News

Destination CLE Survey

Let's take a trip! The TBA CLE Committee would like your feedback on destination CLE events. Taking a moment to complete this brief survey will greatly assist us in developing the best CLE experience for you. Please complete this survey by Aug. 10. We greatly appreciate your help with this endeavor.
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Cameras Catch Airbnb Guests Illegally Entering Neighbor's Home

Four men illegally entered a woman's South Nashville home last Friday while she was cooking dinner for her young daughter, WKRN News reports. The men were staying at an Airbnb on 9th Circle South in Edgehill, where they hopped over a barrier separating the third-floor balconies of the properties, breaking into the house of Amy Allen. Allen was notified of the intrusion by her security system, which also filmed the ‘bnb’ burglars in action. Allen said she called the police and began looking through her surveillance video when she discovered that the guests from next door had been in her home previously and had stolen a bottle of alcohol.
 
Airbnb rentals remain a contentious topic in Nashville, leading the city to establish a designated hotline to field complaints about short-term rental properties. Since September 2017, Metro Codes has received 1,581 calls on the complaint hotline.

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Remote Online Notarization and Electronic Notarization Now Possible in Tennessee

On May 15, Tennessee became the 6th state to enact legislation permitting the Remote Online Notarization (RON) of documents. Under Public Chapter No. 931, qualified notaries public will be allowed to electronically apply notary seals and additionally, to perform notarizations for individuals via two-way audio-visual communications.  
 
The act now defines “Appear” “Appearance” and “personally appear” to include: appearing before an online notary public by means of an interactive two-way audio and video communication that meets the online notarization requirements under rules promulgated by the secretary of state; these will include the standards that must comply with online notarization and “credential analysis” and “identity proofing” to ensure the proper identity of the party to be witnessed and preservation of the notarization act for a period of a minimum of five years.
 
The act also contains definitions for terms such as "Credential analysis," "Electronic document," "Electronic notarial certificate," "Electronic seal," "Electronic signature," "ldentity proofing," "Online notarization" and "Remote presentation," among others. The Tennessee Secretary of State will be administering and promulgating the rules for the orderly conduct of electronic notarizations and remote online notarizations. Public Chapter No. 931 will become effective on July 1, 2019.

Joseph "Joe" Kirkland is an attorney and senior escrow officer at the East Memphis office of CloseTrak, Closing & Title Services. Kirkland is active in the Tennessee Land Title Association (chair of the standing Legislative Committee 2017-19, director of the Board of Directors 2018-19) and the immediate past chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Real Estate Law Section.
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TDEC Proposing Changes to Aquatic Resource Alterations

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is proposing changes to the permitting process when entities seek to divert a stream, pave over wetlands or otherwise alter the state’s waterways, The Tennessean reports. The proposed changes to Rule Chapter 0400-40-07 Aquatic Resource Alteration would stipulate where developers can mitigate the damage done to streams and would establish a baseline for pollution or alterations from which any harm would have to be offset. Comments on the amendments will be accepted through July 31 and can be submitted to Jimmy.R.Smith@tn.gov.

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Oshkosh Corporation Expanding to Jefferson City

Specialty truck and access equipment giant Oshkosh Corporation will place a factory in Jefferson City, creating more than 300 jobs by 2021, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reports. Oshkosh — which manufactures military, emergency and construction vehicles — will take over and renovate a 500,000-square-foot building that formerly housed a John Deere plant. The factory will facilitate welding and fabrication operations for the company. 
 
TVA, the Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County, Jefferson City, Jefferson County, Innovation Valley, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development are named as partners on the project.
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Nashville Home to World's Largest 3D-Printed Structure

Nashville is now home to the world’s largest 3D-printed structure, Architect Magazine reports. Due to its shape and volume, early designs for the formation required a steel substructure to support its load, which would have tripled the cost. However, to eliminate the need for a supplemental steel reinforcement, Chattanooga-based architectural fabricator Branch Technology used the company's Cellular Fabrication (C-Fab) 3D-printing technology to prefabricate 40 panels off-site and assembled them on the designated spot in Nashville. 
 
The 20-foot-tall, 42-foot-wide structure is composed of carbon fiber–reinforced Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and finished with an ultraviolet protective exterior-rated metallic paint. Branch Technology has previously made headlines for a 3D-printed house scheduled to be completed and erected at Chattanooga State Community College this fall.
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TVA Invites Public Input on Proposed Updates to Natural Resource Plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is soliciting public opinions regarding updating its 2011 Natural Resource Plan, according to a press release on its website. The 2011 plan organized TVA’s work into six resource areas but did not include all of TVA’s Natural Resource efforts. In the 2020 Natural Resource Plan, TVA proposes 10 focus areas that encompass all the Natural Resource functions.
 
