COVER STORY: This Month’s Top Story

Unlike today, there was a time when journalists were admired for their fearless pursuit of the truth.

Today’s climate features hostility toward freedom of the press and negative attitudes toward journalists. Public perception of the press as the public’s watchdog and the protective fourth estate is vanishing. Reporters have even faced assault for their reporting in the United States.[1]

FEATURED: This Month’s Articles

The Surprisingly International Tennessee

Tennessee has many international ties that often surprise practitioners. Some of the largest multinational companies in the world are headquartered here, and more than 147,000 Tennesseans are employed by foreign-based companies. In fact, Tennessee is the number one state for jobs created through foreign direct investment. Tennessee has frequently earned top marks for its business-friendly environment, and it is likely to be the beneficiary of increased investment by U.S.

Imagine you represent a man who is sued in general sessions court by an ex-girlfriend, alleging he owes her money for various expenditures she incurred while dating him a year ago. When the parties broke up, she had prosecuted a domestic assault criminal warrant against him that was found to be groundless and dismissed, but not before he had lost his job and been unable to obtain employment for a period of time. He files a cross-action against her for damages for malicious prosecution.

COLUMNS: Quick Reads on Timely Topics

President's Perspective

Having heard rumblings over the years about certain positions taken by the Tennessee Bar Association, it is important to keep in mind the purposes of the Association. Our Bylaws state:

The purposes of the Association shall be to foster legal education, maintain the honor, dignity and well-being of the members of the legal profession, enhance the performance of the legal profession, cultivate professional ethics and fellowship among its members and promote responsible relationships between the legal profession and the public.

Where There's a Will

The mindset of estate planners has long been to vigorously guard against any estate tax inclusion. In 2013, Congress’s decision to make the $5 million federal estate tax exemption both permanent and portable between spouses rendered such purpose largely moot for all but a tiny percentage of Americans. Moreover, the federal estate tax exemption for 2018 through 2025 has doubled again, to $11,180,000 per person, or $22,360,000 per married couple, indexed for inflation, so that the percentage of Americans exposed to federal estate tax is minuscule indeed.

Book Review

By Stephen L. Wasby | Quid Pro Books | $34.99 | 299 pages | 2018

Reviewed by Andrée Sophia Blumstein

Bank on It

The news is full of intrigue, innuendo, and perhaps even a few facts associated with certain financial transactions connected to a number of “politically exposed people” or “PEPs.” A PEP is an individual who, because of his or her prominent public functions or position, may present a higher risk for potential involvement in corruption, abuse of influence, or bribery because of the position he or she holds.

Book Review

By Sam D. Elliott | The University of Tennessee Press | $43 | 2017

Reviewed by Daniel J. Taylor

This book was honored with the 2017 Tennessee History Book Award by the Tennessee Library Association.

Today, few probably know the name of John Calvin Brown of Pulaski, Tennessee. Attorneys who have studied Tennessee Constitutional law might be familiar with his role as president of the important Tennessee Constitutional Convention of 1870. Others may recollect that he served as a post-Civil War Governor of Tennessee from 1871 to 1875.

But Seriously, Folks

After graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School, he sat for the Bar Exam. But he didn’t sit for long. Just an hour into the exam, he got up from his seat, turned in an incomplete exam paper, and walked out the door. He hadn’t studied for the exam, and he quickly realized there was no way he could pass it.

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

Increased Indigent Defense Rates Now in Effect

The new 25 percent pay increase for indigent defense officially went into effect on July 1. The increase, the first of its kind in 20 years, was approved by the General Assembly this year. The hourly rate paid to court-appointed lawyers representing indigent parties is now $50 an hour for all services, while limits on the total amount of compensation a lawyer can receive in certain cases have been raised by $250 to $500.

Lawrence “Larry” J. Laurenzi, a former U.S. attorney, has joined Baker Donelson's Government Enforcement and Investigations Group. Laurenzi, who joins as of counsel, brings more than 35 years of experience with the U.S. Department of Justice for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Tennessee, including an appointment as U.S. attorney from 2008 to 2010. After beginning his career serving as a trial attorney, Laurenzi went on to serve as criminal chief, before becoming first assistant U.S. attorney.


On June 20, the Supreme Court of Tennessee reinstated Campbell County lawyer Timothy Paul Webb to the practice of law, effective immediately. Webb had been suspended by the Supreme Court of Tennessee for five years on Sept. 26, 2016, with two years active suspension and the remainder on probation with conditions. Webb filed a petition for reinstatement to the practice of law pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 9, Section 30.4.

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.