TBA asks FTC to exclude lawyers from creditor regulations

The TBA has written to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to exclude lawyers from the so-called "red flag rule" mandated by the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. That law requires businesses and organizations that act as creditors to establish programs for preventing identity theft. Such programs must identify potential areas of vulnerability within the business and include policies for detecting and responding to red flags. The FTC has ruled that because lawyers bill customers after providing services, they should be considered creditors for purposes of the act. The TBA and other bar associations are arguing that Congress did not intend to include the legal profession in the act, and that compliance with the rule would impose an unnecessary burden on lawyers and law firms, which are zero-risk entities. The new regulations are scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1. The American Bar Association said yesterday it is prepared to go to court next week if it cannot persuade the agency to delay the rule or remove lawyers from its application.

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Court: TCA


William C. Brothers, Henning, Tennessee, pro se.

James I. Pentecost, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Corrections Corporation of America; Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Jennifer L. Brenner, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr.


This is an appeal from the dismissal of an inmate's civil action for failure to pay court costs in prior lawsuits. Petitioner inmate, appearing pro se, filed this action for declaratory judgment asking the trial court to declare his rights with respect to several criminal statutes. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss based on Tenn. Code Ann. section 41-21-812 asserting that Petitioner had failed to pay court costs in two previous lawsuits. The trial court dismissed the action pursuant to the statute. Finding no error in the trial court's decision, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Joe F. Fowlkes, Pulaski, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Wayne Beard and Jo Ann Beard.

L. Robert Grefseng, Columbia, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Tammy Jo Gordon and Ronald Dale Gordon.


Defendants appeal the trial court's reformation of a deed of trust and its finding that Plaintiffs own property free of any encumbrance. We dismiss for lack of a final judgment.



Court: TCA


C. Bennett Harrison, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Harlan Perry Howard, Jr., and Jennifer Howard Carmella.

R. Horton Frank, III, and Philip M. Kirkpatrick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Melanie Smith Howard, Executrix.

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves the distribution of a decedent's estate. The decedent was a legendary songwriter, and the estate's primary asset was the decedent's songwriter royalties. At his death, the decedent had four adult children. In his will, the decedent left designated percentages of the royalties to three of his children and to his fifth wife (not the children's mother) in a marital trust. To avoid estate taxes, however, the devise to the two oldest children was limited to an amount that would not exceed the federal unified credit for estate tax purposes. The decedent's fifth wife was appointed executrix of the decedent's estate. In administering the estate, she enlisted the help of an accountant who had worked with both the decedent and the wife. Subsequently, she filed an estate tax return, prepared by the accountant. In the return, because of the value assigned to the decedent's songwriter royalties, and because the youngest child's interest in the royalties was included as a part of the taxable estate, the share of the royalties allocated to the two older children was reduced under the tax-avoidance limitation in the will. The wife filed a petition in the trial court to distribute the assets of the estate. The two older children objected, arguing that the wife's accountant had a conflict of interest and should have been disqualified from valuing the songwriter royalties, and that the wife breached her fiduciary duty by making decisions that benefitted her to the detriment of the two older children. After a trial, the trial court concluded that the accountant did not have a disqualifying conflict of interest, and that the wife and her accountant acted in good faith. Therefore, the trial court granted the wife's petition to distribute the assets of the estate consistent with the federal estate tax return. The decedent's two older children now appeal. We affirm the trial court in all respects.



Court: TCA


Daniel M. Czamanske, Jr., Clarksdale, Mississippi, for the Appellant, Samantha Nabors.

Teresa J. Sigmon, Katherine M. Anderson, Jonathan W. McCrary, Memphis, TN, for the Appellees, William M. Adams, M.D. and The Clinic for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, P.A.


This appeal involves a medical malpractice action. In a motion for summary judgment, defendant physician asserted that plaintiff's expert witness failed to satisfy the requirements of the locality rule. The trial court granted the motion finding that plaintiff's expert failed to demonstrate a familiarity with the standard of care in defendant's community or a similar community. In a motion to alter or amend the judgment, plaintiff attached a supplemental affidavit of the same expert in order to cure the deficiency. The trial court considered the expert's supplemental affidavit and denied the motion because the new affidavit still failed to satisfy the locality rule. Plaintiff appeals. Reviewing the record, we find that the expert's supplemental affidavit cured the initial deficiency by relating facts which showed the similarity of the two communities. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.


Authority of Development District to Issue Revenue Bonds

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-07-23

Opinion Number: 09-126


Warren County's Authority to Provide for Variances from Requirements in Private Act

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-07-23

Opinion Number: 09-127


Donation of Real Property by Emergency Communications District

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2009-07-22

Opinion Number: 09-128



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The Chattanooga Times Free Press has this AP report
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See the full list
Shelby commission sets mayoral election
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The Commercial Appeal has more
Your Practice
Report shows lawyers adopt technology faster than firms
The American Bar Association this week released its 2009 Legal Technology Survey Report, which shows that the number of lawyers embracing new technologies such as social networking and blogging has tripled since last year, while law firms are doing so at a slower pace. The survey also found that the Blackberry is the most popular brand of choice for lawyers wanting a mobile web and email device, followed by the iPhone and the Palm Treo.
Learn more in the ABA Journal
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