TBA Law Blog


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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion is hosting free daily mindfulness session for those seeking connection and calm during this time of uncertainty. People from all over the world are joining these Zoom sessions, providing the benefit of meditating in community and connecting with others while we are mostly living in isolation. Each session runs 45 minutes with brief introductory remarks, a meditation exercise for about 20-25 minutes, and a chance to encourage one another at the end of the session. They are offered four times each day. Sign up here!

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

The University of Memphis School of Law notified students today that this year’s graduation ceremony will be held virtually. The school is using a company called Marching Order to host the virtual ceremony. Those who are interested in participating should register by April 14. The school also reported that it is working on options for how graduates can celebrate their class in person once it is safe to do so, and will provide updates as they become available.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

After serving 26 years as a Memphis Democrat in the General Assembly, Rep. John DeBerry has been removed from the party’s Aug. 6 primary ballot, the Daily Memphian reports. The state Democratic Party Executive Committee voted 41-18 today to uphold a challenge to DeBerry’s status as a Democratic candidate. The move focused on DeBerry’s vote for Gov. Bill Lee’s education savings account program and bills restricting abortion, and accepting campaign contributions from Republican supporters. Torrey Harris, who ran against DeBerry in 2018, and hair salon owner Anya Parker are running as Democrats.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

Retired Georgia Judge Gary Blaylock Andrews died Saturday at 73. Originally from Chattanooga, he graduated from the University of Georgia Law School in 1971 and joined the Georgia Attorney General’s office as an assistant attorney general. From 1976 to 1980, he served as a special assistant attorney general while also maintaining a private law practice. In 1980 and again in 1984, he was elected superior court judge for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit of the Seventh Superior Court District. He later served on the Georgia Public Service Commission and the Georgia Court of Appeals. The family will hold a memorial service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gordon Lee Alumni Association, 402 Cove Road, Chickamauga, GA 30707.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court made it easier for federal employees 40 and older to sue for age discrimination in a decision handed down Monday, the Associated Press reports. The justices ruled 8-1 that federal workers have a lower hurdle to overcome than counterparts in the private sector. However, the court made it clear that an employee could not expect to win back pay or the promotion sought if discrimination was not the key factor in the employment decision. The decision came in the case in which Chief Justice John Roberts, a 65-year-old baby boomer, invoked the "OK, boomer" meme during arguments in January.  Read more in the Times Free Press.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

The Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission kicked off its annual Help4TNDay celebration today. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and tornadoes that impacted Middle Tennessee in early March, the theme of this year’s initiative has shifted to “Innovation and Responsiveness.” Throughout the month of April, the commission will promote virtual and telephonic legal clinics as well as other ways to provide legal help. It also will release online resources for volunteer attorneys and the general public. Read more in a release from the commission and watch for updates on the commission’s website and Facebook and Twitter accounts @JusticeForAllTN.

Attorneys are encouraged to provide pro bono service however they can during the month. Two great ways to get started are signing up to answer civil legal questions on TN Free Legal Answers or signing up with the TBA to help tornado victims

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

The Nashville law firm of Rogers, Kamm & Shea announced this week that it will now be known as Rogers, Shea & Spanos. The move comes after Lawrence Kamm transitioned into a new role as “of counsel” and George Spanos became a partner last year. The firm is located at 2205 State St., Nashville, TN 37203 and can be contacted at 615-320-0600.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Apr 8, 2020

Lawyers in the 15th Judicial District will hold a free phone legal clinic in Wilson County this Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Local attorneys will offer free assistance on legal issues for those affected by the March tornadoes. Those needing assistance may sign up here or call 615-451-1880 to schedule a time.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Apr 7, 2020

Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that $200 million in grants will be distributed across the state to every county and city government for one-time, local expenses, AP News reports. At least $500,000 will be given to each county, and each city or municipality will receive at least $30,000. The grant money can be spent on certain tornado recovery and COVID-19 response costs, road projects, IT upgrades, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades and public safety projects. Lee’s office will begin accepting applications for the grants on April 30.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Apr 7, 2020

A coalition of statewide organizations are urging Gov. Bill Lee to roll back certain state laws so that local officials can meet the needs of residents during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Tennessean reports. The organizations, which include the Tennessee Justice Center, Stand Up Nashville, Memphis For All and others, wrote an open letter on Monday asking Lee to use emergency powers to suspend laws that limit localities from requiring employers to provide paid sick days and repeal anti-sanctuary cities measures to ensure immigrants feel safe getting medical treatment. The coalition argues that local governments must have “every tool in the toolbox” to meet the needs of the community during the state of emergency. The group is also looking to expand property tax freeze eligibility and to allow “inclusionary zoning” polices to make housing affordable and provide incentives for new affordable units as some cities rebuild from the March 3 tornadoes.   


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