COVER STORY: This Month’s Top Story

The Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) is a free, confidential assistance program that provides consultation, referral, intervention and crisis stabilization for law students, bar applicants, lawyers and judges who are experiencing substance use disorders, stress or emotional health issues.

TLAP has been helping the Tennessee legal profession for 20 years, and it is difficult to remember a time when the program did not exist. But for many years before its establishment, local assistance programs filled the need for lawyer assistance in Tennessee.

FEATURED: This Month’s Articles

The High Court of Chancery was born in the Middle Ages to provide relief from the inflexibility of the common law courts, which could only act upon property, or in rem, usually through the award of a money judgment for compensation. Chancery’s body of jurisprudence, “equity,” was forged to remedy frauds, mistakes and various hardships the law courts could not adequately address, often remedied by Chancery acting directly upon the person through subpoena, injunction and contempt powers.

COLUMNS: Quick Reads on Timely Topics

President's Perspective

As we transition to spring and enter the home stretch of my year as president, I am delighted to highlight two exciting new programs that we will be launching at the Tennessee Bar Association.

Reporters Workshop

The Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and the Tennessee Bar Association along with its Communications Law Section are hosting what we hope to be the first of many Reporters Workshops on May 17 and 18 in Nashville. The workshop is inspired in part by a similar program The Florida Bar has been hosting for more than 25 years. Paul McAdoo, who is producing our Reporters Workshop, co-chaired the Florida program in 2009 and approached me with the idea last spring.

Where There's a Will

A spendthrift trust can protect trust corpus from claims by beneficiaries’ creditors. It took until the late nineteenth century for all states to accept spendthrift trusts created by a third party. No state approved a spendthrift trust created by a settlor for his own benefit. In fact, one of the leading cases to that effect was from Tennessee.1

Bank on It

Greg Gonzales is the 18th commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions. He began serving in this role in 2005, appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen, and has enjoyed reappointment to the position by both Governors Bill Haslam and Bill Lee. He joined the Department as this writer’s assistant general counsel and has served in a number of roles, including general counsel and assistant commissioner, prior to his appointment by Gov. Bredesen to the top job. He had served under former commissioners Billy Adams, Jeff Dyer, Dennis Phillips, Talmadge Gilley, Bill Houston, Fred Lawson and Kevin Lavender, a career that spans almost 33 years with the Department.

Book Review

Ron Chernow explores Alexander Hamilton’s many sides in his best-selling biography, Alexander Hamilton (Penguin Press, 2004), which inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway blockbuster: indigent adolescent immigrant orphan; Gen. George Washington’s most trusted aide during the American Revolution; post-war political leader in New York who participated in the Constitutional Convention of 1787; initiator and co-author of the Federalist Papers, which were instrumental in the success of the post-convention ratification effort; President Washington’s most trusted cabinet member as the country’s first secretary of the treasury; financial genius whose ideas got the nation’s economy off to a sustainable beginning; extortion victim in an extramarital affair with Maria Reynolds; founder of the Federalist Party and arch-enemy to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and their Republican Party; and, finally, fatality in the duel with Aaron Burr.


Ten years ago when Catherine Henry was 28, a “whitish blur” suddenly covered the center of both her eyes.

“I woke up one day and my vision was gone.” She tried to blink it away but nothing helped. “That was a dark and painful time for me,” she says of the six months and 17 doctors it took to finally get a diagnosis. “I’ll never forget it,” she says, remembering the neuro-ophthalmologist who told her her vision loss had “bottomed out” and she would likely not go totally blind, but the bad news, he said, was “that your optic nerve has atrophied and there is no cure.” That day she learned about Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON), a genetic condition, rare in females. She retained some peripheral vison, but is legally blind.

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


The Tennessee Bar Association 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. Also available are weekly round-ups of bills from the previous week impacting the legal community each Friday in TBAToday.


Williamson County lawyer Emily Pouzar Jenkins was reinstated to the practice of law effective Feb. 1. Jenkins sought reinstatement after being on inactive status since May 4, 2005. She filed a petition for reinstatement on Feb. 1. The Board of Professional Responsibility found that the petition was satisfactory and recommended that the court reinstate her. The court issued the order on Feb. 8.

North Carolina Supreme Court's newly sworn-in Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (pictured below, center) celebrates with Senior Associate Justice Paul Newby and Associate Justice Robin Hudson. Beasley, a University of Tennessee College of Law graduate, is North Carolina’s first African-American woman to serve as chief justice. Photo courtesy North Carolina Judicial Branch.