TVA is hosting four open house meetings to obtain input, answer questions and receive comments. The sessions will be from 5–7:30 p.m. local time at the following locations:
 
  • July 25 at Pellissippi State Community College in the College Center Room, 10915 Hardin Valley Rd., Knoxville
  • July 26 at Chattanooga State Community College in Rooms 124-126, 4501 Amnicola Highway, Chattanooga
  • August 1 in the TVA Multi-Purpose Building, Room MPB 01202, 101 Reservation Road, Muscle Shoals, Alabama
  • August 2 at Paris Landing State Park in Conference Room A, 400 Lodge Road, Buchanan
  • August 6 – Webinar. Please register in advance of the webinar at www.tva.gov/nrp.
Written comments can be sent to Matthew Higdon, NEPA Compliance, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11D, Knoxville, TN 37902-1499. Comments also may be submitted on the project website at www.tva.gov/nrp or by email at NRP@tva.gov.
 
NOTE: Those with special needs who wish to attend any open house should contact TVA at least a week in advance at (865) 632-6113.
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Survey: Hot Topics in Real Estate 2018

Your executive council meets this month to begin the planning of the annual CLE forum. They want your input!

In preparation for the annual Hot Topics in Real Estate Forum in November, we have created a web form to ensure that all section members have a voice in programming. Completing this short survey will greatly assist the executive council in determining what topics and speakers will be included to produce a timely, substantive forum.

The council greatly appreciates your assistance with this endeavor. Please share recommendations for topics and speakers by July 13. You may also email me with your ideas or comments at jword@tnbar.org.

TAKE THE SURVEY

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Schedule Time to Read Email

A tip from the TBA Attorney Well-Being Committee

Rather than checking on every e-mail as it arrives, schedule time in your calendar for reading and managing e-mail (and leave e-mail notifications silent during the other times of the day). This will enable you to have focused time for given tasks without constant interruption and distraction.
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Meet Your 2018–19 Real Estate Law Section Chair

J. David “David” Wicker is a Member in Stites & Harbison, PLLC’s Nashville office. Wicker practices all aspects pertaining to the development, acquisition, sale, and financing of commercial real estate, representing owners, developers, lenders, and other participants in a wide array of real estate transactions. David is active in the Davidson County community and currently is a member of the Margaret Maddox YMCA Board of Directors, the Nashville Downtown Partnership Board of Directors, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Nashville. He has previously served on boards such as the Metropolitan Nashville Sports Authority, Friends of Shelby Park, the Tennessee Chapter of Community Associations Institute, the Nashville Education, Community and Arts Television Corporation and served on the MLS2Nashville committee. He is also an active fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. Wicker is a graduate of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law program and made the Tennessee Supreme Court’s 2017 Attorney for Justice Pro Bono Honor Roll. Wicker holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and Southern Methodist University Law School. Please join us in welcoming your 2018–19 Real Estate Law Section Chair. 

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Legal Practice Tip: Who May Redeem from a Tax Sale

On April 26, the Court of Appeals for the Western Section announced their decision in the case of MADISON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, ET AL. v. DELINQUENT TAXPAYERS FOR 2012, ET AL., maintaining that one attempting to redeem from a tax sale pursuant to TCA § 67-5-2701(a)(3)(C) needs to have their interest in the property both on the date the tax sale occurs as well as on the date the motion to redeem is filed. The statute reads:
 
“Person entitled to redeem” means, with respect to a parcel, any interested person, as defined in this chapter, as of the date of the sale and the date the motion to redeem is filed[.]
 
This position is contra to the position taken by the Eastern Section of the court in CITY OF CHATTANOOGA, ET AL. v. TAX YEAR 2011 CITY DELINQUENT REAL ESTATE TAXPAYERS where the court allowed a redemption from someone who purchased the redemptive right after the tax sale. The most recent case attempts to reconcile the divergent rulings based upon their opinion that the Chattanooga case was based upon a prior version of the cited statute (see footnote 3 in the Madison County case).

Joseph "Joe" Kirkland is an attorney and Senior Escrow Officer at the East Memphis office of CloseTrak, Closing & Title Services. Kirkland is active in the Tennessee Land Title Association (Chair of the standing Legislative Committee 2017-19, Director – Board of Directors 2018-19) and the Immediate Past Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Real Estate Law Section.

