News

LAET, Supreme Court Host Reception for Pro Bono Service in Kingsport

Legal Aid of East Tennessee and members of the Tennessee Supreme Court will host a reception as “a tribute to the generosity of the legal community through The Pro Bono Project.” The event will take place on Oct. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Press Room, 300 Clinchfield Street in Kingsport. Tickets are $25.
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LAET Hosts Pro Se Divorce Clinic

Legal Aid of East Tennessee, in partnership with the University of Tennessee College of Law, will offer a Pro Se Divorce Legal Advice Clinic for pre-screened individuals without children. The clinic will take place on Oct. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. Spouses must be in agreement on all issues involving division of personal property, including vehicles, and division of all debts currently owed by both spouses. To be pre-screened for this Legal Advice Clinic, call LAET’s Knoxville office at (865) 637-0484, or visit the “Begin Client Intake” section of the LAET website.
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Free Legal Advice Clinic in Maryville

Volunteer attorneys from the Blount County Bar Association will join staff attorneys from Legal Aid of East Tennessee to provide free advice on various legal matters. The public will be able to seek advice on topics such as adoption, child custody and support, divorce, elder law, foreclosure, identity theft, personal injury, VA benefits, wills, worker’s comp, and more.  Legal help will be available on a first come, first served basis. The clinic is open to the public. No appointment is necessary. The Advice Clinic is part of LAET’s Pro Bono Project, and is offered in celebration of Pro Bono Month. The event is Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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Housepian Steps Down as Middle Tennessee LAS Director

Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands Gary Housepian said today that he is stepping down from the position he's held for 10 years. “It has been an honor to be part of this work for these past 10 years and to see our work expand to meet challenging situations – for youth, the elderly and persons who were formerly incarcerated – to fight barriers and shine the light of justice for all,” Housepian said. He will stay on with the organization until a new director is hired.
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Legal Clinic in Nashville Set for Oct. 10

October is Celebrate Pro Bono Month, and all month long the TBA will be highlighting pro bono opportunities and events for Tennessee attorneys. A free legal help clinic will be held in Nashville on Oct. 10 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Legal Aid Society office, 300 Deadrick Street. For more information, contact the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands at (615) 244-6610. For more Celebrate Pro Bono events, visit the TBA website.

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Lipscomb Seeking Volunteers for Free Legal Clinic Monday

The Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice and Society at Lipscomb University will host a free legal clinic at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Schrader Lane Church of Christ, 1234 Schrader Lane in Nashville. Attorneys are needed to volunteer. Those who are available should contact Randy Spivey.

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Celebrate Pro Bono: Legal Clinic Set for Gallatin

October is Celebrate Pro Bono Month, and all month long the TBA will be highlighting pro bono opportunities and events for Tennessee attorneys. A free legal help clinic will be held in Gallatin on Oct. 10, staffed by the Sumner County Bar Association. The clinic will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Gallatin Civic Center on Albert Gallatin Ave. For more information, contact the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands at (615) 244-6610. For more Celebrate Pro Bono events, visit the TBA website.

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How Lawyers Can Help in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

To ensure that legal assistance is available to victims of hurricane disasters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the American Bar Association (ABA) has partnered with the Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC) to create a hotline (800-310-7029) to provide needed information and services through pro bono volunteers. The ABA urges lawyers who are active members of the USVI or Puerto Rico bars to sign up to accept referrals of pro bono cases from the LCJC. Lawyers who are not licensed in either place can also assist by providing legal research or assistance with federal/administrative law questions. The volunteer sign up form is online in English and Spanish at ABA Disaster Legal Services Volunteer Attorney Intake Form. For more opportunities, go to the TBA's Volunteer Resources for Disaster Relief page.

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Court Announces Support for Changes to Indigent Representation

The Tennessee Supreme Court today announced it will support reform of the state’s method for providing legal assistance to individuals unable to afford an attorney. Responding to a report from its Indigent Representation Task Force, the Court said it will seek funding to increase the rate attorneys are paid to work on such cases to $65 per hour, and will also request an appropriation in next year’s budget to raise compensation caps by $500 on all felonies and by $250 on juvenile matters. In a statement this afternoon, TBA President Lucian Pera said, “The TBA applauds the Supreme Court’s strong leadership on indigent representation reform. We look forward to partnering with the Court and others interested in making real improvement on the status quo." Pera added, “The Court’s recommendations regarding rates and caps is a step in the right direction. Frankly, it’s a small step, and it is not enough; but it is a start.” 

