TBA Law Blog


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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

The Tennessee Asian Pacific American Bar Association (TAPABA) has announced new leadership. Lebanon attorney Chris Javillonar, general counsel for Permobil Inc., will serve as president. Memphis lawyer Robert Tom with Baker Donelson will serve as vice-president/president-elect. And Nashville lawyer Shilina Brown with the state Department of Commerce & Insurance takes over as treasurer, while Memphis lawyer Mary Wu Tullis with Baker Donelson becomes secretary. Board members are: Kaz Kikkawa with Cigna in Nashville, Julie Bhattacharya Peak with Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. in Brentwood, and Ruchee Patel with the Law Office of Ruchee Patel in Memphis. For more information about the group contact Tullis at mtullis@bakerdonelson.com.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

Gov. Bill Lee said today that the bust of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest inside Tennessee's capitol should be relocated to the state museum, the Tennessean reports. The move comes a day before the State Capitol Commission meets and is expected to approve removal of the bust. "Forrest represents pain and suffering and brutal crimes committed against African Americans, and that pain is very real for our fellow Tennesseans," Lee said. In a related story, WPLN looks at the dynamics of the commission membership and what to expect at tomorrow’s meeting. If the petition to remove the bust is supported, it will then go to the Tennessee Historical Commission for a final decision.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today that the Trump administration had legal authority to allow private employers with moral or religious objections to opt out of providing birth control health insurance required under the Affordable Care Act. The majority opinion found that “conscience exemptions” for non-profit and for-profit employers were allowable based on the ACA and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The administration also had asked the justices to weigh in on the appropriateness of nationwide injunctions but the court did not address that issue. In a second decision issued today, the justices found that religious schools are immune from discrimination suits from teachers, expanding the scope of First Amendment safeguards for religious employers. The 7-2 decision broadens the so-called ministerial exception, a First Amendment doctrine that prohibits lawsuits by employees who are considered ministers due to the religious nature of their work. SCOTUSblog reports on both decisions.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

Nashville honky-tonk bar owners are seeking a temporary restraining order against Metro officials, the Tennessean reports. The filing is the latest move by some owners of popular bars to push back against restrictions placed on the establishments by officials as they seek to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order seeks a restraining order against Mayor John Cooper, Nashville Director of Health Dr. Michael C. Caldwell and the Metro Beer Board, saying rules imposed by officials have forced bar closures and led them to suffer harm. In addition to halting the imposition of new closures, the suit also challenges the Beer Permit Board's decision to temporarily suspend beer licenses for four downtown bars after they violated previous COVID-19 orders.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

Clio’s Daily Matters legal podcast recently took a “deep dive” into how systemic racism and institutional inequality affect the legal and judicial systems with five interviews. The first interview features New York State Bar Association President Hank Greenberg, who says it is time to finally address systemic inequities, not only in policing but also in access to justice. The second interview features ACLU of Ohio Director of Equity and Inclusion C. Raphael Davis-Williams, who speaks about systemic racism, police misconduct and “the uniqueness of being black in America.” The third interview features Tiffany Graves, pro bono counsel at a large Southern law firm, who talks about how firms can do more to bring reforms to America’s legal and justice systems. The fourth interview features André Robert Lee, a film director, producer and professor, talking about ways that law firms and legal associations can create positive change. Finally, the fifth interview features New York attorney Andrea Alexander, who talks about her personal experiences with racial inequality.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

The TBA Elder Law Section will host the 2020 Elder Law Forum as a virtual event this Friday. The six-hour program will provide essential and practical material for elder law attorneys and those interested in learning more about this practice area. Four of the six hours will be presented with live speakers while the other two hours will be offered exclusively to forum registrants as two one-hour programs to watch on their own time — before or after the live event. Thanks to the sponsors for this program: Cumberland Trust, Krause Financial and Vista Points Special Needs Trusts.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

The Memphis Bar Association is fielding a team for St. Jude’s virtual marathon on Dec. 5. Team members have set a goal of raising $20,000 for the hospital, which treats childhood cancers and pediatric diseases at no cost to families. To help everyone prepare, the MBA will hold a series of free informational webinars on nutrition, fitness and choosing the best running/walking shoes, and provide access to programs to meet individual goals. Stay connected with the team through the Team App (downloadable from the Google Play and Apple app stores) and by joining Team Memphis Bar Association on Facebook. Registration for the virtual 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon is coming soon at stjude.org.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 8, 2020

Anger, fear, compassion and a longing for justice are all emotions that affect our personal relationships as well as our communities. Professor Paul Gilbert, a renowned psychologist and scholar and president of The Compassionate Mind Foundation, is offering a free online lecture series that explores how compassion can help us during this time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty. There are 15 sessions that can be viewed at any time. Topics include “Imagining our Compassionate Selves,” “Understanding our Emotions,” “Thinking and Compassion,” “Empathy, Sympathy and Compassion for Others” and “Developing Our Compassionate Minds to Address Stress.” Check out the series here.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 7, 2020

The Board of Professional Responsibility recently announced the Tennessee Lawyer Self-Assessment Program, a free proactive management-based regulation (PMBR) program to help lawyers with professional development. The program is designed to mitigate risk, elevate competence and enhance the quality of legal services delivered to clients. Attorneys who participate will learn how to assess and address law firm management issues and professional obligations with the goal of preventing problems before they arise. Those who complete the program voluntarily will receive three hours of dual CLE credit. In addition, the Tennessee Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection and the Board of Professional Responsibility report they now have a form attorneys can use to remit unidentified funds in their IOLTA account. The form can be downloaded here or from either agency’s website. Read more about the background on the form here.

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 7, 2020

The Hamilton County Health Department has warned of potential exposure to the novel Coronavirus recently at the county courthouse. "Case investigations have revealed that positive cases were in the courthouse during their infectious period during the June 25 to July 2 timeframe," the department said in a news release. "It is recommended that anyone who was at the courthouse during any of these days be tested for COVID-19 and monitor their symptoms." The Times Free Press reports on the story.


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