Memphis Bar Association
The Young Lawyers' Appeal - Spring 2012

President’s Update

by Abby Webb, YLD President

I am excited to report that the Young Lawyers Division is off to a great start for 2012. We have an all-star cast of board members who have come into the New Year with enthusiasm, energy, and some exciting ideas. We had an exceptional turnout at our first Happy Hour and the High School Mock Trial Competition was once again a huge success. I would like to say a special thanks to Nicole Grida and Jonathon Nelson for their efforts in coordinating the Mock Trial Competition and especially to all the local attorneys who volunteered to judge a round during the six day competition.

Get ready because we are shaking things up this year! Based on the recent survey results from our members, we have moved our Annual Golf Tournament to the fall. It will take place at Glen Eagle Golf Course in Millington on September 28 so go ahead and mark your calendars and plan to attend. Further, we hope to provide some new events to our schedule as well as our annual traditional events, so be on the lookout for these announcements.

One thing that I would like to focus on this year is increasing participation between young lawyers and law students. With the law school downtown, this seems a natural fit to me (and hopefully to those of you who are still young enough to remember sitting through Civil Procedure as a 1L). I have spoken to the Student Bar Association and was blown away by their level of interest in participating in the MBA and more particularly the YLD. The law students came out in record attendance to our first happy hour and I would encourage us to likewise support them in their endeavors.

There will be many opportunities throughout the year for young lawyers to get involved with law students. Some future opportunities will likely include fifteen to thirty minute informational interviews where lawyers discuss their area of practice with a law student (could be done over lunch or telephone); volunteering as an ambassador for court “field trips” on motion days; shadowing opportunities during depositions, meetings, mediations, etc.; participation in a panel discussion or other speaking events at the law school; public service opportunities that pair young lawyers with law students, especially through the MBA’s Law Rules program; or just attending our jointly sponsored events. We can all remember our first days practicing law and simply sharing those experiences with law students and younger lawyers is priceless. If nothing else, we owe it to our profession and the attorneys who mentored us! If anyone is interested in volunteering for any of the above listed opportunities with the law school, please contact Estelle Winsett, Assistant Dean for Career Services at gwinsett@memphis.edu.

Lastly, Bench Bar is going to be spectacular again this year. I would love for young lawyers to attend the conference in record numbers so please consider making a trip to Destin, Florida May 9-12. Again, I am excited about the upcoming year and look forward to seeing you at our events.


Law Rules Event with Justice Holder, March 21st

The YLD, MBA and Burch, Porter & Johnson, PLLC, will sponsor a "Law Rules" presentation at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law on Wednesday, March 21, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. The event will feature Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice M. Holder who will speak briefly about the 2012 MBA initiative "Law Rules," which is designed to educate the public about the importance of a fair and impartial justice system and the rule of law. Law students are invited to attend as well as members of the MBA and MBA YLD. A reception will follow Justice Holder's presentation. For more information about this event, contact Matt May at matt@randrfirm.com and for more information about the "Law Rules" initiative, click here.


Volunteer for Legal Lines on April 19th

The MBA Young Lawyers Division and WREG Channel 3 are working together again to bring our community Legal Lines, a live legal help call-in program, on Thursday, April 19th. Traditionally held during Law Week, the YLD is instead hosting it earlier in April and will pair the community service event with a networking Happy Hour afterward at Earnestine & Hazel's! For more information or to volunteer for the event, please contact Nicole Grida (nicole.grida@leitnerfirm.com) or Jonathan Nelson (jenelson@bassberry.com).


Social Calendar

by Annie Christoff & Maggie Cooper, Social Committee Co-Chairs

The YLD social calendar is filling up fast this Spring! We had a great time at the happy hour at Blind Bear on February 2, 2012 and our annual basketball draft party at Flying Saucer on February 23, 2012. Thanks to Empire Imaging and Flying Paper for their continuing support of the YLD. Please join us for the Triple Threat CLE and happy hour at the Brass Door downtown on March 29, 2012. We are also hosting a happy hour on April 19, 2012, at Earnestine & Hazel's, following Legal Lines. Please join us for drinks and soul burgers!


YLD Spring CLE Line Up

by Keisha Richardson & Janika White, CLE Committee Co-Chairs

On March 29, 2012, beginning at 4:30pm, the YLD will host its first Triple Threat of the Year! The YLD's Triple Threat Series is an opportunity for lawyers to (1) leave work early, (2) earn low-cost CLE credit, and (3) socialize on our tab. This Triple Threat will be held at The Brass Door located at 152 Madison Avenue Memphis, TN 38103. The CLE, entitled "Deciphering Assets: Understanding Individual and Small Business Tax Returns...You Have to Read One Eventually", will be presented by Robert Vance of Forensic and Valuation Services, PLC. Through this CLE, Robert Vance will demonstrate how to: reconcile reported income with true income, read the following forms: W-2, K-1, 1040, 1065, 1120S, deconstruct a Form 1040 for income and hidden assets, and identify the major aspects of a business’ financial statements and how they end up on a corporate tax return. Ultimately, if you deal with damages, this CLE will undoubtedly be helpful to your practice.

