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Rhynette Hurd Appointed to Circuit Court Bench

Gov. Phil Bredesen has appointed attorney Rhynette Hurd to fill the vacancy in Division VIII of Circuit Court created by the retirement of Judge D’Army Bailey. Judge Hurd was sworn in at 10:30 a.m. this morning. Prior to her appointment, Judge Hurd spent much of her legal career as in-house counsel at various corporations including Sedwick Claims Management Services, International Paper and Accredo Health. She has also served several years as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and as an assistant to the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in English Composition from Mount Holyoke College, a M.A.T. in African and African-American Literature and Sociology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Ph.D. in English Education from Vanderbilt University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis.

Saturday Legal Clinics Need You!

The MBA’s Access to Justice Committee needs more volunteers for its monthly Saturday Legal Clinics at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave. More than 100 members of the public have been showing up to receive free legal advice and counsel, straining the capacity of the core group who regularly staff the clinic. The next Legal Clinic is this Saturday, March 13, from 9:30 a.m. to noon. You do not need to have expertise in a particular area and you do not need to handle a case pro bono. Most of those coming to the clinic need general legal advice and referral to other services. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Linda Seely at MALS ( or show up at the library this Saturday at 9:15 a.m. Legal Clinics are held the second Saturday of each month.

Court of the Judiciary Seeks New Chief Disciplinary Counsel

The Court of the Judiciary, the body charged with overseeing the ethical conduct of judges, is seeking applicants for its chief disciplinary counsel position. Steve Daniel, who currently holds the position, will be stepping down when his contract ends on June 30, 2010. The chief disciplinary counsel is responsible for reviewing and screening complaints against judges, conducting preliminary and full investigations, making recommendations to the Court’s investigative panel and prosecuting formal charges. The chief disciplinary counsel is not a state employee, but rather a contractor who is appointed by the Court of the Judiciary. Applicants must be licensed attorneys who have practiced law for at least 10 years. Interested applicants must submit a resume, cover letter and writing sample by Friday, April 9. The job description and application procedure are available at

Memphis Law Students Advance to National Competition

A University of Memphis team won the San Francisco Regional of the National Appellate Advocacy Competition, sponsored by the American Bar Association. Tracy Bradshaw and Grace Whiting will advance to the national level of competition in Chicago in April, along with the top four teams from each of the six regions. Professor Barbara Kritchevsky, director of the school's advocacy program, was the principal coach, with assistance at the competition from U of M law alumnus Tim Perkins. Thirty-three teams competed in the San Francisco regional; about 200 teams compete altogether across the country in the competition.

Only 49 Days to the Bench Bar Conference!

It’s hard to believe, but the Bench Bar Conference will be here in less than two months! The 2010 conference – April 28 to May 2 – at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort features plenary sessions on social networking, judicial mediation, and bankruptcy issues for state court practitioners as well as concurrent sessions on everything from family law to the global financial system’s meltdown. Among those speaking at the conference are Chief Justice Janice Holder, Tennessee Supreme Court (who also will lead an all-level karate class!); U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Vescovo and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George Emerson; Judge Patricia Cottrell, Court of Appeals, and Judge Thomas Woodall, Court of Criminal Appeals; Circuit Court Judges James Russell, Kay Robilio, Donna Fields, Lorrie Ridder, and Jerry Stokes; General Sessions Judges Phyllis Gardner and Lee Wilson; and Juvenile Court Referee Sheldon McCall. For more information about the conference, including how to reserve a room, or to register, go to
     Congratulations to Bobby Martin whose name was drawn as the winner of a free registration to this year’s conference from among those who returned forms indicating their interest in attending the conference!

