News

Veterans Legal Clinic Next Wednesday in Nashville

Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands will hold a Veterans Project Legal Help Clinic next Wednesday at Operation Stand Down Tennessee. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Operation Stand Down is located at 1125 12th Ave. S., 37203. The clinic helps veterans and their family members with a range of legal problems. Call 615-244-6610 for more information.

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Millions in Cost Overruns Found at Disabilities Department

A Tennessee Comptroller’s audit found a computer system project in the state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities wound up costing nearly $9 million more than expected and still does not perform all planned functions, the Daily Memphian reports. The audit also found that the department still faces a “critical shortage” of caregivers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and failed to perform required background checks on at least one individual. The agency operates Medicaid programs for about 7,500 people with intellectual and development disabilities. Services range from individual education and training to home care support, community transportation and job coaching.

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Blind Man Free to Sue Over Web, App Accessibility

The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear Domino’s Pizza Inc.’s appeal over whether its website and mobile app must comply with federal disabilities law, the ABA Journal reports. The company had argued that only physical facilities are covered by the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In refusing to hear the case, the court let stand a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed a blind man to sue the pizza chain to ensure its website and mobile app work with common screen-reading software. The ADA does not explicitly address the Internet or mobile apps, leaving courts around the country to determine how the law applies.

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State Schedules Medicaid Hearing in Memphis

After a number of Memphis officials urged the state to hold a hearing in Memphis on proposed changes to Tennessee’s Medicaid system, the Division of TennCare announced it will hold a hearing Oct. 15 at the University of Memphis. The public hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the University Center, UC Ballroom, 499 University St., the Daily Memphian reports. Parking will be available at the center’s garage at 505 Zach Curlin St. For those who cannot make the event, comments on the plan can be sent by email to public.notice.tenncare@tn.gov.

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Veterans Clinic Tomorrow in Nashville

Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands will hold a Veterans Project Legal Help Clinic tomorrow at Operation Stand Down Tennessee. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Operation Stand Down is located at 1125 12th Ave. S., 37203. The clinic helps veterans and their family members with a range of legal problems. Call 615-244-6610 for more information.

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Dealing with Clients with Dementia

This month’s "Older & Wiser" column in the Tennessee Bar Journal looks at how lawyers can recognize and address dementia in their clients. Matt and Kelly Frere, with the elder law firm of Guyton & Frere, first warn about jumping to conclusions. Conditions, such as “acquired” cognitive deficits, can mimic the symptoms of dementia. Allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes, dehydration, excessive alcohol consumption, depression, sleep apnea, certain drugs and even high cholesterol can also contribute to behavior that might look like dementia. The correct diagnosis, they write, “will not only assist you in whatever business and/or estate planning you may be doing for the client, but may also determine your client’s eligibility for certain government benefits.” If clients are suffering from a dementia disease, the pair say lawyers can protect their clients' interests (even if they have diminished mental capacity) and can be the difference between a future of quality care and a financial crisis.

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Family Questions Punishment of Autistic Hamilton County Kindergartener

A Tennessee family says their autistic son is being unfairly punished after kissing another classmate on the cheek, the Washington Post reports. The 5-year-old Hamilton County kindergartener was diagnosed with autism several years ago and suffers from phonological disorder, which his mother says prevents him from understanding boundaries and personal space. After meeting with school officials regarding the child’s IEP, the mother was told that the child often hugged children and looked under a teacher’s dress in addition to the kissing incident.  The mother also alleges in a Newsweek article that school officials said the behavior amounted to "sexual activity” and that his permanent record would label him a sex offender. Hamilton County Schools said the district is bound by privacy laws that do not allow it to publicly discuss what happened in the classroom, but it denies allegations of wrongdoing and disagrees with how the family has framed the issue.

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TennCare Deputy to Speak at Health Law Forum

As Tennessee deals with the rising costs of rural medical needs and seeks to implement a new Medicaid block grant proposal, there are many issues on the horizon for TennCare. TBA Health Law Section member and Deputy Commissioner of TennCare Gabe Roberts will address some of these issues on Oct. 17 at the 31st Annual TBA Health Law Forum. He will be joined by a stellar line-up of speakers. Check out the program and register here.

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New TBA Sidebar Podcast Episode Shares Benefits of Improv Comedy For Lawyers

A new installment of the Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network show, Sidebar, is now available. The episode focuses on improv skills for attorneys and features interviews with the co-owner of the Third Coast Comedy Club in Nashville and Kirsten Jacobson, staff attorney at the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and improv student. Sidebar is available on the TBA's website or anywhere you listen to podcasts, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and TuneIn. Simply search the show title of "Tennessee Bar Association." Do you have a story lead you'd like to hear on a future episode? Submit your ideas here.

