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The 10th Annual Law Conference for Tennessee Practitioners - Materials Only

The 10th Annual Law Conference for Tennessee Practitioners - Materials Only

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2016 Law Conference for Tennessee Practitioners - Materials Only

Order your materials from this information-packed event for Tennessee practitioners!
Held at the Nashville School of Law
Thursday & Friday, November 17 & 18, 2016

This event featured an all-star cast of prominent Tennessee judges and attorneys

Conference Takeaways:

  • Business Court Pilot Project. Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle will cover the practices and procedures in the Davidson County Business Court Pilot Project.
  • Updates. Get up to date on the latest developments in the areas of personal injury, family law, and real estate. 
  • Pretrial motions. Get practice pointers from Hamilton County Circuit Judge Neil Thomas on oral and written skills to use in filing and presenting various pretrial motions. 
  • Appellate practice/standards of review. Learn the ins and outs of appellate practice and procedure and the deferential abuse of discretion standard of review from Court of Appeals Judge Frank Clement. 
  • Overtime rules. Get tips and strategies from Kara Shea on advising your clients about the time overtime procedure, which is set to take effect on December 1. 
  • Practical information. Learn the latest on will drafting in 2016, obtaining and using cell phone information, how to deal with data breaches and privacy laws, and how to comply with HIPAA regulations.
  • Marketing yourself and your law firm. Learn how to use websites and social media to promote yourself and your law practice. 
  • Board of Professional Responsibility. Get an insider’s perspective from the Chief Disciplinary Counsel on the Board’s recent developments. 
  • Terminating representation. Gain insight from Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Frierson on accepting, terminating, or declining representation 

Featuring an all-star faculty of leading Tennessee attorneys and judges: 

  • Judge Frank Clement, Court of Appeals, Middle Section 
  • Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II, Court of Appeals, Eastern Section 
  • Judge W. Neil Thomas, III, Circuit Court, Hamilton County 
  • Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, Chancery Court, Davidson County 
  • Brandon Bass, Law Offices of John Day, PC 
  • Harlan Dodson, Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella, PC 
  • Sandy Garrett, Chief Disciplinary Counsel, Board of Professional Responsibility 
  • John J. Hollins, Jr., Thompson Burton PLLC 
  • Helen Rogers, Rogers, Kamm & Shea 
  • Kara E. Shea, Butler Snow LLP 
  • Tom Shaw, Assistant General Counsel, Corrections Corporation of America 
  • W. Russell Taber, III, Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC 
  • Wesley D. Turner, Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC 
  • Chris Vrettos, Gideon, Cooper & Essary PLC 
  • Clifford Wilson, Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson, PLLC 

Here's what your colleagues said about last year's Law Conference for Tennessee Practitioners:

“Everything was wonderful as always. TAM always does a great job on this conference.” 

“Great variety of topics, very interesting and engaging speakers, excellent conference, as always.” 

“The quality of the speakers was outstanding, and the information presented was useful and interesting – great concentrated 2-day CLE course.” 

“Liked getting all (15 hours) of CLE credits in one 2-day event.” 

“This conference was very well-organized and well-managed.” 

“Enjoyed having different speakers present on different topics and subject matters.” 


Your Faculty

Brandon BassBrandon Bass is a Shareholder in the Law Offices of John Day, P.C., in Brentwood. Mr. Bass focuses on helping people who have been badly injured or lost a loved one. His core practice areas include products liability, medical malpractice, and trucking lawsuits. His experience in products liability lawsuits includes industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, automotive and tractor-trailer defects, and defects in construction materials. He has also assisted victims of medical malpractice in recovering for their losses from doctors and other healthcare providers. One of Mr. Bass’s clients was a child who was left in a persistent vegetative state after being infected by what the media calls the “superbug” – methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA). He also helped the wife and daughter of a man who died due to a pulmonary embolism. In another case, he assisted the children of a father who was not prescribed necessary antibiotics and ultimately passed away as the result of an infection. Mr. Bass has significant experience in trucking lawsuits, including cases involving tractor-trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles. In one case involving a tractor-trailer collision, he helped a 2-year-old girl who suffered brain damage, a 4-year-old girl who suffered orthopedic injuries, and a grandmother who passed away. He helped a teacher whose leg was amputated as the result of a wreck. In another case, a young man suffered brain damage including the loss of his senses of smell and taste, and another young man suffered three torn ligaments in his right knee. He also assisted a single father who suffered brain damage due to cargo falling on his head. In each of those cases, he helped the victims recover from the person who caused their losses. Mr. Bass serves on the Board of Governors for the Tennessee Association for Justice, and is the organization's Amicus Curiae Committee Chair. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, serving on the Board of Governors of its New Lawyers Division, as well as the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations. He has been a member of the John Marshall American Inn of Court in Williamson County. He frequently writes on personal injury and wrongful death legal issues. In addition, Mr. Bass has served as Associate Editor of the Tennessee Trial Law ReportTort Edition, a monthly newsletter on tort law, evidence, civil procedure and trial in Tennessee. He was formerly Associate Editor of the Tennessee Tort Law Letter.


Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr. was appointed to the Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals in September 2003 by Governor Phil Bredesen. He was elected in August 2004 and re-elected two years later. Judge Clement began his legal career in 1979 as a private practice lawyer. In 1995, he was appointed judge of the Circuit and Probate Courts of the 20th Judicial District (Davidson County). He was elected judge of Division VII of the Circuit Probate Court in 1996. He held this position until 2003, when he was appointed to the Court of Appeals. From 1968 to 1974, Clement served in the Tennessee Air National Guard. 

Harlan DodsonHarlan Dodson, of Dodson Parker Behm and Capparella PC in Nashville, has been helping people and businesses solve problems and plan for the future for more than 40 years. Clients seeking general business advice, estate planning services, or representation in litigation count on his vast experience and track record of getting the job done. Mr. Dodson provides hands-on guidance for his clients, whether working with them to launch a business, structure a complex real estate deal, or draft a will. Upon graduation from Vanderbilt University, he joined his father’s firm, Hooker, Keeble, Dodson & Harris. In 1985, he founded Dodson & Associates, and the firm merged with Shipley & Behm in 1988. He is a frequent speaker and writer on business entities, and especially limited liability companies, as well as on wills and estate planning. He has taught Estate Planning at the Nashville School of Law since 1975, where he was presented with the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2007. He has also served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. He is the editor to the West Publishing Company’s Tennessee Practice Series volumes on business formation and estate planning. Additionally, he continues to be a lecturer for the bar review company BAR-BRI on wills and estates, which means that virtually every applicant to the Tennessee bar for more than two decades has relied upon his knowledge. He is the author of Introduction to Estate Planning and Administration in Tennessee, the definitive textbook on the subject matter and an indispensable source of reference for attorneys throughout the state.


Judge Thomas R. (Skip) Frierson IIJudge Thomas R. (Skip) Frierson, II was appointed to the Eastern Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals in February 2013 by Governor Bill Haslam. He began his career in 1983 as a private practice lawyer with the firm of Bacon, Dugger, Jesse, & Perkins. He worked in that position until 1990, when he became a judge of the Hamblen County General Sessions Court. He has also served on the Morristown Municipal Court. In 1996, he became Chancellor of the Third Judicial District (Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, and Hawkins counties). He served in that role until his appointment to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in 2013. 

Sandy GarrettSandy Garrett is Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Tennessee Supreme Court and has been with the Board of Professional Responsibility since October 1992. She earned her J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University. She is the former Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Ethics Committee and Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Ethics Committee. Ms. Garrett has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Board of Professional Responsibility’s diversion program. 

John J. Hollins, Jr.John J. Hollins, Jr. is a partner at Thompson Burton. For more than 29 years, Mr. Hollins has been a domestic relations trial attorney. Prior to joining the firm, he was president and managing partner at Hollins, Raybin & Weissman. While there, he resolved countless family law cases. At Thompson Burton, Mr. Hollins’ practice is devoted entirely to the area family law. While litigation is a big part of his family law practice, he also prides himself in the ability to negotiate and mediate the vast majority of his cases. In 2011, Mr. Hollins published the book Surviving Divorce: A Lawyer’s Common Sense Guide to What You Should Know Before, During, and After a Divorce. The book is an easy-to-understand manual to help clients, family members and friends survive the trials and tribulations of divorce with their dignity intact. Mr. Hollins serves as a member and former Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Since 2012, he has traveled each year to Mandeville, Jamaica, on church-sponsored mission trips which have become an important part of his life. 

