the magazine of the Memphis Bar Association
Vol. 35, Issue 4
Interview with Judge Jennifer J. Mitchell
Eulogy for David Childe
Interview with Judge Dandridge
THEC Rejects MTSUâ€™s Proposal to Acquire Valparaiso Law School
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Volume 35, Issue 4
Eulogy for David Childe BY JENNIFER CHILDE
10 THEC Rejects MTSU’s Proposal to Acquire Valparaiso Law School BY KATHARINE TRAYLOR SCHAFFZIN
2018 Memphis Bar Association's Annual Meeting
Interview with Judge Dandridge
Interview with Judge Jennifer J. Mitchell
BY PRESTON BATTLE
BY EARLE SCHWARZ
12 Community Legal Center: The Proposed “Public Charge” Rule
is Bad for Your Health BY BRITTANY BANES
14 MALS Corner: A Year in Review 26
Circuit Court Report
From the Wellness Committee: Practicing Healthy Habits for the Holiday
People in the News
Memphis Lawyer Word Search
BY STEPHEN LEFFLER
BY YVETTE H. KIRK, ESQ.
2018 MBA Officers
the magazine of the Memphis Bar Association
MBA Publications Committee Stephen Leffler, Chair Nicole Grida, Vice Chair Lucie Brackin, Executive Committee Liaison Preston Battle Leslie Byrd Karen Campbell Dean DeCandia Chastity Sharp Grice Sean Hunt Kendra Lyons Harrison McIver Jared Renfroe Jake Strawn Charles Summers Ellen Vergos Christy Washington
The Memphis Lawyer is a publication of the Memphis Bar Association, Inc. that publishes four times each year. The publication has a circulation of 2,200. If you are interested in submitting an article for publication or advertising in an upcoming issue, contact Carole Doorley at 271.0660; firstname.lastname@example.org The MBA reserves the right to reject any advertisement or article submitted for publication.
Earle Schwarz President
Annie Christoff Vice President
Matt May Jim Newsom Lisa Overall Maggie Cooper Roney Jill Steinberg Alex Wharton Estelle Winsett Section Representatives Sylvia Ford Brown Margaret Chesney Anne Johnson Joe Leibovich Jennifer Sisson Brigid Welsh
ABA Delegate Lucian Pera AWA Representative LaQuita Stokes Law School Representative Elizabeth Rudolph NBA Representative Florence Johnson YLD President Mary Wu Tullis
2018 Board of Directors Mike Adams Megan Arthur David Bearman Sherry Brooks Frank Cantrell Leslie Coleman Amber Floyd Peter Gee Tannera Gibson Nicole Grida Doug Halijan Earl Houston Sean Hunt Steve Leffler
The Memphis Bar Association 145 Court Ave. Suite 301 Memphis, TN 38103 Phone: (901) 527-3573 Fax: (901) 440-0426 www.memphisbar.org
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By EARLE SCHWARZ, MBA President
his version of the President’s Corner will be published posthumously. Not literally, of course; but by the time this edition hits the streets, I will have moved onto the status of “immediate past president.” Serving the Association has been an honor and a joy. We have accomplished significant things this year: launched the Center for Excellent in Decision Making; convened the first Pro Bono Summit; began a long-term strategic planning process and implemented a new website and associated database, while also trying to do the programming and section work that you expect from the MBA. The MBA’s Center for Excellence in Decision Making has the support of the business community, the legal community and the law school. The seed for the Center was planted at the Bench Bar Conference in St. Louis; the Center presented its first set of programs in September and will move forward to develop a strategic plan under the direction of Caren Nichol and Dean Katheryn Schafzin. The mission of the Center is lofty: To fulfill the potential of Memphis and Shelby County by fostering excellence in decision making among key community leaders, business and individual stakeholders. The Center’s programs and trainings will help participants understand the factors that drive their decision making in order to allow us to control those subconscious factors that might unfairly influence the outcome. In short, reduce barriers to fair treatment for all segments of our community. The Pro Bono summit heralds an attempt to coordinate the delivery of legal services to the indigent
and low-income citizens of Memphis by creating a forum for the exchange of ideas among the various agencies serving this population that will ultimately lead to the delivery of services in an efficient and cost-effective manner. In short, to weed out costly duplication and other barriers to pairing the legal need with the agency and/or pro bono attorney best situated to meet that need. The launch of the new website and database is huge and will greatly improve our online presence and deliver more value added to your membership experience. The future of your Association is in good hands with the leadership succession plan in place. Annie, Lucie and Peter are strong leaders and will work together well to keep the organization on track. The MBA and its leaders need the benefit of a long-term strategic plan, designed to address our future challenges. Chief among them is how to remain relevant as the Memphis legal landscape continues to change, with fewer attorneys entering the practice, with the boomers and their clients aging out, with local firms morphing into regional and national firms and with increased competition for the delivery of CLE and the time and attention of our members. In short, to chart a course for the survival of the Memphis Bar Association. In short, thank you very much for the opportunity to work with you, our dedicated staff and our leadership. It’s time to move on.