As always, the CLE committee strives to provide CLE courses that meet the needs of the Young Lawyers Divison. As such, we welcome your comments and/or suggestions regarding future CLE seminars. Feel free to contact Keisha Richardson at krichardsonlaw@gmail.com or Janika White at janika.white@leitnerfirm.com relative to the same.


Law League Basketball Season Ready to Begin; YLD Golf Tournament Set for September 28th

by Irwin Magevney & Jake Dickerson, Sports Committee Co-Chairs

The YLD hosted its annual basketball draft and happy hour on February 23rd at the Flying Saucer. The draft was well attended and a lot of fun, and now the basketball teams are set for the season. Games will begin in March. Thanks to Flying Paper, which sponsored the draft and happy hour.

Based on the responses the YLD received from its online survey, the YLD has moved its annual golf tournament to Friday, September 28th at Glen Eagle Golf Course in Millington. Managed by the Navy Golf Program, Glen Eagle Golf Course features rolling hills, magnificent fairways, and well-maintained greens. The course provides exciting play for golfers of any skill level. Whether you are a scratch golfer or consider making contact with the ball off the tee a personal triumph, this is the tournament for you, so please mark your calendars now for the golf tournament on September 28th.

In addition to the MBA-YLD Basketball Law League and the annual golf tournament, the YLD Sports Committee is planning a number of other events, including a bowling tournament tentatively scheduled for June 14th. If you have any questions or suggestions for the Sports Committee, please feel free to contact Jake Dickerson at jdickerson@bakerdonelson.com or Irwin Magevney at imagevney@sidgilreath.com.


St. Mary’s and St. George’s to Represent Shelby County at the 32nd Annual Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition

by Nicole M. Grida & Jonathan Nelson, Public Service Committee Co-Chairs

This year’s District 1 Regional High School Mock Trial Competition was held from February 7, 2012 through February 16, 2012 at the Shelby County Courthouse. As in prior years, the YLD sponsored the Local Competition which consisted of a total of twenty three (23) teams from seventeen (17) high schools in Shelby County. Local attorneys served as the presiding judges and scoring judges throughout the preliminary rounds, and many local attorneys also volunteered their time to help coach teams from local public and private high schools. This year’s mock trial problem involved a declaratory judgment action filed in state court by Mid-South Insurance Liability Company against Denim N’More seeking a declaration that no insurance proceeds were due in light of fire damage to Denim N’More’s facility. Specifically, Mid-South Insurance maintained that Jesse Stewart, owner of Denim N’ More, intentionally set his business on fire to collect the insurance proceeds due to hard economic times that had caused him to lay off one-third of his employees. The problem required students to rely upon opinions of various experts usually employed in fire loss claims.

In the Championship Round of the Local Competition, the St. Mary’s Episcopal School bested the Red Team from St. George’s Independent School. Judge Phyllis Gardner served as the Presiding Judge for the Championship Round, while John R. Cannon, Jr., Immediate Past President of the Memphis Bar Association, and Abby J. Webb, President of the Young Lawyers’ Division, served as Scoring Judges. Both St. Mary’s and St. George’s will now advance to the 32nd Annual Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Competition, which is sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division and will be held on March 16-17, 2012 in Nashville. Attorneys are still needed to judge the State Competition, and if they agree to judge at least one round on Friday and one round on Saturday, the TBA-YLD will provide mileage reimbursement and a hotel room for Friday evening. If you are interested in serving as a judge for the State Competition, please contact Troy Weston (tweston@ebtlaw.com).

As always, the YLD would like to thank all the local attorneys who volunteered their time to judge the Local Competition, as well as all the Judges, Chancellors, and Court Clerks who allowed us to use their courtrooms, and last, but certainly not least, the courthouse personnel and security officers who allowed us access to the courthouse after hours. The YLD would also like to thank all those who volunteered their time to coach teams competing in this year’s Local Competition and hopes to see even more teams participating next year. Finally, the YLD wishes St. Mary’s and St. George’s best of luck at the State Competition next month.

Pictured, top right, are three members of the winning team from St. Mary's Episcopal School. Pictured, bottom right, are members of the St. George's school team (photo by parent Steve Bargiacchi). 


If you have comments or suggestions for an upcoming issue of The Young Lawyers' Appeal, contact Newsletter Co-Chairs Matt May at matt@randrfirm.com or Nicole Bermel at NBermel@littler.com.

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