News

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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Topgolf CLE: Estate Planning Tee-Off a Success

The TBA Estate Planning & Probate Section recently held its second annual Estate Planning Tee-Off, packing the house at Topgolf in Nashville. Attendees enjoyed top-notch presentations from seasoned attorneys, followed by networking and two hours of play at the Topgolf facility. Thanks to the TBA Estate Planning & Probate Executive Council members for their time and assistance with another remarkable event. 
 
OFFICERS
Newman Bankston, Section Chair, Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, Knoxville
David Parsons, Vice-Chair, Attorney at Law, Nashville 
Michael Goode, Immediate Past Chair, Lewis Thomason, Nashville
 
MIDDLE TENNESSEE DELEGATES
Jeff Carson, Diversified Trust, Nashville
J. Barry, Elder Law of Middle Tennessee, Lebanon
Paul Hayes, Howard Mobley Hayes & Gontarek, Nashville
 
WEST TENNESSEE DELEGATES
Chris Coats, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Memphis
 
EAST TENNESSEE DELEGATES
Angelia Nystrom, University of Tennessee Foundation, Knoxville
Donald Farinato, Hodges, Doughty & Carson, Knoxville
Jennifer Kent Exum, Chambliss Bahner & Stophel, Chattanooga
John Billings, TCV Wealth Management, Knoxville
Victoria Tillman, McKinney & Tillman, Knoxville
 
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First Tennessee Expands Trust Division to Middle Tennessee

First Tennessee Bank on Tuesday announced the opening of a new office for its trust division in Nashville, the Nashville Post reports. The company plans to increase financial planning services throughout middle Tennessee, appointing Stephen Russell, as head of trust and estate administration for the Middle Tennessee region. Russell was previously vice president and senior trust officer in its Knoxville office and is a TBA Estate Planning and Probate Section member.

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Deadline Extended for Access to Justice Award Nominations

The nomination deadline for TALS' Equal Justice University 2019 Access to Justice Awards have been extended to July 12. Visit TALS' awards nomination page for instructions, forms and specific eligibility criteria for each of the three awards which will be presented at EJU 2019.
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Fastcase: Now With the Latest in Legal Research Technology

Special thanks to our 2019 TBA Annual Convention Diamond-level sponsor Fastcase. TBA members will be able to enjoy the latest in legal research technology when the new Fastcase 7 platform goes live 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. 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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TBA House of Delegates Seeks to Fill 13 Open Positions

In accordance with Article 29 of the TBA Bylaws, the officers of the House of Delegates will fill 13 open positions in the House. If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, please submit a declaration of candidacy that includes your name, principal place of law practice, district of interest and contact information to TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson by July 15. Read a list of open positions here.
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Universal Music Group Fire Class Action Could Come Down to One Thing: Who Owns the Masters?

The class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group (UMG) over the assumed destruction of as many as 500,000 master recordings due a 2008 fire in the Universal Studios backlot where they were stored is likely to face challenges over the question of property ownership of the masters, Billboard reports. Artists who have joined the suit include Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earl, the Tom Petty estate and the Tupac Shakur estate. While the plaintiffs assert UMG breached its responsibility to protect the recordings, most recording contracts do not explicitly mention that responsibility. Further, a standard music contract gives ownership to the record company, meaning UMG owns the tapes and suffered the loss, not the artist. Read The New York Times investigation, which details the artists’ recordings that were lost in the fire.   

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TBA Debuts New Podcast Network

The Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network launched today with the premiere of two shows-- Sidebar and BarBuzz. Sidebar is a magazine podcast featuring compelling stories from attorneys across the state. BarBuzz is a monthly rundown of TBA news and upcoming events at the local and state bar levels. Both 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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Use Your Prepaid TBA CLE Credits Before Monday!