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Opposition Mounts to Medicaid Block Grant Plan

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reject Tennessee’s block grant proposal, saying it would violate federal law and “inflict serious harm” on residents of Shelby County. In a letter outlining his opposition, the Memphis Democrat says Shelby County is home to the largest population of TennCare recipients and would be the hardest impacted. In addition, a number of state legislators have been vocal in opposition. On Friday, state House Minority Leader Karen Camper urged Gov. Bill Lee to schedule a public hearing about the proposal in Shelby County after news that the only session in West Tennessee would be held in Jackson. Camper argues that impacted parties in Memphis will not be able to make the drive to attend that event. The Daily Memphian has more on both stories.

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Deputy Commissioner of TennCare Roberts to Speak at TBA Health Law Forum

As Tennessee deals with the rising medical needs of its rural citizens and seeks to realize its Medicaid block grant proposal, there are many developments on the horizon for TennCare. TBA Health Law Section member and Deputy Commissioner of TennCare Gabe Roberts will address some of these plans on Oct. 17 at the 31st Annual TBA Health Law Forum. Roberts’ address — along with presentations by Johns Hopkins health policy expert and New York Times bestselling author Marty Makary and health care policy advisor to the White House Larry Van Horn — will make this year’s forum the must-see, must-do event in health law. You can learn more and see the rest of the program’s stellar line-up using this link.
 
When: Oct. 17-18; registration begins at 7 a.m., CDT on Oct. 17
Where: Embassy Suites Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin
 
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Does Tennessee's Block Grant Proposal Jibe With Medicaid Statute?

Lawyers across the country have begun to weigh in on Tennessee’s block grant Medicaid proposal, including one University of Michigan (UM) law professor who questions the legality of such a measure, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. UM professor Nicholas Bagley, who teaches and writes about administrative law, regulatory theory and health law, in a recent health policy blog post contends that Tennessee’s plan to issue a waiver as specified in section 1115 of the Medicaid statute would not apply to section 1903, which he maintains is “pointedly omitted from the list of statutory provisions that HHS is empowered to waive.” Bagley went on to say, "you can't use Medicaid waivers to change Medicaid's financing structure. And that's exactly what Tennessee is proposing to do.” Tennessee's current $12.1 billion TennCare program includes $7.5 billion in federal money.

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Rep. DeBerry Plans to Re-introduce ‘Red Flag’ Legislation

State Rep. John DeBerry, D-Memphis, says he plans to reintroduce legislation in 2020 for a red flag law, the Daily Memphian reports. DeBerry sponsored HB 1446 during the 2019 session. That measure would have allowed a court to be petitioned for an “extreme risk protection order” based on clear and convincing evidence a person poses a “significant risk” of injuring himself or others with a firearm. The order could be sought by law enforcement officers or by a person close to the individual with the problem. Last session, the General Assembly passed another gun related bill making it illegal to transfer a gun to anyone who has been judicially committed to a mental institution or adjudicated as a mental defective, unless the person’s right to possess guns has been restored. That law went into effect in May.

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Legal Aid Society to Celebrate 50-Year Anniversary

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands will hold its 50th Anniversary Celebration “An Evening at the Frist” on Nov. 9 at the Frist Museum in downtown Nashville. The event will feature cocktails, live music and a gallery exhibition, and provide a unique opportunity to honor the group’s distinguished 50-year legacy of providing “justice for all.” Tickets are available online.

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September Episode Of TBA BarBuzz Podcast Now Available

Get a monthly recap of bar association news and upcoming events on this month’s episode of BarBuzz, part of the Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network. Also included in the network are Sidebar, a show covering human interest stories from attorneys in Tennessee and HealthyBar, a podcast centered on attorney wellbeing. The shows are now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA’s website. Simply search the show title or “Tennessee Bar Association” wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Montgomery County to Hold Public Comment Period for ADA Transition Plan

There will be a public comment period from Sept. 17 to Oct. 18 for interested parties to review Montgomery County’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition plan, Clarksville Now reports. Documents will be available electronically for review beginning Sept. 17, and hard copies will also be available at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library. The county is required to evaluate facilities owned by the county as well as identify structural barriers that impede access to people with disabilities.

