General-Solo-Small Firm Practitioners Section

This section provides its members with programs designed to further the professionalism, prestige and effectiveness of the practitioner. Members receive notice of legislation and other issues affecting them through the section’s newsletter.

Chair
The Powers Law Firm
79 N. Main Street
Crossville, TN 38555
(931)484-3579
Vice-Chair
Belmont University College of Law
P.O. Box 120186
Nashville, TN 37212
(615)460-8264
Immediate Past Chair
None -- Retired
204 Anderson Tinch Ave
Jamestown, TN 38556
(931)879-8144
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219
(615)383-7421

Proposed Rule Requires Additional Support for Ethics Complaints Against Elected Officials

A new policy proposed by Rep. Mathew Hill, R-Jonesborough, would require lawmakers to take an additional step when filing an ethical complaint, NPR reports. The prospective rule change makes it necessary to obtain signatures from at least two representatives — one with firsthand knowledge or evidence of the alleged violation — in order to file a complaint against another elected official. "If there’s not corroboration, if there’s not evidence that is presented, then we are working off hearsay, we are working off gossip," Hill said in a House meeting last Thursday. The rule, according to Hill, is modeled on a biblical requirement that allegations must be corroborated. 

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Lawmakers Intend to Address Juvenile Sentencing Reform

The recent decision to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown has lawmakers discussing Tennessee’s treatment of juvenile defendants and sentencing reform, The Commercial Appeal reports. Currently, juveniles in the state convicted of first-degree murder must serve a mandatory 51 years behind bars, the same as their adult counterparts. This is in stark contrast to many states which have reduced sentencing for adolescents on similar charges, with almost half doing away with life sentences for juvenile offenders altogether. A bill supported by Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis), would give juveniles sentenced to life in prison a chance at parole after serving 20 years, and require the parole board to consider youth as a factor when making its decision. The measure, as proposed, would not affect those already sentenced. 

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