October 2017 - Vol. 53, No. 10

Letters of the Law

Thumbs Up for Lincoln Book Review

I enjoyed John P. Williams’ book review of Lincoln’s Greatest Case: The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America (by Brian McGinty; review published in the September 2017 Tennessee Bar Journal).

I have read somewhere that in the closing argument for the defense, Lincoln asked the question,

“Gentlemen, the question in this lawsuit is whether a man has a greater right to go up and down this river, than he does to cross it.”

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News

Legal Resources Made Available in Wake of Hurricanes

Lawyers are serving as critical “second responders” helping with legal needs for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Soon after Harvey hit the Texas coast in August, the state’s Supreme Court went into action. By issuing an emergency order allowing out-of-state lawyers to practice Texas law temporarily, the court opened the avenue for legal help to pour in from other states.

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Passages

RONALD GORDON “RON” DAVES of Knoxville died on Aug. 9. He was 74. Originally from North Carolina, Daves served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1962 to 1965. Prior to earning his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, he served as an investigator for the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. He was a member of Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves and Jones PLLC and practiced in labor and employment law since 1986.

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Give Help

As I write, two terrible natural disasters have hit states within driving range of Tennessee. Thousands are in need; those needs include legal needs; you can help; and it’s never been easier.

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Public Chapter 467: Public Employers and the Battle Over Gun Rights

A few years ago, we authored an article, “Guns in Trunks: An Erosion of Tennessee’s Employment-at-will Rule?”[1] which discussed the “guns in trunks” legislation and the interaction between Second Amendment rights and a private employer’s ability to terminate and/or discipline employees who violated a no firearm policy.

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Ready for Some Good News?

Good news from Congress is not flashy, but it is encouraging. Congress is making important strides by studying, writing and passing significant legislation affecting our veterans and older adults.

The following laws are at various stages in the legislative process. The status of pending legislation is noted at the end of each summary.

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Classifieds

SERVICES

CERTIFIED FORENSIC DOCUMENT EXAMINER
Tennessee’s only full-time ABFDE-certified document examiner. Formerly with U.S. Postal Inspection Service Crime Laboratory. Certified by American Board of Forensic Document Examiners. American Society of Questioned Document Examiners. Substantial civil, criminal and trial experience. Thomas Vastrick, 6025 Stage Road, Suite 42-182, Memphis, TN 38134; (901) 383-9282.

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Licensure & Discipline

Administrative Suspensions Online

Notice of attorneys suspended for, and reinstated from, administrative violations — including failure to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility fee, file the IOLTA report, comply with continuing legal education requirements and pay the Tennessee professional privilege tax — is now available exclusively on the TBA website.

Visit http://www.tba.org/directory-listing/ administrative-suspension-lists to see administrative suspensions imposed since 2006.

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Women in the Law: Seen AND Heard

As an old trial lawyer, I frequently appear in court for motions or trials. When I do, I never appear alone. I always have a female lawyer right beside me. And often, when we address the court, she does the talking. (Well, at least some of the talking, as I generally can’t resist saying a few words myself!)

The late great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously observed, “If you want anything said, get a man. But if you want something done, get a woman.”

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Celebrate Pro Bono Month!

October is “Celebrate Pro Bono Month,” and Tennessee lawyers are joining their colleagues across the country to provide free legal services to those in need and honor the good work performed by lawyers every day as part of the annual National Pro Bono Celebration.

Now in its ninth year, the TBA’s statewide Celebrate Pro Bono initiative brings together legal services providers with local bar associations, law schools, law firms and individual lawyers to offer free services to those unable to afford a lawyer.

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