TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on May 29, 2009

Journal Issue Date: Jun 2009

Journal Name: June 2009 - Vol. 45, No. 6

Van Horn elected TBA Vice President

Tennessee Bar Association members have chosen Memphis lawyer Danny Van Horn to be TBA's next vice president, a choice that will make him the organization's president-elect in 2010 and TBA president in 2011. More than 25 percent of TBA members voted in the competitive contest between Van Horn and Jackson attorney Linda Warren Seely. Van Horn, a former president of the TBA's Young Lawyers Division, currently serves as the 9th District's representative on the TBA Board of Governors and as chair of the TBA CLE Committee. In announcing the results, TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur thanked the two candidates for having "a spirited and professional campaign which has helped to heighten interest in the TBA, its mission and its future."

Law Day contest winners announced

The TBA YLD has announced the winners of the 2009 Tennessee Law Day Art and Essay Competitions. The theme of this year's contest was "A Legacy of Liberty: Celebrating Lincoln's Bicentennial," which was chosen to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and spur debate on whether the goals of the Gettysburg Address and the Declaration of Independence have been met. The YLD would like to thank Knoxville lawyer Kelli Guinn with Howard & Howard for serving as this year's contest coordinator.

View the winning entries here https://www.tba.org/YLD/artessay_2009.html

The Complete Lawyer: Plan Your Estate Now

Despite these difficult economic times, there are many reasons that now is a good time for lawyers to set up plans for their estates. For those who may be subject to federal or state estate tax, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish unique planning goals and objectives, according to reports in the current issue of The Complete Lawyer, the online magazine brought to you as a TBA member service. Here are a few of the stories you'll find: It's A "Perfect Storm" For Lawyers' Estate Planning; Women Need To Be Educated About Estate Planning; Asset Protection Considerations For Business Owners; Tax Aspects Of Life Settlement Arrangements; The Irrevocable Income-Only Trust; and Succession Planning For Solos.

Check out these and other stories in this month's Complete Lawyer

With fewer legal jobs out there, 43,000 graduates hit the market

The nation's 200 accredited law schools will spit out about 43,000 graduates next month, with roughly half of those lawyer-hopefuls expecting to take jobs in private practice. But they will be entering an employment market that already is swarming with laid-off associates, resulting in a "massive pile-up of attorneys looking for work."

Law.com has this National Law Journal report http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202429987288

Law school enrollment numbers up for the fall

According to preliminary data from the Law School Admission Council, the number of students applying to law schools is up 3.8 percent for the fall 2009, and the number of applications filed by those individuals is up six percent. In an interview with the ABA Journal, the council's president suggests that the economic downturn has led to the increase.

Read more http://www.abajournal.com/news/number_of_students_applying_to_law_school_jumps_3.8_percent

Annual law school rankings put Vanderbilt in top 20

U.S. News & World Report   released in April its 2010 law school rankings with no major upheavals among top spots. Yale remains first on the list, followed by Harvard and Stanford, which tied for second place last year. Two Tennessee schools made the top 100 list: Vanderbilt University came in at 17, while the University of Tennessee College of Law ranked 59. For the first time this year, the magazine also added rankings for part-time law schools although no Tennessee schools made the grade in that category. See the list.

Read commentary on the rankings from the National Law Journal http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202430128104

Vick named BPR ethics counsel

The Board of Professional Responsibility has named James A. Vick to the newly created position of ethics counsel. He has more than 13 years of experience as a disciplinary counsel and has most recently served as the deputy chief for the board's Investigations Section. The ethics counsel will respond to all inquiries of Tennessee lawyers concerning their own compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. Beginning May 1, Vick will assist the board in drafting formal and informal ethics opinions and will develop continuing legal education materials for the office.

FCC can ban fleeting expletives, high court says

At the end of April , the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the power of the Federal Communications Commission to ban so-called fleeting expletives in live broadcasts. At issue is an FCC policy adopted in March 2004 that bans "isolated or fleeting" use of four-letter words during daytime and evening broadcasts. In a 5-4 opinion, the Supreme Court said the FCC policy switch was not arbitrary or capricious.

ABAJournal.com connects you to more information

Project Salute coming to Nashville

Project Salute, a unique service project pioneered by the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, provides free legal assistance to low-income veterans. The project will be in Nashville at the end of May and volunteer lawyers are needed. A training session will be held May 28 at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. The course, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., will teach attorneys how to assist veterans with legal issues regarding disability and pension benefits. In exchange for the free training and materials, attorneys agree to accept one or more veterans' cases on a pro bono basis. The law school also will conduct a legal clinic for veterans on May 15 and 16 in Nashville.

Learn more about Project Salute

New law review aims for wider audience

A new legal publication launched recently by a group of influential law reviews is designed to reach out to a wide range of readers, not just those in the legal world. The Legal Workshop -- a collaboration between New York University Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, Northwestern Law Review and University of Chicago Law Review -- was started and is operated by current and former student editors of the law reviews.

Check it out http://legalworkshop.org/

Jailhouse confessions OK

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 29 that prosecutors can use so-called jailhouse confessions at trial to impeach a defendant's court testimony. The 7-2 decision held that a confession to an informant was admissible for impeachment purposes, but not to prove the government's case in chief. SCOTUSBLOG reported the decision.

New law school picks up accreditation

Lincoln Memorial University's new law school in downtown Knoxville has been granted accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The action follows Tennessee Board of Law Examiner approval earlier this spring, which allows graduates to be eligible to sit for the Tennessee bar exam. LMU officials are also seeking accreditation from the American Bar Association for its John J. Duncan Jr. School of Law, which would allow graduates to sit for any state bar exam.

Programs see increase in lawyers needing help

Across the country, lawyer assistance programs are seeing demand for their services grow as the economy struggles. In Illinois, for example, its assistance program in April had 42 new referrals -- nearly twice the monthly average in 2008. Attorneys should be on the lookout for colleagues who are struggling with major issues such as divorce, death or substance abuse, and shouldn't be afraid to reach out and ask whether things are OK, said Susan Riegler, a psychologist and clinical director of the Illinois Lawyers' Assistance Program.

Law.com reports http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202430440045

Tenn. team competes in national mock trial

Tennessee's state high school mock trial champion, White Station High School of Memphis, competed in the national high school mock trial competition this past weekend in Atlanta and placed 23 out of 41. Team members distinguished themselves as Gordon Pera and Jennifer Vu won best witness certificates and Jennifer Edelson and Grace Kim won best attorney certificates. The team was coached by Memphis attorneys Eugene "Buddy" Bernstein and Michelle Bernstein.