COVER STORY: This Month’s Top Story

On May 3, 2018, Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law a legislative package that brings significant changes to Tennessee’s adoption code.[1] This legislation was commonly referred to as the “First in Adoption Act” by its legislative sponsors.[2]

In 2016, Rep. Mike Carter, a Chattanooga attorney and chairman of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee, attended an out-of-state conference where he was introduced to a data-driven computer application designed to promote placement stability and permanency for children in foster care by matching children and families based on markers of compatibility.

FEATURED: This Month’s Articles

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, during calendar year 2016 1,631 Tennesseans died as a result of drug overdoses.[1] Tragically, one of them was our 24-year old son, Alex. My wife, Liz, and I adopted him from a Bulgarian orphanage shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The emotional horror of June 11, 2016, and what we faced thereafter will haunt our family forever.

COLUMNS: Quick Reads on Timely Topics

President's Perspective

Growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and attending law school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, it did not ever cross my mind that I would end up practicing law in Nashville, Tennessee. When I first arrived in Nashville, I found immediately comfort and fellowship in the Tennessee Bar Association. I will always be grateful  to the people and leadership at the TBA for making me feel at home.  It is now my honor and privilege to serve as the 138th President of the Tennessee Bar Association.

History's Verdict

Circuit-riding judges were begun by Henry II, the “Father of the Common Law.” His royal courts brought uniform justice to his realm at the expense of barbarous manorial tribunals. His justices fanned out across the land dispensing Henry’s law and order, and they adopted the best customs found for the entire nation: “the common law.” In 1166 the first two judges were dispatched: Geoffrey de Mandeville

Crime & Punishment

Is it still the law that if the prosecuting witness is not sequestered he or she has to testify first?

I usually try to write this column about something to which I think I know the answer. I’m not sure about this one.

But Seriously, Folks

I’ve long believed that the most common sin of lawyers is procrastination. Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “Never put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today.” To which his lawyer friend John Adams reportedly responded, “Well there’s no reason to do anything today unless a statute of limitations is about to run!”

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

ATJ Report: 10-Year Snapshot of Efforts

A decade after the Tennessee Supreme Court made access to justice its top strategic priority, it has issued an extensive report recognizing the many organizations and individuals that have worked to improve access to justice in the state.

CASA Volunteer of the Year Awarded to Hearnsberger

The TBA Young Lawyers Division presented its annual Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Volunteer of the Year award last month to Julia Hearnsberger of Fayetteville.


On May 14, the Supreme Court of Tennessee reinstated Hawkins County lawyer Daniel Graham Boyd to the practice of law. Boyd was suspended on Jan. 10 for a period of 120 days. He filed a petition for reinstatement to the practice of law, and the Board of Professional Responsibility found that the petition was satisfactory.

TBA CLE: Upcoming Programs from the Tennessee Bar

The CLE Course Catalog tells you what programs are coming this month and beyond, as well as offering a full listing of online programs and the TBA’s convenient 1-Click packages.