Memphis Bar Association
The Young Lawyers' Appeal - Summer 2012

President’s Update

by Abby Webb, YLD President

Thanks to all of you who came to Destin for Bench Bar this year! A great time was had by all and some very interesting and timely legal topics were presented. On behalf of the Young Lawyers Division, I would like to say a special thanks to Joe Leibovich for presenting the YLD Sunset CLE. The Sunset CLE has traditionally been a laid back seminar and Joe, who moonlights as a stand-up comedian, put on a perfect performance entertaining while at the same time enlightening us on how to use comedy to improve our professional careers. After reflection, the key thing that I took away from Joe’s lighthearted presentation was that we all need to laugh more and take ourselves a little less seriously. I am certainly not advocating that we do not work hard to protect our clients’ interests, but having some balance and perspective can certainly help us recharge our batteries and become better lawyers.

The joy of laughter and the medicinal effect it can have on our lives and practices made me think of another anecdote once told to me by a more experienced lawyer than myself, whose name will remain anonymous. The story was one of a jury trial lost, a fear some of us appreciate (if we are honest enough to admit it) or a reality some of us have experienced. This attorney was in trial for some time and long story short did the best he could to present his client’s case with the facts he was given. In the end, his client lost the trial. When he woke up the morning after the verdict, he realized that the sun came up, he still had a job, his family still supported him, he was still friends with his adversary who had no less respect for him, etc. If we can embrace the idea that none of us are perfect or guaranteed always to “win,” we will learn to take ourselves (not our profession) less seriously. So let’s vow to laugh a little more often and maintain our professional practices with the highest level of competence, while at the same time remembering we are all human.

In saying that, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone again to come out and get involved in many upcoming YLD activities which are certain to be a good time, such as our monthly happy hours, our annual golf tournament, the Redbirds game, and our CLEs and triple threats. I would also like to encourage everyone to participate in upcoming pro bono opportunities and to especially consider participating in our special project discussed below.


YLD Special Project

by Abby Webb, YLD President, & Annie Christoff, YLD Vice President/President-Elect

As many of you are aware from the first newsletter, the ABA has an initiative this year called Project Salute to educate veterans on their benefits and assist them in obtaining those benefits. The YLD is in the process of planning a legal clinic for veterans, partnering with Memphis Area Legal Services and possibly other local organizations. Viewing the statistics on veterans who are not receiving benefits to which they are entitled is disheartening to say the least. Many of them do not understand or know how to navigate the system to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled. Serving the men and women who first served us is the least we can do to show our appreciation. 

So to get this project rolling, we are looking for attorneys interested in either sitting on a core committee to implement the project or who are interested in volunteering to work at a legal clinic with a focus on veteran benefits. For those interested in volunteering at a legal clinic, it is unfortunately not as easy as just showing up. There are two prerequisites before you can assist a veteran at a clinic. First, you will need to submit a VA Form 21a to receive accreditation from the Department of Veteran Affairs. The process for accreditation can take up to 90 days, so if you are interested please submit this form as soon as possible. After you receive your accreditation, you then must attend a three hour training. Click here to learn more about the project and to find links to both the Form 21a and the webinar schedule. 

Further, if you are interested in participating in this project or have additional questions, contact Abby Webb at awebb@shuttleworthwilliams.com or 901-526-7399. 


Golf Tournament Set for September, B-Ball Champs Crowned

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

Based on the responses the YLD received from its online survey a few months ago, the YLD Sports Committee has moved the annual MBA YLD 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 is for you. Click here to register online now or here to download a PDF of the form.

Finally, congrats to PC Old School, who prevailed in the playoff finals by 2 points and won this year’s MBA YLD Basketball League Championship. This year’s basketball league was very exciting and competitive, with four team tied for the lead at the end of the regular season. Thanks to everyone who played and made the season such a success.

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.


"Practicing Workers' Compensation" on July 12

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

The YLD has had an eventful couple of months in the realm on CLE's. In May, Brian Faughnan of Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johson, and Mitchell, PLLC, presented an Ethics CLE entitled "Their Problems Are Your Problems." The CLE was crucial to today's practice because with the increased emphasis on specialization in the legal profession comes the increased likelihood that lawyers will find themselves referring matters for clients or potential clients to other attorneys. Referral relationships with other lawyers, as well as co-counsel relationships with lawyers practicing in other firms, whether arising in litigation or transactional matters, raise a variety of ethics issues about which lawyers should be aware. Concurrent with the ethical obligations arising from referral relationships or relationships with your co-counsel is potential liability exposure for the other lawyer’s missteps. This seminar discussed a host of ethics issues and risk management concerns for lawyers in modern practice arising from such relationships including your duties of diligence before making or accepting a referral, obligations of supervisory and subordinate lawyers, the ethics of fee sharing, and your continuing obligations with respect to common clients.

