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Posted by: Journal News on Nov 29, 2018

Journal Issue Date: Dec 2018

Journal Name: Vol 54 No 12

Reminder of TBA Elections

(NOTE: This item has been updated) This is a reminder that petitions for the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) elections are due on February 15. During 2019, the following officers, governors and delegates of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) will be elected as set forth in the association’s bylaws:

TBA Officers and Board of Governors
A vice president (from the Middle Tennessee Grand Division — elected by the association’s membership-at-large). The vice president automatically assumes the office of president-elect in 2020 and president in 2021.

District Governors
District Governors in the 1st and 4th districts will be elected to three-year terms.  These governors are elected by the members in their respective district. Those who currently hold those positions are: Deborah Yeomans-Barton (1st) and Aimee Luna (4th).  They are both eligible for reelection.

Pursuant to the notice provided on Dec. 19, 2018, via TBA Today, the Board of Governors held a specially set meeting on Jan. 2, 2019, to vote on the proposed changes to the bylaws as published on Nov. 7, 2018 (A copy of those proposed changes can be reviewed here.) Pursuant to the approved bylaw change, the individuals appointed to positions in Districts 7 and 8 shall now serve the remainder of the terms to which they were appointed and will not run in 2019 to retain those seats. Those who currently hold those positions are Matt Willis (7th) and Jim Barry (8th). Thus, only Districts 1 and 4 will be subject to election this year. The original notice published in the December online edition of the Tennessee Bar Journal has been revised to reflect this change.

Grand Division Governors
TBA Grand Division Governors are elected for one-year terms by the membership in each grand division.
• Two East Tennessee governors from the 1st, 2nd or 3rd district.
• Two Middle Tennessee governors from the 4th, 5th or 6th district.
• Two West Tennessee governors from the 7th or 8th district.

To qualify, the petition must specify the particular seat the candidate is seeking in the denominated Grand Division (Position 1) or (Position 2).
Those who currently hold those positions are:
East Tennessee: Tasha Blakney (Position 1)
Mary Beth Maddox (Position 2)

Middle Tennessee: 
Rachel Moses (Position 1)
Ramona DeSalvo (Position 2)

West Tennessee:   
Mason Wilson (Position 1) 
Trey Thacher (Position 2)

Tasha Blakney, Mary Beth Maddox, Rachel Moses, Ramona DeSalvo and Trey Thacher are eligible for reelection. Mason Wilson is ineligible for reelection because of term limits.

TBA Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates
Two members to represent the TBA in the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates will be elected for two-year terms by the TBA membership in 2019.  The positions are designated positions 1 and 3. The delegate in position 3 must be thirty-five (35) years of age or younger when the term begins at the close of the 2019 ABA Annual Meeting.
Those who currently hold these positions are Jonathan Cole (Position 1) and Troy Weston (Position 3).

Qualifying, Balloting & Elections
The officers, governors and delegates to the ABA are elected by the membership as provided by election procedures with petitions due Feb. 15, 2019.

To qualify for any of these offices, a candidate must file a nominating petition with the executive director of the TBA. The petition must contain the names of 25 members of the association in good standing. The petition must be received at the TBA office on or before Feb. 15, 2019.

The Board of Governors has authorized an electronic balloting system supervised by auditors selected by the Board. The Tennessee Bar Association elections will be primarily carried out electronically — using online balloting.  Most members are familiar with this electronic method, but those who still prefer to cast paper ballots will be able to choose that method. Members will be able to opt out of electronic voting either through the website ( or by providing written notice to TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson at 221 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219. This notice must be provided by Jan. 31, 2019.

As in the past, TBA members voting electronically will receive an email with a link to the election site along with a password to use to cast their ballots. Tabulation of election results will continue to be carried out by an accounting firm selected by the board.

Candidates have until Feb. 15, 2019, to qualify to run in the 2019 elections. Voting will take place between March 1 and April 1, 2019. Electronic voting will close at 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2019.  If a mail ballot is requested, those ballots must be received by the deadline at the office of the TBA auditors on April 1, 2019.  If there is only one duly-qualified candidate for an office by Feb. 15, 2019, that candidate will automatically be declared elected.

TBA House of Delegates
Members of the TBA House of Delegates are elected in odd-numbered years. One member of the TBA House of Delegates from each Judicial District and one additional delegate from the 6th (Knox County), 11th (Hamilton County), 20th (Davidson County) and 30th (Shelby County) are to be elected in 2019.  The following is a list of the current members of the House from each district whose terms expire this year:
1st District – Rick Bearfield
2nd District – Meredith Humbert*
3rd District – Doug Collins
4th District – Derrick Whitson
5th District – Norman Newton
6th District – Timothy Housholder and VACANT seat
7th District – Tom Marshall
8th District – Philip Kazee
9th District – Kelly Frere
10th District – Bridget Willhite
11th District – Tim Michel and Pat Vital
12th District – Mark Raines
13th District – Hank Fincher
14th District – Ed North
15th District – Lisa Cothron
16th District – Ted Goodman
17th District – Jason Davis
18th District – Keith Dennen
19th District – John Holt
20th District – Jim Cartiglia* and Marisa Combs
21st District – Rebecca Blair
22nd District – VACANT (seat previously held by Claudia Jack)
23rd District – Jennifer Noe
24th District – Ed Townsend
25th District – Weber McCraw
26th District – Chad Wood
27th District – Steve Conley
28th District – Terri Crider
29th District – Matt Willis
30th District – Charlotte Knight Griffin* and Harrison McIver
31st District – Robert Bratcher
YLD East – Bryce McKenzie
YLD Middle – Nina Kumar
YLD West – Nicole Grida