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Eulogy for David Childe by JENNIFER CHILDE
To find one word that described David is a challenge. “Quirky” is too pejorative. “Complex” and “unique” seem too abstract and lacks gravitas. When I think of David, I think of a blend of opposites. • He was playful and juvenile, yet truly an old soul that often connected better with people 20 years older • He loved watching raunchy, inappropriate movies with my boys, yet equally enjoyed reading Tolstoy and Dostoevsky • He was big and strong on the outside, but fragile and tender on the inside • He could (and would) talk to anyone, yet he was actually quite shy He was generous to a fault - with his time, with his money, with his love, his encouragement, and his support. He believed in justice and fairness, and sought to help those he believed were victims of injustice or cruelty. Maybe it was through his own suffering that he became more alive to the plight and suffering of others. He had a wonderfully mischievous sense of humor, with a laugh that was truly infectious. He had a way of focusing on someone with total attention and interest, no matter who they were, what they did, or what the subject matter was. No matter what function we went to together, he never failed to get into deep discussion with someone and make that person feel like he or she was the most fascinating person in the room. 8
He was incredibly encouraging, supportive and inspiring to others, yet sadly couldn’t see the same value in himself. As many of you know, David had a very active mind, a wonderful memory, and a great thirst for knowledge. His opinions were always well thought out, carefully considered, but he loved to argue and hear the opinions of others. You could rarely change his opinion, but he was always interested in hearing yours. He led his life with a rare level of intensity. He gave everything 100%, including the recent Race Judicata that he chaired, the research he did on Wall Street, the AA archive project he started, or his physical training, he didn’t leave any fuel in the tank. He also had an insatiable appetite. Not only to read, to learn, to explore, to experience, to challenge himself, and to love, but also of course, to eat. David actually entered a few professional food eating contests…..but sadly never medaled. David was far from perfect, and he and I didn’t always get along. He put me and my mother through real hell when he wasn’t in control of his addiction. But through the help of many of you here today, he was able to conquer at least some of those demons. As adults, we became very close. I considered him one of my closest friends and he was by far one of my strongest supporters. His love and encouragement were unconditional. He was happy when I was happy, and always there for me when I was lost. I treasured the times we spent
together. The vacations we took with my two boys; The holidays we would spend together.
So for those of us left behind, that can’t make sense out of this, these are some things that I’ve recently learned:
One of the things I remember best about him was that I could come up with the most random problems – I sent the wrong email to my boss, or I’m getting early dementia, or running makes my knees hurt, and he would have the best answer: “now your boss will feel more comfortable around you, so it was actually a good thing” or “forgetting things is actually a sign of genius!” or “pain in the knee is a rite of passage.” He would build me up no matter what brought me down. I so admired his seeming optimism and strength.
• Depression convinces you that you are nothing, that you can do nothing, and that you have nothing to give to those you love.
While I knew he suffered from bouts of depression over the years, I never knew the extent of it. He hid it really well from me. And I guess that’s the biggest irony of all. I’ve experienced an incredible outpouring of love from many of you and I’ve heard how much David has touched so many of your lives. Yet, for whatever reason, David just wasn’t able to love himself the same way. So getting back to the one word that best describes him... I looked in the thesaurus to try to find an adjective that described “a blend of opposites” more artfully, and the only term that popped up was “bi-polar.” I’m not sure that enjoying Beethoven as much as Black Sabbath constitutes bi-polar disorder, but maybe there are similarities. Bi-polar is also known as manic depression. It brings severe high moods as well as debilitating low moods. It’s caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that can make it very difficult to feel happiness or sometimes feel anything at all. I am convinced that David suffered from depression and quite likely bi-polar disorder as well. Part of what makes this tragedy so shockingly painful is how well David seemed to be doing in so many ways recently. We were all so proud of what he had accomplished. He continued to hit new milestones in his recovery efforts and felt so connected to and embraced by the AA community. His private investigation business was hitting its stride, he continued to set new personal records in his running, and he was deeply in love with his girlfriend Ruth. In fact he started and finished every conversation telling me about her. And we were recently talking about our plans for the upcoming holidays.