“Kings of Tort” Authors to Tell Inside Story of Judicial Bribery in Mississippi

The Memphis Bar Association is pleased to present Alan Lange and Tom Dawson, authors of “Kings of Tort”, for a special CLE seminar on March 11, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the MBA Conference Center. “Kings of Tort” tells the story of Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs, who was largely credited with bringing down Big Tobacco in the early 1990s, from his ascent to a net worth of nearly $1 billion to his downfall stemming from his role in offering a $40,000 bribe to a local judge. Lange is founder of Y’all Politics, a web site that the Wall Street Journal recognized as the definitive source about the Scruggs judicial bribery scandal. Dawson is a recently retired U.S. Attorney who was on the original team that investigated and prosecuted Scruggs before his guilty pleas in 2008 and 2009.
     The seminar offers 1 hour of dual CLE credit, and the early registration fee (before March 9th) is $30 for MBA members; $40 for non-members; and $15 for non-attorneys or those who do not need CLE credit. The authors will be available for a book signing after the seminar. Plan to attend this fascinating inside look at two decades of political and legal manipulation in Mississippi.

Interested in Obedience Class for Your Dog?

The Wellness committee will be offering a Puppy/Dog Obedience Class in the next few weeks. We would like to have an idea of who and how many would be interested. Iva Darnall will be the instructor and has taught classes for Shelby County Obedience Club and had begun teaching for the University of Memphis (before they dropped their extensive continuing ed classes from the budget). The purpose of the class is to learn how to teach your dog the basic requirements of obedient behavior, including but not limited to, how to heel on leash, sit, stand, lie down, stay and come when called; to learn the basics of dog behavior and to have fun while training your dog. The classes will be held on Saturdays (or week nights) and will last about an hour. We are looking at holding the classes at Shelby Farms or other park location. If you are interested, please contact Lesia Beach, or Mary Lynes, Once we have a list of those who are interested, Ms. Darnall will put the class together and contact everyone.

Summer Law Intern Program Applications Due March 19

Now in its fourth year, the Summer Law Intern Program seeks to encourage minority high school students to consider law as a career by introducing them to the “real world” practice of law. Students accepted into the program will be placed with local law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies for a four-week period, June 7 to July 2. Group activities will let the interns interact with lawyers and judges and learn about financial aid and the college admissions process. Interns who successfully complete the program will receive a stipend at the end.
     The program is open to students who reside in Shelby County and who will be entering their junior or senior year of high school in the fall of 2010. The application deadline is March 19, 2010. Applicants will be assigned to a group interview session in April where they will make a brief presentation about themselves and their interest in the program before a panel of attorneys. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance in May. To download an application, click here.
     The program has grown from 6 interns placed in its first year, to 100 interns in 2008 and 73 in 2009, thanks to the generosity and commitment of the Memphis legal community. Law firms, corporate legal departments and government agencies interested in hosting an intern should contact Anne Fritz at .

2010 Memorial Service Honorees

The Annual Memorial Service sponsored by the Memphis Bar Association will be held on Tues., April 20, noon, Calvary Episcopal Church. This year's honorees include:
Charlie R. Ashford Jr. (1/5/10)                         Marvin C. Goff, Jr. (5/13/09)
John Aycock (5/19/09)                                    E. James House, Jr. (11/27/09)
Thomas Alvin Banta (10/3/09)                          Martha B. Ishee (7/18/09)
Joseph Walker Barnwell, Jr. (9/22/09)                Ernest Agee Jetton (7/9/09)
James T. Bland, Sr. (2/18/10)                          Hon. George D. McCrary (10/29/09)
Melinda Enix Blancett (7/30/09)                        W. Emmett Marston (1/6/10)
Kathy Stanley Burnett (7/23/09)                       Donna T. Matlock (5/16/09)
Stephanie Lynn Calvert (11/2/09)                     Ora Lee Mitchell (9/12/09)
Kate Collins (2/2/10)                                       Hon. Patricia A. Odell (10/19/09)
Thelma Copeland (2/4/10)                                Timothy Aloysius Ryan, III (12/13/09)
Michael Scott Davis (4/15/09)                          Hon. Neal Small (1/9/10)
Pamela Dawn Emerson (10/11/09)                    Thomas Andrew Stroud (1/19/10)
Stanley Fink (9/8/09)                                      John Thomas Wilkinson, Jr. (9/5/09)
Melvin Fleischer (1/21/10)                               R. Lee Winchester (10/24/09)

If you know a member of the Memphis legal community who should be included among the honorees -- or if you would like to write a memorial statement about any of the honorees -- please contact Mary Lynes at or 527.3573.

