Thursday, May 27, 2021

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Academic Freedom: Lessons for Today from a Vanderbilt Chancellor of the 1960s

Colleges and universities — both administrators and students — could learn much from former Vanderbilt Chancellor Alexander Heard, and his defense of academic freedom and controversial speakers. In 1967 the university received negative reaction to an invited panel that included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Senator Strom Thurmond, Allen Ginsburg and Stokely Carmichael. Heard stood firm on the importance of academic freedom and the ability of his students to hear different points of view. He said it best himself: “The university’s obligation is not to protect students from ideas, but rather to expose them to ideas, and to help make them capable of handling and, hopefully, having ideas.” David L. Hudson Jr. writes about Heard's legacy and the impact it has had.

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The Great Estate Tax Mismatch, Explained

Dan Holbrook begins his column this month with a short quiz about estate tax and valuation. He points out a "valuation mismatch" that, without proper planning, can cause an estate tax surprise for your clients. "The good news," he writes, "is that the mismatch problem can usually be avoided with thoughtful planning and in fact can be used affirmatively to save estate taxes." Of course, Holbrook explains how in "The Great Estate Tax Mismatch."

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TBA Section Pivots: Roundtables to the Rescue

In 2020 as all organizations learned to adapt, TBA Sections began providing free, remote roundtable discussions on practice-specific topics. For example, the TBA Estate Planning and Probate Section provided an open meeting on remote online notarization and witnessing, leading to a task force that influenced state policy. The Disability Law Section has provided 10 roundtables to date, and the Litigation Section organized a panel of judges from each grand division to discuss practical tips for virtual hearings. Legal concerns regarding important social issues were also addressed, with the Entertainment & Sports Law Section holding a webinar on controversies surrounding confederate statues; the Local Government Section sponsoring a police-use-of-force discussion; past, current and future female presidents of the TBA highlighting the impact women have made on the legal profession; and numerous Sections promoting diversity dialog among members.

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TBA Workplace Honored: Getting the Job Done With a Smile

The Tennessee Bar Association was recently named one of Nashville’s 2021 “Best Places to Work” by the Nashville Business Journal. Now in its 18th year, the rankings recognize Nashville companies for their teamwork, mutual respect among employees and leadership. The list is assembled after a nomination process and an employee survey that measures team effectiveness, trust in senior leaders, manager effectiveness and more. Organizations are then ranked and winners are chosen in each size category by their composite score. The TBA was honored in the “Small (10-24 employees)” category.  

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