial services per year -– one in May and one in November. The services honor the memory of Nashville lawyers and judges who have passed away during the preceding period. Learn more on the bar's website

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Knox Lawyer Barcus Honored with Spirit of Justice Award

The East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (ETLAW) has honored Heidi Barcus of Knoxville’s London Amburn law firm with its 2012 Spirit of Justice Award. The award is given in recognition of outstanding service to the legal profession. Barcus, who is the Knoxville Bar Association's President Elect, is also a past historian and board member of ETLAW, and was one of the first female attorneys in the state to achieve certification as a medical malpractice specialist, heading up that division at her firm. Past award recipients include Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee and Knoxville lawyer Wanda Sobieski.

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Jefferson County Bar Elects Officers

Jeremy Ball has been elected president of the Jefferson County Bar Association. He is assistant district attorney for the 4th Judicial District. N. Craig Strand with O'Neil, Parker & Williamson, is the vice president, and treasurer is attorney Jill Talley.

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KBA Sponsors Wine Event

The Knoxville Bar Association will host "Cheers for Charity" on May 31 from
 6 to 9 p.m. at the Knoxville Beverage Company. Tickets -– priced at $35 per person -– include a group wine tasting and food. Guests also may take part in a VIP tasting for an additional $15. The event will include a silent auction of wines and related items that will benefit Legal Aid of East Tennessee. The auction closes at 8 p.m.
 Register online at www.knoxbar.org or call the KBA at (865) 522-6522

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Chattanooga Law Day Event Celebrates Local Lawyers

ABA President William T. Robinson III was the keynote speaker at the Chattanooga Bar Association's Law Day Luncheon, which featured the announcement of new Chattanooga Bar Foundation Fellows, presentation of awards and recognition of 38 new “Pillars of the Bar,” who have served the profession for 50 years or more. Jenny Smith Wright, a lieutenant with the Chattanooga Housing Authority Police, was awarded the 2012 Liberty Bell Award, while Angela A. Ripper, assistant vice president and senior counsel at the Unum Group, received the fourth annual Judge W. Neil Thomas III Paralegal Utilization Award. During last week's event, the bar also announced that Jack Jones, a junior at McCallie School, won first place in its 2012 Law Day Essay Contest. Jones went on to win second place in the statewide competition. Read more about the award winners on the bar’s website

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NBA Plans Memorial Service

The Nashville Bar Association will hold its spring memorial service May 24 at 11 a.m. in the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Chancellor Russell Perkins will preside and a reception at the church will follow. Attorneys to be memorialized are: Judge Elmer Davies, Marilyn Devine, James (Jim) Hill, Hugh Howser, Alfred Knight III, Harold Levinson, James Meyer, John Roberts, Judge Leon Ruben, Robert (Bob) Sullivan and Sonny West. Beginning this year, the NBA will hold two memorial services per year – one in May and one in November. The services honor the memory of Nashville lawyers and judges who have passed away during the preceding period.

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TBA Announces Law Day Art, Essay Winners

News from the Young Lawyers Division
Two Knoxville students earned first place in the 2012 Law Day Art & Essay Competition, reports the TBA's Young Lawyers Division, which holds the statewide competition each May. This year's competition was coordinated by Jackson lawyer Ashley Holliday with West Tennessee Legal Services. The theme, "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom,"  asked students to consider the importance of the courts and their role in ensuring access to justice for all Americans.

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Chattanooga Bar Holds Law Day Event Thursday

The Chattanooga Bar Association will host its annual Law Day celebration on Thursday at the Sheraton Read House. The event will feature remarks from William T. "Bill" Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association; presentation of the 2012 Liberty Bell Award; announcement of the Law Day High School Essay Scholarship recipient; announcement of the 2012 class of Chattanooga Bar Foundation Fellows; and presentation of the Judge W. Neil Thomas III Paralegal Utilization Award. For more information contact the CBA at (423) 756-3222 or visit the association online.

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KBA Celebrates Law Day with Luncheon, Awards

The Knoxville Bar Association celebrated Law Day today with its annual luncheon, featuring a panel discussion led by University of Tennessee College of Law School Dean Douglas A. Blaze. The panel explored issues that impact the legal profession, the courts and the American justice system. Also at the event, the Young Lawyers Division recognized the Hon. Thomas W. Phillips for "his contribution to the advancement and protection of law through liberty" and awarded winners of the poster and essay contests, Liana Hu of Farragut Middle School and Gloria Yu  of Hardin Valley Academy, respectively.

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Williamson Volunteers to be Honored Friday

The Williamson County Bar Association will honor four legal figures at its Friday Law Day luncheon. The Legal Aid Society and Nashville Pro Bono Program will honor Clerk and Master of Chancery Court Elaine Beeler for her work in establishing the Volunteer Lawyer Program, and it will honor Bill Lane, Diane Crosier and Ben Papa as 2012 Pro Bono Volunteers of the Year, the Tennessean reports.

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Memphis Bar Celebrates Law Week with Party, Memorial

Law week activities in Memphis closed out this yesterday when Chief Judge David Kennedy of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court addressed the crowd at the Memphis Bar Association's Annual Memorial Service at Calvary Episcopal Church. Thirty attorneys and judges who died this past year were honored. See photos and read the memorial statements about those honored. Law Week activities kicked off last Friday with the Law Week Launch Party in Court Square with barbecue and live music.

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Memphis Bar to Hold Memorial Service

The Memphis Bar Association will hold its annual memorial service on Wednesday at noon at Calvary Episcopal Church. The service honors members of the bar who passed away during the last year. See the list of lawyers who will be honored.

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Maury Co. Celebrates Law Day with Justice Wade, Awards

Law Day ceremonies got underway in Maury County on Thursday, with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary R. Wade as the featured speaker. The event also included presentation of the Liberty Bell Award, given to senior chairman of First Farmers & Merchants Bank Virgil Moore. The award, presented by Chaz Molder, president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Maury County Bar Association, recognizes citizens who inspire a deeper sense of individual civic responsibility. Columbia Academy students were also presented with the 2012 Mock Trial Regional Competition Award by the Maury County Bar Association. The Columbia Daily Herald has the story and pictures

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