News

All Civil Cases Involving U.S. Attorneys in West Tennessee Stayed Due to Shutdown

Due to the federal government shutdown, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued an order today staying "all proceedings in civil cases where the U.S. Attorney is counsel of record" until Congress restores its funding. Watch websites for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern District of Tennessee for updates from those courts.

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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.

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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.

CLE TOPICS:
  • 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 http://lyft.com/i/lawtech5 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

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS & EXHIBITORS:


 

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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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Casino Planned for Tennessee, Virginia Border

Private investors intend to convert a failing Bristol, Virginia, shopping mall into a casino, resort and convention center, The Business Journal reports. The city built The Falls shopping center with taxpayer dollars in hopes to compete with the booming retail sector of its sister city in Tennessee, adding $48 million to the city’s debt and creating a heavy bond-debt. Investors believe the project will be a boon to the local economy, creating somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs in the area. The total conversion is expected to cost $300 million to $400 million.

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Downtown Memphis Development Board Approves First TIF Property

The Center City Revenue Finance Corp., a state-chartered industrial development board in Memphis, recently approved its first tax increment financing initiative, the Memphis Business Journal reports. The Union Row project will develop around 800 apartments, 200 hotel rooms and 460,000 square feet of mixed-use office and retail space in a location between South City and Downtown. Construction is set to start in June 2019, with the first phase scheduled for completion by June 2021.

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Meigs County Landowners Fight TVA Land Access

A Meigs County landowner is fighting back on TVA’s plans to run a high-voltage transmission line across his property, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. Georgetown farmer Greg Vital has filed a suit contesting U.S. District Court Judge Sandy Mattice's grant of a temporary easement allowing access to several properties to survey potential tower sites for the transmission line, which will serve the organization's new 185,000-square-foot power control center in Chattanooga. TVA maintains that it chose the rural Meigs County site to provide greater security and make it less vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse attacks or other potential threats to TVA's power grid.

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FTC Says Americans Spent $100 Million on Belize Real Estate Scam

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed suit on what it alleges is a $100 million real-estate investment scam targeting Americans who wish to retire abroad, The Wall Street Journal reports. Belize’s Atlantic International Bank was selling parcels in a remote jungle area — which the bank said would become a luxury resort community — and reportedly pocketing the investors’ money. Several investors sued the developers in 2016, however, their Belizean attorney was fatally shot in his home, which local authorities labeled a suicide. The project operated under various names over a span of 13 years and involved more than 1,000 investors.

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Nashville Passes Ordinance Limiting Use of Proceeds From Property Sales

The Nashville Metro Council voted 34-0 last week to prohibit the sale of real property owned by Metro government to pay for city operating expenses, the Tennessean reports. Mayor David Briley had proposed the sale of three Metro properties in June, with the proceeds going to the 2018-19 city budget, however, those sales did not materialize. Under the new ordinance, revenue from the sale of city-owned properties will go toward paying off the city’s debt.

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Farm Owners Prepare to Fight TVA Over Access to Land for Meigs County Power Center

Farm owners have hired legal representation and are preparing for a fight after a federal judge signed an order giving the Tennessee Valley Authority access to several farms along the route to a planned $300 million power center in Meigs County, The Chattanoogan reports. Judge Sandy Mattice's order says the farm lands "are deemed to be condemned and taken for the use of the United States" with compensation to be determined for the owners. The farm owners say they have only had a few months notice of the taking, but that TVA has been planning it for several years.
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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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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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Hot Topics in Real Estate 2018

The Tennessee Bar Association Real Estate Law Section in cooperation with the Tennessee Land Title Association recently held its annual Hot Topics in Real Estate program, packing the house at the ‘Batman’ building in Nashville. The seminar remains a staple for Tennessee dirt lawyers, allowing attendees to stay on top of cutting-edge developments while connecting with professionals of a similar focus. The TBA would like to thank the program’s producers, Real Estate Law Section Chair David Wicker and Immediate Past Chair Joe Kirkland, along with the section’s executive council for their hard work in putting this program together.

For those unable to attend, watch for online versions of this program coming soon.

2018–19 TBA Real Estate Law Section Leadership
 
Section Chair: David Wicker — Stites & Harbison (Middle)
Section Vice-Chair: Jim Lenschau — Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP (West)
Immediate Past Chair: Joe Kirkland — Closetrak (West)
 
Eastern Delegates
Brian Kopet — The Title Guaranty and Trust Company
Jay Moneyhun — Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Ryan McNally — Croley, Davidson & Huie PLLC
Valerie Webb — Webb Sanders PLLC
 
Middle Delegates
Courtney Hollins — Dickinson Wright PLLC
 
Western Delegates
Cathy Frost — Hornsby Law Firm PC
Sarah-Katherine "S.K." Wright — Realty Title & Escrow
 

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New York Real Estate Firm Enters Nashville Market

New York-based residential real estate firm, Compass has joined the booming Nashville real estate market, The Nashville Business Journal reports. The company has found a temporary home in the Gulch but plans to open a permanent location in Green Hills. Valued at $4.4 billion, Compass has 165 offices nationwide and has raised $1.2 billion in funding to date.