Chancellor Ellen Hobbs LyleChancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle was appointed to Part III of the Chancery Court of Davidson County in 1996. She was elected Part III chancellor in 1998 and re-elected in 2006 and 2014. Chancellor Lyle presides over the state’s first Business Court, which began taking cases on May 1, 2015. Chancellor Lyle began her legal career at the Texas law firm of Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski. She returned to practice law in Nashville where she became a partner in the law firm of Trabue, Sturdivant & DeWitt in 1984. She is married to Walter Kurtz, a former senior judge for the State of Tennessee. 

Helen RogersHelen S. Rogers, with Rogers, Kamm & Shea in Nashville, has practiced law for over 30 years and has tried or mediated some of the most complex and hotly contested divorces in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Her practice is chiefly devoted to divorce and family law, along with estate planning and probate. She is qualified by the Tennessee Supreme Court as a Rule 31 mediator and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Certified Civil Trial Specialist. She has also argued more than 60 cases before state and federal appellate courts, including a reported decision on interstate child custody that now stands as the law of the land in Tennessee. 

Kara SheaKara Shea practices in the Nashville office of Bulter Snow. She serves as Practice Group Leader for Labor and Employment. She regularly counsels clients in financial services, healthcare and home health industries on employment law compliance. She has extensive trial and appellate experience in Tennessee and around the country. Ms. Shea was named “Best of the Bar” by the Nashville Business Journalin 2012. She is listed in Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Employment Law—Management and Labor Law—Management. She is listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® in the area of Employment and Labor. She is listed in Chambers USA as one of America’s leading lawyers for Business (Labor and Employment.) She is the editor of the Tennessee Employment Law Letter, published by BLR®.


Tom ShawTom Shaw is Assistant General Counsel with the Legal Department of Corrections Corporation of America’s (CCA’s) Facility Support Center in Nashville. Mr. Shaw manages all processes and programs associated with electronic record identification, discovery, retention, and destruction for CCA. He graduated from Western Kentucky University and received his law degree from Nashville School of Law. He has worked with CCA in a variety of roles since 1995. 

W. Russell Taber, IIIW. Russell Taber, III, with Riley Warnock & Jacobson PLC, in Nashville, practices primarily in the area of business litigation. He has represented individual and corporate clients in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings. He has experience in various substantive areas of the law and industries, including breach of contract, information privacy, business torts, intellectual property and healthcare. Recognizing the significance of electronic discovery in commercial litigation, Mr. Taber is involved in developing cost-effective e-discovery solutions that are legally defensible and advance his clients’ litigation objectives. He is the author of the book Electronic Discovery in Tennessee: Rules, Case Law and Distinctions. Mr. Taber is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been named a Mid-South Rising Star by Super Lawyers since 2012. Prior to joining Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Mr. Taber graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he served as Special Project Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Moot Court Board. He also graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University with a B. A. degree. 


Judge W. Neil Thomas, IIIJudge W. Neil Thomas, III presides over the Fourth Division of Hamilton County Circuit Court and has served on the bench since 1997. Judge Thomas is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated with honors with a B.A. in English. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and later obtained his law degree from the University Of Michigan School Of Law. He holds licenses in the State of New York, Tennessee, United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Sixth and Tenth Circuits. In addition to his judicial duties, Judge Thomas is an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is or has been a member or the chair of the board of directors of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of the Baylor School, chair of the Hamilton County Republican Party, past chair of the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park, and past chair of the Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.


Wesley D. TurnerWesley D. Turner is a partner at Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC in Nashville. Mr. Turner dedicates his practice to helping individuals, lending institutions, non-profits, and businesses with legal needs pertaining to real estate. His practice includes sale and loan closings, residential and commercial development, title insurance, shopping centers, offices, warehouses and other income producing properties, leasing and restructuring and foreclosure. Mr. Turner serves as an instructor at the Nashville School of Law in the area of mortgage law. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Land Use and Zoning Law and Real Estate Law and is listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® for Real Estate Law. He is past President of the Tennessee Land Title Association.


Chris VrettosChris Vrettos is an attorney with Gideon Cooper & Essary PLC in Nashville. Mr. Vrettos has defended physicians, hospitals, and nurses in a diverse range of professional liability actions through all phases of litigation. He has tried multiple cases to a defense verdict. He regularly advises clients regarding changes in laws affecting the defense of health care liability lawsuits, and also handles the defense of premises liability actions occurring on hospital grounds. Since beginning his practice in 2005, Chris has defended Tennessee physicians, hospitals, and nurses from Memphis to Morristown in a diverse range of professional liability actions through all phases of litigation. 

