TBA to Introduce Legal Document Generation

The TBA will soon launch a new subscription-based product for Tennessee lawyers — automated legal forms. The initiative will use HotDocs, a custom documentation generator that creates form templates and speeds up the preparation process based on client and case data. In order to provide this valuable resource to our members, we hope to obtain your comments and ideas on forms you deem beneficial for replication. With across-the-board participation, we can comprise a substantive, comprehensive database where subscribers will have access to forms submitted by all TBA sections. Please send suggestions and comments to TBA Membership Director Mindy Fulks.

read more »

Legal Clinic for Artists Planned for Nashville on Feb. 28

The Arts & Business Council has planned a pro bono legal clinic for visual artists, dancers, actors, musicians and other creatives. The event will take place at Watkins Park Community Center, 616 17th Ave N, on Feb. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Clients must sign up in advance and meet an income threshold. For more information or to volunteer, email
read more »

Michael Jackson Estate Blasts HBO Over New Documentary

Lawyers for Michael Jackson's estate have admonished HBO over the network’s decision to proceed in airing its documentary "Leaving Neverland," Rolling Stone reports. An attorney for the estate, Howard Weitzman, sent a 10-page letter to HBO CEO Richard Plepler calling the film a “one-sided, sensationalist program,” and questioned the credibility of the two accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who are the focus of the documentary. “The Estate spent years litigating with Robson and Safechuck, and had four different lawsuits by these two men dismissed with prejudice,” the letter said. “Today, Robson owes the estate almost $70,000 in court costs, and Safechuck owes the estate several thousand dollars as well.” HBO responded to the letter saying that its plans remain unchanged, and that the documentary will air March 3 and 4.

read more »

ABA Entertainment and Sports Forum Coming to Memphis

The ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries is bringing its Spring Governing Committee Meeting to Memphis on April 4. The event, which will be held at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, will include a luncheon featuring renowned author Robert Gordon whose books Memphis Rent Party and Respect Yourself tell the stories of Stax Records and Memphis’s rich musical tradition.
read more »

Intellectual Property Forum Set for May 10

Plan to Attend!

The Intellectual Property Forum is set for Friday, May 10 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville.  

The program will be blast style, allowing attendees the flexibility to create their own schedule. 

Sessions and speakers will be addressing a wide-variety of IP topics. Specific details are coming soon ...

read more »

Tennessee Sports Betting Bill Among First Filed this Session

Members of the Tennessee General Assembly have filed the first bills of the legislative session including HB001/SB0016, which seeks to legalize sports betting for cities that approve it through a local election, The Tennessean reports. If passed, the bill would establish a Tennessee gaming commission and there would be a 10 percent tax on gaming revenue. The article notes that the revenue would be distributed between the state general fund and for education and infrastructure with local governments. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Rick Staples, D-Knoxville, and Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.

read more »

R. Kelly May Benefit Financially Despite Industry Splits

Although R. Kelly is no longer represented by his publisher and label following Lifetime’s Jan. 3 release of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed allegations of years-long history of sexual assault, Rolling Stone reports that the artist may financially benefit from the event. The six-part series drew around 20 million viewers, caused a social media uproar, topped the news headlines and invoked protests and pressure from music fans and industry professionals for Sony, owner of RCA Record, to part ways with Kelly. Sony announced the separation from R. Kelly on Jan. 18. However, the split with his label is not a major blow to the artist’s career because as the article points out, “both parties will continue to profit off of all past music releases as long as those releases are in distribution.” Additionally, in order to avoid a lawsuit, RCA may have had to make a financial settlement with R. Kelly since he had two albums left on his contract. Although his publishing company, Universal Music Publishing Group, also no longer represents him, the company is still responsible for distributing his past work (681 songs). R. Kelly and his team adamantly deny the allegations. 

read more »

Register Now! International Law Forum on Feb. 22

Stay on track earning your CLE credits by attending the International Law Forum on Feb. 22 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. Early bird registration ends tomorrow, Feb. 16!
This program is applicable to a wide variety of practice areas, including business law, corporate counsel, employment law, law tech and immigration. Three international business panels make up this afternoon program and include a stacked line-up of speakers. Topics to be discussed include Government & Private International Manufacturing Perspectives, International Sourcing, Importing & Exporting Perspectives and International Entertainment & Tourism Perspectives.
Join us for an evening reception immediately following the program for a chance to network with attendees and speakers. Read more about the panels and register for the program here.
Unable to attend the live course? Join us virtually for the live webcast!

