Memphis Bar Association
The Young Lawyers' Appeal - Winter 2013

President’s Update

by Annie Christoff, YLD President

Welcome to the first Young Lawyers’ Appeal of 2013, the unofficial kick-off of the YLD year! I’m delighted to note that all of the 2012 Directors have returned to serve again in 2013, signaling a continuation of the experience and camaraderie we have enjoyed for years. We also have a fresh face this year, Christina Kurdilla, whose energy and ingenuity will be a boon to the Board. I am honored to serve with these fantastic young lawyers as we work to better serve the YLD community in 2013. 

Our goal this year is to find new ways for the YLD to positively impact your practice, your professional growth, and your experience as a member of the Memphis legal community. In addition to the happy hours, CLEs, volunteer opportunities, golf tournament, and other special events you’ve come to know and love, one way we hope to achieve this goal is through the introduction of the YLD Practical Pro Bono Series. In my experience, intimidation can be a significant barrier to a young lawyer’s willingness to engage in pro bono opportunities, due to a perceived lack of expertise in the legal issues implicated in pro bono cases, which are often different from our actual areas of practice. The Practical Pro Bono Series will tackle this problem head-on by offering intensive training sessions on topics that commonly arise in pro bono cases, taught by experienced practitioners who can offer real-world advice. My hope is that, in addition to becoming more comfortable with the substantive areas of law, those who attend will develop a network of mentors and colleagues via their instructors and classmates. The aim of the Practical Pro Bono Series is to build young lawyers’ confidence going into a pro bono representation, as well as to provide a support system for young lawyers throughout that representation. Please contact me if you are interested in joining the committee to help bring the Practical Pro Bono Series to life, and look out for more details coming soon. 

I would also like to welcome and introduce Omar Malik and Jennifer Sutch, who have recently been appointed by the YLD Board to serve as this year’s Ex Officio Directors. The position of Ex Officio Director was created last year to help address the needs of YLD members who may be underrepresented by the composition of elected Directors. Our inaugural Ex Officio Directors were Pablo Varela and Tricia Adrian, both of whom were wonderful additions to the 2012 Board and offered critical insight, help, and expertise throughout the year. This year, the Board has appointed Omar to represent young lawyers working in the governmental sector, and Jennifer to represent young lawyers working in small practice settings, as well as lawyers in their first few years of practice. We look forward to the valuable contributions of Omar and Jennifer and are grateful for their willingness to serve. Please join me in congratulating them, and feel free to reach out to either of them with ideas, questions, or concerns related to their identified areas of interest, or to the YLD in general.  

On that note, let me remind you that the YLD Board of Directors is here to serve you, so please contact any of us with your suggestions for new projects or events, if you think there are things we could better address, or if you are looking for ways to get involved. I hope that everyone finds at least one way to become more active and engaged in the YLD this year, and I look forward to seeing you! 


Volunteer at High School Mock Trial 2013

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

The MBA Young Lawyers Division kicked off the 2013 District 1 High School Mock Trial Competition on Monday night with 21 teams representing 16 area high schools. Thanks to local attorneys who volunteered their time to judge the first two nights, Round I went well.  During the first two nights of the Local Competition, the students were able to present both sides of a criminal case where the State has accused an auto mechanic of intentionally loosening the connections on a vehicle belonging to his investment broker who had lost the defendant's company's pension knowing that the vehicle would fail to function and ultimately crash.

The YLD is happy to report that the following schools have advanced to Round II, which will be held tonight: Briarcrest Christian School, Central High School, Germantown High School (2 teams), Houston High School, Immaculate Conception, Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South, Memphis University School (2 teams), Saint Benedict's at Auburndale, Southwind High School, St. George's Independent School, St. Mary's Episcopal School, Westminster Academy, and White Station High School (2 teams). The Competition will be single elimination from this point forward with Round III (Quarter Finals) scheduled for Monday, February 18th and Round IV (Semi Finals) scheduled for Tuesday, February 19th. Judge Christopher Craft will serve as the Presiding Judge for the Championship Round, which will be held on Wednesday, February 19th. The top two teams from District 1 will advance to the State Competition in Nashville next month. Although the Local Competition is well underway, please contact Nicole Grida at or Jonathan Nelson at if you would like to volunteer your time to assist with this worthwhile event. 


2013 MBA-YLD Basketball Law League Kicks Off with Draft on February 21st; Golf Tournament Set for October 4th

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

The YLD is happy to announce the return of the MBA-YLD Basketball Law League. Please join us on Thursday, February 21st at the Brass Door for the YLD Happy Hour/Basketball Draft. The Happy Hour begins at 5:30 p.m. (following the YLD CLE program), and the Draft begins at 6:00 p.m. Even if you do not intend to play, please come to the Happy Hour/Basketball Draft on February 21st and support your fellow colleagues as they begin their road to the championship. If you are signing up a team or if you plan to enter the Draft, please contact Nic Vescovo at as soon as possible. You do not have to wait for the Draft to sign up! But the Draft on February 21st will be your last chance to sign up a team or be placed on a team. The games will begin in early March and are usually held on Tuesday and Thursday nights. More details about the draft, game nights, times, and locations will be available in the coming weeks.

Based on the success of last year's golf tournament, the YLD will once again host its Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, October 4th 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 October 4th.

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 in the summer. If you have any questions or suggestions for the Sports Committee, please feel free to contact Jake Dickerson at or Irwin Magevney at


Our Social Calendar Is Filling Up!

by Maggie Cooper & Christina Kurdilla, Social Committee Co-Chairs

As the temperatures start to heat up this spring, so does our YLD social calendar! On February 21, we are having a Happy Hour/Basketball Draft at the Brass Door sponsored by Flying Paper and Rice Amundsen & Caperton, PLC. No need to know how to dribble a ball to join – in either the Happy Hour or the Draft! Keep March 20 open as well because Energy Fitness has already committed to sponsoring a Happy Hour at their gym. Stay tuned for details on other exciting events as we will are planning to cheer on our Memphis Grizzlies at a game in April. A special thank you goes out to our friend Rick Linder of Westlaw who sponsored our January Happy Hour at the Local in Midtown. That night the Downtowners and the East Memphians met in the middle, making it what may have been our most well-attended happy hour to date! If anyone is interested in sponsoring an event, please feel free to contact us. Thank you again for your support of the YLD, and we look forward to seeing you at the Brass Door on February 21! 

Pictured are YLD Social Chairs Christina Kurdilla (left) and Maggie Cooper with Happy Hour sponsor Rick Linder of Westlaw.



First YLD CLE of 2013, "Appellate Practice 101"

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

On February 21, 2013 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 "Appellate Practice 101", will be presented by The Honorable J. Steven Stafford, Tennessee Court of Appeals and Mary Wagner, Associate Attorney at Rice, Amundsen, & Caperton, PLLC. Through this CLE, the presenters will demonstrate how to handle an appeal from start to finish, including tips on how to file, prepare the record, draft a brief, and present oral argument. The Happy Hour to follow will be sponsored by Rice, Amundsen, & Caperton, PLLC. We hope to see you there. 

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 or Janika White at


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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 or Nicole Bermel at

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