TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Jun 25, 2008

Journal Issue Date: May 2008

Journal Name: May 2008 - Vol. 44, No. 5

Thank you to our volunteers
St. Mary's Wins Again in High School Mock Trial
St. Mary's Episcopal School from Memphis scored a final round victory over Brentwood High School to win a second-straight title in the Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition in Nashville March 15. The team will now represent Tennessee in the national competition, May 8-10, in Wilmington, Del. The attorney-coach of the team is Memphis attorney Jennifer Nichols.

Sixteen high school teams from across Tennessee put their legal skills to the test during the Tennessee Bar Association's annual competition. About 200 students and 200 volunteers " mostly, judges, lawyers and law students " gave their time and expertise. About 30 sitting judges in the state presided over each round.

To see more pictures, and listings of complete standings, attorney-coaches and most valuable players, go to www.tba.org/mocktrial/2008_mocktrial_winners.html

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Vandy moves up in magazine law school rankings: Vanderbilt Law School moved up a notch to No. 15 in the recent U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of law schools. The University of Tennessee College of Law came in at number 52, while the magazine did not provide a ranking for the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis or the Nashville School of Law. Connect to the full report at www.tba.org/journal_links

UT law offers loan assistance to public interest grads: The University of Tennessee College of Law has created a Loan Repayment Assistance Program to provide financial assistance to graduates who obtain employment in the field of public interest law and need assistance in repaying law school loans. For its inaugural year, the college will offer two $3,600 awards to graduating 3Ls.

'Animal law' getting more teeth: Just eight years ago, only nine ABA-accredited law schools offered courses in the fledgling field of animal law. Now more than 90 of the 196 accredited schools are on the list. No longer are animals simply considered property, especially as they are being named as beneficiaries, become subjects of lawsuits and are identified as victims of abuse. Connect to the story in the Winston Salem Journal at www.tba.org/journal_links

More legal jobs headed offshore, research firms says: Forrester Research projects that 29,000 legal jobs will move offshore by the end of the year, climbing to as many as 79,000 by 2015. Time magazine reports on the trend and India's move up the corporate food chain, from call centers to legal and other professional services. Link to Time at www.tba.org/journal_links

... Yet, business outlook good for American law firms: Despite well-publicized layoffs at several major law firms lately and a struggling economy, law firms in the U.S. can expect to do fine in the future, predicts The Economist. The magazine cites new overseas markets and a bevy of restructuring and insolvency work as reasons for its optimism. Link to The Economist at www.tba.org/journal_links

Lawyer files suit to allow his own assisted suicide: A retired lawyer in Florida has filed suit asking a court to allow his doctor to assist his suicide when he reaches the point of mental incapacity. James Mahorner, 76, says small strokes are attacking his brain, and he wants to establish a right to die while he is still competent, link to the story at www.tba.org/journal_links

Track legislation of interest to Tennessee attorneys: The TBA Action List tracks bills in the General Assembly in which the TBA has a direct interest. This means it has either initiated the legislation, taken a postition on the bill or has a policy on the issue. The TBA Watch List is a broader list of bills of interest to the Tennessee legal community. Find them both at https://www.tba.org/tba_legismain.html

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TBA Board to Nominate Candidates for the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission
The Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors announces that it will conduct a selection process to nominate three candidates to the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission. From those three candidates, the Speaker of the Tennessee General Assembly will choose a TBA member to replace Memphis lawyer Jef Feibelman, who has served since 2002 but is not seeking reappointment. The nominees must come from the West or East Grand Divisions, since the other TBA appointee, John Tarpley of Nashville, was selected from the Middle Tennessee Grand Division by the Speaker of the House. The TBA will make its selections at its June board meeting.

Any member of the Tennessee Bar Association who wishes to be a candidate for one of the nominations must communicate by letter of intent including a résumé or curriculum vitae to Tennessee Bar Association Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur at the Tennessee Bar Center, not later than close of business May 31.

Under the statute creating the Judicial Selection Commission, the nominees submitted by the TBA "shall not include attorneys whose principal practice area is either plaintiff's personal injury work or criminal defense." Tenn. Code Ann.  §17-4-102(a). The statute also specifies that neither of the two TBA appointees can come from the same Grand Division.

The groups making nominations are also admonished to nominate with a "conscious intention" of selecting a body which represents the diversity of the state with respect to race and gender.

TBA President Buck Lewis will make the determination whether any candidate is qualified by domicile in West and East Grand Divisions and whether they meet the statutory practice standards.

The name of each qualified candidate will be placed into nomination and the board will proceed by secret ballot to select candidates by majority vote. The names of the three TBA nominees will be submitted to House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, for appointment with a term beginning Sept. 1.

The Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission plays an important role in the quality of Tennessee's judiciary by submitting the names of three nominees for any vacancy on the trial or appellate bench.

For more information please see http://tba.org/BOG/elexhandbook.html