TBA Law Blog


Posted by: Journal News on May 1, 2018

Journal Issue Date: May 2018

Journal Name: May 2018 - Vol. 54, No. 5

Fourth Estate Award Nomination Deadline Extended

April 10, 2018

The deadline for nominations for the TBA’s first-ever Fourth Estate Award has been extended to May 10. The award was created to honor courageous journalism that enhances public understanding of the legal system and the law. Nominations will be accepted for work published from Jan. 1, 2017 until the present.

TBA to Honor Excellence in Journalism with New Award

April 5, 2018

The Tennessee Bar Association is now accepting nominations for consideration for its first ever Fourth Estate Award, created to honor “courageous reporting on justice and the law.” The winner will be a journalist or journalists from newspapers, TV, radio, digital media, book publishing or social media who have shown courage in exercising First Amendment rights in the promotion of public understanding of how the law and our legal system works. The deadline for submissions is May 1.

ABA Committee: LMU Duncan School of Law Fails to Meet Accreditation Standard

April 9, 2018

The Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law is “significantly out of compliance” with certain accreditation standards, according to a letter released by the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the ABA Journal reports. The letter, dated April 5, found that the Knoxville school was not in compliance with Standards 501 (a) and (b), which state that law schools should maintain “sound admissions policies and practices” and not admit candidates who seem like they won’t finish law school or pass a bar exam.

Study Finds Lawyers Rank Highest on ‘Loneliness Scale’

April 3, 2018

In a new survey, lawyers outranked all other professional on a “loneliness scale” of more than 1,600 workers, the ABA Journal reports. Sixty-one percent of lawyers ranked above average on the scale, compared to 57 percent of engineers, 51 percent of workers in food service industry and 45 percent of workers in education services. The study was conducted partly by Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, a psychiatrist for the workplace consulting firm BetterUp.

TBA Membership Renewal Now Open

April 2, 2018

The Tennessee Bar Association’s online renewal program for 2018-2019 is now open! Renew your membership today, and you will not have to worry about losing benefits or services for the next year. Membership includes three pre-paid CLE credits (a $150 value) plus discounts on courses, free online legal research (with an annual value of $995) and timely information through TBA Today, the TBA Law Blog and the Tennessee Bar Journal. Renew online today.

ABA Launches Website Dedicated to Capital Clemency

March 28, 2018

The American Bar Association’s Capital Clemency Resource Initiative (CCRI) launched a website this week designed to improve the public’s understanding of clemency in death penalty cases and provide resources for lawyers and other stakeholders. The ABA found that, despite clemency’s historic role as the criminal justice system’s “fail safe” to prevent unjust sentences from being carried out, access to accurate information on clemency in death penalty cases has long been inadequate. Three ABA entities joined together in 2015 to form the CCRI. "While our Association does not take a position on the death penalty generally, we do believe that every stage of a capital case — from arrest to execution — should be carried out with the utmost care," said ABA President Hilarie Bass.

Oklahoma to Experiment with Nitrogen Executions

March 16, 2018

The state of Oklahoma, short of drugs needed to perform lethal injections, will likely switch to nitrogen inhalation for future executions, the ABA Journal reports. Nitrogen “hypoxia,” which deprives the body of oxygen, has never been tried by any country in the world. State Attorney General Mike Hunter said Oklahoma could begin these executions by the end of the year.

Agathos Classical Takes Home 2018 Mock Trial Trophy

March 26, 2018

Agathos Classical School of Columbia took home the top prize in the Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition last weekend in Nashville. St. Mary’s Episcopal School of Memphis competed against Agathos in the final round and took second place in the competition hosted by the Tennessee Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division. Earning third was Springfield High School of Springfield. Judge Timothy Easter presided over the final round, with TBA President Lucian Pera and the executive committee of the Young Lawyers Division serving as scorers. For more on the competition and photos of the winners, visit the TBA website.

Students Claim Individual Awards at Mock Trial Championships

March 27, 2018

Along with the overall team champion, a number of individuals were recognized for their performance during the 2018 TBA YLD Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Championships last weekend in Nashville. Students were recognized as team MVPs, Best Witnesses for the Defense, Best Witnesses for the Plaintiffs, Best Advocates for the Defense and Best Advocates for the Plaintiff. See the full results and photos. Along with being named the overall champion, Agathos Classical School in Columbia will represent Tennessee at the national High School Mock Trial championships in Reno, Nevada, this May.

Tennessee High School Mock Trial Competition Underway

March 23, 2018

The state tournament for Tennessee high school mock trial teams is underway now in Nashville. Fourteen teams from across the state are competing in this year’s tournament presented by the TBA's Young Lawyers Division and supported by hundreds of Tennessee lawyers and judges. The qualifying teams this year are Unicoi High School of Erwin, Farragut High School of Knoxville, Jefferson County High School of Dandridge, Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association of Chattanooga, Signal Mountain High School of Signal Mountain, Jackson Homeschool of Jackson, Beech High School of Hendersonville, Montgomery Bell Academy of Nashville, Harpeth Hall of Nashville, Springfield High School of Springfield, Agathos Classical School of Columbia, Franklin High School of Franklin, Memphis University School of Memphis, and St. Mary’s Episcopal School, also of Memphis. Tomorrow evening after the main four rounds are completed, two teams will advance to the championship round and a winner will be crowned.  

Diversity Leadership Institute Kicks Off First Meeting

March 23, 2018

TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson addresses the Diversity Leadership Institute class in Nashville.

After their first meeting in January was cancelled due to inclement weather, Diversity Leadership Institute class members met for the first time in Nashville this week. This year’s class includes four students from Nashville School of Law, three from Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law, six from the University of Tennessee College of Law, six from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, one from Belmont University School of Law and one from Vanderbilt Law. The class will participate in a service project tomorrow, and will reconvene in June alongside the Tennessee Bar Association annual convention in Memphis.

National First-Time Bar Passage Rate Up 3 Percent for 2017

March 23, 2018

The most recent class of law school graduates have improved upon first-time bar passages from the year prior, the ABA Journal reports. The class of 2017’s bar passage rate was 77.2 percent, an increase from 74.3 in 2016. The data comes from a new report, released Thursday, by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

TBA Leaders in Washington to Meet with Legislators

April 11, 2018

TBA leaders in Washington, D.C., meet with U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper.

Tennessee Bar Association leaders are in Washington, D.C., this week to participate in the 2018 ABA Day on the Hill. Over two days they are meeting with the members of the House and Senate from Tennessee to discuss issues of importance to lawyers across the state.