TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Apr 27, 2010

Journal Issue Date: May 2010

Journal Name: May 2010 - Vol. 46, No. 5

The TBA Board of Governors will appoint a member to fill the vacancy created by the election of Jackie Dixon as vice president of the TBA. The appointment will be made at the board's June 5 meeting. Any member who lives or practices in the 5th District (Davidson County) is eligible for appointment. To indicate your interest in the seat, contact TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur not later than May 31, 2010. The new board member will serve until the   elections, which will take place in spring 2011.

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Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition

Volunteers Ensure Success

White Station High School of Memphis claimed its second straight championship in March, defeating St. Mary's Episcopal School in the 30th annual Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition. The team now will represent Tennessee at the National High School Mock Trial Competition in Philadelphia May 5-9.

White Station's coach is Memphis attorney Eugene "Buddy" Bernstein of the Bernstein Law Office. Memphis's St. Mary's was coached by Jennifer Nichols of the District Attorney's Office.

Under the leadership of State Mock Trial Committee Chair Marisa Lee Combs with Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop PC in Nashville, and Vice Chair Troy Weston with Eldridge & Blakney PC in Knoxville, the two-day competition involved nearly 200 volunteers, including lawyers, law students and paralegals, as well as sitting judges in the state who presided over the trial rounds at the Metro Davidson County Courthouse in downtown Nashville. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Janice Holder presided over the championship match Saturday evening.

The teams put their skills to the test arguing a fictitious civil case developed by Combs and Nashville lawyer Candi Henry with Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella PC, which involved a dispute over design and construction of a 400,000-square-foot distribution center. The central issue at stake was whether the work performed constituted a breach of contract and professional negligence.

For more photos and news, go to www.tba.org/mocktrial/2010_mocktrial_winners.html.  



Veile to be YLD president in 2012-2013
Lebanon lawyer David Veile will serve as president of the TBA Young Lawyers Division in 2012-2013. He will take office this June as vice president, and then automatically assume the office of president-elect in 2011 and president in 2012. Veile, who practices with Lowery, Lowery & Cherry PLLC, is considered to be elected now because he was unopposed for the office. Members of the YLD will decide the outcome of five other races, which are contested, at the division's annual meeting June 4 in Nashville. Learn more at www.tba.org/YLD/

State Supreme Court releases annual report
The Tennessee Supreme Court released its 2008-2009 annual report of the Tennessee Judiciary in April. The report offers an overview of the judicial system's accomplishments and provides statistical information about the courts. In an effort to "go green," this year's annual report is being published only in electronic format. Download the report from http://www.tncourts.gov/

Bar Foundation gives IOLTA awards to 56 law-related groups
The Tennessee Bar Foundation recently announced awards from the Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program to 56 law-related organizations. The recipients are headquartered in 28 communities around the state and awards range from $1,000 to $225,000 for a total of $1 million. This year's awards support organizations in Tennessee that provide direct legal services to the indigent or seek to improve the administration of justice. More than $16.8 million has been distributed since the program's inception.   Download the list of recipients from http://www.tnbarfoundation.org/

TBJ Gets New Member on Board
Nashville lawyer Paul A. Gontarek joins the Tennessee Bar Journal Editorial Board, filling the position held by Kathryn Reed Edge since 2006. Gontarek is a partner in Waller Lansden's trial and appellate practice group in Nashville. He is a 1996 graduate of Baylor University and a 1999 graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is a graduate of the Leadership Law Program of the Tennessee Bar Association, and is chair of the Nashville Bar Association Probate Committee.

Lawyer's blog offers fashion, etiquette advice
If you ever worry and wonder about what to wear to the office, the fashion and lifestyle blog, "Corporette" offers itself to women as the answer. Attorney Kat Griffin has won over thousands of followers and has been called one of the Top 100 law bloggers by the American Bar Association. See what Corporette has to say at http://corporette.com/

Court Web site gets new design, new address
The U.S. Supreme Court's long-awaited Web site redesign was unveiled recently, updating what had been criticized as clunky and outdated. The Web address for the site will change from supremecourtus.gov to supremecourt.gov, but either address will provide access through July l.

Battle of privacy v. public's right to know leaning to privacy
Watchers of the First Amendment have noticed a growing trend to limit access to public information and records in the name of privacy. There are two reasons, says Ken Paulson, president and CEO of the Newseum and First Amendment Center. First, "new technology and the Web have spurred understandable anxiety from people concerned about having the details of their lives shared with strangers, as well as the possibility of identity theft," he says. "Second, lawmakers tend to write bills limiting information when they believe the news media may exploit it."

Learn more from the First Amendment Center through www.tba.org/journal_links.

State's Blue Book now online
The 2009-2010 Tennessee Blue Book, the source for information about state government and history, is now available online. The Blue Book is produced every two years by the Secretary of State's office, containing information about the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government " including biographical information about top elected and appointed officials. The book also includes biographical information about the state's representatives in Congress, the full texts of the state and U.S. constitutions, a detailed history of the state, information about historical sites around Tennessee, statistics about cities and counties, election results, state symbols and more. Access the Blue Book at http://state.tn.us/sos/bluebook

Network with lawyers
The Tennessee Bar Association's 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 300 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. Check out TBAConnect at www.tbaconnect.org


Youth Courts to Start in Memphis This Fall

Four schools in the Memphis city school system will have active youth courts by next fall thanks to the hard work of Memphis attorney Larry Scroggs, chief counsel for the Memphis Juvenile Courts as well as the support of Linda Warren Seeley with Memphis Area Legal Services and Memphis Bar Association President Ricky Wilkins, who have been long-time advocates of youth court/peer mediation initiatives in Memphis.

Recruitment for volunteer lawyers will begin immediately. Youth courts, also known as teen or peer courts, are an alternative sentencing mechanism for first-time non-violent juvenile offenders who appear before and are sentenced by a jury of their peers. If you are interested in getting involved in one of these courts at Cordova, Frayser, Kirby or Whitehaven high schools please contact state youth court coordinator Alexanderia Honeycutt at ahoneycutt@tnbar.org or (615) 383-7421.

Learn more about youth courts at www.tba.org/youthcourt/