Friday, March 26, 2021

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Do Video Trials Meet the Confrontation Rights Guaranteed in State and Federal Constitutions?

Chattanooga lawyer Nate Kinard looks at State v. Seale and other cases, as to whether two-way videoconferencing technology satisfies the confrontation rights in the federal and Tennessee constitutions. In this era where Zoom trials are common, you'll want to read "The Music of Confrontation: Taking Back Independence in Interpreting Tennessee’s Constitution." Spoiler: "Wise or foolish," Kinard writes, "the physical presence of witnesses is a requirement engraved in our Constitution, 'a rule to be demanded in order to guarantee ultimate fairness.' It does not matter that Tennessee’s founders could not have dreamed of testimony by two-way video."

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Celebrating ATJ Opportunities and Those Who Have Contributed

The March-April Tennessee Bar Journal is filled with articles about how the legal community has pressed on during this pandemic year, especially those serving vulnerable, low-income and isolated client populations. In this focus issue, read about opportunities for pro bono service that you might tap into, and the inspiring stories about this year's Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Richard B. Gossett; the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year Kaitlin Beck; and the Law Student Volunteer of the Year Gerald Bradner. Also in this this issue, the Supreme Court's Anne-Louise Wirthlin writes about what 2020 was like for the Access to Justice Commission and what is to come. 

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New Resource to the Rescue for All Stages of Law Practice

The challenges of opening, building or maintaining a law practice are great enough during normal times, but in today’s climate most everyone could use some help. That’s why the TBA has partnered with the nationally recognized Affinity Consulting Group to develop a Practice Management Center for TBA members. The new center contains resources for lawyers at all different stages of a firm’s lifecycle — from starting up and developing a clientele to winding down a practice and starting on a new phase of life — all developed by professionals with years of service to lawyers and law firms. Read more about the new resource.

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TBA Sections Offer 2 Writing Competition Opportunities

"Studies have shown that excelling in a legal writing course is one of the strongest predictors of law school success," Jarod Word writes, "with students who master first-year writing courses often maintaining better GPAs and performing better on exams than their peers who struggle in these classes." With this benefit, as well as the opportunity to be more involved in Tennessee Bar Association Sections, this month's Section Showcase highlights two writing competitions. The entry deadline for the Administrative Law Section’s writing competition is April 5, with submissions for the Jon E. Hastings Memorial (Environmental Law) Writing Competition due by April 30. 

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