read more »

Meditation Apps Help Incorporate Mindfulness Each Day

Consider a meditation app for your phone to help incorporate mindfulness into your day. The accessibility and variety of meditation apps can make them beneficial and easy to try. Some, such as Mindbody, Stop, Breathe & Think, 10% Happier, Breethe, Omvana, Insight Timer, Sattva Meditations & Mantras, and Smiling Mind (which can be tailored to different age groups) are free. Others, such as Calm, Headspace, and the Mindfulness App, have free trials and can be upgraded to a paid subscription. Comparisons of various apps are available on or
read more »

Will AI Technology be the Next Disrupter in the Legal World?

There is a growing prevalence of AI (artificial intelligence) technology being utilized in the legal sector, Crain’s Cleveland Business reports. Some fear that this technology will replace attorneys with computers. However, the Cleveland office of Baker Hostetler experienced an increase in lawyers a couple of years following the partnership of its bankruptcy practice and IBM’s ROSS intelligence. This technology was able to divert mundane and tedious tasks from the attorneys, such as legal research and case law analysis. Baker’s bankruptcy practice is using the AI technology to track case law and make predictions on the outcome of current cases. While Baker is open to partnering with various legal tech companies, the American Bar Association’s 2018 legal tech survey only found that 10 percent of attorneys polled utilized AI technology in some way. In addition to firms incorporating new technology, Cleveland-based law school Case Western University is also exploring ways to slowly incorporate programming, AI and blockchain technology into its curriculum in order to stay ahead of the disruptive curve.

read more »

Tennessee Congressman Files Lawsuit Against Nashville Over MLS Stadium

A nonprofit led by newly elected U.S. Rep. John Rose, R-Cookeville, that operates the annual Tennessee State Fair sued Metro Nashville earlier this month seeking an injunction to halt construction of the city's new Major League Soccer stadium at the fairgrounds, the Tennessean reports. Tennessee State Fair Association argues that plans for the new MLS stadium do not leave sufficient space and structures for the state fair, which is a protected use in the Metro Charter. Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle in November denied a similar injunction request in a separate lawsuit filed by fairgrounds supporters that argued flea markets wouldn't be able to co-exist with the stadium.
read more »

TBA Entertainment & Sports Law Forum 2019

Save the date for this year's Entertainment & Sports Law Annual Forum – May 15 at Belmont College of Law. We invite you to join a distinguished group of speakers for an afternoon discussion of some of the most cutting-edge legal issues in the music and sports industries today.

The panels have been carefully crafted to provide timely and practical information that will benefit practitioners of all levels, showcasing a wide array of areas, including an in-depth discussion of the practical impact of new music legislation, legal issues related to live music and merchandising, sports gambling topics and attorney well-being. This is a program that you definitely don’t want to miss. 

Registration for this forum will open soon, so stay tuned for additional details!

read more »

New Book Examines the Law and Girls' Basketball

Full Court: How Pat Summitt, a High School Basketball Player, and a Legal Team Changed the Game, a new book by Tennessee lawyer Bill Haltom and Virginia law student Amanda Swanson, follows the legal case that changed women’s basketball forever. The 1973 case saw high school basketball player Victoria Cape sue the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, the organization which oversees high school sports and regulated girls’ basketball to a six-on-six, half court game. New University of Tennessee coach Pat Head Summitt figures prominently into the case as a supporter of Cape’s lawsuit. Read more at The Daily Memphian.
read more »

Member Spotlight

For this member spotlight, the Entertainment & Sports Law Executive Council would like to introduce Dan Werly. Werly is Managing Partner of Sievert Werly LLC, a sports law boutique firm based in Nashville.  His practice focuses on a wide variety of commercial transactions and related matters for sports industry clients including strategic partnerships, sponsorship, marketing/promotions, sports gaming, ticketing, and venue management. He represents professional sports teams, athletes, venues, and companies that focus on sports tech, ticketing, fitness, fantasy sports, and sports gambling.
Werly is actively involved in the Nashville and national sports legal communities and currently serves as the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Sports Division and President of the Nashville chapter of the Sports Business Leadership Association. He is also an adjunct professor in the recently launched University of New Hampshire School of Law sports wagering and integrity program and serves on the board of directors for the Nashville-based 501(c)(3) Play Like A Girl. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife Liz, infant son Jack and Wheaten Terrier Birdie.
read more »

