Links for October 2018

Nashville Lawyer John Tarpley Testifies in Kavanaugh Hearings on Behalf of ABA, Explains ‘Well Qualified’ Rating

September 7, 2018

Former TBA president John Tarpley gave testimony today in the confirmation hearing of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Speaking on behalf of the American Bar Association, Tarpley explained how the judge earned a unanimous “well-qualified rating,” The ABA Journal reports. Tarpley is the lead evaluator on the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. He said the panel found that Kavanaugh “enjoys an excellent reputation for integrity and is a person of outstanding character. It was clear from all or our interviews and all of the other evidence that he learned the importance of integrity from a very early age.”

New Study Finds Gender and Racial Bias Endemic in Legal Profession

September 6, 2018

A new study confirms widespread gender and racial bias permeates hiring, promotion, assignments and compensation in the legal industry, the ABA reports today. Fifty-eight percent of women attorneys of color, and half of white women lawyers surveyed say they have been mistaken for administrative staff or janitors, in contrast to only seven percent of white male lawyers reporting a similar occurrence, according to the new study, You Can’t Change What You Can’t See. Conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, on behalf of The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and The American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the report examines implicit gender and racial bias in legal workplaces and offers new solutions and tools for interrupting bias across the legal profession.

 

Tenn. Secretary of State Begins Annual Student Essay Contest

September 4, 2018

The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office is kicking off its third annual civics essay contest for students. The goal is to encourage students to be actively engaged citizens by recognizing their important roles as citizens of Tennessee. The theme of this year’s essay contest is leadership. Student winners will receive a TNStars 529 Program College Savings scholarship of $100, $250, or $500, in addition to a trip to the State Capitol.

 

ATJ Community Gathers to Learn and Honor Leaders for Service

August 30, 2018

More than 200 lawyers, law students and advocates gathered this week for the 2018 Equal Justice University (EJU) in Murfreesboro. The conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and TBA is an event co-sponsor. TBA President Jason Pannu today spoke to those gathered for EJU via videotaped remarks. Pannu thanked the legal service staff and volunteers for their role as first responders, providing life-changing assistance to Tennesseans in need, and also acknowledging the strong collaborations that make this work possible. TBA YLD President Christian Barker introduced Pannu’s video by expressing appreciation for the access to justice community and sharing his own experience with an opportunity for unexpected pro bono service. See pictures and more here.

 

Equal Justice University Kicks Off Tomorrow in Murfreesboro

August 28, 2018

The 2018 Equal Justice University Conference begins Wednesday in Murfreesboro. The three-day event, hosted by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) and co-sponsored by the TBA, is an annual gathering of 200 lawyers, advocates, social work professionals and pro bono attorneys involved in providing civil legal assistance across the state. Speakers this year include Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeff Bivins, Rhodes College Professor Charles McKinney, TBA President Jason Pannu and TBA YLD President Christian Barker. Session topics include the opioid epidemic, immigration relief, legal support for veterans and legal technology innovations. 

 

Court Seeks Comment on Proposed Rules Amendments

August 30, 2018

The Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure annually presents recommendations to the Tennessee Supreme Court to amend the Rules of Appellate, Civil, Criminal, and Juvenile Procedure, and the Tennessee Rules of Evidence. The court is now soliciting written comments from the bench, the bar, and the public concerning the recommendations. The deadline for submitting written comments is Oct. 30. Written comments may be emailed to appellatecourtclerk@tncourts.gov or mailed to James M. Hivner, Clerk, Re: 2019 Rules Package, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219-1407.

 

States Reconsider Workplace Confidentiality Agreements in the #MeToo Era

August 27, 2018

In response to the #MeToo movement, at least 16 states have introduced bills to restrict the usage of non-disclosure agreements in workplace sexual harassment cases, with six states – including Tennessee – successfully approving such measures, The Associated Press reports. The intent of the new policies is to prevent abusive men in power from being allowed to stay on and abuse more employees. Legal experts say that it’s yet to be seen what effect these laws will have in the workplace.

 

Tennessee Supreme Court Rules DUI Fee is Constitutional

August 23, 2018

The Tennessee Supreme Court has determined that a statute allowing the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to collect a $250 fee when an individual is convicted of certain drug and alcohol offenses does not deprive defendants of the right to a fair and impartial trial under both the Tennessee and U.S. constitutions. The ruling reverses a February decision from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. The opinion, written by Justice Cornelia Clark, was unanimous. Attorney General Herbert Slatery praised the ruling, saying it "removes any uncertainty over past DUI convictions."

 

New Vandy Faculty Member to Launch Legal Clinic for At-Risk Teens

August 22, 2018

Cara Suvall has joined the faculty at Vanderbilt Law, where she will launch a new legal clinic to provide civil legal representation to teens and young adults at risk for criminal involvement in areas of education, housing and employment. The Youth Opportunity Clinic will open in spring 2019. “The Youth Opportunity Clinic will address an important gap in legal services for youth between the ages of 16 to 25, and I’m extremely pleased that Cara Suvall is joining our faculty to launch and direct this clinic,” Dean Guthrie said.

 

Law Day 2019 Theme Announced

August 20, 2018

The American Bar Association has announced the theme for Law Day 2019: "Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society." The theme focuses on questions such as: Should all speech be free? What is the role of government in regulating or protecting the press? Should speech or the press be constrained through laws or norms? Can a free society exist without free speech and free press? Law Day 2019 offers the opportunity to explore the freedom of speech and freedom of the press by probing their history and considering their future.

 

 

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