Feed Your Mind

Join us in Knoxville on Dec. 11 for lunch and a one-hour dual credit CLE produced by the Law Tech Section. Gone in a Snap! - Collecting and Preserving Disappearing Evidence from Snapchat and More presented by Stephen Johnson of Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson is applicable to practitioners in multiple areas of the law. Apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp claim that messages and photos sent through the app disappear, raising the question of what to do when the app may contain key evidence for your case. Attendees will learn how to identify which sources of electronic evidence to examine and how to try to collect and preserve this evidence before it's gone. Law tech section members receive a discount for this program. Not a section member? Join today.

Here are the key details:

When: Dec. 11. Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. and the CLE runs 12 - 1 p.m. (Local time)

Where: Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson, 606 W. Main Street, Suite 300, Knoxville, TN

Space is limited, so register in advance to reserve your spot.

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Maynard Cooper & Gale Opens Nashville Office

Birmingham-based law firm, Maynard Cooper & Gale, has opened a Nashville branch. The expansion, which involves the acquisition of Nashville firm McKenzie Laird Ottinger & Leach, marks the 10th office opened by Maynard Cooper since its founding in 1984. The Nashville team will be experienced in corporate law and commercial real estate, adding to the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and venture capital advisory capabilities and its Corporate, Securities & Tax and Commercial Real Estate practice groups. Greg Curran, the firm’s chairman of the board, calls the Nashville move a "logical next step to support our growing client base in Tennessee and tap into the thriving business community in the city and across the state.” Read more at the Nashville Business Journal.

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IT Report: Law Firms Need Better Cybersecurity Protection

Nashville-based legal IT consultancy LogicForce has released its latest Law Firm Cybersecurity Scorecard, a study designed to assess cybersecurity preparedness across the legal industry and educate law firms on data protection best practices. This year’s study found that many law firms fail to implement critical cybersecurity practices leading to failed client audits.

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Amazon Enters Legal Services Arena

It is not hard to imagine a time when Amazon offers all kinds of legal services to consumers, lawyer and technology expert Robert Ambrogi writes in Above the Law. But that day may be closer now that the retail giant has launched a curated network of intellectual property law firms providing trademark registration services at pre-negotiated rates. The goal of the new “Amazon Intellectual Property Accelerator” is to help companies obtain protection for their brands quickly and easily. So far, 10 law firms have been approved to participate in the program. Set fees include $500 for a trademark search, $600 for a trademark application and $1,800 for a comprehensive brand review. The client pays nothing to Amazon, instead contracting directly with the law firms. Amazon also says it will provide protections to participating companies selling items on its site even while applications are pending.

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Baker Donelson Moving to Midtown Nashville

The Nashville office of Baker Donelson is leaving its downtown space for a 21-story building under construction in the Broadwest development, at 1600 West End Ave., the Nashville Business Journal reports. It is the first tenant to sign on to the new mixed-use development where it will occupy about 70,000 square feet spread over the top three floors. For two decades the firm has been located at 211 Commerce St., just a block from Lower Broadway's tourist district. The firm’s name also brands its current building. The firm has been looking to move for several years. Last December, it pulled out of a lease in the proposed KVB Tower in the South-of-Broadway or "SoBro" area. Firm officials cite traffic and noise levels in the tourist district as reasons for the move. The new Broadwest tower is set to open in the first quarter of 2021.

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Latitude Claims Competitor Stole Business Secrets

Latitude, a Franklin-based legal services firm that provides attorneys on demand to companies, government agencies and other firms, is accusing an Austin company of copying its model and stealing secrets. In a lawsuit transferred to Nashville federal court earlier this week, Latitude alleges that Michael Murphy founded Lexikon in Texas after meeting with Latitude about opening a branch of the company in Austin and gaining access to its internal business plans. Former Bass Berry & Sims partner Ross Booher founded Latitude in 2014. The firm expanded to the Atlanta area earlier this year. Booher told the Nashville Post the company will continue to execute a national growth plan.

