News

Your Access to Expert Commentary

Seeking expert commentary on the law? Access legal insight and commentary from more than 15,000 expert legal bloggers with the addition of Lexblog in Fastcase 7. LexBlog is included with your Fastcase benefit. The TBA is upgrading to Fastcase 7 on July 22.
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Full Upgrade to Fastcase 7 Coming July 22

The TBA will be upgrading to Fastcase 7 — the latest in legal research technology — on July 22. Start the transition by reviewing the helpful resource page to learn new and advanced research tools and view training videos and reference guides. Did you know that as a member benefit Fastcase also offers research assistance? Use the LiveChat feature located on the Fastcase website, email support@fastcase.com or call 866-773-2782, Option 2, to speak with a research attorney. 
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ABA Releases Guidance for Splitting Fees in Contingency Cases When a Lawyer is Replaced

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released today Formal Opinion 487 that addresses fee splitting arrangements when a lawyer in a separate firm replaces the first counsel rather than works together on a contingency-fee case. The opinion emphasizes that a previous attorney, whose services are terminated without cause, may be entitled to a fee for services performed prior to discharge and that any proposed agreement between the initial attorney and a successor should be fully disclosed and discussed with the client. Read more at the ABA website.
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Nashville-based Legal Services Firm Expands to Atlanta

Latitude, the Nashville-based legal services firm, is expanding to the Georgia market, the Nashville Post reports. The firm provides contract attorneys to businesses and traditional law firms on an as-needed basis and was co-founded by former Bass, Berry & Sims partner Ross Booher. According to Booher, Latitude is looking at expanding into other markets beyond Nashville and Atlanta with a similar subsidiary model in which the market president retains an ownership stake.
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Law Firm Management & Millennial Workers

With millennials having the largest presence in the U.S. labor force, effective law firm management includes updating communication strategies and company culture, the New York Law Journal reports. Generational differences are often exaggerated, but differences do exist and need to be taken into account in order to ensure productivity and success of younger workers. Research indicates that millennials value work-life balance, flexibility with schedules, strong parental leave policies for both mothers and fathers, and collaborative work cultures with open communication. Eight tips are presented, which aim to improve communication and work interactions between all generations at law firms. One tip suggests establishing procedures for submitting fresh ideas so associates, from junior to senior, are encouraged to share and provide input. Read the rest of the tips here.

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Is Your Firm's Tech Outdated?

This blog post from Law Technology Today features seven quick signs that your law firm’s technology may be due for an update. A lack of automation options to deal with menial, time-consuming tasks is a clear sign that it is time to invest in better technology. If your go-to method of keeping old files is using a filing cabinet, you are wasting floor space and time. Organizational software can modernize the old-school paper filing system and make accessing old files a breeze. Make sure your firm’s tech is updated by reading the other five signs here.

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IP Patent Litigation Update Webcast is June 27

Feeling a little out of the loop when it comes to patent litigation? Get caught up by registering to attend the Patent Litigation Update webcast by Registered Patent Attorney Seth Ogden!

Join us on June 27 at 11 a.m. CST to examine the implications of several recent decisions for businesses seeking to protect their key technologies through patents: Secret sales can now serve as invalidating prior art (Helsinn). Patentees can now recover lost foreign profits for certain instances of infringement (Western Geco). Attacking patent subject matter eligibility under Section 101 at the pleadings stage has become more difficult (Berkheimer). Choice of venue for patentees filing suit in district courts has become more limited (BigCommerce and HTC).

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Davidson Courts Soliciting Comments on Proposed Local Rules Amendments

Davidson County Courts are proposing amendments to the Local Rules of Practice, and soliciting comments in accordance with Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 18. The deadline for submitting comments is June 24. The public comment notice and the proposed amendments to the local rules are available on the websites of the Clerk and Master and the Circuit Court Clerk. Rules proposals relative to electronic filing in Davidson County Chancery Court and Davidson County Circuit and Probate Courts are also available on the respective clerks’ websites.
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Amazon Under Fire for Harvesting Children's Data

Consumer advocacy groups are drawing attention to the way Amazon treats privacy regarding its Echo Dot Kids Edition, The New York Times reports. The company markets the device as an easy way for children to interact with its voice assistant software Alexa, but the groups involved allege that Amazon additionally included data-mining software in the device that violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by gathering names, home addresses, Social Security numbers and other private information. Amazon released a statement maintaining that the product is compliant with COPPA; however, more than a dozen organizations have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on the issue.

