News

Blog Reviews Most Important Legal Tech Developments in 2018

LawSitesBlog.com has published a roundup of the 20 most important legal tech developments in the past year, eschewing the traditional Top 10 list due to the overwhelming number of significant changes. Included on the list were analytics becoming an essential part of the legal practice, investments in legal tech topping $1 billion, the end of Avvo and the new American Bar Association rule emphasizing the duty of lawyers to be up-to-date on legal technology.
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Regular Memphis Pro Bono Clinic Has Served 12K Since Inception

Since its beginnings over a decade ago, a Memphis-area pro bono legal clinic has gone on to serve roughly 12,000 individuals in need, The Daily Memphian reports. The Saturday Legal Clinic, sponsored by Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) and the Memphis Bar Association, has been held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Library once a month since November 2006. Firms and associations work to promote the event to ensure that 30 to 40 attorneys attend each month.
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Construction of New Fall Creek Falls Inn to Start in January

Construction is set to begin in January on the $29.4 million replacement inn at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The 95,000 square-foot building will include lodging, a restaurant and conference center; it is expected to be completed in 2020. Read more about the history of the park, recent renovations and what lead to the decision to rebuild the inn from the Times Free Press.

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HIROTEC Announces Plans to Build Facility in Tennessee

HIROTEC America announced this week that the company will invest $40 million and create over 100 new jobs over the next three years with the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Fayetteville, Elk Valley Times reports. The company is an automotive Tier 1 supplier specializing in manufacturing tooling. The Fayetteville facility will focus on part production capacity. The manufacturing plant will be built in the Runway Centre Industrial Park, a Select Tennessee Certified Site. The article notes the value of these certified sites for Tennessee communities, "businesses have committed to invest more than $1.6 billion and create nearly 6,900 jobs among 18 projects on Select Tennessee Certified Sites."

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Court Solicits Comments on Rule Change for Professional Privilege Tax Payments

The Tennessee Supreme Court is soliciting comments on a proposed rule change that would make delinquent professional privilege tax fees payable via an online portal and remove the requirement of a Privilege Tax Delinquency Notice to be sent via mail, requiring only an email notice. The deadline for submitting written comments is Feb. 4. Written comments may be emailed to appellatecourtclerk@tncourts.gov or mailed to James M. Hivner, Clerk, Re: Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 9, section 26 Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37219-1407.
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Join Us Today: LAW TECH

Today's the day! Discover the newest technology for your law practice and law office at this year's Law Tech Blast at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville!

The flexible open house format allows you to create your own schedule. You can attend CLE sessions, enter to win prizes, network with attendees, visit with sponsors and interact with speakers. Take as many or as few CLE hours as you need. Only those seeking to be awarded CLE Credit will be charged. The registration desk will be open all day, so you can come and go for the hours you need when it is convenient for you. Attendees can earn up to 6.5 hours of Dual CLE credit.

CLE TOPICS:
  • GDPR, Cloud and Technological Competency
  • The Bill and Phil Tech Show 2019: BEAT THE CLOCK
  • Best Practices: Information Security for Firms
  • Judicial Panel: Technology in the Courtroom
  • Know When to Hold 'Em
  • Digital Evidence – A Technical Life Raft for the Legal Mind
  • Make it Rain: Ethics Guidelines and Practice Essentials

ATTEND TO WIN: Attendees will have a chance to win prizes, including an iPad Pro. The tech prize drawing will be held at the 10:30 a.m. break. Must be present to win.

TAKE A LYFT: TBA has partnered with Lyft to offer attendees a discounted ride.

  • New to Lyft?: Get $5 off 2 rides at http://lyft.com/i/lawtech5 or download the app and enter code LAWTECH5
  • Already Have Lyft?: Save 10% off 2 rides to or from Law Tech Blast with code LAWTECH

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS & EXHIBITORS:


 

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Give the Gift of TBA Membership

Give yourself (or a friend) the gift that keeps giving — one-year of unlimited access to professional development opportunities and a number of programs and services designed to help you become a better practitioner. Founded in 1881, the Tennessee Bar Association is dedicated to enhancing fellowship among members of the state's legal community. Oh, and did we mention some of the benefits? Earn three pre-paid credits to use on any live or online course featured in the 12-days of CLE. Join now!