• Depression removes the color from your world but leaves the memory – you always know what you’re missing and can’t get back. • Depression treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Some people spend years finding the right balance of therapy, psychiatry, medication and still struggle to keep it under control. • When depression influences someone to take their own life, the individual is afraid of death, but death is the lesser of two evils. It’s been compared to a burning building in which a person is afraid to jump, but they’re also afraid of burning to death. • Sometimes the pain of living with depression is simply a worse fate for the person suffering than the permanency of death and the hurt left behind. Ultimately, for David, the flames that raged in his head were worse than the fear of falling to his death. This is how it’s possible that someone so kind-hearted, so loving, and so beloved, could leave us in this horrifying way. And so, as we all try to cope with this terrible loss of our brother, our cousin, our colleague or our friend, we can take some level of comfort in the notion that David’s painful and lifelong struggle is finally over, and that he may at last find the peace he sought so desperately during his life. I deeply loved this kind and tender guy who persevered through pain and tragedy for way too many years. And although David left us way too early, I am incredibly grateful for the time we were given with him. I hope that his legacy will not be how he died, but rather how he lived. He lived a life rich with experiences, insights, good friends, loving family and compassion and service for others. He brightened our lives, and I know that his spirit will never be extinguished from our minds and hearts. Thank you 9
THEC Rejects MTSU’s Proposal to Acquire Valparaiso Law School by KATHARINE TRAYLOR SCHAFFZIN
n October 12, 2018, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission denied Middle Tennessee State University’s Letter of Notification seeking approval of its proposed acquisition of Valparaiso Law School by a vote of eight to five. In an effort to consider MTSU’s request to open the proposed law program in August 2019, THEC implemented an expedited review process and considered the plan at a speciallycalled meeting. It considered the largest number of public comments the Commission has ever received on any proposal. The Commission engaged an external consultant, Aslanian Market Research, to consider the feasibility of MTSU’s proposal to move Valparaiso Law School to Murfreesboro and heard from several speakers at the October 12 hearing in Nashville before making its decision. THEC is responsible for reviewing and approving new academic programs offered by public institutions of higher education in the State of Tennessee. As a steward of state funds, the Commission is statutorily charged with promoting “academic quality” and avoiding “unnecessary duplication” among academic programs. The burden falls on the institution proposing a new academic program to demonstrate need justifying the allocation of State resources to support the new program. The proponent must also show a sustainable demand for the program and adequate employment opportunities for the program’s graduates. The consultant’s report concluded that THEC should not approve MTSU’s plans. In reporting to THEC, the consultant made six key findings. First, the report concluded that MTSU’s plan would increase the recruitment costs of all Tennessee public law schools without adding any value 10
by admitting more students. Second, it reported that a fourth law school in middle Tennessee would increase competition for experiential learning opportunities in the area, compounding the challenges faced by students in the bottom half of their law school classes. Third, the report explained that a seventh law school in the State would disrupt the balance of existing enrollment capacity and available legal jobs. Fourth, it concluded that a new law school would not increase access to justice in the State. Fifth, the report determined that MTSU’s Letter of Notification underestimated the costs associated with opening a law school in Murfreesboro. Finally, it concluded that Valparaiso Law School’s reputation was poor and would inhibit MTSU’s efforts to successfully launch the program. Although MTSU did not submit its Letter of Notification concerning Valparaiso Law School until July 13, 2018, it first considered the opportunity in November 2017. At that time, Valparaiso publicly announced its interest in affiliating with another university before it considered shuttering its law school. In March 2018, MTSU completed an internal feasibility report, which it attached to its Letter of Notification. Valparaiso Law School opened its doors in 1879, as a college within Valparaiso University, a Methodist institution in Indiana, and was accredited by the American Bar Association in 1929. Valparaiso competes with other law schools in the Chicago market for recruiting students and ultimately placing them in employment. Since the contraction of the legal employment market following the recession of 2008, Valparaiso faced the challenge of competing for students among a much smaller pool of
applicants. In November 2016, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar issued a public censure of Valparaiso Law School for violation of ABA Standards 501(a) and 501(b). These Standards require law schools to maintain sound admissions policies and prohibit the admission of applicants who do not appear capable of completing law school and passing a bar exam. In the Fall of 2017, Valparaiso admitted a 1L class of 29 students. In November 2017, the ABA lifted the censure against Valparaiso. Shortly thereafter, Valparaiso announced its intention to affiliate with another institution. Approval of MTSU’s Letter of Notification would have permitted a fourth law school to open in the Nashville metropolitan area and it would have been the seventh law school in the State. However, Tennessee’s two public law schools (Memphis and UT) are both within 200 miles of Nashville and both offer competitive tuition rates and a top-notch legal education to all Tennessee students who are likely to pass the bar exam and go on to successful legal careers. Among other significant factors, THEC’s consultant noted that there is already existing capacity in Tennessee’s public law schools to serve sufficient additional qualified law students to fill any projected legal employment opportunities in the State. Following THEC’s decision, Valparaiso University announced on October 31, 2018 that Valparaiso Law School would close. The school will develop a teachout plan to carry its second and third-year law students through to graduation.
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The Proposed “Public Charge” Rule is Bad for Your Health by BRITTANY BANES
ecently I spoke at a meeting for immigrant parents of children with special needs, and the room radiated with fear. Many hands went up with
questions about a new law that could force these parents to choose between their immigration status and their children’s well-being. No one should be punished for using government safety nets to which they are legally entitled. Yet under the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds rule proposed by DHS, soon millions of immigrants could be denied immigration status they have worked toward for years because they legally used public benefits including SNAP, HUD and Medicaid.
Community Legal Center partnered with Church Health to oppose this change in a comment to DHS. Besides being unfair, the proposed rule is a public health crisis waiting to happen. As members of a community with 70,000 immigrants2, Memphians should be concerned for our immigrant neighbors’ health – and our own. 12
American health costs are the highest in the world.3 As a result, 44 percent of Americans have reported not going to the doctor when they are sick or injured.4 Skipping medical treatment leads to needless suffering, expensive emergency surgeries and treatments, and death.5 Immigrants who dis-enroll from Medicaid because of the public charge rule are unlikely to have other options for health coverage or the ability to pay out of pocket, forcing them skip needed treatment. Immigrants will suffer and even die as a result, but it would be shortsighted to conclude that the health consequences stop there. By increasing the uninsured population, the proposed rule will lead to diversion of hospital resources away from preventive care, which saves costs and improves health outcomes.6 Tax dollars will instead cover uncompensated emergency care that would otherwise be covered by Medicaid at cheaper rates.7 Either way taxpayers pay, but the cost will be higher and more unpredictable without Medicaid. Strained hospital resources impact everyone
by reducing the availability of healthcare services and the overall quality of care. High rates of uninsurance and uncompensated care also cause healthcare job cuts and closure of healthcare facilities.8 Additionally, immigrants’ avoidance of medical treatment will increase the occurrence of communicable diseases like HIV and vaccine-preventable diseases like influenza, measles and polio.9 Memphis will become more vulnerable to disease at the same time that the availability of healthcare services declines. This is not just an immigration issue, it is a public health issue. Community Legal Center is advocating for fairness and public health by opposing the public charge rule.