Blog Reviews Most Important Legal Tech Developments in 2018 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.
read more »

First Copyrighted Works in 20 Years to Enter Public Domain

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain, The Smithsonian Magazine reports. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S. The last one — in 1998, when 1922 slipped its copyright bond — predated Google. The more than two decade delay was due to lobbying from Disney in the 90's, when it fought to stop the expiration of the copyright on Mickey Mouse, who was born in 1928 and was expected to enter the public domain in 2004. Mickey is now protected until 2024.
read more »

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.
read more »

Webcasts: Transactional Practice Series (Parts 1 and 2)

New for 2018! Every lawyer experiences transactional law at some point in the year, and this all-in-one online video series features up to six dynamic hours of valuable content providing lawyers in various areas of the law with the information, tools, and tips needed to successfully handle transactional, traditional business, and probate matters. Perfect for General, Solo, Small Firms, Real Estate Law, Entertainment Law, Health Law, Business Law, Bankruptcy Law or Young Lawyers Division attorneys. Earn up to five general (online) CLE hours and one dual (online) hour. Part 1: Earn up to 3 general (online) CLE hoursPart 2: Earn up to 2 general and 1 dual (online) CLE hours.

read more »

Member Spotlight


For this member spotlight, the Entertainment & Sports Law Executive Council would like to introduce Jenna Harris. Jenna is a lawyer at the Nashville office of Ritholz Levy Fields LLP. Her litigation practice focuses primarily on intellectual property, entertainment, fashion and commercial litigation. Jenna has represented clients in federal and state court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. She also assists clients with transactional matters related to copyright and trademark, and regularly consults clients regarding brand development, marketing and maintenance.

Jenna volunteers with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, where she previously worked and provided free legal and business services to low-income artists and arts organizations. Jenna has been named a “Mid-South Rising Star” in Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers from 2016-2018. In her free time, Jenna loves scoping out Nashville’s music and food scenes and catching live shows with her (musician/producer) husband, Matt. She also enjoys boating on Old Hickory Lake and exploring Shelby Bottoms with her dog Pepper.

read more »

Swedish Music Festival Found Guilty of Gender Discrimination

On Monday, Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) ruled that last August's music festival for women, transgender and non-binary people breached gender-based discrimination laws, BBC reports. The DO found that Statement Festival’s “man-free” event description and public statements made leading up to the event discouraged a particular group of people from attending; however, since no one suffered any damages from the restrictions there would be no financial penalties imposed. The festival was created in response to the large number of sexual assault offenses experienced at Sweden’s largest music festival, Bravalla, in 2017.  It was canceled in 2018 due to growing concerns for women’s safety. 

read more »

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 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.
read more »

AG Opinion Could Pave Way for Legal Sports Betting

A recent opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery has created a path for legislation to allow gambling on sporting events, The Daily Memphian reports. The opinion, issued Dec. 14, says the General Assembly “may legalize the contest solely through legislative action without a constitutional amendment” as long as the sport is based on skill and not predominantly on “chance.” Sen. Brian Kelsey, who is considering legislation related to the matter, said that if allowed, sports betting should be limited to the four largest cities in Tennessee.
read more »

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.

  • 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 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



read more »

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!

read more »

Family Fights Trustees Over Control of Denver Broncos

An intrafamilial battle has erupted over control of the Denver Broncos NFL team, The New York Times reports. Franchise owner Pat Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and relinquished control of the organization to three trustees in 2014, who set a succession plan regarding the transfer of ownership between his seven children. One of Bowlen’s daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace, is at the center of the dispute, arguing that she is best suited to direct the team because of her philanthropic work, experience as a manager of various businesses, her time as a director of special projects at the Broncos and her law degree. Several of Bowlen’s family members have now filed a lawsuit against the trustees demanding an independent overseer, a move the trustees have asked the NFL to arbitrate. The Broncos are currently valued at $2.6 billion.

read more »