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Legal Help Clinic Planned for Thursday in Williamson County

October is Celebrate Pro Bono Month, and all month long the TBA will be highlighting pro bono opportunities and events for Tennessee attorneys. One such opportunity will be on Thursday in Franklin. The Mercy Legal Help Clinic is held on the first Thursday of every month at Andrew Lutheran Church, 908 Murfreesboro Road, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands at (615) 244-6610. For more Celebrate Pro Bono events, visit the TBA website.
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Heated Exchange Erupts at Hearing for Brentwood Academy Sexual Assault Case

The first court hearing in the Brentwood Academy sexual assault case, held this morning, was filled with fiery words and surprises, The Tennessean reports. The case involves a former student and his mother, who are accusing the school of negligence and four boys of sexual assault. Just a few hours before the hearing, the student and mother (identified as John Doe and Jane Doe) changed their legal representation. Meanwhile the legal team for the school and the accused boys lashed out at the outgoing attorney for the Does for filing a legal complaint they say was filled with “reckless misrepresentations.”

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October TBJ: The Scandalous Start of Tennessee's Written Bar Exam

The October Tennessee Bar Journal documents a time when just about anyone could practice law with little or no formal training. Lewis Laska writes about a "fake law school" that sold degrees, one of the factors that propelled the legal community to work toward uniformity, education and a written bar exam as standards to practice law. President Lucian Pera tells about lawyers' efforts in the wake of recent hurricanes, as well as ways you can help. Scott Ross gives an update on injury damages under Tennessee law. Russell Fowler shows how Louis Brandeis promoted the idea of pro bono — which is fitting because October is "Celebrate Pro Bono Month!"

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Hotline Set Up for Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims

Survivors of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico can now get legal assistance by calling a hotline set up by a partnership among the Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Virgin Islands Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Louisiana Civil Justice Center. Disaster victims can now call 800-310-7029, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to reach free legal help. Find out more from the ABA's Disaster Legal Services website. Additionally, there is a continued need for legal assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida, as well as victims of hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Free Legal Clinic Set for Knoxville

Legal Aid of East Tennessee will host a Free Legal Advice Clinic on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law office, 1101 Liberty Street. The clinic is co-sponsored by Centro Hispano, so a Spanish-language translator will be provided to aid those who have limited English language proficiency. Appointments are not necessary, as legal help will be available on a first come, first served basis.

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Tickets Still Available for LAET's Garden Party Fundraiser in Maryville

There's still time to purchase tickets for Legal Aid of East Tennessee's garden party fundraiser on Sept. 28 in Maryville. The event is called “Fall in the Garden,” and will be held at Out of Eden Garden Center, 2928 Highway 411 S, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and are available at LAET’s website.

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UTK Law Legal Clinic Celebrates 70 Years

The University of Tennessee College of Law Legal Clinic will soon be celebrating 70 years of serving indigent clients and helping students develop valuable skills in the profession. Multiple events have been scheduled to mark the occasion. A lecture will be held on Oct. 30 at 12 p.m. at the College of Law Building, Room 132, with special guest speaker Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. A more formal celebration will be held on the evening of Nov. 17 at The Emporium in Knoxville, featuring past directors, faculty, and more.
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Disaster Hotline Set Up for Hurricane Victims in U.S. Virgin Islands

Survivors of the hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands can now get legal assistance by calling a hotline set up by a partnership among the Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Virgin Islands Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Louisiana Civil Justice Center. Disaster victims can now call 800-310-7029, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to reach free legal help. Find out more from the ABA's Disaster Legal Services website. Additionally, there is a continued need for legal assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida.