of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (2003), available at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem. aspx?RecordID=10602. 7 Id. 8 Id. 9 Mitchell H. Katz and Dave A. Chokshi, The “Public Charge” Proposal and Public Health Implications for Patients and Clinicians, JAMA (Oct. 1, 2018), available at https:// jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2705813.
1 Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds, 83 Fed. Reg. 196 (Oct. 10, 2018). 2 New Americans in Memphis: A Snapshot of the Demographic and Economic Contributions of Immigrants in the Metro Area, New American Economy (2018), available at http://research. newamericaneconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/02/ G4G_Memphis_V4_DIGITAL-1.pdf. 3 Gary Halbert, Why US Healthcare Costs Are Highest in the World, Advisor Perspectives (March 29, 2018), available at https://www.advisorperspectives.com/ commentaries/2018/03/29/why-us-healthcare-costs-are-highestin-the-world. 4 Bruce Jaspen, Poll: 44% of Americans Skip Doctor Visits Because of Cost, Forbes (March 26, 2018), available at https:// www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2018/03/26/poll-44-ofamericans-skip-doctor-visits-due-to-cost/#391da5dd6f57. 5 See, e.g. Ian Servantes, The Exorbitant Cost of Diabetes Drugs Killed This Man, Men’s Health (April 17, 2017), available at https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19545397/high-costdiabetes-drugs-insulin-kills-man/. 6 Problems Arising From Lack of Health Insurance Ripple Through Whole Communities, The National Academies 13
A Year in Review by DANIELLE M. SALTON, Managing Attorney of Pro Bono Programs
his year has been a year of growth and success for Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS), as the end of 2018 draws near it is appropriate to reflect back to highlight the hard work undertaken by our staff and supporters. The impact made within our clients’ lives would not be possible without the passionate and diligent service provided by our attorneys, staff and volunteers. So let’s take a look back on what MALS has been up to in 2018:
January- March 2018 MALS began 2018 with a bang, filing the first of what would be many lawsuits against a local bonding company for allegedly engaging in a scheme to wrongly encumber the titles of homeowners across Shelby County. As the year progresses, we will discover many more members of our community who were affected by this scheme; our work on this matter continues. Further, our Memphis Fair Housing Center and Supportive Services for Veteran Families joined forces to help a client who needed to
escape their uninhabitable dwelling for the sake of their child’s health. In terms of outreach, the first Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis was held in mid-March; a partnership between MALS, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, University of Memphis School of Social Work, and Rhodes College. This Clinic is a first of its kind in the Memphis area; patients of the clinic are able to have their medical needs addressed while also having access to attorneys and social workers to address other needs. This quarter also marked the first full quarter of our new Legal Assistance for Victims program in providing an holistic approach in assisting clients who are victims of sexual violence and sex trafficking. During this quarter our staff attorney engaged in direct representation of clients, forging connections with community groups, and educating groups about the services offered by MALS.
April-June 2018 MALS units stayed busy through the second quarter, attending various outreach events to educate the community on the services available: our Memphis Fair 14
Housing Center staff served at the Memphis Veterans’ Legal Clinic and attended a local health fair; our Family & Elder Unit participated in a Healthy Relationship Fair at the University of Memphis and presented at Bass Berry & Sims on conservatorships; staff from all units attended the Midtown Legal Clinic on April 5.
chaired and the donors and volunteers of the 2017 Campaign for Equal Justice. The night was memorable and left attendees excited for what was to come. Please donate by either sending in your tax-deductible contributions via check or by visiting MALS website at www.malsi.org.
In June, we hosted the third annual Mary L. Wolff Dine for Justice Dinner at Napa Café; the evening provided an opportunity for many of those in the legal community and beyond to come together for an evening of fine dining and an opportunity to learn more about the services offered at MALS. The Dinner was sponsored by Wolff Ardis, Napa Café and Paragon Bank; we thank our sponsors and supporters and are already looking forward the Fourth Annual Mary L. Wolff Dine for Justice Dinner!
On July 25, 2018, MALS partnered with Bass Berry & Sims and AutoZone’s Legal Department to host the 10th Pro Bono Wills & POA Clinic at the Orange Mound Community Center. Over 30 volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and summer associates from Bass Berry and AutoZone came out to prepare wills, power of attorneys, and healthcare directives for seniors in the Orange Mound Community.
During the second quarter, many of our clients experienced success with their cases. Our family law attorney was able to assist several clients in establishing and modifying child support to ensure their children have the financial support necessary; for one client in particular we were able to establish child support in the amount of $410.00 and arrears in the amount of $41,000.00!
