Office Space Available at Tennessee Bar Center

There is now office space available for lease at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville, 221 4th Ave North. The historic building is located downtown in the business district north of Broadway. It has 19,622 RSF available in several configurations on several floors. Click here for more details as well as contact information.
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The Rest of the Story: Antitrust, Estate Planning, a Tennessean on U.S. Supreme Court

There's still time to finish up the December Tennessee Bar Journal -- don't miss the look into the Tennessean who served on the U.S. Supreme Court, Edward Terry Sanford. He introduced the custom of wearing robes on the bench! Columns this month cover unilateral withdrawals from joint accounts by Dan Holbrook, and antitrust issues in bank mergers by Kathryn Reed Edge. This issue kicks off the new feature, SPARK: this month we talk with Bill Haltom as he retires from the practice of law and as humor columnist for the Journal after 25 years. Read the issue online now.

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Woman Draws Attention to Guardianship Practices

A New York woman deemed incompetent after Adult Protective Services (APS) forcefully entered her apartment is bringing attention to national guardianship practices, The New York Times reports. Phyllis Funke — who is a former freelance journalist for The Times — holds a master’s degree from Columbia University, a pilot license and what she estimates as several hundred thousand dollars in investments, however, an APS caseworker and city psychiatrist determined that she was incapable of making her own decisions after she did not respond to court motions to evict her for hoarding, and determining she was malnourished and dehydrated. The city psychiatrist testified that she suffered from “unspecified bipolar and related disorder, hoarding disorder and unspecified personality disorder,” therefore was unable to manage her personal needs and property, or to understand the consequences of her hoarding. Her own psychiatrist, however, maintains that she is stable and “perfectly competent to handle all her affairs.”  Since being placed under guardianship, Funke has been billed $16,800 by her court-appointed lawyer; $3,437 by a court evaluator and $5,000 by her first temporary guardian. “I feel as if I have absolutely no rights at all in the country in which I was born, and therefore in the rest of the world,” said Funke. “It’s worse than incarceration. At least in prison, you have rights.”

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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



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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!

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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.

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Tax Changes to be Aware of in 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has made sweeping changes to U.S. tax code, affecting estate planning, retirement contributions and insurance penalties. In addition, the IRS will be updating its tax brackets for 2019 to adjust them for inflation. This brief summary from CNBC puts these changes in a nutshell, offering a synopsis of issues relevant to your practice and allowing you to stay on top of these recent developments.

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Greene County Commission to Consider Resolutions Regarding Clerk and Master

The Greene County Commission will consider resolutions next week to try to quell recent controversies involving its Office of the Clerk and Master, The Daily Post-Athenian reports. Commissioner Lloyd “Hoot” Bowers has sponsored a resolution to potentially end an appeal regarding a Washington County Chancery Court lawsuit where the court ruled in favor of Greene County Clerk and Master Kay Solomon Armstrong after the commission declined to budget staff positions requested by her, with 1st Judicial District Chancellor John C. Rambo ordering Mayor David Crum to add additional employees deemed necessary by the Clerk and Master. Another resolution seeks to transfer the County’s Clerk and Master position into an elected one. The meeting will begin on Monday at 6 p.m., EST at the Greene County Courthouse.

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Dickson Lawyer Faces Federal Charges for Fraud, Theft from Trust Fund

Suspended Dickson lawyer Jack Garton was charged Thursday with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and tax fraud related to a years-long scheme in which he allegedly misappropriated more than $1.1 million from a trust fund set up for the daughter of a state trooper killed in the line of duty, the Tennessean reports. If convicted of the federal charges, Garton faces up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge, up to three years on the tax fraud charge and an additional mandatory two-year sentence on the aggravated identity theft charge. Additionally, he faces a $250,000 fine on each count and will be required to pay restitution to the victims of his crimes, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Don Cochran.

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Elder Law Basics Programming Now Available Online

Several videos from this year’s Elder Law Basics program are now available to purchase on the Tennessee Bar Association website. Topics for these videos include:
These online programs offer an opportunity for you to brush up on essential issues related to the practice while allowing the flexibility to work around your busy schedule in the last-minute rush for CLE credit. You can view other upcoming programs and online video options on our CLE webpage.
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IRS Proposal Protects Large Gifts from Estate Tax

The IRS last week issued a proposal to suspend the estate tax on large gifts made between 2018 and 2025 that are currently exempt from the gift tax, Bloomberg reports. The proposed regulations are intended to protect those who made large gifts during a period when higher exclusion amounts applied. The IRS has scheduled a public hearing on March 19, 2019, to solicit input on the proposal. Comments can also be sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking portal at (IRS REG-106706-18), or by mail at CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-106706-18), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044.
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Tomorrow: Estate Planning & Probate Forum 2019

This year’s Estate Planning & Probate Forum to be held at the Embassy Suite Cool Springs on Friday! The annual staple allows you to learn from seasoned practitioners and top players in the field while being a beneficiary of necessary CLE credits. Topics for the forum will include:
  • Income tax planning for estates
  • Medicaid protection
  • Charitable planning
  • Legislative updates
  • Ethics in estate planning
  • A Clerk and Master’s panel
  • And more
A networking event will follow the program. Don’t sleep, missing out is irrevocable.
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TBA Members Sworn In to U.S. Supreme Court

Ten Tennessee lawyers were sworn in today to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. TBA President-elect Sarah Sheppeard was on hand to move the admission of the group, which also included TBA Executive Director Joycelyn Stevenson. The group arrived in D.C. yesterday for a reception at the historic Hay-Adams Hotel, and following this morning’s ceremony, enjoyed a tour of the Capitol conducted by staff from Sen. Bob Corker’s office. Those admitted include Laura Smith, Michele Denise Hodges, Nancy Choate, Cynthia Sellers, Laura Williams, Christopher Bellamy, Elaine Michele Youngblood, Laura Yancey Goodall, Wendy Longmire and Berkley E. Schwarz.
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Children of Murdered Brentwood Woman Sue Estate

The children of Emma Teeters — who was fatally stabbed last week by her husband Jerry Matthews in Brentwood — are now suing Matthews’ estate, the Tennessean reports. The suit, filed in Williamson County Circuit Court on Monday, seeks $200 million in punitive damages for what the children witnessed during the murder and another $200 million for compensatory damages. The children’s fathers filed the suit on their behalf.