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Lawsuit Involving US Nitrogen Pipelines Settled for Undisclosed Amount

A longstanding legal battle between landowners and builders of a double pipeline connecting the Greene County US Nitrogen plant to the Nolichucky River ended this month with a confidential settlement, The Citizen Tribune reports. The landowners initially filed a petition asking Davidson County Chancery Court to stop the installation, with some residents claiming the company trespassed on their property during construction. The pipelines, which are used to transfer water from the river to the plant for use in manufacturing liquid ammonium nitrate then to discharge effluent water back into the river, also came under fire from The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation earlier this year for negatively impacting water quality in the area.

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Mark Your Calendars!

ABA Throws Support Behind Fair Housing Improvement Bill

American Bar Association President Bob Carlson is applauding a bill that would expand the protections of the Fair Housing Act to prevent discrimination based on a person’s lawful source of income, The ABA Journal reports. Carlson praised the bill in a letter to its sponsors, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. The bill, called the Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2018, would bar housing discrimination based on income source or veteran status. Last year, the ABA House of Delegates adopted a policy urging the implementation of such legislation and opposing prejudice against people who rely on government support to make ends meet.
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U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Regarding Real Estate Search Patents

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month shot down a petition related to the ruling of a Federal Circuit Court regarding Real Estate Alliance Ltd.’s (REAL) search patents, according to Inman.com. The ruling affirms a Feb. 1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that its real estate search tools are not, in fact, patent eligible. The dispute arose in 2007 when Move Inc. filed a lawsuit against REAL seeking a declaratory judgment that the patents were invalid.

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Knoxville Sees Growth in Outside Investors

The city of Knoxville has seen an abundance of outside real estate investors, joining Memphis and Nashville in the state’s red-hot commercial real estate market, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Investors say that they are drawn to the city because of the market’s stability, with the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge to anchor the area’s economy. Multi-family and apartment sales volume sustained 35 percent of total investments, yielding more than $48 billion.

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European Real Estate Giant Invests in U.S. Commercial Lending

One of Europe’s largest real estate investment firms is jumping into the U.S. debt market, The Wall Street Journal reports. AXA Investment Managers — a unit of the French insurer AXA — is set to purchase the $9.4 billion debt portfolio of Atlanta-based Quadrant Real Estate Advisors for an undisclosed amount. Quadrant specializes in loans bankrolled on office buildings, shopping centers, apartment buildings and other commercial property.

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Highlights from TBA Fall Board of Governors Meeting

The TBA Board of Governors and relevant committees met over the course of two days in October, discussing issues of importance to the association. Highlights of the meeting included the adoption of an official TBA Public Policy that recognizes and approves the Path to Lawyer Well-Being, which is the comprehensive report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. The Board also considered recommendations from TBA’s House of Delegates, approving several section-sponsored pieces of legislation reviewed by the House. In response to concerns raised by the House of Delegates related to Tennessee Supreme Court Sanctioned Pro Se Divorce Forms, the Board voted in favor of the creation of a task force to work with other legal organizations including the Administrative Office of the Courts to collect data from practitioners, judges and clerks in order to document and properly address those concerns.
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This Issue: Deficiency Statute, THRA and Seersucker

In this month's Tennessee Bar Journal, Chattanooga lawyer Richard Gossett examines the state of the law both before and after the enactment of the Deficiency Statute. In "The Law at Work" column, Knoxville lawyers Ward Phillips and Brandon Morrow write about a recent decision from the Tennessee Court of Appeals, reminding employment litigators of a key distinction in state law: there is no right to a jury trial on Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA) claims in circuit court. And Memphis lawyer Bill Haltom helps us recall those lazy days of summer, just a month or so ago, when lawyers across Tennessee suited and participated in the first statewide Seersucker Flash Mob. You don't want to miss the pictures of this nostalgic end-of-summer fashion statement. Read the October issue!

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Ethics Roadshow 2018: Nashville

It’s back! The popular ethics program is coming to Nashville on Dec. 11. This year’s theme, Back to Basics: Sailing the Five Cs of Ethical Lawyering, offers a look into the significant developments in the world of lawyer’s during 2018 focused on the five “Cs” that make up the perfect recipe for ethical lawyering, no matter what law you practice: Competence, Confidentiality, (Avoiding) Conflicts, Communication and Candor. Don’t miss your chance to fulfill your ethics requirements; offering 3 dual credits. The Roadshow will also make stops in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis.
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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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This Friday: Environmental Law Forum 2019

This year’s Environmental Law Forum will be held Friday, Feb. 1 at the Tennessee Bar Center. Topics for the forum will include language updates and revisions to the Brownfield Voluntary Agreement, developments in Tennessee water law — including 2018 amendments to the Water Quality Control Act, the October 2018 amendments to water quality standards and Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) rules — and emerging contaminants. In this year's ethics seminar, we will explore competence, diligence and communication with clients as specifically related to the practice. Do not miss this opportunity to learn from seasoned practitioners while networking with top players in the field.

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