In August, we began our new Restoration of Rights Externship Program in partnership with The University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
July-September 2018 In July Sharon Ryan Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of International Paper, and her husband Bill opened their home to kick off the 2018 Campaign for Equal Justice, while recognizing the 2018 Justice for All Ball Host Committee, which they 15
and renewed our partnership with The University of Memphis, School of Social Work. Student Attorney David “Hawk” Allen and Pro Bono Attorney Amber Floyd assisted members of our community with nonconviction expungements and began preparing petitions for restoration of civic rights. In the first semester, we assisted 37 clients with non-conviction expungements, and have identified more clients who will receive assistance in the coming months in restoring their rights as citizens. Through our partnership with the School of Social Work, we now have a Master of Social Work candidate, Hanna Callicutt, on board to serve the needs of our client base.
October-December 2018 October is Pro Bono Month, and this year was jampacked with events to meet the needs of our community. In October, in addition to our regularly-scheduled clinics and programs, MALS participated in Project Homeless Connect, Faith & Justice University, and a Wills and Power of Attorney Clinic. In partnership with the Memphis Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee, we hosted the 2018 Pro Bono Awards Luncheon at International Paper, recognizing several members of the legal community for their outstanding commitment in the area of pro bono service. This year we recognized Judge Deborah M. Henderson; Attorneys John Speer, Prince Chambliss, Jr., Ryan Spickard and Lani Lester; International Paper; Butler Snow; and law students Joshua Warren and David “Hawk” Allen. 16
The Young Lawyers’ Committee of the Campaign for Equal Justice hosted a fun-filled Trivia Night at Loflin Yard in late October. In a relaxed atmosphere, young lawyers and those young at heart came together to support the mission of MALS and to battle it out to see who knew the most when it came to random trivia questions. The victors were “Paper Chasers” from International Paper, though team “Torts Illustrated: Non-Suit Edition” took home the trophy for “Best Team Name!” On October 27, 2018, MALS hosted our annual Justice for All Ball (“JFAB”). Under the leadership of Lauran Stimac and the JFAB Planning Committee, this year’s JFAB was even better than the last! Attendees danced the night away to the tunes of the Peabody Rockets, enjoyed delicious samplings from Restaurant Iris, and had pictures taken with superheroes (real and imaginary). This year closes with MALS Board and Staff sponsoring the second Saturday Legal Aid Clinic. It has been an extremely successful year for the Clinic, with us helping on average 80 clients per month through the clinic. If your firm or organization would like to sponsor a Clinic in 2019, please contact Danielle Salton at email@example.com! This past year has been quite an experience; we look forward to more growth and success in 2019 with the continuing support of you-the Legal Community and other supporters
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at The Peabody Hotel
2018 Memphis Bar Association’s Annual Meeting Awards:
2018 WJ Michael Cody Access to Justice Award, presented to: Katrice Feild and Sehrish Siddiqui 2018 Sam A Myar Jr Memorial Award, presented to: Andre Mathis 2018 Judge Turner Lawyers’ Lawyer Award, presented to: Amy Amundsen 2018 President’s Award, presented to: Christy Washington
INTRODUCING THE 2019 MBA BOARD President, Annie Christoff Vice President, Lucie Brackin Secretary/Treasurer, Peter Gee Returning Board members: David Bearman Sherry Brooks Frank Cantrell Leslie Gattas Nicole Grida Steve Leffler Doug Halijan
Matt May Jim Newsom Maggie Cooper Roney Estelle Winett
New Board members:
Jennifer Nichols Adam Johnson Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins Lauran Stimac LaQuita Stokes Judicial Commissioner Shayla Purifoy Josh Wallis
New Section Representatives (elected): Laurie Christensen Chasity Grice
2019 YLD President: Natalie Bursi
Judge Dandridge By PRESTON BATTLE
Tell me a little bit about the history of Environmental Court. Environmental Court is such a unique, specialty court. Judge Potter and others created the Environmental Court over 30 years ago. One of the most important aspects of the Court is the impact it has on our communities. I think this is what I love most about Environmental Court. When Judge Potter retired, he left the Court in great shape. We affectionately call the court "Potter's House" or the "House That Potter Built." Judge Potter saw a need in the community and he felt the court was what the community needed. You typically don't see this often, but with a new court, Judge Potter had to go out and get support for the innovative court. It's not like a system that was already in place, like the criminal justice system where there is no need for somebody to have to show the need for criminal courts. I find it amazing that Judge Potter knew what was needed in the community, and he was right. He was intricately involved with the many different governmental agencies and departments that impact the court such as code enforcement, health department, fire department and others. What does Environmental Court look like now? So, you look at the court now, and you are looking at an average of 1,000 to 1,500 cases a month. I, along with Referees John Cameron and Lisa Harris, have City of Memphis Code Enforcement housing cases, Shelby County Health Department cases, zoning cases, Shelby 18
County Construction Code Department cases, animal cases, traffic cases, Highway Patrol cases, Neighborhood Preservation Act cases (which is about 1,000 cases by itself ), criminal nuisance actions, criminal littering cases and wildlife cases, all brought before Environmental Court. Really, anything related to the environment or that it touches and has some kind of impact on the environment comes before the Court. In fact, we are about to get a whole new set of environmental cases dealing with illegal dumping, trash and solid waste issues. The City of Memphis is creating a whole new environmentally-focused department. The creation of this new department was happening as I was leaving as deputy director of Code Enforcement, so I'm looking forward to that. I think you touched on an important point: There was a criminal justice system in place already. And in that system, we are all aware of how issues get resolved. But, with environmental issues, like blight and issues that are unique to Memphis and this community, it seems like there wasn't a system in place to handle those issues, but they were still there. Yes, there were environmental issues comingled with other cases in municipal courts, but those environmental cases did not get the attention that they deserved like the other cases. It takes a specialized court like Environmental Court to handle these unique issues. From my limited time on the bench, I developed the saying that Environmental
