Cover Story: This Month's Top Story

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Violating the Inviolate?

Divided Tennessee Supreme Court Upholds Constitutionality of Noneconomic Damage Caps, Focuses on Right to Jury Trial

On Feb. 26, in McClay v. Airport Management Services LLC, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the noneconomic damage cap provisions of the Tennessee Civil Justice Act of 2011.1 The court’s analysis primarily centered on the constitutional right to a trial by jury. The justices split on whether the General Assembly maintains the authority to alter or abridge the state’s common law when doing so affects a constitutional right.

Featured: This Month's Articles

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A Short History of the Right to Vote in Tennessee’s Constitutions and Court, Part 1: 1796-1869

It would be easy to read Tennessee’s modern Suffrage Clause — Article IV, § 1 of its Constitution — and mistake it for a uniform clause, consistent with any other you might find across the country.  But looks can be deceiving; and the history of the elective franchise in Tennessee’s Constitutions and Supreme Court reveals in the text a depth of meaning hidden from the casual observer. 

 

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A New Remedy: Will Tennessee Adopt Restitutionary Disgorgement?

Once in a blue moon, the American Law Institute (ALI) publishes a work that incites dramatic changes in legal jurisprudence. Such was the case in 2011, when the ALI published the long-awaited Restatement (Third) of Restitution & Unjust Enrichment (hereinafter, R3RUE).  

 

Columns: Quick Reads on Timely Topics

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President's Perspective

Join Us Virtually for Convention, Including 8 Hours of Free CLE

What a difference a year makes! I challenge you to think back one year. What would you have predicted for June 2020? I will be the first to admit that my plans for this TBA bar year did not include coping with a global pandemic. Neither did I envision working from home for weeks, wearing a mask to the grocery store or not being able to meet in person with a client.

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Older & Wiser

Why Seniors as Clients are Different During a State of Emergency

There’s a game that was created in 2015 called “Pandemic: State of Emergency.” It’s one in the game series “Pandemic,” and an expansion to the game was quickly released March 20, 2020. According to the game manufacturer the game is suitable for ages 13 to 15, and an entire game can be completed in 45 minutes.1 

 
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Book Review

Lincoln’s Last Trial

The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency

More than half of the 45 American presidents have been attorneys. The most distinguished of this group is, without doubt, Abraham Lincoln. His legal career spanned a quarter century (1837-1861). He tried thousands of cases, both civil and criminal, and prepared thousands of wills, contracts, and other documents. His legal practice was that of a small-town 19th century lawyer. He handled “everything that came in the door.”

 
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Spark

Spark!

Quick inspiration for your busy day.

The Legal Life: Passages, Licensure & Discipline, 50 Years Ago, Sections

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Letters of the Law

Support for Legal Aid Crucial  The longer the COVID-19 outbreak lasts, the brighter the spotlight it shines on long-standing inequalities in our society and the fragility of our social safety nets. As the days wear on, those who are most vulnerable in our community are experiencing the economic brunt of the crisis. Once businesses began shuttering to keep people safe, many low-wage workers began missing their paychecks.  ...

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You Need to Know

The Tennessee Judiciary Museum and Court of Appeals Judge Andy Bennett were featured recently on a new NBC program that helps families uncover interesting stories about their past. In a recent episode of “Roots Less Traveled,” St. Louis resident Sharee Burress, center, and her son travel to Nashville where they learn that one of their relatives was a key player in a famous and consequential 19th century Tennessee Supreme Court decision.