January, 2018

Cover Story

Tennessee is embarking on a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to make fundamental changes in an aspect of the justice system that impacts thousands of vulnerable individuals and families every day.[1] The stakes are high in cases served by indigent representation programs: defending the rights of individuals accused of crimes, protecting those facing...

Cover Story

The Tennessee Indigent Representation Task Force report contains recommendations regarding much-needed additional funding resources as well as eight specific areas for reform. These recommendations include:

President's Perspective

Right now, in early January 2018, the Tennessee justice system, led by the Tennessee Supreme Court, is poised at the brink of major reform. I’ve personally pledged to the Court and, more importantly to you as members, that achieving this reform is our highest priority this year. We need your help.

Day on Torts

Donna Acklen of Franklin County, Tennessee, died as a result of injuries she received when she was mauled by two dogs as she walked on a road near her home. Her death gave rise to the Donna Acklen Act of 2007[1] (the Act), which established a statutory cause of action against dog owners for dog attack injuries and death. The Act imposes strict liability...


Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Angelita Blackshear Dalton as Criminal Court Judge for the 20th District, replacing retiring Judge J. Randall Wyatt. Dalton has served as Davidson County General Sessions Judge for Division III since 2006. She was selected by her peers as presiding judge in 2010 and again in 2017. Dalton earned her law degree...



The Tennessee Bar Association announced in December that 30 attorneys from across the state were selected for its 2018 Leadership Law program. Now in its 15th year, Leadership Law is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders.

The class meets...


Nashville lawyer JACK AKIN BUTLER died on Dec. 7, 2017. He was 80. A native to the city, Butler earned his law degree from the Nashville School of Law while finishing his senior year of undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University. He spent 20 years in the Tennessee Air National Guard and rose to the rank of major. In 1958, he was the...

Licensure & Discipline

Administrative Suspensions Online

Notice of attorneys suspended for, and reinstated from, administrative violations — including failure to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility fee, file the IOLTA report, comply with continuing legal education requirements and pay the Tennessee professional privilege tax — is now available exclusively on...

Family Matters

Editor’s Note: President Trump signed the Tax Reform bill into law on Dec. 22,  2017, which was after this column went to press.

A new piece of legislation has been introduced in Congress that, if passed, will have major implications on divorce settlements throughout the country as well as Tennessee. Tennessee family law practitioners...

But Seriously, Folks

In 1977, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 US 350 (1977), holding that lawyer advertising is a form of commercial speech that is entitled to protection under the First Amendment.