Court really functions as a "court of compliance." When you compare it to some other courts, it doesn't really look the same. Other courts may be more adversarial where you may have lawyers who come in, they may exchange discovery and then you are looking for a trial date, it's what we think of as the traditional adversarial system. However, in Environmental Court, the focus is really on determining the proper avenue to compliance, assuming that all parties agree that the defendant is not in compliance with the law. I will typically ask how long it is going to take for the defendant to come into compliance, or maybe I will ask if a defendant was aware of, or had knowledge of a particular ordinance. Sometimes, a defendant will not know that he, she, was in violation, and sometimes they must be informed about the law and given time to comply. In many cases, there are challenging cases that come before the court where there are people who have limited means and it becomes difficult for them to come into compliance. In those cases, additional resources may be needed to assist in bringing the property into compliance. It's really a community effort. We rely on your neighbors to maintain a safe and viable community. So, what happens when someone falls on hard times? Sometimes, people make just enough to pay the mortgage. I often find myself thinking: what are the resources that we must assist in correcting this code violation and how long is it going to take? In some cases, this Court must plan for long-term solutions. Obviously, though, there is more than one side: there is a side that is trying to bring you into compliance; there is a side that needs to be put into compliance. But are you saying it's less of a winner/loser-type-situation, which you would maybe find in other courts? Oftentimes, that is correct. There are only a couple of occasions that we find a true adversarial proceeding in Environmental Court. For the most part, it's just a court of compliance. And for many years, that's how Judge Potter ran it. People would get mad, asking: "how can a case take five years to come into compliance?" Well guess what? Crosstown took a lot longer than that [to get into compliance], and now look at it! We have examples of cases that have taken some time to come into compliance
in Environmental Court, but when they come into compliance, the result can be amazing! And then you have historic landmarks and those properties are afforded additional protections. Yes, there may be a code violation on the property. And yes, maybe some buildings need to be demolished. But as part of the process, I also get to listen to whether people think a particular building is something that we ought to try to save, as opposed to getting rid of it. So, you need a court like this that understands the dynamics of these kinds of challenges and can come up with the best approach. How has the court been shaped by organizations like departments in the City and County governments, as well as something like the Neighborhood Preservation Clinic at Memphis Law? Not only did there need to be a court for compliance, but it seems like there needs to be a space in which these departments and programs can come together to advocate and share ideas. How have these groups and entities shaped the cases before the court? They have shaped the court a lot. When I was with the city Attorney Office, we used to call them "toolsâ€? or â€œresources.â€? We would see a problem, like blight or dilapidated structures, so, we would try to identify or come up with the essential tools that we could use to solve some of these problems. We were trying to change ordinances, amend and create statues to give us new tools to solve challenging problems. The nonprofits and community groups are also key tools. Clean Memphis, City Beautiful, and many other agencies and nonprofits assist the court in solving a lot of these issues. These helpful organizations are out there in the community doing great things. You tap into those resources and bring them into court. Another great resource has been the University of Memphis Law School Legal Clinic students who litigate cases in Environmental Court. You were one of the first to really bring cases under that new statute here in Environmental Court in Shelby County, is that right? How did these issues arise? That's right. The Neighborhood Preservation Act was already in place, but Steve Barlow, who is currently 19
the Director of Neighborhood Preservation Inc., came up with the idea to start bringing these cases before Environmental Court. Former Mayor AC Wharton really was instrumental in making sure that it was implemented. Now we have thousands of these NPA cases, and it clearly helped fill a void the cityâ€™s prosecution under the NPA. And I really love that when Mayor Strickland was elected, he was right in line with continuing our progress and has been a strong advocate. I love the NPA and I think it's been a tremendous asset for the city, for property owners and for nonprofits. As for how the issues came about, I was the city attorney assigned to Code Enforcement to deal with some of the issues that the department of Code Enforcement had. You asked about impact, and you know, the housing crisis in 2007 and 2008 is really something that brought the Environmental Court to the next level. There had been a slow progression of issues, but when the housing bubble and crash happened, we began seeing a lot of these structures fall into disrepair. Really, the Great Recession accelerated everything for Environmental Court. The problems became bigger than our thencurrent system could handle. And it was around that time when the City of Memphis created its own division for code enforcement, called Community Enhancement. The City Council passed a resolution giving the City of Memphis $25 million ($5 million over five years) for the sole purpose of demolishing these dilapidated structures that had popped up everywhere. The city wanted to make sure due process was afforded and it became clear in the City Attorney's office that it would be assuring due process was going to be the key in getting all these blighted properties demolished. During the height of the cityâ€™s program, I streamlined the entire process so that it would take maybe 90-120 days from the time that the properties were referred to us for condemnation to being demolished. Usually, it would take years from the time of condemnation to reach the demolition stage. Around 2012, the city demolished 100 homes a month for a total of over 1,200 home demolished in just that year. I came up with the idea that, rather than having to bid on the separate properties per contractor, why don't we just set 20
