TBA Law Blog


Posted by: Journal News on Mar 1, 2018

Journal Issue Date: Mar 2018

Journal Name: March 2018 - Vol. 54, No. 3

Sellers to Lead TBA in 2020

Jackson attorney Michelle Greenway Sellers of Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC will take the office of Tennessee Bar Association President in 2020, according to election-qualifying results. No other candidate qualified for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. Sellers, a former YLD president and graduate of the TBA Leadership Law program, currently serves as 7th District Governor on the TBA Board. She will assume the office of vice president this summer at the TBA Convention in Memphis, then become president-elect during the 2019-2020 bar year prior to assuming her presidency.

Also qualifying without opposition were: East Tennessee Governor candidates Tasha Blakney and Mary Beth Maddox; West Tennessee Governor candidates Mason Wilson and Trey Thacker; Middle Tennessee Governor candidates Rachel Moses and Ramona DeSalvo; Third District Governor candidate David McDowell; Fifth District Governor candidate John Farringer; and Sixth District Governor candidate David Veile. No candidates applied to fill the Eighth District seat, so the Board of Governors may fill the post at its April meeting.

Others qualifying without opposition included: TBA Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates candidates George “Buck” Lewis (position 2), Jackie Dixon (position 4), Danny Van Horn (position 5) and Gail Vaughn Ashworth (position 5).

Lawyers from across the country joined TBA members in honoring former TBA President Marcy Eason for her contributions to the profession and the public.
Lawyers from across the country joined TBA members in honoring former TBA President Marcy Eason for her contributions to the profession and the public. A reception in her honor was held in Vancouver during the 2018 ABA Midyear Meeting. From left, TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson, 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals?Judge Bernice Donald, Eason, TBA YLD President Ahsaki Baptist and TBA President-elect Jason Pannu. Photo by Barry Kolar.

YOUNG LAWYERS

YLD Elects Terica Smith 
Jackson attorney Terica Smith will lead the TBA’s Young Lawyers Division in the 2020-2021 bar year, according to election-qualifying results. No other candidate qualified for the vice president position by the Feb. 15 deadline. Smith, who works in the Office of the District Attorney General and currently serves as the ABA Affiliate Representative on the TBA YLD board, is a 2006 graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and a member of the TBA’s Leadership Law class of 2013. She will serve as vice president during the 2018-2019 bar year and move on to the president-elect seat in 2019-2020 prior to assuming her presidency.

LAW SCHOOL

Law School Applications Up More Than 10 Percent
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) released information earlier this year showing that law school applications have increased by 10.6 percent over this time last year, the ABA Journal reports. LSAC also reports that students with higher LSAT scores are applying compared to the previous admission cycle.

COURTS

AOC Launches Indigent Representation Payment System
The Administrative Office of the Courts modernized its disbursement system for indigent representation payments to attorneys, interpreters, expert witnesses and investigators in February.

The new AOC Claims and Payment (ACAP) system will replace the Indigent Claim Entry (ICE) system and will allow users to more accurately and efficiently input and track claims for payment. The change will affect all attorneys, judges and court interpreters who use ICE to make or approve claims.

Expert witnesses will be added to the ACAP system later in the year, according to the AOC.

Portal for Lawyers Now Available from BPR  
The Board of Professional Responsibility (BPR) has launched a new database and attorney portal to help lawyers manage their profile, request services and complete annual registrations. Access it at https://my.tbpr.org or through the BPR’s main website.

Study: Federal Judicial Misconduct Complaints Often Go Unpunished 
Few federal judges face consequences as a result of misconduct complaints, the ABA Journal reports. Nearly 5,000 complaints were reviewed for the CNN?study, which showed that without media coverage or an outside party disclosing the information, few complaints were ever made public. Since 2006, fewer than 10 cases a year were referred to a committee for further investigation, and in six of the past 11 years, no judges were sanctioned for misconduct.

TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson, left, moderates a “Lawyer Legislator” panel during the Leadership Law (TBALL) February session titled “Issues in Policy & Politics” at the Waller law firm in Nashville.
TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson, left, moderates a “Lawyer Legislator” panel during the Leadership Law (TBALL) February session titled “Issues in Policy & Politics” at the Waller law firm in Nashville. The panel, from left, included Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntingdon), Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville), Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley), Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) and Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville). Photo by Kate Prince.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

Children’s Health Law Partnership Formed 
Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) and the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital have partnered to create the Children’s Health Law Partnership (CHLP), the first program of its kind in the Knoxville area. The new program places a civil legal aid attorney on the care team with the doctors, nurses and social workers at the hospital. The attorney works to address non-medical issues that impact positive medical outcomes. CHLP is funded through a 2017 grant from Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee. For more information, contact the Knoxville office of Legal Aid at (865) 637-0484.

LSC in Tennessee Examines ATJ Issues, Honors Volunteers 
Tennessee’s Access to Justice community was in the spotlight in January when the board of the Legal Services Corporation held three days of meetings and events in Nashville. Former Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Janice Holder and William Koch, Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins and former TBA Presidents Marcy Eason and Buck Lewis were among those addressing the participants. TBA President-elect Jason Pannu also took part in the pro bono awards program, where a firm and volunteers from across the state were recognized for their work.

TECHNOLOGY

Courts Use Computer Algorithms to Determine Jail Time 
In some courtrooms across the country, artificial intelligence is being used to determine whether a defendant may be released on bail or should remain locked up while awaiting trial, the Morristown Citizen Tribune reports.

As the bail reform movement grows, court systems like that of the city of Cleveland are turning to algorithms to make decisions that used to be based on court files and the judge’s intuition. The algorithms scour through courthouse data to predict which individuals are most likely to flee or commit another crime. Critics of the process say that the algorithms could end up supplanting judges’ own judgment or else perpetuate the biases they were created to solve.

Members of 2018 TBALL class at Big Shrimp event Access to Justice
TBA Leadership Law (TBALL) class and steering committee members mix and mingle at the Big Shrimp reception honoring the 110th General Assembly on Feb. 13 in Nashville. From left: James Hollis, Casey Bryant, Loretta Cravens, Mary Beth Maddox and Ryan Durham. Photo by Kate Prince Access to Justice Committee member Jim Barry and former Justice Janice Holder at LSC events in Nashville. Photo by Liz Todaro.

BYLAW AMENDMENT

Proposed Bylaw Amendments Would Add Emphasis on Attorney Well-Being
In accordance with Section 59 of the Bylaws of the Tennessee Bar Association, notice is hereby given that the TBA Board of Governors will consider adoption of the following amendment to the bylaws at its meeting to be held April 21.

The TBA’s Attorney Well Being Committee proposes to incorporate into the TBA’s Purpose in its Bylaws specific reference to lawyer well-being to clearly demonstrate the TBA’s commitment to encouraging and supporting lawyers in attaining this standard:

“The purposes of the Association shall be to foster legal education, maintain the honor, dignity and well-being of the members of the legal profession, enhance the performance of the legal profession, cultivate professional ethics and fellowship among its members and promote responsible relationships between the legal profession and the public.”