February, 2017

Cover Story

With another peaceful transfer of power under the American constitutional system, it is a fitting time to recall one of the most humble yet dramatic inaugurations and the remarkable administration it commenced: the presidency of Calvin Coolidge, a presidency committed to the rule of law.

President's Perspective

This year, the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) has rightfully focused much time and energy on spreading a singular message to Tennessee lawyers: The practice of law is evolving, and we must evolve with it. This is not a message easily communicated, and it is certainly not universally embraced.

Senior Moments

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act allows individuals with a disability, and under the age of 65, to establish their own “payback” special needs trust. Prior to the enactment of this law, only a parent, grandparent, guardian or court could establish this type of “Medicaid exception” trust, which is authorized by 42 U.S.C §1396p(d)(4)(A). This change...


Susan Gruber, Rick Taylor and Kirsten Jacobson accepted awards at the TBA’s annual Public Service Luncheon, Jan. 14. Read more about each of them in this month's News.



The Tennessee Supreme Court on Dec. 21, 2016, published the 2017 amendments to its rules of procedure and evidence.

Proposals include:


Dickson Lawyer CLYDE DOUGLAS CLUCK died Jan. 2 at the age of 80. Before graduating from the YMCA Night Law School in 1971, Cluck completed stints in the U.S. Army, as a juvenile probation officer and as director of education for the state Division of Youth Services and Department of Corrections. He later was named assistant commissioner...

Licensure & Discipline

Disability Inactive

The law license of Davidson County lawyer John Edward Herbison was transferred to disability inactive status on December 30. He may not practice law while on inactive status but may petition the court for reinstatement by showing clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and he is fit...

The Law at Work

In Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” between the twang of the guitar and the upbeat tempo, the second verse famously ends with the song’s prison-stranded narrator lamenting, “When I hear that whistle blowin’, I hang my head and cry.”[1] No doubt, this was the reaction former Union City Police Officer Michael Hogg had after three of his fellow officers...

But Seriously, Folks

Unless you are a divorce lawyer, February is one of the best months of the year. That’s because right smack in the middle of the year’s shortest month comes a day for lovers … Valentine’s Day!

It is a day when even President Trump may be tempted to sweetly tweet “I Love You” to his latest wife.

If, like me, you are blessed to have a valentine...