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Posted by: Journal News on Apr 28, 2011

Journal Issue Date: Apr 2011

Journal Name: April 2011 - Vol. 47, No. 4

Wyrick to lead TBA in 2013-2014

Sevierville attorney Cynthia Richardson Wyrick will be Tennessee Bar Association president in 2013-2014, according to election-qualifying results released Feb. 16. No other candidate filed for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. After serving a year as vice president, Wyrick will ascend to president-elect in 2012-2013 before taking over the organization's leadership in June 2013.

Others who will be elected without opposition are:

  • Grand Division Governor, West Tennessee (one-year term): Brian Faughnan, Memphis.
  • Grand Division Governor, Middle Tennessee (one-year term): James Crumlin, Nashville.
  • Grand Division Governor, East Tennessee (one-year term): Jason Long, Knoxville.
  • Governor, Second District (three-year term): Tasha Blakney, Knoxville.
  • Governor, Fifth District (three-year term): Dan Berexa, Nashville.
  • TBA Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, Position 1: Jonathan Cole, Nashville.
  • TBA Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, Position 3 (Young Lawyer Delegate): Lee Bowles, Lewisburg.

No candidate filed to fill the Eighth District Governor position.

Find out more about the 2011 TBA elections

Process changes for paying certain CLE fees

The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization is in the process of implementing Supreme Court Rule 21, Section 8.03, which requires that attorneys attending approved out-of-state CLE programs, or other programs for which the sponsor does not report and pay the per-hour fee, remit their fees to the commission at the time the course is taken. Attorneys who have received an annual statement showing a fee due should take care of the matter as unpaid fees may result in suspension from the practice of law. Learn more about the change on the AOC website

New federal unit to focus on civil rights cases

The U.S. Justice Department has created a Civil Rights Unit in Memphis to deal with a growing number of civil rights cases, including cold cases, hate crimes, human trafficking and public corruption. The unit, which will be housed in the U.S. Attorney's Office, also will handle some civil matters such as mortgage and housing discrimination. The effort will be a collaboration of local, state and federal officials. WREG-TV has the story,0,6421512.story


Legal market starting to improve, report suggests

The U.S. legal market may be turning the corner toward better times. The latest Peer Monitor Index (PMI) report from Hildebrandt Baker Robbins shows that demand for legal services rose for the first time in more than two years. The PMI rose three points in the fourth quarter of 2010 to a reading of 55. It has now resumed the gradual upward trend that began in early 2009.

Read more from Thomson Reuters LegalCurrent blog

Judicial conduct rules changes proposed

New stricter standards and procedures for determining disqualification and recusal of judges, changes in restrictions on campaign activities by judges, and a new prohibition on judges presiding over cases in which they participate in judicial settlement conferences are among the changes to the Code of Judicial Conduct being recommended in a petition filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court Feb. 25 by the Tennessee Bar Association. The proposed rule changes come as a result of an 18-month-long study of the Code of Judicial Conduct undertaken by a task force of judges and lawyers, chaired by Chattanooga lawyer Max Bahner with Knoxville lawyer Sarah Sheppeard serving as the reporter.


Judge says confirmation delay 'injuring' judiciary

The chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in February added his voice to those calling for the Senate and the White House to find a long-term solution to the delays in the judicial confirmation process. "I say to both Republicans and Democrats: You're injuring the federal judiciary," U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said. "Our country needs a fair and impartial federal judiciary."

The Blog of Legal Times has more


No mandatory mediation for workers' comp appeals

The Tennessee Supreme Court in March issued an order revoking TN. Sup. Ct. R. 37, a provisional rule that required mediation of workers compensation appeals. The TBA submitted a comment in February supporting the repeal because the process was seen as having little value.

Date set to liquidate

Reciprocal of America claims Justice Russell Perkins of Tennessee's 20th Judicial District court has imposed a final deadline of May 16 to liquidate all outstanding claims against three insolvent risk retention groups that were closed in 2003 after the failure of their Virginia reinsurer, Reciprocal of America. Three Tennessee companies — the American National Lawyers Reciprocal, the Doctors Insurance Reciprocal and the Reciprocal Alliance — were risk-retention groups that reinsured virtually all their business with Reciprocal of America (ROA), a company that was placed in receivership in January 2003 after regulators discovered its liabilities exceed its assets by more than $200 million. The Insurance Journal has the story

Women held to different standard

Sotomayor says If you are a woman who wants to be a judge, you'll need thick skin, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor told students at at Northwestern University School of Law. "There are expectations about how women and men should behave," she said, noting that during the nomination process she was asked for the names of everyone she ever dated. "There were (questions) I was offended by, because I was convinced they were not asking those questions of male applicants." She told the group that although some of her male colleagues are also single and bring dates to public affairs, she does not. "I knew if I did the same thing, my morals would be questioned." Read more at

Website offers legal help for veterans

Legal assistance for veterans is now available through a new website funded by the Legal Services Corp. and operated by Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Portland, Maine. The site — — so far has drawn visitors from all 50 states and 77 countries worldwide. Visit the website now