TBA Law Blog


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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2020

Savannah lawyer William “Lee” Lackey, 78, died Oct. 11. After graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School, Lackey joined the U.S. Army and served for three years. His last assignment was serving as a legal officer for the Third Army at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. After leaving the Army, he joined his father’s law practice at Lackey & Lackey and, for more than four decades, was a prominent member of the West Tennessee bar. He served at the firm until his father’s retirement and then continued with a solo practice for many years. Lackey also served as Hardin County Attorney for more than a decade and as a member of the Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates. Funeral services were held last weekend. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in support of cancer treatment work may be made to the Darryl Worley Foundation, 325 Main St., Savannah, TN 38372.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2020

Memphis attorney Brian Faughnan has been named president-elect of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. He will serve in that capacity until August 2021 and then automatically become president for 2021-2022. He is only the second attorney from Tennessee to serve in this capacity. Faughnan is a shareholder with Lewis Thomason. He also serves as associate general counsel and handles ethics and professional responsibility matters for the firm. Faughnan speaks frequently on ethics and professional responsibility issues. He will be the speaker for TBA’s 2020 Ethics Roadshow Homeshow, which will be presented virtually this year.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2020

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has announced that it will close for several holidays through the end of the calendar year and into early 2021. The dates include Nov. 11, Nov. 26-27, Dec. 24-25, Dec. 31, Jan. 1 and 18, 2021, and Feb. 15, 2021. Also, no settlement approval hearings will take place Jan. 28-29, 2021, due to judges attending a meeting of the Judicial Conference.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2020

The U.S. Department of Justice this week announced a global resolution of criminal and civil investigations into opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma LP, as well as a civil investigation into individual shareholders from the Sackler family. Purdue has agreed to plead guilty to three counts of criminal conduct and pay a criminal fine of $3.5 billion and an additional $2 billion in criminal forfeiture. The company also agreed to a civil settlement of $2.8 billion and the Sackler family agreed to pay $225 million in damages. Finally, the settlement requires the company to cease operating in its current form and transition to a public benefit company owned by a trust or similar entity once it emerges from bankruptcy. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III reacted to the news saying: “Having a new public benefit company (in which the Sacklers will have no interest whatsoever) emerge from the bankruptcy will provide a steady flow of abatement funds and the continued availability of medication for appropriate use, while ensuring a smooth path to winding down the business.” Several other attorneys general have criticized the deal, saying it would entangle the government in a risky drug-making operation without holding the company or its owners accountable, NPR reports.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2020

The Tennessee Supreme Court denied a petition for dissolution of suspension from Knox County lawyer Mark Steven Graham on Oct. 2. Graham was suspended in March after the court found that he misappropriated funds and posed a threat of substantial harm to the public. On June 29, Graham filed a petition for dissolution of the suspension. The Board of Professional Responsibility held a hearing on the matter and recommended that the suspension remain in place. The court agreed and rejected Graham’s petition.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2020

Illinois lawyer Stephen Kenneth Perry was suspended from the practice of law in Tennessee on Oct. 2. The state Supreme Court suspended him for two years, retroactive to Jan. 2, 2019, the date of his temporary suspension. The court also directed Perry to make restitution to his client in the amount of $3,500 and enter into a monitoring agreement with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2020

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands will hold two phone clinics next week for members of the public with questions about housing and renters’ rights, bankruptcy, medical bills, debt collection, domestic violence, SNAP benefits and unemployment benefits. Clinics will take place Monday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All times central. LAS is looking for attorneys to help answer questions. To volunteer contact Andrae Crismon or Kendra Cheek or call 615-780-7131. See all clinics for the month.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Oct 22, 2020

TBA LGBT Section member Maureen Truax Holland will be a virtual panelist on the third episode of Lawyers as Peacemakers, a webinar series from Law Essentials India. Tomorrow’s episode will cover LGBTQ issues and will begin at 8:30 a.m. CDT. The panel is free, but you must register beforehand. The live event can be found on the Law Essentials YouTube page.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Oct 22, 2020

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will take the stage tonight at Belmont University in Nashville for the final presidential debate, the Tennessean reports. Kristen Welker with NBC News will moderate the debate, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. CDT. This is the second time Belmont has hosted a presidential debate, 12 years after it held a town hall between former President Barack Obama and the late Senator John McCain. Trump and Biden will both be tested for the COVID-19 virus prior to the debate and all audience members will be required to wear masks throughout the event. The debate will air on all major networks.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Oct 22, 2020

President Donald Trump yesterday granted clemency to 70-year-old Curtis McDonald of Memphis for his role in a drug trafficking ring in the 1990s, the Commercial Appeal reports. McDonald is the co-defendant of Alice Johnson, a Memphis woman who was serving a life sentence for the same crime. Johnson was granted clemency in 2018 and has been advocating for McDonald’s release ever since. She was fully pardoned by Trump in August. In a statement yesterday, the White House acknowledged that McDonald was a “first time offender who has now served nearly 24 years in prison and has an excellent record of good conduct.” They also noted his productivity while in prison, his positive job evaluations, completion of education courses and his work as a mentor with the Mentors of Life program.


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