In June, the YLD sponsored E-Filing in Chancery and Circuit Courts, in preparation for the Circuit Court and Chancery Court of the 30th Judicial District's transition to e-filing on Monday, June 25, 2012. The YLD held a 1.5 hour training seminar for attorneys, paralegals, and legal office staff. The seminar was taught by administrators and IT professionals, Jim Hivner, Chief Administrative Officer for Shelby County Chancery Court, and Maury Wessels, Manager of Information Services for Shelby County.

And, the fun doesn't stop there! On July 12, 2012, Nicole Grida, an associate with Leitner, Williams, Dooley, & Napolitan, will present "Practicing Workers' Compensation in Tennessee: An Overview of the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act." The Seminar will be held from 4:30pm-5:30pm at Bleu, located in the Westin Hotel, and will be directly followed by a Happy Hour. Click here to register now.

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.


Bowling Night A Success, Next Happy Hour July 12

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

The YLD social calendar is busy, as always! On Thursday, June 14, we held our annual Bowling Night at Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes in East Memphis. The good people at Counsel on Call sponsored the event, and due to their generosity, the first twenty people to sign up were able to bowl for free. Those twenty spots went fast, and we had a great turnout! Click here to view photos from the event. 

Next, on July 12, we are presenting a Triple Threat CLE and happy hour at Bleu, presented by our own Nicole Grida. Bleu is offering complimentary valet parking for this event, so be sure to stop by!  In August, we look forward to again hosting a Redbirds game night with our friends at the University of Memphis Law School Student Bar Association. Look for more details coming soon.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, who have helped to make our recent events a success: Robert Vance for sponsoring and presenting our Triple Threat at the Brass Door in March, the Hotels of Court Square for sponsoring our happy hour following Legal Lines at Earnestine & Hazel’s in April, and Alpha Reporting for sponsoring our Triple Threat at Circa in May. We look forward to seeing everyone at the next event!


Legal Lines - LIVE from WREG-TV Studios

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

On April 19, 2012, the Young Lawyers’ Division coordinated the Annual Legal Lines Event held at WREG-TV by staffing a total of eight (8) phone lines for 2.5 hours and providing free legal advice to the News Channel 3 viewing area. Usually held during Law Week each year, the YLD was asked to hold this event earlier in the spring in light of the television station’s schedule. As usual, the phones began ringing off the hook as soon as the event began and did not stop until well after the conclusion of the event. This year a total of 30 local attorneys, including members of the YLD, manned the phone lines. Callers who had questions that could not be easily answered by volunteer attorneys were referred to other local agencies. As always News Channel 3 promoted Legal Lines in the weeks leading up to the event, and several callers stated they had to call and call to get through. Legal questions ranged from simple personal injury matters and concerns regarding domestic issues such as divorce and child support to complicated real estate and probate matters. We would like to thank all the attorneys who volunteered for this worthwhile event.

Be sure to mark your calendar for YLD day at the Access to Justice Saturday Legal Clinic on Saturday, October 13, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30pm at the main library at 3030 Poplar Avenue. Dozens of volunteers will be needed! 


Apply Now for 2012-2013 Leadership Forum

If you are an attorney in your third to eighth year of practice, apply now for the MBA’s award-winning Leadership Forum at www.memphisbar.org/leadershipforum or by contacting Anne Fritz (527.3573; afritz@memphisbar.org). The deadline to apply is July 31.

The Leadership Forum’s mission is to develop the leadership skills of young attorneys; empower young attorneys to use their skills to make greater contributions to the Memphis community and the legal profession; model and practice the highest standards of the legal profession; and build relationships among attorneys of diverse backgrounds. The Forum accomplishes this mission through a full-day retreat on September 14, where leadership concepts are introduced, followed by monthly meetings on topics such as the attorney’s role in the greater community, work/life balance, conflict resolution, and communication skills. The monthly sessions are held at various locations around the city, to acquaint participants with the services and programs offered by community organizations. In addition, the participants are assigned to small groups to develop and implement a community service project. 

Tuition is $575. A limited number of scholarships are available. Now in its 8th year, the Leadership Forum has helped hone the leadership skills of over 150 attorneys. The forum received an E. Smythe Gambrell Award from the ABA in 2006; the award recognizes outstanding achievement in the design and implementation of a model professionalism program. To learn more, click here.


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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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