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Volunteers Needed for Legal Clinic in Nashville

Lipscomb University's final monthly legal clinic of the year at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 600 28th Avenue North, will be held tomorrow, Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. Volunteers are needed. It will be an advice-only clinic with no expectation that you take on continuing representation. An informational packet that addresses common legal clinic questions will be provided. If you are interested, contact Randy Spivey.
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Downtown Memphis Development Board Approves First TIF Property

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp., a state-chartered industrial development board in Memphis, recently approved its first tax increment financing initiative, the Memphis Business Journal reports. The Union Row project will develop around 800 apartments, 200 hotel rooms and 460,000 square feet of mixed-use office and retail space in a location between South City and Downtown. Construction is set to start in June 2019, with the first phase scheduled for completion by June 2021.

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Rutherford County Industrial Development Board Member Faces Federal Fraud Charges

Rutherford County Industrial Development Board (IDB) member and former chairman of the Rutherford County Republican Party Nate Schott has resigned from the board after being indicted on federal fraud charges, The Daily News Journal reports. Schott is accused of using his dental practice to defraud TennCare, DentaQuest, Delta Dental and Cigna by having employees submit false and fraudulent claims. An IDB steering committee will begin reviewing applicants for the vacancy in January; interested parties can apply at the mayor's office on the first floor of the County Courthouse in Murfreesboro.

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Audit Reveals Shortcomings with Tennessee Elevator Permits and Inspections

The recently released performance audit report of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development revealed errors made by the Elevator Unit, The Tennessean reports. The unit is responsible for awarding permits and conducting twice-yearly required inspections on the state’s public elevators, escalators, aerial trams and moving walkways, excluding those in Memphis. This results in an estimated 22,000 yearly inspections. Inspectors are able to issue warnings, citations, and even shut down elevators when code violations are found. However, the audit revealed that operating permits were often awarded to owners of elevators with code violations without notice from the owner that the defects had been repaired. Additionally, proof of repairs from the owners were not required and the department failed to conduct follow-up inspections. Auditors found that over half of a random sample of 50 inspections were conducted late by an average of 74 days. Officials from the department say they have made changes to correct these shortcomings, including the implementation of a new permit tracking system and additional staff training.

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Supreme Court Adopts Proposed Amendments to Rule 33

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday approved amendments to Rule 33 dealing with the Tennessee Lawyer Assistance Program (TLAP) and the establishment of a supporting organization under the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act. The court filed an order soliciting public comments on the proposed amendments on Oct. 17. It received three written comments during that period, each in support of the proposed amendments.

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Nashville Mayor Halts Public Works Contracts Over Audit Findings

Nashville Mayor David Briley today halted five upcoming public works contracts for capital projects amid questions raised in a recent audit about the department’s close relationship with an engineering contractor, The Tennessean reports. The audit detailed photos showing Brentwood-based Collier Engineering entertaining city officials inside a company suite during sporting events in which the employees did not appear to pay for tickets, violating Metro’s code of ethics on accepting gifts. Briley’s administration further announced plans to hire the city’s first-ever chief compliance officer to review ethics in the city’s procurement process.
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Board of Law Examiners Holds Deans' Summit in Nashville

Law school deans from across the state recently gathered in Nashville for the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners’ 2018 Deans’ Summit. The summit, which included deans from most of Tennessee's law schools, featured presentations and discussions on a range of topics, from law student wellness, to innovations at Tennessee law schools, to the state’s recent adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam. Other parts of the program took the form of an open discussion between members of the board and the deans. 
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December CLE in 6 Cities

TBA offers CLE in six locations during December. See offerings in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Johnson City and Jackson. Find last-minute by the hour through Dec. 31 or take any of the TBA's online CLE packages.
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Tennessee Taxpayers on the Hook for Amazon’s Operations Center of Excellence

Tennessee taxpayers will fork over $102 million in cash and tax breaks to secure Amazon’s Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville, The Tennessean reports. Gov. Bill Haslam said that the incentives for the Amazon investment would be repaid in just over a year and that the returns will be immeasurable for years to come. State officials have agreed to only pay if the company hires at least 5,000 employees.

