TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Jul 24, 2019

Journal Issue Date: Aug 2019

Journal Name: Vol 55 No 8

Opioid Task Force Report Shows Impact on Legal Aid Organizations

Legal Services Corporation released its Opioid Task Force Report this summer at the Tennessee Supreme Court in Nashville. The report provides background on the opioid epidemic and addresses the intersection of civil legal aid and the need for coordinated responses to this crisis. Speakers included Chief Justice Jeff Bivins and Tennessee Courts Director Deborah Taylor Tate. Tate served as a member of the LSC task force and is the co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force.

TBA President Sarah Sheppeard, center, Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins and Justice Connie Clark attended the unveiling of the LSC’s Opioid Task Force Report. Photos by Liz Todaro.

Bivins and others praised the report and highlighted the need for a collaborative response to the opioid crisis, including a focus on the civil legal issues that arise for individuals and families affected by opioid use.

The report focuses on how the opioid epidemic has impacted legal aid organizations. “It was creating remarkable problems for our grantees,” LSC Board Member Victor B. Maddox said, referring to the dozens of civil legal aid offices dispersed throughout the nation that receive funding from the LSC. “This public health crisis has created and continues to create a civil legal aid crisis for survivors and communities related to issues such as child support, custody, health benefits, domestic violence, elder and child abuse, housing, employment and others.” 

Members of LSC’s Opioid Task Force and other leaders from the legal community gathered at the Tennessee Supreme Court for the release of the group’s report. Speakers included Chief Justice Jeffery Bivins, Administrative Office of the Courts Director Deborah Taylor Tate and West Tennessee Legal Services Executive Director Catherine Clayton.


Applications Due Soon for 2019 Public Service Academy

The TBA is now accepting applications for its second annual Public Service Academy, a bipartisan training fellowship to provide attorneys with the tools to run for local political office. It takes place over the course of two weekends in the fall, during which fellows will hear speakers discuss topics like strategy, campaign finance, work-life balance and more. The 2019 co-chairs of the program are Knoxville attorney Tasha Blakney and Clarksville attorney Joel Wallace. In 2018, the TBA launched the program and trained its inaugural class  of 29 attorneys. Several are running for office now.
Applications are due Aug. 7.

TBA Debuts New Podcast Network

The Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network launched in July with the premiere of two shows — SideBar and BarBuzz.
SideBar is a magazine podcast featuring compelling stories from attorneys across the state. BarBuzz is a monthly rundown of TBA news and upcoming events at the local and state bar levels. Both shows are now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA’s website. Simply search the show title or “Tennessee Bar Association” wherever you listen to podcasts.
Do you have a story lead you’d like to submit for a future episode? Contact Kate Prince at kprince@tnbar.org.

Lauren Curry and Animal Law Section Immediate Past Chair Dusty King make friends with an eight-week-old clouded leopard during a recent TBA Animal Law Section CLE, where Curry was a presenter. The forum, held at the Nashville Zoo garnered praise, and more than doubled attendance from the previous year. Attendees enjoyed top-notch programming, along with time to explore the zoo. CE credit was also available for veteranarians through the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Photo by Jarod Word.

Supreme Court Amends Rule 13

Following the passage of Senate Bill 559/House Bill 628, the Tennessee Supreme Court has amended Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 13  of the Tennessee Annotated Code. Section 1 concerns the right to counsel and procedure for appointment of counsel, while Section 2 deals with compensation of counsel in non-capital cases.

Katharine Traylor Schaffzin is the new dean at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, the first woman to hold that position.

Memphis Law Names Schaffzin New Law Dean

The University of Memphis in July named Katharine Traylor Schaffzin as the new dean of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She has been with the University of Memphis since 2009, most recently serving as Interim Dean of Memphis Law over the past year.
Schaffzin is the first woman in the history of the law school to serve as dean. There are now two women of six law school deans in Tennessee.

LMU Praised for ‘Reimagining Legal Education’  Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law gets a shout-out in a recent issue of SE Texas Record, for its practical approach as “an unusual school that offers a sharp contrast to the prevailing model.” Mark Pulliam writes about LMU’s attraction for non-traditional students, which emphasizes “skills-based instruction, and seeks to train lawyers who will service the legal needs of ordinary people in rural areas of the state, primarily as solo practitioners or attorneys working at small firms.”

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District has a new,
community-oriented website focusing on topics of interest to the public.

Eastern District Adds User-Friendly Website to Civics Education Efforts

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee has a new website called “Connections,” designed to bring information to the community about everything from naturalization ceremonies, courthouse tours, available speakers, resources for educators and more. Coordinated by Magistrate Judge Cliff Corker in Greeneville, the site also includes significant cases from the district, information about essay and art contests, as well as a Teachers Law School. The site is part of a larger effort by the court to bring civics education to the public.
Check out the site at http://connections.ed.uscourts.gov.