MBA Blog


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Posted by: Brian Faughnan on Mar 26, 2020

Thanks to Brian Faughnan of Lewis Thomason for sharing one of his recent blog posts. Be sure to check out his website www.faughnanonethics.com.

Change seems like it never comes … right up until it does.

So, I’m not a public health expert and I try to pride myself on not talking too much about conversations to which I am unable to meaningfully contribute. Thus, I’m not going to purport to speak directly to how to be dealing with the pandemic looming over everything. I’ve been doing what little I can to try to help “flatten the curve,” because I’m economically privileged enough and have robust access to technology to be able to do so. If you are in a similar situation, I hope you will do the same.

I’m going to instead focus on something much smaller … the disappointing news out of California yesterday that goes a long way toward kneecapping the efforts of the California ATILS task force. As mentioned in an earlier post, the ATILS task force itself had already scaled down its efforts but the California State Bar voted down significant aspects of even the watered-down proposal.

If you’d like to read the details, you can do so at this The American Lawyer article. If you’d like a sense of what comes next, you can read this Twitter thread from Andrew Arruda, a very irked member of the task force.

All I want to say for today is that I don’t think the California State Bar is going to have the last word on this, not by a long shot.

Beyond the fact that the post-pandemic world is going to be different, I’m not prepared to predict what different exactly looks like. But it seems clear already that, at least in the United States, we are learning quickly that a lot of things people have been told weren’t possible actually are.

Your job likely can be done remotely through telecommuting. The for-profit health system can make allowance to discount costs. A quality legal education can be obtained through online classes. Courts do not have to have as many in-person hearings in order to dispense justice.

The list is much, much longer.

It is hard not to think that there are going to be a variety of businesses, large and small (including law firms), that will not be able to survive in an environment where large swaths of the population do not venture out of their house for much of a 30 or 60 day period. It won’t all be businesses in the food and beverage delivery industry and businesses that otherwise require large groups to gather. Yet, given the legalistic nature of U.S. society today, the demand for people to be helped with their legal and contractual rights likely only increases.

Whether that translates to an increased demand for lawyers to do those things though is a lot less clear.

Innovations will likely happen out of necessity.

In the meantime, stay safe out there.

Posted by: Anne Fritz on Sep 11, 2019

Memphis, Tenn.— September 11, 2019 – The Memphis Bar Association today released the results of its Judicial Preference Poll for the candidates in the contested City Court judicial and court clerks’ races on the October 3rd ballot.

The poll was sent to all licensed, practicing attorneys in Shelby County. Participants were not required to answer every question. The poll asked attorneys to select the one candidate in each race whom they felt was best qualified to serve. If an attorney did not know the candidates’ qualifications or had no opinion, he/she was instructed to mark “no opinion.”

“The Memphis Bar Association is pleased to provide this service to members of our community who may not have the opportunity to interact with our judiciary and candidates,” said Memphis Bar Association President Annie T. Christoff. “The poll represents lawyers’ collective opinion regarding sitting judges and candidates but is not intended as an endorsement by the Memphis Bar Association of any candidate.”

Click here to view the poll results.

Posted by: Anne Fritz on Aug 28, 2019

The Memphis Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Memphis Bar Association, is now accepting grant applications from 501(d)(3) organizations that provide law-related projects or programs in the Memphis area. The MBF awards grants up to a maximum of $10,000. Previous grant recipients include the Community Legal Center, Memphis Area Legal Services, the Public Action Law Society at the law school, and CasaLuz.

Click here to download the grant application, which is due by 5:00 p.m. on September 9, 2019. Questions? Contact Anne Fritz at afritz@memphisbar.org.

Posted by: Carole Doorley on Aug 20, 2019

The MBA Young Lawyers' Division is proud to host its annual Charity Golf Tournament Benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Memphis on Friday, October 4, 2019 at the Links at Galloway Golf Course.

Register Now!

Sponsorship Opportunities

Our sponsorship opportunities range from a $250 hole sponsorship to a $1,150 Title Sponsorship. As part of the tournament, we also award prizes for “closest to the pin” and “longest drive”, team prizes and door prizes, all of which would not be possible without the generous support of local businesses. 

Learn more about sponsorship here. If you would like to discuss any of these sponsorship opportunities in greater detail, please contact Dylan Holzemer, or Chris Williams.