Clifford WilsonClifford Wilson is a partner in the Nashville law firm of Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson, PLLC. Mr. Wilson has a litigation practice involving workers' compensation claims, insurance defense, and motor vehicle accidents. Mr. Wilson has presented a number of continuing education programs concerning workers' compensation and premises liability. He has chaired the Nashville Bar Association Fee Dispute Committee. Mr. Wilson was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court for two three year terms to be a hearing committee member for the Board of Professional Responsibility.  Mr. Wilson was selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Mid-South Super Lawyers® in 2013 and 2014.  He was also selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in America® for workers’ compensation law and insurance.  A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Mr. Wilson earned his J.D. from Memphis State University. Upon graduation Mr. Wilson has a one year appointment as law clerk for William H.D. Fones, Chief Justice of The Tennessee Supreme Court. He is a member of the Nashville, Tennessee and American bar associations and the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association.


Agenda - Day 1

November 17

7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. 

Will Drafting: Planning Opportunities & Challenges in 2016 and Beyond 
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 
Harlan Dodson, Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella, PC 

Mr. Dodson will offer tips and strategies for drafting wills in 2016 and beyond. 

Tort Law Update 
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 
Brandon Bass, Law Offices of John Day, PC 

Mr. Bass will review recent appellate cases in the tort law area, including how West v. Shelby County Healthcare impacts medical damages, what is left of the collateral source rule, the effect of a tolling agreement on the saving statute, and the summary judgment standard in Tennessee. 

10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. 

Pretrial Motion Practice 
10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. 
Judge W. Neil Thomas, III, Circuit Court, Hamilton County 

  • Motions to dismiss 
  • Motions for summary judgment 
  • Motions to amend 
  • Practice pointers on oral and written skills needed to file and present various pretrial motions 

Appellate Practice/Deferential Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review 
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 
Judge Frank Clement, Court of Appeals, Middle Section 

Judge Clement will give an overview of various appellate issues, practices, and procedures and will review some of the key components and concepts in the deferential abuse of discretion standard of review under TRCP 52.01. 

Lunch (included with your registration) 
12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. 

New Federal Overtime Rules: Compliance Challenges for your Clients 
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. 
Kara E. Shea, Butler Snow 

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new federal overtime regulations go into effect on December 1, and it's unlikely that every one of your clients has audited their employee pay policies and practices to ensure compliance. Are you comfortably conversant on the intricacies of the new white collar exemptions, the new minimum salary threshold, the potential penalties for violations, and other aspects of the DOL's changes? Ms. Shea will share a wealth of advanced, in-depth legal information on wage and hour compliance and provide you with some of the practical business strategy that comes from her years of experience assisting, counseling, and representing employers of all sizes and industries. You’ll learn: 

  • Clean-up, aisle exempt: The questions that arise during a classification audit are usually fact specific. 
  • Assessing the risk: Can a company absorb the risk of getting the exemption wrong? 
  • Willful violations: Employees who lost overtime wages as a result of a willful violation are entitled to compensatory damages of three years of back wages and may also be entitled to liquidated damages. 
  • Good faith: The FLSA provides a bit of relief to employers to help balance the subjective nature of the exemptions. 
  • What is the best approach for dealing with the upcoming change? 

2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Data Breach and Privacy Law 
2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. 
Tom Shaw, Assistant General Counsel, Corrections Corporation of America 
W. Russell Taber, III, Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC 

Are you ready to help your clients handle the legal fallout from a cyberattack or data breach that results in the release of sensitive corporate or customer information? The Tennessee legislature passed a bill this session tightening Tennessee's law regarding breach notification requirements to protect customers. Are you prepared to advise your clients about this and other state and federal law requirements? Mr. Shaw and Mr. Taber will provide a general overview of key developments in data breach and privacy law, will discuss cybersecurity threats, and offer practical suggestions on implementing data security initiatives. 

