Cover Story: This Month's Top Story

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Tennessee Law in the Time of Pandemic Disease

By William O. Shults with assistance from Michael Caskey

“Even with modern antiviral and antibacterial drugs, vaccines and prevention knowledge, the return of a pandemic virus equivalent in pathogenicity to the virus of 1918 would likely kill greater than 100 million people worldwide. A pandemic virus with the [alleged] pathogenic potential of some recent H5N1 outbreaks could cause substantially more deaths.”1 


Featured: This Month's Articles

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Dual Roles in Custody Litigation: Ethical Conflicts with Therapeutic and Forensic Roles

Most mental health professionals serve primarily as therapists to clients and patients. A smaller yet substantial number dedicate their practice solely to forensic evaluation, thereby avoiding multiple role situations. Among the majority, though, a potentially serious ethical conflict arises in assuming dual roles as both treating psychotherapist and expert witness or forensic evaluator in a client’s child custody litigation. 


Columns: Quick Reads on Timely Topics

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President's Perspective

Increasing and Enhancing Benefits Is Our Goal This Year

We are now more than halfway through our current TBA fiscal year, so I’d like to give you an update on the work of your Bar Association during my term as president. Our focus this year is increasing and enhancing benefits to all members through programming, technology and internal development. There are many highlights worthy of mentioning. 

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Book Review

I Swear: The Meaning of an Oath

Joel Cohen is a distinguished New York lawyer who prosecuted with the Organized Crime & Racketeering Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for several years and then went into private practice with the firm of Stroock, Stroock & Lavan LLP, where he specializes in white collar criminal defense. 

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Crime & Punishment

Aggregation of Offenses

In Tennessee Criminal law, can otherwise minor infractions turn into something really serious?  Yes — when they are “aggregated.”  In a case decided by the Tennessee Supreme Court on Nov. 13, 2019, Denton Jones learned about aggregation the hard way.1  Between April 28, 2014 and May 12, 2014, Mr. Jones committed a series of what could have been misdemeanor thefts.

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History's Verdict

The Income Tax: Tennessee’s Gift to America

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.”1 Yet Will Rogers observed, “The Income Tax has made more Liars out of the American people than Golf has.”2

Taxation of income has always been controversial, especially in Tennessee.

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Quick Inspiration for Your Busy Day

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You Need to Know: News, Success, Licensure & Discipline

Success! & Passages

Richard E. Graves has joined the Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings as an associate in the Real Estate Practice Group. Graves focuses his practice on real estate law and zoning and land use. His litigation experience includes prosecuting and defending easement and title disputes, as well as common law writ of certiorari appeals of decisions of local land use administrative bodies. Prior to joining Bradley, Graves was an attorney at Frantz, McConnell & Seymour in Knoxville.

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Licensure & Discipline


The Tennessee Supreme Court transferred the law license of Williamson County lawyer John Ewing Brandon to disability inactive status on Jan. 27. Brandon may not practice law while on disability inactive status but may petition the court for reinstatement by showing by clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed, and he is fit to resume the practice of law.

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News & Information

A gathering of current and former female Tennessee Supreme Court justices: From left,  the Hon. Holly Kirby; the Hon. Martha Craig Daughtrey; the Hon. Connie Clark; TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stephenson, who moderated the program; the Hon. Sharon Lee; the Hon. Janice Holder; and the Hon. Penny White. Photo by Kate Prince.