COVER STORY: This Month’s Top Story

The probate statutes are tucked under the hood of Titles 30-32 and, for the most part, are simple and short. A lawyer inexperienced in probate because of just beginning practice or being asked to help a friend or associate can quickly grasp the wheel of the code and adequately navigate his or her client through the administration of a simple estate. However, while the typical probate road is normally smooth travelling, the administration of an estate can be complex and along this road are some sneaky potholes that jar even the most experienced lawyers.

FEATURED: This Month’s Articles

In 2018, the Copyright Act finally entered the digital era. Musicians and other industry professionals have long called for amending the Copyright Act to address and incorporate new technology and industry trends into antiquated copyright laws. Congress finally responded to their requests with the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA).

COLUMNS: Quick Reads on Timely Topics

President's Perspective

“If you’re going through Hell, just keep going ….
There’s angels everywhere to pull you back on your feet.”
As implausible as it sounds, a source of comfort to lawyers struggling with the pressures of the practice of law was inspired by an Irish toast combined with a quote from Winston Churchill.

Book Review

A vigorous debate over U. S. immigration policy has been raging for the last decade during the Obama and Trump Administrations. During that period, Congress has considered but not passed any changes to our immigration laws. President Trump made immigration a major issue during his 2016 run for the White House and has kept the issue in the limelight with his repeated calls for the construction of a wall on our Southern border.

History's Verdict

The streets were red with blood. The night sky was red with the flames of burning businesses and homes. The air was filled with smoke and screams. Horror and death had descended on Atlanta’s usually peaceful and prosperous Fourth Ward, the neighborhood where the city’s African American middle class resided and had their businesses.


When those law school graduates who just passed the bar in July take their oath before the Tennessee Supreme Court this month, they will be pledging to do something a little different than you did. When you stood before the court with your right hand in the air, you swore or affirmed, among other things, to “truly and honestly demean myself in the practice of my profession to the best of my skill and abilities, so help me God.”

YOU NEED TO KNOW: News, Success, Licensure & Discipline

Former TBA president and Sevierville attorney Cynthia Richardson Wyrick was sworn in as a U.S. magistrate judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee on Sept. 30. She was appointed to the post by Chief Judge Pamela L. Reeves, who is also a former TBA president, to replace former Magistrate Judge Clifton L. Corker, who was appointed a federal district judge in July. Wyrick will serve in the court’s Northeastern Division in Greeneville. Wyrick, a University of Tennessee College of Law graduate, has been a member of the law firm of Ogle, Wyrick & Associates in Sevierville since 1996. She has also served as the city attorney for Pigeon Forge.

13th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Wesley Bray was sworn into office by Gov. Bill Lee in September at the Putnam County Courthouse. He replaces longtime judge David Patterson, who retired this summer. The 13th Judicial District covers Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White counties.


The law license of Shelby County lawyer Deidre Lynn Smith was transferred to disability inactive status on Sept. 6. Smith may not practice law while on inactive status. She may return to the practice of law after reinstatement, which requires a showing of clear and convincing evidence that the disability has been removed and she is fit to resume the practice of law.