TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Dec 31, 2009

Journal Issue Date: Jan 2010

Journal Name: January 2010 - Vol. 46, No. 1

BPR launches new online services

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility has announced two new online services that will help attorneys comply with licensing requirements. The first is a new site that allows lawyers to register and pay their 2010 annual fee online. Also new for the 2010 registration, which will run from Jan. 15 to March 1, is a revised statement that includes an IOLTA compliance statement, a pro bono reporting statement and a contact verification form. For more information about the online registration process visit www.tbpr.org. The second new service, the Attorney Online Portal, allows lawyers to review and update their contact information, and see their BPR history on the board's web site.

Learn more about this service at http://www.tbpr.org/Portal/AttorneyPortalHelp.aspx

Addiction can be harder for professionals to overcome

A newspaper editor " and recovering addict -" writes about how addiction is often harder for professionals to overcome because a person can "be too smart to get help." Many facilities now have impaired professionals programs, "tailored to those who work in positions of status and authority ... It's designed to help the addicted doctor, lawyer or pilot address their addiction and find the coping skills to return to their chosen profession, should they want."

Read this personal story in The Daily Times http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20091116/LIFE/311169996

Mock trial problem released

The 2010 Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition got underway today with publication of the mock problem. This year's case is a civil scenario involving a dispute over design and construction of a 400,000-square-foot distribution center featuring a concrete slab-on-grade floor. The central issue at stake is whether the work performed constitutes a breach of contract or professional negligence. Teams and other interested parties may download the problem and the rules at https://www.tba.org/mocktrial/.

District competition coordinators were also announced today. See the list. https://www.tba.org/mocktrial/2010_mocktrialreps.html

The Tennessee Supreme Court welcomed about 200 new attorneys to the practice of law in Tennessee today (Nov. 18) during a pair of ceremonies at the War Memorial Auditorium. Between the two ceremonies, the TBA hosted many of the new admittees and their families for a celebration luncheon and open house at the Tennessee Bar Center. Knoxville's admission ceremony will be tomorrow (Nov. 19). Jackson and Memphis hosted ceremonies earlier in November. Below are scenes from the admissions ceremonies and open house.


ABA launches federal appeals court tracking service

The American Bar Association launched a pilot project in November that will make certain opinions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 5th and 9th Circuits publicly available. Students and professors at four law schools will select opinions most likely to be of interest to journalists and the public. While the pilot project covers just three circuits for now, the group plans to include all nine circuits eventually.

Learn more from the ABA at http://new.abanet.org/SCFJI/Pages/MediaAlertsOnFederalCircuitCourts.aspx

New resource for would-be public interest lawyers

A new online publication is aimed at filling a void in existing law school rankings by tailoring its information to would-be public interest lawyers. The Equal Justice Works Guide to Law Schools has information on the percentage of graduates in public service jobs, public interest field placements and clinics, and pro bono opportunities. The publication also has financial information, including tuition, scholarships and average student debt. The guide doesn't rank law schools, but it does allow users to do side-by-side comparisons of selected schools.

Check it out at

TBAConnect attracts members from age 24 to 80

The TBA's new TBAConnect social networking site continues to grow rapidly, attracting lawyers of all ages and practice areas from all across Tennessee. The web site -- similar to LinkedIn or Facebook but limited to TBA members and invited guests -- now has more than 200 participants ranging in age for 24 to 80. Those joining are almost equally split by urban/rural location -- 56 percent are from Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga; by age -- 44 percent are 50 and older; and gender, with about 60 percent male and 40 percent female. Already members are using TBAConnect to create profiles, share photos, notify colleagues about upcoming events and blog on current issues.

Join the TBAConnect social networking site now at http://www.tbaconnect.org/main/authorization/signUp?

Apply now for American Bar Association posts

Applications are now available for lawyers interested in being appointed to any of the more than 600 positions for which the American Bar Association (ABA) president makes appointments. The deadline for submitting applications is March 1. The Tennessee Bar Association's ABA Resource Committee is offering assistance to lawyers interested in applying for service on the various committees, commissions and other entities to which the ABA president appoints. Contact ABA Resource Committee Chair Jonathan Cole or ABA State Delegate Randy Noel for further information about ways in which the committee can be of assistance.

Find out more and apply here http://www.abanet.org/scripts/nomination10/appointments.jsp

Ex parte talks in 'problem solving courts' approved

The Tennessee Supreme Court has approved new commentary for the Code of Judicial Conduct saying "problem solving courts" like the drug courts and mental health courts that have cropped up in recent years may, if local rules authorize it, engage in some ex parte communications regarding those who are under their jurisdiction. The Tennessee Bar Association, joined by the Tennessee Judicial Conference and the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, had recommended a delay in adoption of the proposal pending the comprehensive review being undertaken by the TBA Task Force on Judicial Conduct Rules. The court indicated that the new commentary was being adopted "without prejudice" to any efforts to deal with the issue in the comprehensive rules proposal.

Download the rule at http://www.tba2.org/rule10_amend_121109.pdf

The Tennessee Supreme Court welcomed new attorneys to the practice of law in Tennessee in November is ceremonies across the state. In Nashville, the TBA hosted many of the new admittees and their families for a celebration luncheon and open house at the Tennessee Bar Center in conjunction with the swearing-in. See pictures from the admissions ceremonies and open house at http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2009/admissions_111809.html