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Events Calendar

Attorney of the Day and Saturday Legal Clinic Schedule

Click here to view this week's schedule.

Law School Annual Diversity Outreach Program, March 11

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, the Law School Admissions Council and will host its Annual Diversity Outreach Program for high school and college students on March 11th from 6-8 p.m. at the Rose Theatre on the University of Memphis main campus. The annual event provides high school and college students information on career paths in law, what law school is really like, the law school admissions process, how to become a qualified candidate for law school and summer internship programs. If you and/or your students and parents would like to participate in this years’ upcoming Diversity Outreach Program, please RSVP by Monday, March 1st to Natasha Hughes at 901-678-2528 or Seats are Limited!! The first 50 students will receive a free book bag from LSAC.

Help the YLD Support the Porter Boys & Girls Club, March 11

The MBA Young Lawyers Division is a proud supporter of the Downtown Porter Boys & Girls Club. On Thursday, March 11th, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis will host their 39th Annual Steak n’ Burger Dinner from 7-9 pm at the Racquet Club of Memphis (5111 Sanderlin Avenue). The keynote speaker will be a Boys & Girls Club Alumnus and a runner-up for the NBA Rookie of the Year, O.J. Mayo of the Memphis Grizzlies. You can assist the MBA YLD in supporting the Porter Club by purchasing a ticket to the event. Tickets are $200 each and can be purchased at Be sure to specify the Porter Club as the recipient of the funds and thanks for your support!

Judges Needed for Urban Debate League City Championships, March 12-13

The Memphis Urban Debate League City Championships will be held on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13 at Christian Brothers University. The winning teams will go on to New York City for the national championships. Volunteer judges are needed for the following times: March 12 – 8 a.m. to noon (rounds 1 & 2) and 1 to 5:45 p.m. (rounds 3 & 4); March 13 – 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. (round 5 and quarterfinals) and 3 to 7 p.m. (semifinals and finals). Judge training is offered from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and noon-1 p.m. on March 12 and 8-9 a.m. on March 13; only those who have never competed in policy debate or judged for the Urban Debate League need to attend training. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Lori Walton at

Legal Scholar To Explore Debate Over Teaching Evolution in Schools, March 16

Historian and legal scholar Edward J. Larson will be the guest speaker for the Belle McWilliams Lecture in American History on Tuesday, March 16, at the University of Memphis. He will discuss “Dayton to Dover: Darwinism on Trial, Then and Now” at 7 p.m. in the Rose Theatre Entertainment Lobby. The lecture will be based on Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.A reception will begin at 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities, both events are free and open to the public. For information about the McWilliams lecture, call Jonathan Judaken at 901-488-7475.

Litigation Section Seminar on New Local Rules, March 25

The MBA Litigation Section is planning a CLE seminar on the New Local Rules. The seminar will be held March 25 from 3:00-5:00 p.m in the Horizon Room at First Tennessee Bank (Level M of the First Tennessee Bldg at 165 Madison). Drinks and a social hour will be held following the seminar at the offices of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz on the 20th floor. Watch the Bar Bulletin for more details!

Race Judicata 2010, April 10

The 5K Charity Run/Walk, sponsored by the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, will begin and end downtown at the park located at 51 N. Front St. Check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. Registration: $15 by March 20; $20 after March 20; $25 on race day. T-shirts will be guaranteed to all participants who register by March 20; and will be available on a first come, first served basis to those who register after March 20. To register, go to . Race Judicata benefits Memphis Area Legal Services, which provides free legal services to the elderly and low-income families.