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December CLE in 6 Cities

TBA offers CLE in six locations during December. See offerings in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Johnson City and Jackson. Find last-minute by the hour through Dec. 31 or take any of the TBA's online CLE packages.
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Paul Allen Names Trust in Will Disposition

The will of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen does not contain any financial specifics, deferring to a trust established in 1993, The Seattle Times reports. The billionaire owned a number of businesses, NFL team the Seattle Seahawks, and oversaw a namesake charitable organization. Allen died from complications regarding his non-Hodgkin lymphoma on Oct. 15.

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Blood Feud Arises in Estate of Comic Book Legend Stan Lee

The estate of comic book cornerstone and creator of seminal superheroes Spiderman and the X-Men is mired in a web of controversy, Bloomberg BNA reports. Several ongoing lawsuits remain unresolved after Lee’s death, including a case against his former publicist Jerardo “Jerry” Olivarez, who is accused of transferring millions of dollars from Lee’s bank accounts and a conspiracy to sell Lee’s blood as a collectible. The law firm representing Lee in the case said it will file a motion to replace him with an estate representative as the plaintiff.

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Mark Your Calendars!

CLE Criminal Law Forum 2018

Stay on top of the trends and developments in this ever-changing area of the law. Join your colleagues Dec. 7 at the Tennessee Bar Center for the Criminal Law Forum. Address essential, timely topics such as how criminal law and immigration law intersect, DNA analysis, mindfulness and well-being by a former judge designed to enrich your practice and expertise in criminal law.

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Public Comments Sought for Judicial Reappointment

U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton’s term of office will expire on June 24, 2019, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee is soliciting comments about his reappointment to a new eight-year term. Magistrate judges preside over preliminary proceedings in criminal cases, disposition of misdemeanor and certain civil cases, pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings. Comments should be directed to Clerk of Court, Howard H. Baker Jr. U.S. Courthouse, 800 Market St., Ste. 130, Knoxville 37902. Comments must be received by Dec. 14.
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Trump Towers Sues Estate of Man Who Died in April Fire

Trump Towers is seeking nearly $90,000 from the estate of an art collector and resident who died after an overloaded electrical board ignited his midtown Manhattan Trump Tower condo in April, The Washington Post reports. The Residential Board of Trump Tower Condominiums is suing Todd Brassner’s estate for more than $64,600 in unpaid common charges — an amount that includes fees accrued in the months after Brassner died — and another judgment of at least $25,000 for related fees according to a complaint filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The fire became a point of controversy because of a lack of sprinklers in the building since Trump had in the late 1990s lobbied to persuade city officials to drop a proposal that would have required additional and retro-fitted sprinklers in older apartment buildings.

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So You Just Won the Lottery

Did you recently win $1.6 billion? Time to hire a good attorney! The Chicago Tribune discusses tips and pratfalls from past lottery winners, including a Munford, Tennessee, family who bought a winning $560 million PowerBall Ticket at a Naifeh’s grocery store in 2016. Sage advice for when you hit your future jackpot.

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Glen Campbell Estate Administrator Disputes More Than $1.3M in Claims Filed by Widow

A recently appointed administrator in the estate of singer Glen Campbell is disputing more than $1.3 million in claims filed by his widow, The Tennessean reports. In a series of filings in Davidson County Probate Court, Blaine H. Smith has challenged five separate claims filed by Kimberly Campbell, who is also the administrator of the estate. Smith was appointed in September by Probate Court Judge David Randy Kennedy as a special administrator to review the five claims. The largest single claim challenged was for $506,380.93. A $301,408 claim, also disputed, seeks reimbursement to payoff a mortgage held on a now-sold property owned in California.
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Basic Tech Checklist for Firms

Law firms attempting to stay competitive and state-of-the-art need to consistently evaluate their use of technology. In addition to staying competitive, technological competency is required. In 2017, the Tennessee Supreme Court amended Rule 8 of the Rules of Professional Responsibility to include this obligation. Above the Law presents a simple and straightforward tech checklist for law firms or lawyers seeking guidance in this area.   

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Tomorrow: Fall FastTrack Program Helps You Fulfill All of Your CLE Requirements for the Year

The TBA General–Solo Section will present its annual Fall FastTrack program tomorrow in Nashville. Produced by Jane Powers and Jim Romer of the section's executive council, this CLE opportunity is designed to provide you with up-to-date information on a diverse range of topics while allowing you to customize your learning to your schedule and fulfill all your Tennessee CLE requirements for the year. Topics and speakers for the Fall FastTrack program include:

  • Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins discussing sentencing reform.
  • Judge Brandon Gibson presenting appellate practice tips.
  • Judge Sheila Calloway discussing representing clients in juvenile court.
  • Joanna McCracken on well-being and mindfulness for lawyers
  • Sean Martin offering information on essential legal technology for solo and small firm practitioners
  • A representative for Clio discussing document automation
  • And more

General–Solo–Small Firm Section members receive a discount to attend. You can register for the program here.

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