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A Wellness Tip from the Attorney Well-Being Committee

Consider waking 10 minutes earlier so you can incorporate a brief mindfulness meditation into your preparations for the day. Set a timer for 3-10 minutes (depending on how much time you feel you want to use). Begin by sitting in a relaxed and comfortable but dignified and upright position, with your spine and head aligned. Place both feet on the ground, with legs uncrossed, and rest your hands gently on your lap. Gently close your eyes and allow yourself to notice the sensation of sitting in the chair, of your feet on the ground, of your hands resting in your lap.

Gently bring your attention to your breath, slowly taking a deep breath in, pausing briefly, then slowly exhaling. Now repeat this twice and as you do so, observe your breath as it goes in your nostrils and as it exits your nostrils. Sense the flow of air as it moves in and out, and the space between breaths. You may notice the air feels cool as you inhale, but warmer as you exhale.

Return to your normal breathing. Don’t try to change your breath, just continue to observe it, with a sense of curiosity. Allow yourself to feel your body relax and yield to gravity as you sit quietly in your chair, focusing on your breath. Notice any tense areas in your body and with your next breath, imagine it as a cool breeze touching those areas holding tension and as you exhale, release the tension along with the breath. Continue observing your breath.

When thoughts or concerns arise – as they inevitably will – simply acknowledge their presence, without judgment or opinion, and let them pass by while you gently bring your attention back to your breath. There is no need to grab hold of any thought right now -- just allow your breath to guide you back to the present moment.

Our minds will wander, as intrusive thoughts are constantly vying for our attention. When you realize this has happened, simply observe without judgment and gently guide your attention back to your breath. You might find it helpful to label the thought – “worry” “laundry” “clients” – then let it go and return to your breath. Although thoughts and feelings will come and go in the background, you can prevent them from highjacking your attention by simply acknowledging them without judgment, then gently returning to the breath and this present moment.

Julie Sandine is a graduate of Wake Forest School of Law. She serves as the Chair of the TBA Attorney Well-Being Committee.

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Antitrust Regulators Focus on Real Estate Data

The real estate sector is getting fresh scrutiny from U.S. antitrust regulators regarding a proposed centralized system, known as Upstream, that is designed to offer a single point of entry for inputting, managing, and distributing listings at the brokerage level, Bloomberg Law reports. The centralized system has been backed by The National Association of Realtors (NAR). Critics — including Trulia and Zillow — argue the project has the potential to impede competition in the market by placing a large share of valuable real estate data in the hands of one entity controlled by NAR and large brokerages. NAR settled with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2008 on similar issues.

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June Issue Features Ramsaur, Advertising and Fiction Contest Winners

In the June issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal, tribute is paid to the long career of the Tennessee Bar Association's Executive Director Emeritus Allan F. Ramsaur. He steps down after 20 years with the TBA, leaving an impressive legacy, especially with his work in the legislature. Also, read the top two entries in our 2nd Annual Fiction Contest, and get the answers to every question advertising lawyers are asked. TBA President Lucian Pera writes the last installment of his column, reflecting on successes as well as efforts the TBA will continue. Read the Journal online.

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This Week: TBA General–Solo Section FastTrack Programming

TBA’s General–Solo Section will present its annual FastTrack programming, this Friday in Knoxville. These CLE opportunities are 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. General–Solo–Small Firm Section members receive a discount to attend. Click here to register.

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Judge Tosses Suit Over Zillow ‘Zestimates’

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that claims the real estate website Zillow engages in deceptive business practices by using its “Zestimates” of property values as a marketing tool, the ABA Journal reports. The class action suit filed in Illinois on behalf of state property owners claimed Zillow draws home sellers to its website by posting home value information without permission in effort to connect sellers with real estate agents who pay for Zillow advertising. The judge however found that any marketing purpose behind the Zestimate tool doesn’t qualify under the Illinois deceptive practices law.
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Investment Trust to Buy HCR ManorCare Real Estate

Welltower Inc, a real estate investment trust, is purchasing the real estate of recently bankrupt nursing home giant HCR ManorCare for $2.7 billion, Reuters reports. Welltower will team up with non-profit hospital operator, ProMedica, which purchased ManorCare’s operations for $1.3 billion, to create a 30-state health care system. The partnership plans to capitalize on the trend of more health care taking place outside of hospitals.

