TBA Policy Calls for Legal Services to be Designated as Essential

Adopted: March 25, 2020 by TBA Executive Committee

It is the position of the Tennessee Bar Association that if any additional prohibitions or restrictions are implemented in Tennessee in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, legal services should be designated essential services and remain available to the public. 

Legal services are essential to the administration of justice in this state and are critically necessary to the well-being of the citizens of Tennessee. In times of crisis and uncertainty, lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. Attorneys provide important services to Tennessee citizens in many different areas including matters affecting constitutional and civil rights, protecting children, protecting victims, criminal law, mental health law, end of life matters, health care, estate planning, employment issues, and proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Additionally, to the extent that the Tennessee Supreme Court orders certain courts to remain open even in a limited capacity, lawyers must appear on behalf of their clients.   

That being said, attorneys should follow the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and take all measures to protect the health and safety of themselves, their employees and Tennesseans. 

We stand ready to fulfill our professional responsibilities on behalf of the citizens of our great state.