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Entrepreneur Center Names Former Lawyer as New CEO

Brentwood attorney Jane Allen has been named the new CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the Nashville Business Journal reports. She replaces Michael Brody-Waite, who announced in July he was leaving the organization. Allen, who co-founded on-demand legal services firm Counsel on Call, was selected by the center’s board search committee. A former attorney, Allen started Counsel on Call in 2000 and grew it into a national business now known as Legility, where she is still a board member.

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Bass Berry Expands to New York City

Bass Berry & Sims has added its first attorney in New York City, the Nashville Post reported today. New York attorney Marc Ackerman is joining the firm as counsel in the Sports/Media and Intellectual Property/Technology Practice groups. Most recently, he was general counsel and senior vice president of legal and business affairs at race series Tough Mudder. Previously, he worked as outside counsel for the NFL, ESPN and other sports and media organizations. Read more from the firm.

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Nashville Attorneys' Startup Lands $1M in Funding

Two years ago, two Nashville attorneys launched a startup designed to make closing complex deals simpler. Now Will Norton, a former Baker Donelson associate, and Sam Beutler, a former Bass, Berry & Sims associate, say their company Nammu Technologies Inc. has secured $1 million in new capital. The funding will allow the pair to accelerate development and sales of their product SimplyAgree, which provides a platform to organize all documents needed for complex deals such as mergers and acquisitions and commercial real estate transactions. Norton says the software can reduce the average time it takes to close a complex deal by 80 percent. So far, the company has a few dozen law firm clients, including their former firms, the Nashville Business Journal reports.

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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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States Study Whether to Open Legal Doors to Nonlawyers

States across the country are considering whether to allow nonlawyers to play a greater role in the provision of legal services, Law 360 reports. Arizona, California, New Mexico and Utah have all made moves in the last year to open up the legal industry to greater participation from non-traditional players such as legal technology companies. Now, Illinois is poised to launch an official exploration into the issue, while the Chicago Bar Foundation and Chicago Bar Association plan to launch a joint task force in October to do the same. So far most changes are in the proposal phase, except in Utah, where the state Supreme Court voted to change its regulatory structure last month. The idea behind the move is that more competition could help close the access to justice gap by lowering costs and increasing options for consumers. Opposition remains strong.

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Program Offers Law School Grads Alternative Career

The University of Florida Levin College of Law has partnered with international eDiscovery company Consilio to offer graduates a unique opportunity to learn the business of eDiscovery, Above the Law reports. The program is designed to introduce law school graduates to a new career path by exposing them to every aspect of the eDiscovery lifecycle. The experience includes participating in a sales call or client meeting, sitting in on a project kick-off call, and shadowing a technician performing data collection and document reviews. “We are teaching law students project management skills, communication and client-interaction skills, and the use of technology to solve problems in legal practice,” says Canaan Himmelbaum with Consilio.

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Report Looks at Impact of Millennial Attorneys

The 2019 Millennial Attorney Report explores changing law firm dynamics and highlights generational differences between younger lawyers and their more experienced counterparts. The report finds that millennials now make up the largest cohort of the legal profession and their unique working style has shifted workplace dynamics and brought major change to the field of law. Other major findings include: (1) work-life balance remains the top priority for millennial lawyers, (2) 45 percent of women strongly agree that law firm culture is sexist, and (3) 66 percent believe partnership in a law firm is less desirable than it was a generation ago. Download the full report prepared by Above the Law and Major, Lindsey & Africa.

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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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Law Firm Operations Survey Open

The Law Department Operations Survey from the Blickstein Group is now open for 2019 input. According to Above the Law, the survey covers subjects such as key performance indicators, legal spending, artificial intelligence, technology effectiveness, alternative fee arrangements, eDiscovery best practices and more. A publicly available report on the survey’s findings will be published later this year. Those interested in contributing to the survey can access the online questionnaire here.