the rates and have contractors come in as a pool and bid on them? So, we would condemn a house, and then assign a contractor for demolition. It was really working, and that's how I really became involved with addressing blighted properties. Which leads me to: how does blight happen? Well, you have a lot of different dynamics. Letâ€™s say we single in on just one house that was built in 1920. So, in 1950, what is that house going to look like assuming that there has been no maintenance, and no one has taken care of that house? What about 1990? 2020? Just the mere passage of time can create blight, and that's really for any property: you need to maintain it. When your car is broken, you can take it somewhere to get fixed. You cannot do that with a house. Also, what about changing neighborhoods and communities? The demographics in the City of Memphis have changed drastically in the past 30-40 years. The neighborhood that I grew up in South Memphis, for example, if you go back then and look at it now, it looks very different compared to what it was back when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. And then across the city, you have people who are simply "violators," or who are out of compliance and have no desire to comply. You bring that element into a neighborhood where the environmental code issues are ignored, then you add crime, and you have got yourself a problem. It spreads. Blight is like a contagious disease that spreads. Unless you put something there to cure it, trust me, it will not be self-contained. It will make people run away and abandon neighborhoods. Hence the creation of Environmental Court? Do you see the court as a blocker, something that gets put into the "bloodstream" of a neighborhood that can hopefully stop (or slow) the disease? Yes, in a way. You must have a vision, and you have to have community partners. You have to get everyone involved. We need to have everyone at the table to see where we are going with this. Prior to the various blight summits that we've had in the past, you had many different agencies touching on common and overlapping issues, but no one knew what anyone else was doing. continued on page 22
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There was no connection. Environmental Court became the connector! As long as I was a city attorney, blight was either No. 1 or No. 2 on the agenda dating back to 2007. It never just goes away on its own. What does the Dandridge era look like? First, I have to do an assessment of what is working and what is not. One thing we know for sure is that, under Judge Potter, so much was working well. And now, we are looking at how we can change some things to make them better, while improving on others as well. How can we make the Court more efficient, effective and responsive for the citizens? In addition to all other improvements, we also want to expand the court and go into more communities. Since I've gotten here, I've started to meet with all the community groups and introduced myself as the new judge. Bringing in community partners and resources is really working. I did a lot of church visiting during my campaign for office. How much impact can a church have on our communities? What about other nonprofits? Can they provide assistance to some of the challenges we face? What about government agencies or departments? What about the City of Memphis and Shelby County governments? The answers are all a resounding, "yes," and I think many of these groups are on the same page. And I keep looking for additional tools and resources to assist us in solving the challenges we face, and we see them more and more all the time. Anytime I see a new tool or resource that can help the court, I want to know more about it. What do you want people to know before walking into your court? You know if a defendant comes before me, everything is fresh for me. Sometimes, people are frustrated, maybe the case is 2-3 years old, but I want people to know it's maybe 2-3 months old for me, and I am making an assessment of the parties and the situation. I am bringing a fresh look to each case, and I want fresh ideas. Maybe this case has been hanging over the parties' heads for years, but I want them to come in fresh and tell me what they think and to let me know how we are going to come into compliance. That is the No. 1 issue for me. 22
Why was now the right time to become a judge? Well, for one, when Judge Potter told me he was stepping down, it was a tremendous honor that he wanted me to take his seat. I had been practicing for a while, all my children are now in college, and it's just a perfect time for me to transition to the bench. The campaigning part was not fun, but one beautiful part of it was that I was able to go out there and knock on doors and meet the many diverse people who make up our communities. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. People on the campaign trail would say to me "you're not coming back [after the election]," but they are seeing that I am coming back to them and educating people about the court and listening to the general concerns. What are some of your hobbies and passions? I didn't have much time for hobbies before, but I am finding time now. For one, I am a runner. I ran track in college and I still like to run today. Also, I read a lot and, in particular, I have been reading a lot about Memphis. I have been reading about the architects who built valuable structures here, and I am learning about the meaning behind the buildings and their histories. You need to have an appreciation of history to appreciate this area— this city and this county. Plus, I am also a huge history buff. I was actually a history major before I switched to pre-law, and that history background has never left me. Another passion of mine is mentoring. I taught my children how to read at an early age and I would still love to teach and to mentor children. I was an adjunct professor at both LeMoyne-Owen College and Belhaven University. Lastly, I love helping others. Volunteering and getting involved with nonprofits, all these endeavors are in line with what I am doing with Environmental Court—making an impact and a difference.
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Judge Jennifer J. Mitchell
ennifer J. Mitchell was elected in 2018 to sit as Judge of Division 10 of the Criminal Court of Tennessee for the Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis. A life-long Memphian, she graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in Criminal Justice and obtained a
master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Memphis. She received her law degree
from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2001. She formerly practiced under the Law Office of Jennifer J. Mitchell, PLLC. She is married to Tony Mitchell, Sr., and is the mother of five.