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Your TBA Free CLE Credits Expire June 30

TBA members receive three hours of free CLE programming. Your credits expire June 30 for the current bar year. You may apply them to any available course here or donate them. Members can use this credit to cover all or part of the cost of live programs or on any online CLE program. (The course does not have to take place by June 30.)
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Bass Berry & Sims Scouts for New Nashville Office

Bass, Berry & Sims has formally retained the Nashville affiliate of real estate brokerage Colliers International as it explores options for a new long-term office, the Nashville Business Journal reports. Bass Berry is starting its scouting right now with more than five years remaining on its existing lease in Nashville's Pinnacle Building.
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Baker Donelson Adds New CIO, Will Be Based Out of Nashville Office

Baker Donelson has recruited a veteran tech executive from New York-based Epstein Becker Green to be its new CIO, the Nashville Post reports. Lance Rea comes to Baker Donelson — home to more than 700 attorneys in 21 offices from Texas to Washington, D.C. — after spending five years at Epstein. Based in the Nashville office of Baker Donelson, Rea will lead an IT group of more than 50 people. He has taken over from longtime CIO John Green, who was based in the firm’s Memphis office.
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Paypal’s Patent to Fight Crypto Ransomware Approved

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently approved a patent, originally filed in 2016, that aims to end crypto ransomware, CoinGeek reports. PayPal developed the technology to better detect the malware and prevent potential victims from being locked out of their own accounts. This is a global problem impacting law enforcement officials, individuals and companies, according to the story. Companies have reported a 90% increase in ransomware costs for the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018.      

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5 New Job Postings on TBA’s Joblink

See who is hiring in Tennessee. Recent job postings this month offer opportunities in litigation, real estate, health law and more. See full listings or post positions in your firm on TBA’s Joblink.
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TBA Convention Kicks Off TOMORROW!

The big week is finally upon us: The Tennessee Bar Association’s Annual Convention begins tomorrow, June 12. This year’s Convention is chock-full of even better programming, exhibits and fun than last year! Look forward to:

  • Free Access to 9 Hours of CLE, including the Bench Bar Program, co-sponsored by the Tennessee Judicial Conference
  • Opening welcome reception
  • Bench Bar Luncheon (featuring keynote speaker, Ken Starr)
  • Law School and General Breakfasts
  • Lawyers Luncheon (featuring special honor for Sen. Lamar Alexander)
  • Thursday night joint reception sponsored with TLAW and TABL
  • Thursday night Dinner/Dance Party featuring My So-Called Band
  • Friday night TBALL/YLD Party
  • Access to activities and programming designed for well-being including massages, contemplative space and more.
  • Access to TBA's sponsorship hall to meet with exhibitors, participate in our special TBA Wellness Corner and win prizes.
• QUESTIONS: Just email convention@tnbar.org to get help.
 
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Help4TNDay Kicks Off Saturday

Tennessee lawyers are invited to participate in Help4TNDay activities throughout the month of April. Events will bring attention to the ongoing need for free and low-cost legal services and highlight the groups that provide these services to disadvantaged Tennesseans. Opportunities include volunteering to help clients in need through Tennessee Free Legal Answers (TFLA) or at a local legal clinic. The events kick-off this Saturday with a statewide virtual legal clinic, where attorneys across the state will answer questions on TFLA from noon to 2 p.m. Simultaneously, the TBA will host an on-site TFLA Clinic and Luncheon in Nashville. To participate in the TBA event, contact Liz Todaro. Help4TNDay is a joint effort by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the Administrative Office of the Courts, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and the Tennessee Bar Association. 
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Tennessee Supreme Court Adopts Rule 46A