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Report: Lawyers Earning More in 2019 but Not All Benefiting

In the decade since the Great Recession, wages for private lawyers have risen, with the average salary now at $144,230. However, digging deeper into a collection of data released in the last year-and-a-half shows the wealth is not being shared equally across gender, region, client type and practice areas, the ABA Journal reports. “There’s a fair bit of income inequality — that is not unique to the legal profession,” says Jon Lindsey, a partner at Major, Lindsey & Africa. The in-depth analysis looks at the highest-paid areas of the country as well as the lowest compensated regions and the differences between large and small firms, partners and associates, and for-profit and non-profit employers.

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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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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 or call 423-629-2400 x264.

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Volunteers Needed for New Nashville Legal Clinic

Legal Aid Society will host its Downtown Free Legal Clinic at the Nashville Public Library on Sept. 4 from 4 – 6 p.m., CDT. This is a new monthly service where lawyers can provide counsel and advice to those who otherwise could not afford it. The legal clinic will be held the first Wednesday of each month at this same time and location. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Kendra Cheek, 615-780-7131.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 4 – 6 p.m., CDT

Where: Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St., Nashville

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Forbes: 4 Lawtech Startups Transforming the Way the Legal Sector Operates

Technology is greatly impacting the way the legal sector operates, and there are four startups — Lexoo, CrowdJustice, InCloudCounsel and Farillio — that are leading the change, Forbes reports.

Lexoo began as an online marketplace for lawyers. Now it has over 1,000 lawyers representing 65 countries and delivers work at half the cost of a traditional law firm. Enterprises and corporations, including Travelodge, are increasingly using this alternative platform.

CrowdJustice is a new approach to access to justice efforts by allowing the public to fund public interest litigation through crowdfunding. This startup selects public interest cases and invites the public to come together and fund them. While this company originated in the U.K., it has since expanded to the U.S. and was involved in funding Stormy Daniels’ legal costs against President Donald Trump.

InCloud Counsel is a lawtech startup that utilizes freelance attorneys and the company’s end-to-end software, backed by AI and machine learning, to manage routine legal work that can be very time consuming. It provides work opportunities for corporate attorneys seeking a remote but steady work arrangement.

Farillio is a newly launched startup that provides a variety of resources for small and medium size legal enterprises to solve everyday business problems, such as HR tasks, handling complaints or harnessing IP. Users can watch how-to video tutorials, access checklists, infographics and curated templates. Further, users needing extra help can reach experts on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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Technological Update

The Davidson County Circuit Court Clerk has officially launched their e-filing system. The system went live on July 22. The clerk’s office no longer will accept in-person filings, as they removed their stampers from the office.

Fax File is still an option, but not for new cases, summons, or adoptions. Additionally, fax filing costs $5 for a coversheet and $1 per additional page, while the e-file system is free to use.

In the General Sessions-Civil office, e-filing is limited to orders of protection and emergency committals, but they are looking to expand the offerings in early 2020.

Please browse this website for video tutorials and e-filing guides.

– Ryan Nevin is a Trust Advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management where he administers Trusts and Estates, and he advises high net worth clients on complex trust, probate, and tax matters, specifically around Business Succession Planning. Ryan is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA®) through the American Bankers Association. Ryan is currently the Chair-Elect for the TBA’s Law Tech Section. A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, he is admitted to practice in Tennessee and the District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

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Member Access to Solo Practice Toolkit

The TBA offers a user-friendly guide for new solo and small firm attorneys opening their own practices. The information contained in the TBA Solo in a Box Toolkit was gathered from numerous existing TBA resources, practitioners from across the state and input from TBA sections, including Law Tech Executive Council Member Andrei Dumitrescu. Start with exploring business structures most often used for solo and small firm practice or feel free to share this resource with other practitioners exploring the idea of going solo.

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Court Records: Nashville Company Paid $300K to Extortionist Who Stole Data

Court records from an FBI investigation show a Nashville corporation paid at least $300,000 in ransom to an extortionist who claimed he stole private information on thousands of employees and more than a million customers, the Tennessean reports. Asurion, a global phone insurance and tech support company headquartered in the city, confirmed the breach but said it believes the suspect took less information than he claimed. The FBI identified the suspect as Nicholas Burks of Antioch, a former Asurion employee who was fired in March.
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