TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Apr 1, 2015

Journal Issue Date: Apr 2015

Journal Name: April 2015 - Vol. 51, No. 4

Lucian Pera to be TBA?President

Memphis attorney Lucian Pera of Adams and Reese will be president of the Tennessee Bar Association in 2017–2018, according to election-qualifying results. No other candidate filed for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. After taking office as vice president this summer, Pera will become president-elect in 2016-2017 and take over the organization’s leadership in June 2017.

Pera has been active in bar association leadership throughout his entire 29-year career. He recently completed a three-year term as treasurer of the American Bar Association, and has served on the ABA’s board for seven years. He has held several leadership roles within the TBA, including serving for several years on its board and as a member of the Tennessee Bar Journal Editorial Board. From 1995 through 2009, he led the TBA ethics committee. Under his leadership, the committee developed and successfully proposed to the Tennessee Supreme Court new legal ethics rules for Tennessee based on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

He regularly represents lawyers, clients, and businesses who work with lawyers and law firms concerning legal ethics and professional responsibility issues. He provides expert witness testimony on legal ethics and related issues.

Pera focuses his practice on commercial litigation, legal ethics work and media law. His civil litigation practice has ranged widely, including a variety of commercial, personal injury and intellectual property litigation. Before joining the firm in 2006, he practiced for more than 20 years with Armstrong Allen PLLC.


Apply by June 1: Board of Governors to Fill Open Positions
One open position will be filled by the Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors at its meeting June 20.

The position, West Grand Division Governor (Position 1), is an open seat created when no one sought to be considered for the seat by the deadline. The West Grand Division includes the counties of Henry, Decatur, Hardeman, McNairy, Carroll, Chester, Hardin, Madison, Henderson, Fayette, Benton, Gibson, Weakley, Obion, Haywood, Crockett, Lake, Dyer, Tipton, Lauderdale and Shelby.

In accordance with Article 47 of the TBA Bylaws, the board may fill the vacancy, with terms through Spring 2016, by election at its June 2015 meeting. If you would like to be considered for the position, contact TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur in writing to indicate your interest, including a resumé at aramsaur@tnbar.org by June 1.

One Contested Election to Be Decided 
There will be one contested election this spring within the TBA. John Holt with the Law Offices of Holt & Kroeger and Roger Nell, the public defender in Clarksville, are both vying for the District 19 seat in the House of Delegates.

Several vacancies in the House will be filled through appointment. Candidates who filed for the following positions will take office at the June annual meeting as they did not draw opponents: David McDowell, 3rd District Governor; Mary Dohner Smith, 5th District Governor; Kim Helper, 6th District Governor; Brian Faughnan, 8th District Governor; Sarah Sheppeard, East Grand Division Governor, Position 1; Andy Roskind, East Grand Division Governor, Position 2; Gary Shockley, Middle Grand Division Governor, Position 1; David Veile, Middle Grand Division Governor, Position 2; and Carl Carter, West Grand Division Governor, Position 2. Also winning without opposition are two TBA delegates to the ABA House of Delegates: Jonathan Cole, Position 1, and young lawyer delegate Troy Weston, Position 3.


New Alimony Bench Book Available 
The 13th Edition Alimony Bench Book is now available from the TBA Family Law Section. Produced by the members of the section’s Alimony Committee, the book is available for purchase in a loose-leaf format for $40 or a three-ring binder for $50. To order the book, visit the TBA’s online bookstore or contact TBA at (615) 383-7421. Members of the Family Law Section can download the new edition at no charge.


Poll: Public Trust in State Courts Grows
Public trust in the state courts has ticked upward in the last two years, according to a recent public opinion survey conducted for the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). According to the survey, courts remain the most trusted branch of government and have seen an increase across a number of broad measures of public confidence since the last survey in 2012. The survey finds that 71 percent of respondents agree with the statement that courts in their state “treat people with dignity and respect.” Respondents also indicate that they would like to see more court services available online.

Workers’ Comp Court Launches Blog 
The Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims has launched a new blog. The court says it created the blog as a means of further communicating critical information about the new law and court, which was created in 2013 after the legislature passed comprehensive worker’s comp reform.

With the blog, the court hopes to help promote just, efficient outcomes, with an emphasis on service and courtesy toward all individuals. Read the blog at http://tennesseecourtofwc claims.blogspot.com/


Tennessee Has Highest Bankruptcy Filing Rate 
Data from February shows that bankruptcy filings decreased 13 percent nationwide from last year, down to 65,000 from 72,000. But Tennessee is making news for the opposite reason, the Memphis Business Journal reported in March.

With 5.17 bankruptcy filings per 1,000 people, the state rate is more than double the national rate and puts Tennessee above all other states.