Letter from TBA President Sarah Y. Sheppeard

March 16, 2020

Friends and colleagues,

The staff of the Tennessee Bar Association and I have been closely monitoring information from federal and state authorities and the important work of other associations around the country. We regrettably canceled this year’s state high school mock trial tournament, following the lead from other states and the national competition board. We have also canceled all in-person conferences and continuing legal education programs through April 5. Our CLE team is currently working on converting several April CLE programs to webinars and/or rescheduling them as necessary. 

We are mindful of your safety and security as well as that of the TBA’s staff and those who use our downtown office building. Effective Tuesday, March 17, the TBA offices at 221 Fourth Avenue North in Nashville will close, and this closure will remain in effect through March 31. All staff will work virtually and will be available through their direct work numbers or through TBA’s main number (615) 383-7421. They will remain available to assist you although there may be some delays depending on the nature of the requested assistance. We are of course mindful that decisions surrounding operations in the current climate may change daily so we will provide any updates to this plan as necessary.  

Please follow TBA’s coverage of updates related to COVID-19 and its effect on our legal system through TBA’s Pandemic Resource Center. Here you can find updated information including the most recent Supreme Court Orders temporarily suspending in-person judicial proceedings and waiving in-person CLE requirements. This site also provides updates on relevant legal community cancelations and postponements across the state. If you would like a notification added, please email tbatoday@tnbar.org.

The most recent updates about specific TBA events are available here.

The TBA will offer a free webcast Friday, March 20, from noon to 1 p.m. central time. The webcast, “Tennessee Law in the Time of Pandemic,” is based on the March 2020 Tennessee Bar Journal cover story, and will be presented by the article’s author, William Shults. The session will explore the latest information on what Tennessee lawyers need to know about COVID-19, including relevant statutory provisions, applicable regulations and rights under quarantine or isolation. The course will offer one hour of CLE credit.

Thank you for your patience in the coming days and weeks. We will continue to serve as a resource for our legal community during these challenging times and encourage you to let us know how we can provide even better service. Please heed the recommendations of local and federal health officials to protect yourselves, your families, your friends, your clients and your colleagues.  

Sincerely,

Sarah Sheppeard

Sarah Y. Sheppeard
President, Tennessee Bar Association