You Need to Know: NEWS

Henley Awarded TBA YLD CASA Volunteer of the Year

Gail Henley of Madisonville was awarded the 2018-2019 CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) Volunteer of the Year Award by the TBA Young Lawyers Division. Now in its 15th year, the award is designed to recognize the outstanding efforts of a CASA volunteer who goes the extra mile in his or her work with a CASA program in Tennessee.

Henley, who was nominated by CASA Monroe’s Executive Director Alisa Hobbs, has been a volunteer with the organization for 10 years.

YLD CASA Award

“Gail has been one of the most reliable, effective advocates in our organization,” Hobbs wrote in her nomination. “She will turn 80 next year and is planning to retire from most of her activities … yet, true to her commitment to the children she serves, she said, ‘I’m not leaving CASA until I resolve my two cases. I will not give them up to someone else.”

Hobbs says Gail’s first case was one of her most challenging, following three children through 10 placements and driving nearly four hours to see them. In another case, her child’s mother was living in a tent and Gail not only got her into a shelter, but she spent the night in the shelter with her. She has also procured computers for five of the children in her cases, when they needed them for school.

“She became like a grandmother to all her children,” Hobbs wrote. “They love her.” As a role model for other volunteers, Gail is often asked to mentor new advocates on their first case.

“Not only does Gail serve as an advocate,” Hobbs continued, “but she is a reliable volunteer for all our fundraisers, which is so important to the sustainability of CASA Monroe.”

Gathering during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas were TBA members,
from left, Sherie Edwards, Tasha Blakney, Joycelyn Stevenson, and Keith and Tracy Frazier.

Presenting at the TBA’s Leadership Conference were, from left, Laura Smith, Mikel Towe and Edd Peyton.

TBA’s Leadership Conference Public Service Luncheon, from left, Robert Grey Jr.,
Joycelyn Stevenson, Angie Bergman, Adrienne Kittos, Jason Pannu, Harris Gilbert,
Amber Vargas, Jim Barry and Ashley Wiltshire.

Photos by Barry Kolar

COURTS

Poll: Faith in U.S. Supreme Court Reaches Decade Low  The U.S. Supreme Court has been the most trusted branch of government among voters for more than a decade, but a new poll shows faith in the court is now near its lowest, Fox News reports. When asked which of the three branches of government they trust the most, 35 percent of voters choose the U.S. Supreme Court, down from 45 percent in 2017. The poll found the court’s most well-liked member to be Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Court: Employer Had No Duty to Use AED to Assist Employee  The Tennessee Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer is not liable for workers’ compensation benefits for not using an available automated external defibrillator (AED) to assist an employee who suffered a non-work related medical emergency. An AED is a medical device that delivers an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm after the heart suddenly stops beating or starts beating irregularly. Tennessee has statutes that encourage businesses to acquire AEDs and provide immunity from civil liability under certain conditions. Justice Sharon Lee wrote the unanimous opinion.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Legislators File Bills to Gain Control Over Tennessee Attorney General State lawmakers are proposing various changes to the way they interact with the state attorney general, Nashville Post reported last month. Rep. Mike Carter, chair of the Civil Justice Subcommittee, filed a resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution that would give the General Assembly confirmation authority over the attorney general. Currently the Tennessee Supreme Court appoints the attorney general for an eight-year term. Carter’s bill would empower the legislature to veto the high court’s pick. Another proposal from Sen. Bo Watson and Rep. Bill Dunn would give the legislature the ability to intervene in legal proceedings to defend the constitutionality of a contested statute or to diverge from the advocacy of the attorney general or a district attorney general.

TBA Offers Weekly Legislative Updates Via Livestream, TBAToday  The TBA launched a series of weekly legislative video updates in February, which are livestreamed most Thursdays via Facebook while the Tennessee General Assembly is in session, as well as bringing you weekly round-ups of bills impacting the legal community each Friday in TBAToday. To receive notifications of important legislative developments,  subscribe to TBA Impact at https://p2a.co/C99tVM1.

YOUR TBA

Grey at Public Service Lunch: Protect Those Who Seek Justice “We need to protect those individuals who seek justice,” Robert Grey Jr. said in his keynote speech at the TBA’s Public Service Luncheon Jan. 19 in Nashville. “It’s not just an idea — it is a reality that we need to make happen.” A former American Bar Association president, Grey is the president and executive director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and a member of the board of the Legal Services Corporation. “Lawyers are the trustees of our legal system,” he told the packed room. “We didn’t ask for that role, but we assume the responsibility when we take the oath.” The luncheon also celebrated the TBA’s Public Service Award honorees and capped off the TBA’s Leadership Conference, which included programming about Young Lawyers Division initiatives, legislative tools and resources, and more. Meeting at the two-day conference were the House of Delegates, TBASCUS, committee and section leaders, YLD, the Law Student Diversity Leadership Institute, and the Board of Governors. See more photos at www.tba.org/node/105392 and watch the proceedings at the luncheon in a video posted to the TBA’s YouTube channel.

Judge Reeves Honored at TBA Event  The Tennessee Bar Association honored U.S. District Judge Pamela L. Reeves of Knoxville during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas in January. Joining in support for the event were the University of Tennessee College of Law, the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Belmont University College of Law and Vanderbilt University Law School. See more photos at www.tba.org/tba-honors-judge-reeves-at-aba-reception.

YOUR PRACTICE

More than 50 Percent of Law Firms Offer Flexible Work Arrangements  A new report shows that more than half of law firms in 2018 offered flexible work arrangements, the ABA Journal reports. Legal services provider Special Counsel produced the report, called the 2019 Salary Guide for Legal Professionals. Respondents also reported that 49.6 percent of firms offered paid maternity and paternity leave, 19.6 offered paid volunteer time and 13 percent provided on-site emergency child care.

LAW SCHOOL

Guthrie Reappointed as Vandy Law Dean Chris Guthrie has been reappointed to a five-year term as dean of the Vanderbilt Law School. He will begin his third term on July 1, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente announced in January.
“During Dean Guthrie’s leadership, the Law School has made significant gains on strategic priorities, including the creation of new endowed scholarships; the expansion and diversification of the faculty; and the launching of new programs in social justice, law and finance, and law and innovation,” Wente said. Guthrie joined the faculty in 2002, served as associate dean for academic affairs under both of his predecessors and was named dean in 2009.

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