If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approves the deal, the merger stands to boost the group into the 25 largest U.S. health systems by revenue alongside names like Mayo Clinic, Geisinger and Johns Hopkins. ManorCare, which was the second-largest U.S. nursing home operator, filed for Chapter 11 protection in March, with $7.1 billion of debt, as part of a prearranged deal to transfer ownership to its landlord Quality Care Properties Inc.

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Share Your Thoughts on Proposed Amendments to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 6

The Supreme Court recently requested comment on proposed amendments to TSC Rule 6 that would require new attorneys to complete a Tennessee Law Course within one year of admission to the Tennessee bar. The Tennessee Bar Association has a working group on this issue and will be drafting comments in response to the court's Order for Comment. To ensure this comment best reflects members’ views and positions, the groups is looking for your feedback. Share your thoughts about the proposed amendments through this form by June 8.
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    Real Estate Essentials

    The Ins and Outs of Titles

    This Friday, the Tennessee Bar Center will host a program focused on the intangibles for dirt lawyers. The Real Estate Essentials CLE will cover the ins and outs of real estate titles and contracts, from basics like conducting a title search, to advanced topics such as drug seizure laws. Don’t miss this opportunity to obtain necessary CLE credit, while networking with attorneys who share your focus. Section members receive a discount for the program. Here’s the key info:

    When: Friday, May 11, registration begins at 12:30 p.m., CDT
    Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
    CLE Credits: Three General
     
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    Work-site Accidents: Use of Sub-Subcontractors Makes it Hard to Fix Liability

    A labor shortage has led to a fracturing of work sites, where subcontractors can’t complete projects with their normal crews, so they hire small "subs of subs" below them, The Tennessean reports. Some of these workers are sent onto scaffolding and roofs without safety equipment or training. Federal law places primary safety responsibility on the direct employer, however, experts say many companies pay construction workers as independent contractors, avoiding certain regulations. More construction workers died in the Nashville metro area in 2016 and 2017 compared with any two-year stretch in the previous three decades. Most of the 16 deaths were from falls without any harnesses or other protection.
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    CLE Real Estate Essentials: The Ins and Outs of Titles

    Join practitioners for 3 hours of Real Estate Essentials on May 11 at the Tennessee Bar Center. Learn how to avoid pitfalls as we look at all the players in a real estate transaction and review the ins and outs of real estate titles and contracts. Two additional sessions will cover titles and common terms used in contracts.  
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    Tennessee Adopts Uniform Bar Exam

    The Tennessee Supreme Court today amended Rule 7 and adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) as the key testing component for bar admission for aspiring Tennessee attorneys. The UBE is a nationwide test that has been adopted in 31 jurisdictions and allows test takers to transfer scores between states, greatly improving the mobility of Tennessee attorneys. The change comes after the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners filed a petition with the Supreme Court to adopt the change. Comments received by the Court were overwhelmingly supportive. The UBE will be given for the first time in Tennessee in February 2019.

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    Company to Build Home in Chattanooga Using Robotic Technology

    A new architectural startup called Branch Technology will use 3D-printing robots to build its first home this year in Chattanooga, The South China Morning Post reports. Branch's machines will print the walls, roof and floor of the 1,0000-square-foot model over the span of a few months, and then a construction crew will assemble the components on-site.
     
    Branch says that the construction process will produce less waste than traditional homebuilding because the machines will print only the necessary parts and that the method will make homes that are three to four times stronger than typical wood construction. The company estimates that the prototype will cost $300 to $400 per square foot to build but plans to get that price down before it starts selling homes.
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    Real Estate Essentials: The Ins and Outs of Titles

    Learn how to avoid pitfalls, as we look at all the players in a real estate transaction and review the ins and outs of real estate titles and contracts at the Real Estate Essentials CLE on May 11 at the Tennessee Bar Center. Key players include heirs, upstream and downstream water users, taxing authorities, easement holders and due diligence parties. Learn about the common terms to be used in contracts to cover payment, closing costs, inspections, defaults, remedies and counteroffers.
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    Tomorrow: Topgolf CLE – Estate Planning Tee-Off

    Register now for the second annual TBA Estate Planning & Probate Section Topgolf: Estate Planning Tee-Off tomorrow, June 19. The program will feature 3 hours of CLE programming, focused on information relevant to new attorneys interested in Estate Planning and lawyers who desire to add this area to their practice.
     
    The CLE package includes breakfast, lunch, plus two hours of Topgolf after the presentations. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to build your practice knowledge and fine-tune your drive game, all in one day! 
     
    When: Wednesday, June 19, 9 a.m., CDT
    Where: Topgolf Nashville, 500 Cowan Street, Nashville, TN, 37207
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