Posted by: Anne Fritz on Aug 16, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        August 15, 2019
 
For more information, contact Ann Pruitt (615) 775-9684; apruitt@tals.org
 
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) will present Harrison D.  McIver III with the Founder’s Award, an honor it established for the purpose of recognizing McIver’s extraordinary contributions to Tennessee’s access to justice community during his twenty-year tenure as Chair of Equal Justice University and tenure as Executive Director of Memphis Area Legal Services. The award will be presented on August 29, 2019, at the Leadership Luncheon, Embassy Suites Conference Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   
 
Harrison D.  McIver III recently retired as CEO of Memphis Area Legal Services after more than twenty years as its leader.  His passion for diversity and inclusion, rigor in legal education programming and dedication to community building are embedded in the fabric of Equal Justice University, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Service’s annual public interest conference. Cathy Clayton, TALS’ Board Chair and Executive Director, West Tennessee Legal Services stated, “It is fitting that we are honoring Harrison’s legacy with the Founder’s Award at Equal Justice University’s Leadership Luncheon.”
 
McIver’s leadership has had a strong impact locally, regionally and nationally. In addition to raising MALS’ profile in all three arenas, McIver served as Chair of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Board, President of the Southeast Project Directors Association twice, and held Board memberships on the National Equal Justice Library, TALS, Latino Memphis, the Memphis Bar Association and Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association. He served on the Advisory Board of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change and was a member of the University of Memphis Law School Dean Advisory Council.  He serves as a member of the Tennessee Bar Association’s House of Delegates, Long Range Planning Committee and Access to Justice Committee. McIver’s long history of commitment to justice has been recognized in a number of contexts. He was presented the prestigious American Bar Association’s Charles Dorsey Award for promoting equal justice. The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) recognized his life’s work during a reception at an annual American Bar Association meeting.; the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association bestowed upon him the A.A. Latting Award for legal services; TALS presented him the B. Riney Green Award in recognition of his promoting collaboration within Tennessee; and the Memphis Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. presented him the Jessie Turner Award for community impact.  A highlight of his career was being invited by Congressman Steve Cohen to testify, on behalf of legal aid organizations nationwide, about the importance of legal services to the poor.
 
 
How to Participate
To register for the conference, visit https://www.tals.org/eju.  
 
Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) is a statewide non-profit organization that builds   partnerships to support the delivery of effective civil legal services for low-income and elderly Tennesseans. TALS manages a web portal providing legal information- www.HELP4TN.org, and staffs 1-844-HELP4TN, a toll-free civil legal services referral and information phone line. Learn more at www.tals.org.
 
 

Posted by: Carole Doorley on Aug 8, 2019

The 36th Annual Race Judicata will be held on Saturday, September 21st at 9:00 a.m. at the UM Law School.  Last year, the MBA Wellness Committee partnered with the UM Law School Student Bar Association Wellness Committee to organize the Race, which had over 250 participants and raised nearly $10,000 for the Community Legal Center and Memphis Area Legal Services.  Our goal is to improve upon both those figures this year.  To do that, we need your help in one (or more) of the following ways: 

  1. Sign up to be a runner ($25 in advance) or spirit runner ($20) and form a running team with others in your firm or office.
  2. Consider sponsoring the Race (either yourself or your firm/business).  Sponsorship levels range from $250 (Sessions Sponsor) to Supreme Sponsor ($2,500).  Sponsorship includes a number of race entries and t-shirts.  All proceeds from the Race will benefit access to justice programs offered by the Community Legal Center and Memphis Area Legal Services. See the attached flyer for more details.
  3. Spread the word about the Race!  Like & follow Race Judicata on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RaceJudicata5K/, contact friends and colleagues and encourage them to participate, put up a poster (available at the MBA office) in your firm/office or places lawyers frequent.

We need your support to make this year's Race Judicata an even bigger success!  If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact Christy Washington, Chair, MBA Wellness Committee, at cfwashingtonlaw@gmail.com or Anne at 901.333.0077; afritz@memphisbar.org.

Christy Washington, Chair                           Anne Fritz, Executive Director
Wellness Committee                                     Memphis Bar Association

 

Posted by: Carole Doorley on Jul 23, 2019

The latest issue of the Memphis Lawyer magazine can be viewed online here.

