News

Shelby County Considers Next Steps if Memphis Tax Hike Passes

As Memphians prepare to vote on a sales tax referendum intended to fund police and fire department pensions, Shelby County Commissioner Edmund Ford, Jr. is considering strategies on how best to split the revenue from those taxes between the county and the city, the Commercial Appeal reports. Ford has been a vocal detractor of the referendum, saying sales taxes are “arguably the most regressive” and “take a larger percentage of income from low-income taxpayers than from high-income taxpayers.” If the city’s tax policy passes, the county could raise its own sales tax rate up to that of the city rate. The referendum is up for vote on Oct. 3.

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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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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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U.S. Dept. of Treasury, IRS Propose Changes Regarding Net Operating Losses

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service last week proposed new regulations regarding application of certain rules under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code. The new regulations would lessen the ability of companies to use net operating losses and other tax saving measures by changing the “annual limitation” on the ability of a company to apply pre-change tax attributes to offset post-change taxable income. You can read more about these changes and submit a formal comment here. The deadline for comment on these proposed changes is November 12.

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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 tbams@tnbar.org 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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Marriage Penalty Still Affecting Couples Despite Tax Law Changes

Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act aimed to end the “marriage penalty,” some high-income couples are still paying more in taxes after getting married, CNBC reports. The penalty occurs when a married couple’s combined income bumps them up into a new tax bracket. Once a couple’s combined income reaches $600,000, they are placed in the top 37% federal income tax bracket. A single filer does not reach the top tax bracket until around $500,000. Married couples earning a combined $250,000 who file jointly have to a pay a Medicare surtax of 0.9% and a net investment income tax of 3.8%, while single filers may earn up to $200,000 before the Medicare surtax or net investment tax is applied. The article, however, notes that there are other financial benefits for married couples that outweigh these tax penalties.

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Johns Hopkins Health Policy Expert, White House Health Policy Advisor to Speak at TBA Health Law Forum

The Tennessee Bar Association’s Health Law Section has selected Johns Hopkins health policy expert and New York Times bestselling author Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H. along with health care policy advisor Larry Van Horn as the keynote speakers for its 31st Annual Health Law Forum to take place on Oct. 17-18 in Franklin. Makary has written for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TIME, Newsweek and regularly appears on various news networks as a health care expert. Van Horn has advised the state of Tennessee on health policy and is currently working with the White House on issues related to price transparency in health care markets — regularly meeting with the White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Federal Trade Commission on the topic. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear from the preeminent voices in today’s health care sector and enjoy other exceptional programming from top players in the field. Here are the key details:

When: Oct. 17-18; registration begins at 7 a.m., CDT on Thursday, Oct. 17

Where: Embassy Suites Cool Springs, 820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, TN 37067

REGISTER NOW

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Aug. 30 Deadline: 36th Annual TBA Academy & U.S. Supreme Court Admissions Ceremony

If admission to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court is one of your career goals, don’t miss the opportunity to make it a reality during the 36th Annual TBA Academy on Nov. 3-4 in Washington, D.C., where a select group of Tennessee attorneys will be able to take part in a private admissions ceremony at the court. Prior to the private swearing-in ceremony, admittees are invited to attend a President's Reception and special dinner to celebrate with colleagues and bar leadership. The registration deadline to participate in this opportunity is Aug. 30. You can learn more and register here.

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Bean Station Slaughterhouse Owner Gets Prison Time for Hiring Undocumented Workers

The man whose tax-dodging kicked off the largest immigration raid in recent Tennessee history will serve a year-and-a-half in federal prison, Knoxnews reports. James Brantley ducked about $2.5 million in payroll taxes by hiring undocumented immigrants to work in the Southeastern Provision slaughterhouse in Bean Station and paying them in cash for 20 years. That scheme ended April 5, 2018, when agents of the IRS and ICE swept down on the slaughterhouse in what ranked at the time as the nation's biggest workplace raid in a decade. Brantley pleaded guilty in September to federal charges of tax evasion, wire fraud and employing unauthorized immigrants.
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Tax Legislative Updates: Submit Your Ideas!

The TBA Tax Law Section Executive Council is exploring the idea of producing short interactive videos for practitioners to hear from experts regarding tax legislation and important updates. What topics would you like to hear about? Are they any speakers that you would like to recommend? Submit your thoughts here.

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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. Start with exploring business structures most often used for solo and small firm practice.

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Online Court Bonds Now Available from TBA Member Insurance Solutions

The new Court Bond Program from TBA Member Insurance Solutions offers a full range of court bonds – Civil Court Bonds, Probate and Fiduciary Bonds, Notary Bonds, Lost Instrument Bonds and Public Official Bonds. Bonds are underwritten by experienced, knowledgeable underwriters with a quick turnaround — typically 24-48 hours — and competitive rates. Start by registering here or get a quote today.
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Tune In To TBA Podcast Network

The Tennessee Bar Association Podcast Network is home to a collection of podcasts for the Tennessee attorney. Sidebar features human interest stories from attorneys across the state. BarBuzz is a monthly rundown of TBA news and upcoming events at the local and state bar levels and HealthyBar offers tips and guidance on attorney well being. All three 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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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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First Tennessee Expands Trust Division to Middle Tennessee

First Tennessee Bank recently 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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TBA House of Delegates Seeks to Fill 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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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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Businesses Testify to USTR Regarding Additional Trump Tariffs

Some of the nation’s business leaders recently participated in seven days of hearings with the Office of the United States Trade Representative in an effort to sway the Trump administration from imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods, The New York Times reports. The group — comprised of toymakers, telecom officials, port workers and shoemakers — joined existing detractors, arguing that additional levies would further raise costs for consumers, disrupt supply chains and could force them to lay off employees or close. The administration says that these levies are necessary to curb China’s violation of international trading rules. President Trump will meet with President Xi Jinping of China at the end of this week to discuss the tariffs and a new trade deal, but business owners remain doubtful that an agreement will be reached.

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Coffee Co. Considers Additional Taxes for Bonnaroo

Following the first sold out Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in seven years, questions have risen about its future in Coffee County, The Tennessean reports. The festival and municipality have long been embroiled in a love-hate relationship; however, the recent move by the Coffee County Commission to instill a 2.5 percent tax on hotel room bookings just two days prior to this year’s events —which would also be charged to onsite campers — had organizers up in arms. Bonnaroo staff eventually made a deal with the commission to exclude campers this year, but Coffee County remains resolute in obtaining additional funds to pay for road and bridge upgrades in the county. The festival nets the municipality around $1 million annually in tax money from ticket sales and on-site services, and contributes about 25 percent of the county’s annual sales tax.

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Gavel Passed to Sheppeard, Sen. Alexander Speaks, Logo Unveiled at Convention Day 3

Day 3 of the TBA Annual Convention featured big names and big news – Sen. Lamar Alexander accepted the TBA President’s Award from outgoing President Jason Pannu, and he used the opportunity to shine the spotlight on fellow award winners and longtime friends, Nashville School of Law Dean Bill Koch and Hal Hardin. Pannu also passed the gavel to new President Sarah Sheppeard, who was able to highlight major changes coming to the TBA. One such change, unveiled today, is a new brand and identity for the TBA, which proceeds the upcoming new TBA website. Check out photos from the day here.
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