Free Seminar on TennCare, April 12

On April 12th, the Tennessee Justice Center and Memphis Area Legal Services will present a CLE on handling TennCare. The training will begin at 3 pm with sign-in from 2:30 to 3 pm. Participants will earn 3 hours of free dual credit CLE, and the only thing that they will be asked in return is to handle one TennCare appeal on a pro bono basis. The seminar will be held at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 North Front St. For more details and to sign up, contact the Tennessee Justice Center at (615)255-0331 or or Linda
Warren Seely at (901) 255-3417 or

Judges Needed for National Mock Trial Tournament in Memphis

Memphis has been selected to host the final round of the American Mock Trial Association’s 26th Annual National Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournament on April 16-18, 2010. Memphis will be only the 4th city to host the finals. This is a great opportunity to showcase both Memphis and Tennessee to 500 of the most talented students in the nation. The competition will be held at both the Shelby County Courthouse and the Criminal Justice Center. Several judges are needed for the competition. A judges’ informational session will be held one hour prior to each round. To download additional information about the tournament and judging opportunities, click here. If you have questions, please contact Whitney Faust, Department of Political Science, Rhodes College, at 901-843-3818 or , or Marcus Pohlmann, Department of Political Science, Rhodes College, at 901-843-3843 or .

Law Week 2010—Events April 16-26

Law Week 2010 will celebrate the theme "Memphis Legal Community: First to Serve," kicking off on Friday, April 16th with the 3rd Annual Law Week Launch Party in Court Square. The party will be held from 5-7 pm and attendees will enjoy free drinks, food and fun. All members of the Memphis legal community are invited and attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good for the Memphis Food Bank to the event. On Tuesday, April 20th, 28 members of the Memphis legal community who died during the past year will be honored at the Annual Memorial Service at Calvary Episcopal Church at noon. Judge John Fowlkes will serve as the speaker. That evening, members of the Young Lawyers Division will answer the public's legal questions live on WREG News Channel 3 from 4-6:30 pm. Then, on Thursday, April 22nd, pro bono efforts by Memphis attorneys will be recognized at the annual Reception Honoring Pro Bono Attorneys at BankTennessee (30 N. Second St) from 5-7 pm. Law Week will wrap up with the Naturalization Ceremony at the Cannon Center on Monday, April 26th at 10 am. At the ceremony, hundreds of new citizens will be sworn in. Look for more details on these events coming soon!

Red Cross Blood Drive, May 19-20

A Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at the MBA office (80 Monroe Avenue, Suite 220) on May 19th and 20th. You will be able to register for the blood drive and speak with representatives of the Red Cross during the Law Week Launch Party on Friday, April 16th. For more information and to sign up now, contact Mary Lynes at .

Register Now for the 2010 Bench Bar Conference!

The Annual Bench Bar Conference will be held from April 28 – May 2, 2010 at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. For more details or to register now, go to .

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CLE Seminars

March 8-19

Thursday, March 11
Kings of Tort
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
MBA Office, 80 Monroe Ave., #220
Speaker: Tom Dawson & Alan Lange
1 hour dual credit
(see more details under Headlines)

Friday, March 19
How to Calculate a Chapter 13 Plan (Including Priority Insurance)
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
200 Jefferson, 6th Fl.
Speakers: Nancy Rigell, Brenda Dickerson & Anita Morton
1 hour general credit

April 28 - May 2, 2010
2010 Bench Bar Conference
Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
17.5 hours of CLE credit
Register Now!

Click here to register for online course and to purchase ALI-ABA products:  
Click here to view the available ALI-ABA live courses and webcasts:

You can register online for these seminars by clicking on a seminar name above. If you have trouble registering online, a link to download a PDF version of the registration form can be found on the right side of each seminar web page. This form can be printed and either faxed (901.527.3582) or mailed to the MBA.  

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Post Your Resume, Post a Job and Browse Job Openings & Resumes at no cost!

MEMPHIS LEGAL PLACEMENT—the exclusive placement service of the Memphis Bar Association, MLP is currently accepting resumes for experienced Attorneys, Paralegals and Legal Secretaries for temporary and permanent positions. Please email resume and salary requirement to or fax to Mary at (901) 527-3582

Interested in placing an ad in the Bar Bulletin? Click here to download the ad rate sheet and contract.