TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Feb 25, 2009

Journal Issue Date: Mar 2009

Nearly 40 law firms were honored for adopting pro bono polices during the 2009 TBA Public Service Luncheon Jan. 17. Three individual attorneys were also honored during the program, which featured a keynote address from Chief Justice Janice Holder. Holder urged attorneys across Tennessee to take part in the April 4 public service effort supported by the TBA.

The Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year Award was presented to the late Ross Alderman, Davidson County Public Defender. It was accepted by his widow, Judge Patricia J. Cottrell. Charles K. Grant of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, was given the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award, and University of Tennessee College of Law student Daniel Ellis was recognized as the Law Student Volunteer of the Year.

See photos and learn more about those recognized at the luncheon and the list of the more than 40 law firms that have adopted formal pro bono policies at www.tba.org/journal_links


Petition to clarify rules brought by TBA: In January, the Tennessee Bar Association petitioned the Tennessee Supreme Court to issue new rules clarifying what lawyers who have been disbarred, suspended or placed on disability inactive status with pending disciplinary complaints can do with respect to law practice, and clarifying the relationship of licensed lawyers with lawyers in this disciplinary status.

The petition proposes a new Rules of Professional Conduct 5.8, which bans disbarred lawyers from almost any involvement with lawyers or in law practice; and puts suspended lawyers and lawyers placed on disability inactive status with pending disciplinary complaints under severe restrictions in dealing with lawyers and clients.

The proposal was developed by a working group chaired by Sue Van Sant Palmer and included TBA members involved in disciplinary matters and lawyer assistance programs. At the time of this writing, the court had not set a comment period for the proposal. Read or download the petition and exhibits at www.tba.org/journal_links

Foundation awards $1.4 million in IOLTA grants: Fifty-five law-related organizations were awarded grants totaling $1.4 million from the Tennessee Bar Foundation recently through its IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts) program. The recipients are headquartered in 25 communities around the state and provide their services in many additional cities and counties. The awards range from $3,000 to $270,000.
Link to the entire list at www.tba.org/journal_links

Law school deans wanted: At least 27 law schools throughout the country are searching for new deans " including the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law " and many are having a tough time filling the position. (At the time of this writing, the Memphis School had narrowed the field to four finalists.) Law school deanships, once highly sought after, are now higher-stress jobs, thanks in part to the economy, LegalTimes reports. Read the story, including a list of schools with openings, through www.tba.org/journal_links.

Advice from rainmakers for business development: There's nothing like a recession to bring your business development skills back into the picture. The latest edition of The Complete Lawyer " an e-magazine provided as a service to TBA members " tackles the question "How do top rainmakers make it happen?" The magazine covers the topic from all angles: marketing strategy, public relations, writing, speaking, networking and of course direct sales.

Connect to the latest edition of The Complete Lawyer at www.tba.org/journal_links

Comment on federal public defender: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is accepting comments on the performance of Henry Martin, the federal public defender for the Middle District of Tennessee, as well as on the quality of services provided by his office. Martin's current term will expire on July 21. Any person wishing to offer comments relating to Mr. Martin's performance as Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Tennessee or relating to the performance in general of that office may address written comments to:

Middle District of Tennessee Public Defender Evaluation Committee
c/o Clarence Maddox, Circuit Executive
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
503 Potter Stewart Courthouse
100 East Fifth Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202


Save the date for the 128th TBA Convention

A series of top programs are scheduled for June 18-20 during the Tennessee Bar Association Annual Convention in Memphis. Former Senator Howard Baker and former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. will present a panel discussion titled "What Our Country Must Do Now." Also on tap is ABA Spirit of Excellence Award winner Cesar L. Alvarez, who will speak on diversity in our profession. Compelling programming continues when the ethics prosecutors from the Duke University Lacrosse case present their moving "Anatomy of a Hoax" presentation. Along with that, four former Tennessee Supreme Court justices will discuss historical mileposts from their time on the court, and federal judges from the Western District will be on hand to present a panel discussion on jury selection.

There will also be great entertainment. For more information go to www.tba.org/convention2009/