Posted by: Lauren Gooch on Jun 26, 2019

The MBA is actively working with vendors to redesign your member benefits package for 2020! We are working to provide the best range of benefits from travel discounts to professional services! If your company is interested in partnering with MBA, please reach out to Lauren Gooch at LGooch@memphisbar.org for details.

To access your benefits and learn more about the below discount programs, login to My MBA. If you're having difficulty logging in, email Carole at cdoorley@memphisbar.org

Just Added

Grisanti's

25% off a bottle of Badia a Coltibuono Roberto Stucchi Chianti

Peabody Hotel -

Special Rates with complimentary food & beverage

Retail Discounts (National Purchasing Partners) -

Discounts at over 15 online retailers

LocalHospitality -

Exclusive travel discount program

Posted by: Carole Doorley on May 30, 2019

Nashville, TN -- The Tennessee Bar Foundation has awarded $1,122,735, from the Tennessee Legal Initiatives Fund – or “TLIF.”  The funds came from a consumer relief settlement between the Department of Justice and Bank of America Corporation.  Under the settlement, funds were donated nationwide to organizations that administer each state’s IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts) program.  The amount was based on federal poverty census data.

Tennessee received $8,500,000.  Guidance for its use was just a few words in the settlement, “…for the sole purpose of providing funds to legal aid organizations in the state of Tennessee to be used for foreclosure prevention legal assistance and community redevelopment legal assistance… .”  No further direction was given.  

A broad-based committee was named by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees to make recommendations.  It was determined that the money would be used to extend the capacity of organizations to break the cycle of poverty and the barriers to justice by using civil legal aid and education to increase productivity and success for vulnerable populations.  According to N. Houston Parks, of Columbia,  Chair of the Tennessee Bar Foundation Board of Trustees, “The work would be centered on innovation, coupled with durable and life-changing initiatives, to redevelop communities. This is a tremendous opportunity for the Foundation to make a lasting difference for the populations the grantees serve.”

TLIF monies will be granted in two phases.   The Discovery Phase began in July 2018. Thirty-three applications were received from Tennessee organizations.  The grantee organizations, just selected in May 2019, are listed below.  

After recipients have completed approximately one year of activity, TLIF’s second phase, “Implementation,” will evaluate the results.  It is hoped that these pilot projects will show that system-level change may come through scale or replication.  Armed with the outcomes of these projects, plans for the distribution of the remaining $7,500,000 will be made at that time.

 

TLIF Grant Awards

Organization (or Lead Organization)

Project Name

Award

Project Description

Choosing Justice Initiative

All Around Justice

$100,000

Implement wraparound program to pay court-appointed, criminal defense lawyers to handle client civil legal needs.

Community Legal Center

Remote Immigrant Initiative

$62,000

Use technology and collaborative services to coordinate representation at Memphis Immigration Court for clients from Middle/East Tennessee.

Dismas House, Inc.

Pro Se Legal Workshop for Reentry Clients

$100,000

Train reentry clients to overcome obstacles, pro se or with counsel, to obtain a driver's license and other necessities for life post-incarceration.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee

Mental Health Law Partnership

$91,991

Establish partnership to provide on-site legal help to clients of Helen Ross McNabb Center who suffer from mental illness, addiction or social challenge.                                                     

Memphis Bar Foundation

One Stop Legal Help Portal

$70,000

Create online portal for appropriate referral of potential clients to Community Legal Center or Memphis Area Legal Services. 

Nashville Conflict Resolution Center

Mediation Access Tennessee

$99,728

Provide access to mediation through conferencing technology that links rural and underserved populations with community mediation centers.

Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services

Increased Access to Workers' Compensation Resources

$100,000

Implement data-driven resources for injured workers, including online assistance for preparation of pro se worker compensation claims.

Tennessee Justice Center, Inc.

General Sessions GPS

$100,000

Develop educational resources and train volunteers to assist General Sessions Court litigants who cannot afford an attorney.

Tennessee Justice Center, Inc.

Independence

$100,000

Reform systemic policies and procedures surrounding long term services and supports portion of the TennCare program, known as CHOICES.

Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors

Families Together

$99,016

Provide classroom education and pro bono legal services for immigrant families.

The Justice Initiative

Holistic Legal Incubator Program

$100,000

Train new lawyers and social workers, interested in an interdisciplinary approach to law practice, through a wraparound program.

University of Tennessee College of Law - Legal Clinic

ExpungeTN

$100,000

Assist rural East Tennesseans, with prior criminal justice interaction, to get various types of relief without an attorney.

