TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Feb 26, 2009

Journal Issue Date: Mar 2009

Public Service Luncheon Honors Firms, Individuals for Pro Bono

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, who urged attorneys across Tennessee to take part in the April 4 public service effort supported by the TBA.

See photos and learn more about those recognized at http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/News/2009/publicservice_012009.html

Save the date for the ...
128th Annual 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 lead one program, presenting a bipartisan panel discussion titled "What Our Country Must Do Now." Also on tap is ABA Spirit of Excellence Award winner Cesar L. Alvarez, CEO of Greenberg Traurig in Miami, 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 from the Jimmy Church Band and the Bouffants, a trip to Graceland that will include music from the high-octane rockabilly band the Dempseys. Make plans to be at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, June 18 - 20.

For more information, see pages 30 and 31 of this issue, or go to https://www.tba.org/convention2009/

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. The court has yet to set a comment period for the proposal.

Read or download the petition and exhibits at http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2009/disbarred_petition_exhibits_011609.pdf


Court adopts rules revisions

The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted extensive revisions to the state rules of practice procedure and evidence effective July 1,   subject to ratification by the Tennessee General Assembly. The amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Juvenile Procedure and Rules of Evidence come as a result of the rules commission process employed by the court in developing and vetting rules proposals.

Among the revisions to the rules are new rules on the discovery of electronically stored information, the so-called "e-discovery amendments." In addition, a part of the package is a rule amendment recommended by the TBA as part of its 4ALL campaign. This proposal, developed by Danny Van Horn, makes explicit permission for residual funds from class action cases to be granted to the Tennessee Voluntary Fund for Indigent Civil Representation (TVFICR). The TVFICR is known colloquially as the cy pres fund. (Read more about this on page 12.)

Review all of the rules revisions at   http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2009/rulesrevisions_012209.html

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. An evaluation committee will review all comments and make a recommendation to the court as to whether he should be reappointed. Comments, which are due by March 20, should be sent to the 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, OH 45202.

View the evaluation criteria at

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.

Download the entire list   at

WANTED: Law school deans
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. 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 openingsat http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202427931366

Business development: How top rainmakers bring in clients
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.

Take a look at the latest edition of The Complete Lawyer now http://www.thecompletelawyer.com/bars/tennessee-bar-association/