After opening the issue up to public comment earlier this year, the Tennessee Supreme Court has officially adopted Rule 46A, which would govern the electronic service (e-service) of papers that are electronically filed (e-filed) pursuant to local rules of court. The rule goes into effect immediately. The court received favorable comments from the Knoxville Bar Association, the Shelby County Criminal and Civil Court Clerks as well as several individual members of the legal community.
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Law Tech Programming Available Online

Missed out on attending Law Tech last month? You're in luck – new online videos from the program are now available to purchase on the TBA website. Topics include: 

Online videos give you additional flexibility to fulfill your yearly CLE requirement. Check out TBA's vast catalog of online videos and upcoming live programming on our CLE webpage

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Registration Now Open for TBA Convention in Nashville, June 12-15

The TBA's annual Convention returns to downtown Nashville this summer! Mark your calendars for June 12-15 and prepare for four days of CLE, networking, entertainment and more at the Renaissance Hotel, 611 Commerce Street. Registration is officially open, with early bird rates available until April 30.
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EU’s Copyright Directive Passes Final Vote

The controversial legislative package known as the Copyright Directive received final approval on Tuesday in a 348-274 vote by the European Union, The Verge reports. The overhaul contained two controversial articles that remained intact in the final version, Article 11 and 13. Article 11, sometimes called the link tax, will allow publishers to charge platforms, like Google, that display snippets and links to its news stories. Article 13, renamed Article 17 and also known as the upload filter, holds companies, like YouTube, responsible when its users upload copyrighted content. Critics argue Article 13 will stifle free speech and restrict people’s ability to share content online. Upload filters, which scan all user uploaded content for possible copyrighted content, may be implemented by companies in order to avoid penalties. EU member states must incorporate the new laws into their respective national laws within 24 months.

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General-Solo FastTrack 2019

Don't miss the TBA General-Solo & Small Firm Practitioners Section's annual FastTrack series, which will be held in all three grand divisions. The FastTrack program is a 15-hour CLE opportunity, featuring diverse topics designed to be relevant to a wide range of practice areas. Cruise by to receive seven hours of live credit at each forum, then enjoy eight prepaid CLE credits to use for any online programming. You can learn more and register using the links below:

FastTrack in Memphis, Aug. 2

Summer FastTrack in Nashville, Aug. 9; Saturday Ethics, Aug.10

FastTrack in Knoxville, Aug.23

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Tennessee AG Urges U.S. Senate to Approve Anti-Robocall Legislation

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III urged the U.S. Senate to enact the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, legislation to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing. A coalition of 54 attorneys general sent a letter to the U. S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation supporting the TRACED Act, which is sponsored by Sens. John Thune and Ed Markey. The legislation will require voice service providers to participate in a call authentication framework to help block unwanted calls and creates an interagency working group to take additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.
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Facial Recognition Scanning on the Rise Amid Concerns for Privacy, Accuracy

A new piece in the ABA Journal examines the rise of facial recognition software and addresses the reality that it’s likely here to stay. Prominent examples include the use of facial recognition at Taylor Swift concerts to spot known stalkers of the pop star, plans to add such capabilities to customs inspection areas at Tokyo Narita Airport, as well as numerous uses in retail. Despite advances in the technology, privacy and civil rights groups are concerned that it remains prone to error. A 2018 study, for example, showed a 34 percent error rate in identifying darker-skinned women.
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Court Seeking Comments on Proposed Rule 46A

The Tennessee Supreme Court is considering the adoption of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 46A, which would govern the electronic service of papers that are e-filed, and it is seeking comments from the legal community and the public on the proposed rule. The deadline for submitting written comments is March 22. Comments should be e-mailed to appellatecourtclerk@tncourts.gov or mailed to: James M. Hivner, Clerk, Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219-1407.
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Gov. Lee Provides Avenue for Public Feedback on Legislation

Gov. Bill Lee has taken an additional step in his commitment to “an open and transparent government,” creating a webpage for the public to view and provide feedback on legislation that has been submitted to him for consideration. Lee maintains that involving Tennesseans into the process more directly will increase accountability in how laws are made. The site will be updated regularly, as bills pass the Legislature and land on his desk.

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