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Solo Attorney Interested in Group Health Insurance? Here's Help

You’re in luck! As a solo attorney, you’re eligible for the new association group health insurance plan if you have at least one W-2 employee working 30+ hours per week. Rates may be as much as 30% less than what you’re paying today! Guaranteed issue coverage, no health questions and no pre-existing condition exclusions! Enroll or get a quote today. Contact the TBA for more information or call 423-629-2400 x264.

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New TBA Member Benefit: Group Health Insurance!

The Tennessee Bar Association and TBA Member Insurance Solutions have been diligently working with Humana to bring TBA employer members an affordable association group health insurance plan. The fully-funded plan is available exclusively to TBA members. Enrollment is open now and ends Dec. 1. Get a quote or enroll today. Have questions? Contact us at tbams@tnbar.org or call 423-629-2400 x264.

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TBA Board Approves Bylaws Change; Announces New Group Health Insurance Plan

The TBA Board of Governors this week voted in favor of proposed revisions to the organization’s bylaws previously published to the membership on July 31. The most substantive change created a category of non-voting, law firm, employer-level membership. Under the revised bylaws, any law firm in which 100% of its Tennessee-based attorneys are members of the TBA will be eligible to become a law firm member of the association under rules established by the Board of Governors. TBA employer members will now have access to an affordable association group health insurance plan. Employer members include solo practitioners with at least one W-2 employee working a minimum of 30 hours per week. This TBA exclusive plan could save employer members as much as 30% on the cost of health insurance. No health questions and no pre-existing condition exclusions. If you’d like to be contacted when open enrollment begins (October 1), contact tbams@tnbar.org. Additional details on the plan options will be released over the next few weeks.

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Clio Practice Management Tutorials and Discount

TBA members get a 10 percent lifetime discount on Clio, a practice management tool. Take these free tutorials on client matter managementintake best practices, how to build intake forms and billing. Sign up for Clio today and use your member discount.

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Johns Hopkins Health Policy Expert, White House Health Policy Advisor to Speak at TBA Health Law Forum

The Tennessee Bar Association’s Health Law Section has selected Johns Hopkins health policy expert and New York Times bestselling author Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H. along with health care policy advisor Larry Van Horn as the keynote speakers for its 31st Annual Health Law Forum to take place on Oct. 17-18 in Franklin. Makary has written for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TIME, Newsweek and regularly appears on various news networks as a health care expert. Van Horn has advised the state of Tennessee on health policy and is currently working with the White House on issues related to price transparency in health care markets — regularly meeting with the White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Federal Trade Commission on the topic. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear from the preeminent voices in today’s health care sector and enjoy other exceptional programming from top players in the field. Here are the key details:

When: Oct. 17-18; registration begins at 7 a.m., CDT on Thursday, Oct. 17

Where: Embassy Suites Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, TN 37067

REGISTER NOW

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Aug. 30 Deadline: 36th Annual TBA Academy & U.S. Supreme Court Admissions Ceremony

If admission to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court is one of your career goals, don’t miss the opportunity to make it a reality during the 36th Annual TBA Academy on Nov. 3-4 in Washington, D.C., where a select group of Tennessee attorneys will be able to take part in a private admissions ceremony at the court. Prior to the private swearing-in ceremony, admittees are invited to attend a President's Reception and special dinner to celebrate with colleagues and bar leadership. The registration deadline to participate in this opportunity is Aug. 30. You can learn more and register here.

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Online Court Bonds Now Available from TBA Member Insurance Solutions

The new Court Bond Program from TBA Member Insurance Solutions offers a full range of court bonds – Civil Court Bonds, Probate and Fiduciary Bonds, Notary Bonds, Lost Instrument Bonds and Public Official Bonds. Bonds are underwritten by experienced, knowledgeable underwriters with a quick turnaround — typically 24-48 hours — and competitive rates. Start by registering here or get a quote today.
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Tune In To TBA Podcast Network

The Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network is home to a collection of podcasts for the Tennessee attorney. Sidebar features human interest stories from attorneys across the state. BarBuzz is a monthly rundown of TBA news and upcoming events at the local and state bar levels and HealthyBar offers tips and guidance on attorney well being. All three shows are now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and the TBA's website. Simply search the show title or "Tennessee Bar Association" wherever you listen to podcasts. Do you have a story lead you'd like to submit for a future episode? Submit your ideas here.
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Fastcase 7 New Features

A new Fastcase 7 update provides highlighting for your search terms when viewing the full text of a document. Each term is highlighted with a different color so that you can see the occurrence of each item separately. You can also turn off the highlighting function for both, and each term individually by choosing the highlight dropdown option, then selecting the ‘x’ across from the term. See this and all new features of TBA’s member benefit Fastcase 7 here.

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