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Judge Rules Nashville Expo Center Construction Can Continue

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle recently denied a request for a temporary injunction that sought to halt the construction of new expo center buildings at the fairgrounds as part of the city's new Major League Soccer stadium project, the Tennessean reports. The group Save Our Fairgrounds in September sued Metro over the city's MLS stadium plans, arguing that closing Walsh Road and its surrounding parking lot for the expo center facility would "irreparably harm" the Nashville Flea Market at its current facility.

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Need a Hotel for a Visiting Guest?

The Tennessee Bar Association Travel Discount Program offers travel discount service to TBA members. Savings average 10-20 percent below-market on all hotels and car rental suppliers around the world. Save time and money. To access this service, make sure you are logged in to your TBA member account first, then explore any hotel, any car, anywhere, anytime.
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Mark Your Calendars!

Daughters of the Confederacy Heats Up Battle Over Franklin Confederate Statue

In a newly filed court argument over a monument in Franklin's public square, the Franklin Daughters of the Confederacy chapter allege that it wasn't possible for the city to own the entire public square, The Tennessean reports. In documents filed in Williamson County Chancery Court, the group argues they own the land that makes up the monument site around their Confederate statue. Ownership came into question after a group of pastors and historians wanted to place new markers on the square depicting African-American history. The Daughters of the Confederacy legal team responded by saying they would sue the city if anything was placed on their land. Hours after, Franklin decided to file a judgement suit to determine who owned the land.
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Knoxville Sees Growth in Outside Investors

The city of Knoxville has seen an abundance of outside real estate investors, joining Memphis and Nashville in the state’s red-hot commercial real estate market, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Investors say that they are drawn to the city because of the market’s stability, with the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge to anchor the area’s economy. Multi-family and apartment sales volume sustained 35 percent of total investments, yielding more than $48 billion.

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European Real Estate Giant Invests in U.S. Commercial Lending

One of Europe’s largest real estate investment firms is jumping into the U.S. debt market, The Wall Street Journal reports. AXA Investment Managers — a unit of the French insurer AXA — is set to purchase the $9.4 billion debt portfolio of Atlanta-based Quadrant Real Estate Advisors for an undisclosed amount. Quadrant specializes in loans bankrolled on office buildings, shopping centers, apartment buildings and other commercial property.

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Tennessee Solar Farm Information & Welcome Center Nears Opening

After many delays, the new Interstate 40 Welcome Center and Solar Exhibit near Memphis is expected to be completed in late November, the Daily Memphian reports. Although the center was essentially finished a year ago, a final inspection performed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation determined that several changes needed to be made before it could open. These changes required change orders to the construction contract, which proved to be difficult because of the number of state agencies involved in the project. Once open, people visiting the $3.4 million center will be able to experience a nearly 360-degree view of a 25-acre field containing more than 20,000 solar panels as well as a circular, interactive exhibit about solar power in Tennessee.

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Crossville Business Park Named Tennessee Certified Site

The city of Crossville and Cumberland County have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars toward developing Interchange Business Park, Crossville Chronicle reports. The investments have paid off because the park has been named a Select Tennessee Certified Site. The Select Tennessee program has rigorous standards that help communities secure industrial buyers by listing the site on the state's website and providing additional marketing. There are 57 certified sites in Tennessee.

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4 Ways to Make Remote Work Successful

As technology advances, so too does the legal profession. In-person negotiations can now be completed from afar using technology. Remote work is becoming more available to attorneys and also demanded by them. Lexology presents four ways to make remote work successful for companies and attorneys.  

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