TBA Law Blog


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Posted by: Kate Prince on Feb 20, 2020

State lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a proposal that would amend controversial voter-registration restrictions passed last year, the Tennessean reports. Last year’s GOP-backed restrictions would allow the state to fine registration groups for turning in too many incomplete signup forms, a move that opponents say would suppress efforts to register more minorities and other voters. Two lawsuits were immediately filed against the measure and its implementation was blocked by a federal judge as it awaits trial in February 2021. Yesterday’s proposals would again change the rules for signing up new voters, adding a requirement that the state offer voluntary training on registration laws and requiring applications to be submitted within 15 days of a registration drive. The latest measures were approved by the House Elections and Campaign Finance Subcommittee and must now pass the full House Local Committee before going to the House floor for consideration.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Feb 20, 2020

Hamilton County attorney Charles Gammon Wright today received a public censure from the Supreme Court of Tennessee. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that Wright failed to advise his client of the one-year statute of limitations prior to its expiration and did not notify his client of the termination of his representation. Wright’s actions violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.16(d) and 8.4(a) and he has been ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Feb 20, 2020

Ooltewah attorney George Edward Koontz died on Feb. 17 at the age of 66. Koontz earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law where he was elected Dean’s Advisory Committee and won the American Jurisprudence Award for the highest grade in his class for Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I and Constitutional Law II graduating 11th in his class. In 1984, he co-founded the Chattanooga law firm of Kennedy, Fulton and Koontz, which ultimately grew to 10 lawyers and is known today as Kennedy, Koontz and Klingler Law Firm. Visitation services will be held Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Rd., Chattanooga. On Saturday, a celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. at Grace Works Church, 6445 Lee Highway, Chattanooga.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Feb 20, 2020

Knoxville attorney Ursula Bailey is the guest star on the latest episode of the TBA YLD Presents: War Stories podcast. Bailey sits down with Julia Hale and YLD President Troy Weston to discuss her unique and successful legal career, the opportunities and challenges a solo practice can present and more! War Stories is part of the TBA Podcast Network and can be found online or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Posted by: Kate Prince on Feb 20, 2020

Virginia-based lawyer Jordan Jones Hays on Wednesday was publicly censured by Order of Reciprocal Discipline entered by the Supreme Court of Tennessee. The Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board issued a public reprimand of Hays in August for falsely communicating with two of her clients and later, their counsel. A Notice of Reciprocal Discipline was entered by the Tennessee Supreme Court in December, giving Hays 30 days to explain why the discipline imposed in Virginia should not be imposed in Tennessee. Hays did not file a response.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Feb 19, 2020

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., with Being Well, writes about the importance of finding your North Star — the thing that brings you peace and calms your fears. He says, “When you find your North Star, you know where you’re headed. That alone feels good. Plus, your North Star is (presumably) wholesome and vital, so aiming toward it will bring more and more happiness and benefit to yourself and others. And you can dream bigger dreams and take more chances in life since if you lose your way, you've got a beacon to home in on. It's OK for your North Star to change over time. But whatever it is right now, let it guide you." Learn how to find your North Star and how to harness it for “clarity, meaning, and richness” in Hanson's recent blog.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Feb 19, 2020

Charlie Warfield, an attorney and civic leader who helped shepherd in Nashville and Davidson County’s consolidated government, died today at the age of 95. Originally from Clarksville, Warfield attended Vanderbilt University but before graduating joined the U.S. Navy to fight in World War II. After the war, he completed college and then entered law school. After graduating, he formed the law firm of Farris, Warfield, & Kanaday in 1972 with Frank Farris. The firm later combined with Stites & Harbison in 2001. Warfield also was campaign manager for Clifton David Briley’s mayoral run and the local manager for U.S. Rep. Bob Clement’s unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate. Funeral services will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. at Belmont United Methodist Church. Visitation will be at the church on Friday between 5 and 7 p.m. and on Saturday for one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Charles Warfield Fellowship at the Tennessee Justice Center or Belmont United Methodist Church.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Feb 19, 2020

The Tennessee Supreme Court has clarified the language of the state’s burglary statute to allow its application to a criminal defendant who enters a retail store — from which they previously had been banned — and commits a theft. The decision came in a case involving Abbie Welch, who entered a Walmart retail store to steal merchandise and then have another individual return the merchandise for a gift card. Because she had been banned from the store for prior acts of shoplifting, the state argued she should be charged with burglary rather than criminal trespass. The court agreed, saying the burglary statute is properly applied to defendants who enter a store without the effective consent of the owner and commit a theft.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Feb 19, 2020

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has filed a lawsuit against Walker Stalkers and James Frazier, alleging that the defendants engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practices while producing a number of events that left consumers without refunds for cancellations. Since 2013, Walker Stalkers has put on dozens of events in the United States and London, including the Walker Stalker Con and Fan Fest, which allowed fans to meet famous actors and artists from popular television program such as “The Walking Dead.” Read the complaint here.

Posted by: Barry Kolar on Feb 19, 2020

Tennessee lawmakers and their staffers came together with members of the Tennessee Bar Association during the annual Big Shrimp legislative reception Tuesday night at the Tennessee Bar Center. The event gave attorneys the opportunity to meet with senators and representatives in a relaxed atmosphere. The TBA's Leadership Law class also attended the event after spending a day learning about Issues in Policy and Politics. The class heard from a panel of lawyer legislators, lawyers who represent the state, and policy analysts before attending a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


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