TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Jun 13, 2014

Lawyers Luncheon 2014

Jackson lawyer Jonathan Steen takes the oath of office from Chief Justice Gary Wade, while a group of former TBA presidents look on.

Sevierville lawyer Cindy Wyrick stepped down today as Jackson lawyer Jonathan Steen was installed as president of the Tennessee Bar Association at the Lawyers Luncheon, part of the group's annual convention in Gatlinburg. "Our founders knew that a strong judicial branch is critical for the health of a democracy," Steen said, and "blatant partisan attacks of late undermine the public's confidence in the judiciary. Lawyers need to be informed and educate their family and friends about these important issues."

Steen said his goals for the year are to continue support for lawyers in Tennessee and especially new lawyers through resources such as mentoring and Solo-in-a-Box Toolkit plus finding new ways to use technology to serve the profession. He also will focus on civics education for younger students on the three branches of government with a special emphasis on the judicial branch and the role it plays in our democracy; and will have an increased focus on Medical Legal Partnerships, building on existing programs in the state to expand the concept to more Tennesseans who face not just medical issues but economic or societal issues that are impacting their health. Watch his convention speech here.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade administered the oath of office to Steen, as well as the new members of the TBA Board of Governors. Nashville lawyer Bill Harbison is now president-elect and Knoxville lawyer Jason Long is vice president.

Also at the luncheon, Senior Counselors and these award winners were recognized:

• The TBA Young Lawyers Division Fellows William M. Leech Public Service Award was given to Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder by Memphis lawyer Charlotte Knight Griffin. Outgoing president Cindy Wyrick accepted the award on Justice Holder's behalf.

• The Justice Joseph Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing. Two awards were given this year, the first to Nashville lawyers Kimberly Stagg and John E. Anderson Sr. for their article, "We Know ... You've Got Mail: Attorneys Face Challenges in Protecting Client Communications in the Age of Email." A Lifetime Acheivement Award was given posthumously to Donald F. Paine for his important contributions to, and shaping of, the Tennessee Bar Journal.

• The Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award was given to Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade. Former Chief Justice Drowota was on hand to help present the award.

You Tube Video Awards were presented and the winning videos shown. The High School Winner is Caroline Rogers of Knoxville. Jack Tucker of Signal Mountain is the Middle School winner.

• Three President's Awards were given. Angelia Nystrom was honored for her work on the Legal Handbook for Tennessee Seniors. Richard Johnson for service as chair of the TBA Nonprofit Corporation Act Committee. And Jeff Levy for his contributions over the years to family law issues.

• TBA Sections and Committees Coordinator Lynn Pointer was honored on her retirement from the TBA.

Lawyers Luncheon 2014

Chief Justice Gary Wade (left) accepts the TBA's Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award from former Justice Drowota.

Lawyers Luncheon 2014

YLD President Stacie Winkler with outgoing president David McDowell.

Lawyers Luncheon 2014

Members of the 2014-2015 TBA Board of Governors.