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Memphis Law Students to Tailgate for MALS

The Student Bar Association and Public Action Law Society of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, in conjunction with the Memphis Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will host a Fundraiser Tailgate benefiting the Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) Campaign for Equal Justice Sept. 23. The annual campaign helps provide MALS with funds to augment its provision of critical legal services Memphians who would otherwise go unrepresented in life-altering legal matters, On Legal Grounds reports. The tailgate starts at 11 a.m. at Tiger Lane. Admission is $15.

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ABA Fund-raising Arm Now Gives Federal Donors New Option

For the first time, the charitable fund-raising arm of the American Bar Association will be part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the largest and most successful workplace giving drive in the world. Starting this fall, federal government employees, including civilian, military and postal service, can support access to justice initiatives by selecting the ABA Fund for Justice and Education as their CFC charity of choice. The 2017 CFC Open Season runs from Oct. 2 through Jan. 12, 2018. The ABA Fund for Justice and Education supports more than 200 ABA public service and educational programs every year, raising money for legal services that benefit veterans, military families, seniors, children, the needy and disabled, among others.

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TBA Public Service Award Nomination Deadline Monday

The deadline for the TBA Public Service Awards has been extended to Sept. 18. The TBA seeks nominations for three prestigious access-to-justice-related awards. The TBA Public Service Awards recognize service in three categories: work performed by an attorney employed by an organization providing indigent legal representation; pro bono work performed by a private attorney; and pro bono commitment demonstrated by a law student volunteer. Nominations for the Public Service Awards are due Sept. 18. Awards will be presented at TBA’s Annual Public Service Awards Luncheon on Jan. 13, 2018. For more information about these awards, contact Access to Justice Director Liz Todaro.

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Tennessee Justice Center to Honor 9 at Hall of Fame Dinner

The Tennessee Justice Center will honor nine philanthropists at a Hall of Fame Gala next month. Don Enright, Ruth Ann Leach Harnisch, Ellen Levy and Gregg Horowitz, Bill and Robin King, Nancy MacLean, and Steve and Jeanne Thomas will be recognized, having contributed a collective $850,000 to the work of the TJC. The dinner will be held at the Sheraton Grand in Nashville on Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available here.
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NALS Annual Silent Auction Fundraiser Rescheduled

The Association for Legal Professionals, Nashville Chapter (NALS) will host its 5th Annual NALS After Hours Silent Auction on a new date — Oct. 16. The event, which is free and open to the public, will still take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP. All of the proceeds generated at the auction will be donated to the Tennessee Justice Center. Those who would like to donate an item for the auction should mail it to Tina Boone, c/o Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, 511 Union Street, Suite 2700, Nashville, 37219. For more information or to volunteer, contact NALS.

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Attorneys From Across Country Answer Call to Help Texas

At least 1,600 lawyers from across the country have volunteered to provide legal support to survivors of Hurricane Harvey, the Wall Street Journal reports. The State Bar of Texas is connecting with each volunteer and matching their skills and experience with organizations and projects around the state. In addition to the out-of-state volunteers, a “steady rotation” of lawyers from local legal-aid organizations and Texas-based law firms is staffing shifts at shelters, assisting storm victims with issues including replacing lost documents, FEMA and insurance applications, custody disputes and warnings about disaster-related scams. To help volunteer attorneys prepare to serve disaster survivors, the ABA has free training resources available. Visit the TBA website for more information on how Tennessee lawyers can help respond to the crisis, including registering with Texas Free Legal Answers.

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Deadline Near for Access to Justice Award Nominations

The TBA seeks nominations for three prestigious access-to-justice-related awards. The TBA Public Service Awards recognize service in three categories: work performed by an attorney employed by an organization providing indigent legal representation; pro bono work performed by a private attorney; and pro bono commitment demonstrated by a law student volunteer. Nominations for the Public Service Awards are due Sept. 15. Awards will be presented at TBA’s Annual Public Service Awards Luncheon on Jan. 13, 2018. For more information about these awards, please contact Access to Justice Director Liz Todaro.

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Sumner County Law Group to Host Wills for Heroes Event

Heritage Law Group PLLC will host a Wills for Heroes workshop in Gallatin on Sept. 25 at the Sumner County Training Center, 1570 Cairo Road. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will also feature live music, food and local vendors. For more information, contact Jenna Hunter at jenna@heritagelawtn.com.
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