TBA members have until June 30 to use the 2018-2019 CLE credits that come with their memberships. Use the credits now to register for any TBA course taking place this summer or fall, or any online course, as long as you register by June 30. Don’t let these valuable credits go to waste! Find more information on how to use your credits, and if you haven’t done so already, remember to renew your TBA membership for the upcoming year to get more CLE credits.
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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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TBA Launches New Brand for Organization

The Tennessee Bar Association unveiled a new look and identity during the 2019 TBA Annual Convention.

“The logo is a small part of a larger technology, website and information systems overhaul at TBA,” outgoing TBA President Jason Pannu said while unveiling the new logo to members at the Lawyers Luncheon.

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Tomorrow: Elder Law Forum 2019

The 2019 TBA Elder Law Forum will return to the illustrious ‘batman’ building in downtown Nashville on July 12. This forum offers top-notch programming, with essential information for both seasoned practitioners and attorneys interested in adding elder law to their practice. The program will feature timely topics such as updates on TennCare, uniform powers of attorney, recent changes to VA benefits, annuities, ethics and more. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state and catch up on the latest developments in this practice area. Section members receive a discount to attend the program. Here are the key details:
 
When: Friday, July 12, registration begins at 8 a.m., CDT
Where: AT&T Building – Auditorium, 333 Commerce St., Nashville 
CLE Credit: 5 General, 1 Dual
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June TBJ: Murder, Divorce and Fiction (Not All in the Same Story)

In the June Tennessee Bar Journal, you’ll read about a famous 1908 murder that happened in downtown Nashville that set off a series of events that reshaped the political landscape in Tennessee. Russell Fowler tells the story. There’s also a guide on Social Security benefit strategies for divorcing spouses, by Miles Mason. The TBJ’s 3rd annual Fiction Contest winning entry, by Melissa Brodhag, is featured. And don't miss Jason Pannu's last presidential column, where he urges those who are not active in the association to get involved in the many sections, committees and other areas of interest. With this column, we also say goodbye to "Pannu's Pairings," the interesting sidebar he has included every month about various wines of the world. Read these stories and more!
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Settlement Reached Between Estate of Michael Jackson, Former Manager

One battle regarding Michael Jackson’s assets is over, as the King of Pop’s estate reached a settlement with his former manager, USA Today reports. This comes five days into a trial over a dispute between the manager, Tohme R. Tohme, and the estate concerning commissions and proceeds from the posthumous concert film “This Is It.” Prior to the trial, the presiding judge denied Tohme’s interest in the film, but allowed his commissions claim to proceed. While the estate acknowledged efforts by Tohme, it contended that his contract ended with the singer's death and he was entitled only to a percentage of income Jackson himself received while he was alive. The settlement is confidential.

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Handwritten Wills by Aretha Franklin Throw Estate Into a Turmoil

Recently uncovered documents have reignited tensions regarding the estate of Aretha Franklin, The New York Times reports. The singer died last August supposedly without a will, but several holographic wills were found this month inside a locked cabinet and under sofa cushions in the late singer’s home. Without designation Franklin’s assets, under Michigan law, would be divided equally amongst her four sons. The newly found forms upend this assumption, replacing the executor and drastically altering the inheritance each son would receive — with one removing a son from the estate entirely. The papers last week were submitted to a probate judge who will decide if they qualify as valid wills.

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3 Common Estate Plan Problems

The interplay between estates and taxes is a nuanced and complex one, creating a minefield of supposable missteps. A recent article in Forbes looks at three common issues for planners to be aware of when assisting clients, along with tips to incorporate into your practice.

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Healthy Dog Euthanized in Accordance With Will

A healthy dog in Virginia was euthanized to be buried with its owner in accordance with the woman’s will, NBC News reports. The dog was held by a local animal shelter until being turned over to the estate executor who carried out the decedent’s wishes with the help of a veterinarian. It was determined that the veterinarian broke no laws; however, it is not known whether the pet was laid to rest with the owner as Virginia state law prohibits interment of humans and pets at for-profit cemeteries and most private cemeteries typically oppose such requests.

