Wednesday, July 22, 2020
"Recently, civil rights organizations have sued jurisdictions in Tennessee and across the country for setting money bail without adequate due process," writes Willie Santana in the current issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. "These lawsuits in essence contend that courts are setting unaffordable money bail on the indigent accused in violation of their constitutional rights and that wealth-based discrimination against presumptively innocent accused persons is unconstitutional." Santana details how these practices are both detrimental and counterproductive to the goals of the criminal justice system, and explains that it does not have to be that way, especially not in Tennessee. Read "Cash on the Barrelhead: Money, Bail, Law and Practice."
"Out of an age of division and blood, the glittering reign of Elizabeth I burst forth. During 44 triumphant years on the English throne, she deftly outmaneuvered assassination plots, internal rebellions and external threats." Read the colorful historical account in Russell Fowler's July-August column, "Defying Poverty and Fear: Elizabeth I and the Poor Law of 1601." Fowler writes that "even a Parliament of wealthy landowners grasped that poverty was too great a social danger to be ignored.” The innovative act’s goals were mercy and order, and it “fixed the character of poor relief for three centuries not only in England but in America as well.”
Columnist Wade Davies writes in the July-August Tennessee Bar Journal about the controversy over the U.S. Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn, and the important issues regarding the scope of authority between prosecutors and courts. "Can prosecutors always dismiss criminal cases? If not, why not? Can the court force a prosecutor to proceed with a case the prosecutor wants to dismiss?" After looking at the Flynn filings, Davies wondered whether controversies like this happen in Tennessee, and under what circumstances. Read what he learned in his column, "Crime & Punishment."
"Can a corporation have a racial identity? Do corporations have a right against self-incrimination? Do they have the rights of association and free speech? And if they have any of these rights — on what basis should we recognize them?" These are some of the questions explored by UCLA law professor Adam Winkler in his book, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights. Read Christopher W. Smith's thoughtful and detailed review of the book in the July-August Tennessee Bar Journal.
The TBA's 2020 Summer FastTrack program will be held this August as a virtual program with sessions specifically designed for practitioners in the Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville areas. Don't miss the opportunity to join area judges and attorneys for four one-hour presentations and an optional lunchtime Zoom mixer. Registrants also will receive eight hours of prepaid credit to use on any of the TBA's online or virtual CLE offerings and three hours of exclusive online videos designed specifically for general practitioners on topics such as working from home, law practice management and tips for growing your practice. Sign up now and get 15 hours of CLE credit through this one program!
As the COVID-19 epidemic continues, Tennessee lawyers can access ongoing support from the Tennessee Bar Association at the Pandemic Resources page. There you will find up-to-date information about court policies and procedures; government responses; cancellations, postponements and closures; legal resources; CLE scheduling updates; resources for working remotely; health and wellness resources; and opportunities for pro bono service.
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