  • Data theft cases 
  • Cyber insurance disputes 
  • Officer and director liability 
  • FTC enforcement actions 
  • State law, including recently passed legislation 
  • Proposed federal legislation 
  • EU safe harbor issues 
  • FBI's dispute with Apple regarding iPhone encryption 

Cell Phone Information: Obtaining and Admitting in Litigation 
3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Tom Shaw, Assistant General Counsel, Corrections Corporation of America 
W. Russell Taber, III, Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC 

Cell phone records are not just used to place a suspect near the scene of a crime at a particular time. They are also used in civil litigation. Cell phone records may establish that a driver was on the phone at the time of an accident. They may be used to prove a spouse was having an extramarital affair or dissipating marital assets. But what are the best ways to make sure such information is admissible? How should you obtain the information in discovery? Let Mr. Shaw and Mr. Taber walk you through the types of issues a practitioner will face when dealing with cell phone records. You’ll learn: 

  • The type of cellular information available 
  • How to obtain the information in discovery 
  • How to get the information into evidence 
  • Use of experts 

HIPAA Compliance for Attorneys and Firms 
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Chris Vrettos, Gideon, Cooper & Essary PLC 

HIPAA isn't just a concern for healthcare providers and employers – it’s a serious compliance challenge for the attorneys and law firms that work with them. The HITECH Act has four tiers of monetary penalties, each corresponding to a different degree of culpability, and penalties hit on a per incident basis, subject to an annual cap of $1.5 million for violations of the same provision. Law firms serving clients in the medical field face the risk of penalties for violations, as well as potential liability for a subcontractor's violations. In addition to contractual liability, a major violation would likely cause significant reputational damage to your firm and result in clients looking elsewhere for legal services – particularly since clients may face liability for your actions. 

  • Tools for patients and their attorneys 
  • How to determine if your HIPAA release is compliant, and how to fix it 
  • HIPAA/HITECH obligations for business associates 

Agenda - Day 2

November 18

Ethical Considerations in Choosing Your Clients 
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 
Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II, Court of Appeals, Eastern Section 

Judge Frierson will walk you through some practical ethical considerations when choosing your clients. 

  • Accepting representation of a client 
  • Withdrawing from representation: Optional and mandatory termination 
  • Discharge of counsel by a client 
  • Assisting the client upon termination 
  • Attorney’s liens 

Ethical Concerns: Are You in Jeopardy? 
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 
Sandy Garrett, Chief Disciplinary Counsel, Board of Professional Responsibility 

Join Sandy Garrett for a game of Jeopardy discussing current developments such as proposed rule changes, recent ethics opinions, Tennessee Supreme Court disciplinary cases, fees and trust accounting issues, and social media. 

10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. 

Ethical Considerations During Trial Presentation 
10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. 
Clifford Wilson, Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson, PLLC 

Let Mr. Wilson, a veteran litigator, walk you through some ethical issues that arise when presenting your case at trial. 

  • Handling highly prejudicial evidence 
  • Talking to witnesses before they testify 
  • Identifying and avoiding conflicts of interest 
  • Responding to jurors’ questions during voir dire 

Real Estate Law Update: Recent Cases and New Statutes 
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 
Wes Turner, Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC 

Mr. Turner will provide an update on the most recent developments and trends in Tennessee real estate law, with a focus on recent Tennessee appellate court decisions and Tennessee statutes enacted during the 2016 legislative session. 

Lunch (included with your registration) 
12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. 

Rainmaking 101: Marketing Yourself and Your Law Firm 
1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
John J. Hollins, Jr., Thompson Burton PLLC 
Mr. Hollins will offer tips on how an attorney can become a successful “rainmaker” by bringing in new business and marketing yourself and your firm to new clients by creating an intelligent business development plan. You’ll get tips on successful web site development and how to use social media to your utmost advantage 

Family Law Highlights 
2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
Helen Rogers, Rogers, Kamm & Shea 
Ms. Rogers gets you up to date on highlights in the family law area from the past year. 

3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The Tennessee Business Court Pilot Project 
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, Davidson County Chancery Court 

The new Tennessee Business Court Pilot Project, presided over by Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, began taking cases on May 1, 2015. The Pilot Project has procedures, technology, and dockets specifically designed for and adapted to business cases. Let Chancellor Lyle walk you through the Pilot Project’s first 18 months in operation. Chancellor Lyle will provide you with a survey of business law issues that have come up in cases in the Business Court Pilot Project in addition to providing a roadmap for the Pilot Project. 


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