*Pursuant to Section 31 of the Bylaws, the Officers shall serve two-year terms, even if their term expires as a Delegate in the interim.

TBA House of Delegates Qualifying, Balloting & Elections
To qualify as a candidate for the TBA House of Delegates a TBA member must file a declaration of candidacy that includes their name, principal place of law practice, district of interest, and contact information. This can be submitted with the executive director of the TBA via mail or email at on or before Feb. 15, 2019.

This notice is in accordance with bylaws of the TBA §15 and 40 through 46. For more information on running for any of these offices, visit the TBA’s website at or call 615-383-7421 for an election handbook.


TBA Board of Governors Adopts Policies, Creates Task Force  The TBA Board of Governors and relevant committees met over the course of two days in October, discussing issues of importance to the association. Highlights of the meeting included the adoption of an official TBA Public Policy that recognizes and approves the Path to Lawyer Well-Being, which is the comprehensive report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.

The Board also considered recommendations from TBA’s House of Delegates, approving several section-sponsored pieces of legislation reviewed by the House. In response to concerns raised by the House of Delegates related to Tennessee Supreme Court Sanctioned Pro Se Divorce Forms, the Board voted in favor of the creation of a task force to work with other legal organizations, including the Administrative Office of the Courts, to collect data from practitioners, judges and clerks in order to document and properly address those concerns.


Midterm Elections See Surge of Women, Minorities Elected DA   The 2018 midterm elections in November saw a surge of new voices elected in legal and judicial positions across the country, including more women and minorities elected district attorney than ever before, The Brennan Center for Justice reported. This trend represents a marked change from 2014, when a study found that 95 percent of the nation’s elected prosecutors were white, and just one percent were women of color.


Gibson to Chair Board of Judicial Conduct  Judge Brandon Gibson of the Tennessee Court of Appeals was recently named the new chair of Tennessee’s Board of Judicial Conduct.
The board is responsible for investigating and, when warranted, acting on complaints brought against state and local judges. It is composed of 16 members from all parts of the state, including lawyers, citizens, and judges from all levels of Tennessee's court system.

First Videos of TSC Oral Arguments Now Online
Videos from Tennessee Supreme Court oral arguments held in October are now available online. This is the first time oral arguments have been video recorded and made available to the public.

“This Supreme Court is committed to openness and transparency so the public can see and understand the process and decisions we make,” Chief Justice Jeff Bivins said. 
The videos will give lawyers, students and others a more realistic feel of the interaction between the court and attorneys during oral argument, which often includes unscripted questioning and debate. Watch the videos at

Court Welcomes New Attorneys During Admission Ceremonies  New Tennessee attorneys were welcomed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to the practice of law during ceremonies in November in Knoxville, Nashville, Jackson and Memphis. Between the two Nashville programs, the Tennessee Bar Association hosted a welcome reception at the Music City Center to introduce the new lawyers and their families to the Tennessee legal community. See pictures of the events.


Formal Opinion: Lawyers Have Duty to Warn in Case of Cyber Attack  The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released a formal opinion in October that reaffirms the duty of lawyers to notify clients of a data breach and details reasonable steps to be taken to meet obligations set forth in model rules.

“When a breach of protected client information is either suspected or detected, Rule 1.1 requires that the lawyer act reasonably and promptly to stop the breach and mitigate damage resulting from the breach,” Formal Opinion 483 says. “Lawyers should consider proactively developing an incident response plan with specific plans and procedures for responding to a data breach. The decision whether to adopt a plan, the content of any plan and actions taken to train and prepare for implementation of the plan should be made before a lawyer is swept up in an actual breach.” Read more at



The first class of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Public Service Academy graduated Nov. 10 in Nashville. The program was designed to support lawyers who intend to seek local public offices such as city council, county commission and school board. The program launched this year to give lawyers the skills and encouragement needed to run for office successfully.

The 29 attorneys studied topics such as strategy, campaign finance, work-life balance, messaging, budgets, field strategy and social media for their future campaigns as part of the academy.

Many of the bipartisan group also announced their intent to run in their upcoming municipal elections in 2019.


PHOTO: Terica Smith, left, and Chasity Grice participated in the TBA’s inaugural Public Service Academy this fall. Photos by Katharine Heriges.