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Heritage Law Group to Host Elder Care Expo on May 23

The Heritage Law Group will host the third annual Elder Care Expo on May 23 at Gallatin First United Methodist Church. The program provides older adults with information on healthy aging, dementia, general primary care for seniors and understanding the continuum of care. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet local exhibitors specializing in senior concerns and enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch. There is no charge for this event. Here is the key info:

When: Thursday, May 23, Registration at 8 a.m., CDT
Where: Gallatin First United Methodist Church, 149 West Main St., Gallatin
 

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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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Wife of Warner Bros. Executive Who Suffers from Alzheimers Accused of Elder Abuse

The son of former Warner Bros. chief and Alzheimers sufferer Terry Semel filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court to appoint a temporary conservator for his father, accusing his stepmother of elder abuse, The Los Angeles Times reports. That son, Eric Semel, says that his stepmother is “in serious breach of her fiduciary duties” and “causing serious harm to Terry’s health and safety,” further accusing her of telling his father’s caregivers to change the dosage of his medications, refusing to take him to routine exams, refusing to let him leave the facility and limiting his social interactions, among other claims. The elder Semel is one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and has an estate valued at several hundred million dollars.

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Some Gold Star Families See Tax Increase on Survivor Benefits

After the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, some Gold Star families saw taxes on their survivor benefits more than double, CNN reports. Under the law, children of deceased service members that were previously taxed at the parents’ rate now fall into a new tax bracket known as the “Kiddie Tax,” which has a rate of 37 percent. According to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a nonprofit that assists the families of fallen soldiers, the bracket is to prevent wealthy families from hiding money in their children's names by taxing 'unearned income' and is intended as a trust and estate tax.

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Battle for Prince's Estate Has No End in Sight

The fight surrounding the estate of late musician, Prince, is still making its way through the courts three years after the rock icon’s death, Forbes reports. The artist died without a will, sparking a heated battle between family members over the estimated $200 million estate, which to date has reportedly spent around $45 million in administrative costs and legal fees. You can view the case history using this link.

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Executor of Sedley Alley's Estate Says She Has the Right to Review Crime Scene Evidence

The daughter of Sedley Alley, who was convicted of raping and killing Lance Corporal Suzanne Collins in 1985 and ultimately executed for the crime, yesterday asked a judge in Memphis to allow review of evidence from the murder scene to provide closure on the crime once and for all, The New York Times reports. April Alley maintains that as executor of her father’s estate she is entitled to continue the pursuit of justice and asks that preserved evidence found at the scene — including the victim’s underwear, a pair of red briefs apparently worn by the attacker and a 31-inch tree branch — be tested for DNA and matched against her father’s that was harvested when he was still alive. Alley was initially denied review of the evidence for DNA material, a request prosecutors claimed was a stalling maneuver; however, five years after his execution, the Tennessee Supreme Court concluded the lower court’s denial was errant. 

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House, Senate Close to Consensus on Budget

Both chambers in the Tennessee legislature appear to be reaching a consensus on a $38.5 billion budget, including fully funding a Medicaid waiver for disabled children, the Tennessean reports. While the Senate last week proposed funding only a portion of the Katie Beckett waiver program — citing concerns about the House's plan to use revenue from expanded online sales tax collection — a key Senate committee on Monday moved to fully fund the $27 million program through other revenue sources. The Senate has not changed its plans to reduce the professional privilege tax from $400 to $300.
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Volunteers Needed for Thursday Evening Clinic in Franklin

Mercy Health Clinic and Legal Aid Society are partnering to host their monthly Legal Help Clinic at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. The clinic will be Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at 908 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin, Tennessee, 37064. All lawyers are invited to help at this advice-only clinic. Plenty of materials will be available to assist volunteers. To volunteer or for more information please contact Jorge Salles Diaz, 615-780-7131.
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