Corporate counsel pro bono gala, award process announced

The TBA's Access to Justice Committee and Corporate Counsel Section have joined with the Association of Corporate Counsel to take on pro bono work and build support for access to justice among corporate counsel in Tennessee. The groups' signature event is the the third annual Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala, which will be held June 16 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.

The gala will celebrate a growing pro bono partnership among Tennessee's corporate legal departments, law firms and access to justice organizations. During dinner, the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Awards will be presented to the corporate legal department and law firm "best exemplifying extraordinary commitment to access to justice ideals, pro bono service and the Corporate Counsel Covenant of Service." Nominations for the awards are being accepted now through April 3. For more information, contact TBA's Access to Justice Coordinator Anjanette Eash at

Learn more or submit a Pro Bono Initiative Award nomination

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Legal News
Case draws attention to judicial campaigns, potential conflicts
One of the most important cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this year has the potential to change the way judicial elections are conducted and the way cases are heard in the 39 states that elect at least some of their judges, the New York Times reports. The case involves West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Brent D. Benjamin, who chose not to disqualify himself in a suit involving a coal mining company whose CEO put up $3 million to help Benjamin win the seat.
Read the full New York Times story
Ginsburg home, will be back to work soon
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75, returned to her home Friday after being released from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Doctors said the cancer was in an early stage and had not spread beyond her pancreas. The justice expects to be in court Feb. 23 for oral arguments, reports the Associated Press.
Read more here
PD concerned about budget shortfalls
Richard Hughes, public defender for the 10th Judicial District, is expressing concern that reductions in state revenue could impact the services of his office. Appearing before a meeting of the Cleveland Area Republican Women, Hughes said he was asked by the state to look at ways to reduce expenditures and would not rule out staff cuts. He did say, however, that any such cuts would not be implemented until next fiscal year.
The Daily Banner has the story
McMinn courthouse needs better security
McMinn County is planning a new justice center that will alleviate many security problems at the current courthouse, which contains unmonitored halls where plaintiffs, defendants, criminal suspects and court officers mingle freely on court days. The move can't come soon enough: a recent security drill revealed new problems with a security warning system and panic buttons that did not work.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports
Legislative News
Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys
The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly that the TBA has a direct interest in. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postiion on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community.
TBA Bill Tracking Service
Supreme Court to hold public meeting in Memphis
This Friday the Tennessee Supreme Court will hold a public meeting in Memphis on legal needs and access to justice issues. The meeting will be moderated by Chief Justice Janice Holder and feature a panel with representatives from Memphis Area Legal Services and the Community Legal Center; Judge Phyllis Gardner; Chancery Court Clerk Dewun Settle; and Memphis Bar Association President Art Quinn. The meeting begins at 3 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library at 3030 Poplar Avenue. For more information or to RSVP please contact Rebecca Rhodes at (615) 741-2687 x164 or

Your Practice
Hot fields for lawyers in 2009
Despite staff reductions at firms around the country, there are areas of practice that remain hot for 2009. According to a report released by the executive search firm Robert Half Legal, in-demand legal positions include bankruptcy and foreclosure lawyers, patent prosecution attorneys and in-house counsel with experience in litigate and transactional, regulatory and corporate securities law.
Read more in the Memphis Business Journal
An item in the Feb. 12 TBA Today may have been unclear concerning the status of U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough and U.S. Marshal Denny King. The two men have been asked by the administration to continue to serve on holdover status until further notice, but they have not been reappointed by President Obama.

TBA Member Services
Avis benefits 'try harder'
TBA members are offered a rental car discount through Avis. Enroll in the Avis Preferred Service at to bypass the rental counter and go directly to your car for a faster, easier rental experience. Enter code AWD# A570100.

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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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