 

The Tennessee Bar Foundation is an organization of attorneys from across the state, active since 1982. The Foundation has a three-fold purpose:

  1. to honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the profession by electing them to membership as “Fellows,”
  2. to use the contributions of these Fellows to support selected, law-related public interest projects, and
  3. to administer Tennessee’s IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts) program.

Posted by: Carole Doorley on May 30, 2019

Nashville, TN -- The Tennessee Bar Foundation has awarded $1,122,735, from the Tennessee Legal Initiatives Fund – or “TLIF.”  The funds came from a consumer relief settlement between the Department of Justice and Bank of America Corporation.  Under the settlement, funds were donated nationwide to organizations that administer each state’s IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts) program.  The amount was based on federal poverty census data.

Tennessee received $8,500,000.  Guidance for its use was just a few words in the settlement, “…for the sole purpose of providing funds to legal aid organizations in the state of Tennessee to be used for foreclosure prevention legal assistance and community redevelopment legal assistance… .”  No further direction was given.  

A broad-based committee was named by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees to make recommendations.  It was determined that the money would be used to extend the capacity of organizations to break the cycle of poverty and the barriers to justice by using civil legal aid and education to increase productivity and success for vulnerable populations.  According to N. Houston Parks, of Columbia,  Chair of the Tennessee Bar Foundation Board of Trustees, “The work would be centered on innovation, coupled with durable and life-changing initiatives, to redevelop communities. This is a tremendous opportunity for the Foundation to make a lasting difference for the populations the grantees serve.”

TLIF monies will be granted in two phases.   The Discovery Phase began in July 2018. Thirty-three applications were received from Tennessee organizations.  The grantee organizations, just selected in May 2019, are listed below.  

After recipients have completed approximately one year of activity, TLIF’s second phase, “Implementation,” will evaluate the results.  It is hoped that these pilot projects will show that system-level change may come through scale or replication.  Armed with the outcomes of these projects, plans for the distribution of the remaining $7,500,000 will be made at that time.

 

TLIF Grant Awards

Organization (or Lead Organization)

Project Name

Award

Project Description

Choosing Justice Initiative

All Around Justice

$100,000

Implement wraparound program to pay court-appointed, criminal defense lawyers to handle client civil legal needs.

Community Legal Center

Remote Immigrant Initiative

$62,000

Use technology and collaborative services to coordinate representation at Memphis Immigration Court for clients from Middle/East Tennessee.

Dismas House, Inc.

Pro Se Legal Workshop for Reentry Clients

$100,000

Train reentry clients to overcome obstacles, pro se or with counsel, to obtain a driver's license and other necessities for life post-incarceration.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee

Mental Health Law Partnership

$91,991

Establish partnership to provide on-site legal help to clients of Helen Ross McNabb Center who suffer from mental illness, addiction or social challenge.                                                     

Memphis Bar Foundation

One Stop Legal Help Portal

$70,000

Create online portal for appropriate referral of potential clients to Community Legal Center or Memphis Area Legal Services. 

Nashville Conflict Resolution Center

Mediation Access Tennessee

$99,728

Provide access to mediation through conferencing technology that links rural and underserved populations with community mediation centers.

Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services

Increased Access to Workers' Compensation Resources

$100,000

Implement data-driven resources for injured workers, including online assistance for preparation of pro se worker compensation claims.

Tennessee Justice Center, Inc.

General Sessions GPS

$100,000

Develop educational resources and train volunteers to assist General Sessions Court litigants who cannot afford an attorney.

Tennessee Justice Center, Inc.

Independence

$100,000

Reform systemic policies and procedures surrounding long term services and supports portion of the TennCare program, known as CHOICES.

Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors

Families Together

$99,016

Provide classroom education and pro bono legal services for immigrant families.

The Justice Initiative

Holistic Legal Incubator Program

$100,000

Train new lawyers and social workers, interested in an interdisciplinary approach to law practice, through a wraparound program.

University of Tennessee College of Law - Legal Clinic

ExpungeTN

$100,000

Assist rural East Tennesseans, with prior criminal justice interaction, to get various types of relief without an attorney.

TLIF monies will be granted in two phases.   The Discovery Phase began in July 2018. Thirty-three applications were received from Tennessee organizations.  The grantee organizations, just selected in May 2019, are listed below.  


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