What interested you in law? I have been interested in the law as long as I can remember. I have also been particularly interested in criminal law. Early on in my legal career I tried to do other types of law and I always came back to criminal law. I think I liked it because it dealt with people. Tell us your journey to the bench. As I said at my swearing–in ceremony, my steps have been, and still are, ordered by the Lord. Since becoming judge, I have had a couple of people who have known me my entire legal career and they have told me that they always knew this is where I would be someday. But of course, I didn’t know that; nor could I see it. All I have ever known was that I have a heart for people and I have a passion for justice. Prior to going to law school, I served the people at 24
the Shelby County Correctional Center as a counselor in women’s treatment. I worked for Youth Villages in residential treatment with underserved youth. I also worked in Dyersburg, TN with the chronically mentally ill population operating a Day Treatment Program. While I was still in law school, I began clerking for the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office. Once I finished school and passed the bar I immediately began practicing in that office. In that capacity as a Public Defender I was able to serve a multitude of people with an assortment of issues. But the one thing they had in common was that they needed help and they couldn’t afford a lawyer. It was in this position that I learned that everyone at 201 Poplar is not a criminal. Many of the people were there because of life circumstances. After having practiced in that capacity for 13 years, I went back into private practice. After having been in
private practice for a year or so I began applying for jobs in the legal field with absolutely no success. It was at this point that my direct path to the bench was beginning, and I must emphasize beginning, to come into focus. I really didn’t recognize where I was headed until I began the appointment process for this seat. Once the path became clear I knew what had to be done. I had to work for it. It was only after the election and the smoke began to clear that I realized that my steps were ordered by God all along and had been for some time.
What are your top five suggestions for those who practice before you in Division 10? 1. Please take the time to go through the paperwork with your clients carefully before submitting it to the court, especially probation orders so the defendant will know what the expectations are for completing probation/diversion successfully.
During your 13 years as an Assistant Public Defender, what do you see as the greatest needs of those Shelby County residents living in poverty? Memphis and Shelby County still needs to provide gainful employment for all. Employers are going to have to hire convicted felons. Those people, citizens who have been convicted of a felony, are going to return to our community at some point and they are going to need work. If employers are not willing to hire them then what are they to do? Employers are going to have to be creative and give people a chance. We are also disproportionately uneducated. Everyone is not college bound. And there is nothing wrong with that. But everyone needs a skill of some sort. We are going to have to do a better job at educating our community and equipping them with training and skills for the workforce, so they can be productive.
3. I am going to begin to hold attorneys more accountable by limiting report dates especially on minor offenses.
What aspects of this job have surprised you so far? There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that most people don’t know anything about. There are cases that must be reviewed and orders written. There is always someone petitioning the court for something and the judge must review those matters and determine if the matter needs to be heard or not. Either way, there must be an order written in that matter. I used to wonder why I would see certain judges with those carts on wheels taking working home. Well let’s just say, I have one of those carts now.
2. I believe in trying to help people get their lives back on track if I can. However, please don’t take my kindness for weakness.
4. It is very important that everyone be respectful in my courtroom. There is a way to say anything. 5. Filling paperwork out completely is becoming a stickler of mine. Please take the time to do so.
Mediation Nick Rice Rule 31 Mediator
Circuit Court Report by STEPHEN LEFFLER
Covers August 1, 2018 to November 2, 2018 DIV. 1: FELICIA CORBIN-JOHNSON 1. CT-002342-14: 9-13-18, Lacuria Guy v. Keonna Matlock, Auto Accident, Jury, Allen Gressett for Plaintiff, Craig Flood for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for $17,343.28 (Medical Expenses: $13,443.28; Pain and Suffering: $2,500.00; Out-of-pocket Expenses: $1,400.0). 2. CT-000632-17: 11-6-18, James Ivy v. Memphis Light Gas and Water, GTLA (Workers Compensation), NonJury, Steve Taylor for Plaintiff, Sean Antone Hunt for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for 18% to the Body as a Whole, Medical bills: $10,000.00, Permanent Partial Disability: $50,755.29, Attorney Fees: $13,899.15, Expenses: $4,841.32.
DIV. 2: JAMES F. RUSSELL
2. CT-003691-13: 10-3-18, Morreco and Avian Coleman v. City of Memphis, GTLA (Auto Accident), NonJury, Ronald Krelstein for Plaintiff, Freeman Foster for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for $289,667.82 (Medical Bills: $173,189.00; Wage Loss: $28,000.00; Pain and suffering: $500,000.00; Less $8,681.00 Medical Expenses paid by Defendant and 40% Comparative Fault = $277,003.20 to Morreco Coleman; Consortium Damages: $7,000.00 less 40% Comparative Fault = $2,800.00 to Avian Coleman; Discretionary Costs: $9,864.62). 3. CT-001025-15: 10-12-18, Gloria Walker, Individually and Kalena Jones as Mother and Next Friend of Makayla Beauregard and Aleah Bearegard v. Jimmie Lamb, Auto Accident, Jury, Allen Gressett for Plaintiff, Christopher S. Marshburn for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for Gloria Walker for $10,000.00, for Makayla Beauregard for $183.00 and Aleah Bearegard for $183.00.
No cases tried to verdict this reporting period DIV. 5: RHYNETTE HURD DIV. 3: VALERIE L. SMITH 1. CT-003974-17: 10-30-18, Kemia Thomas v. Karen Henley, Auto Accident, Jury, David Mays for Plaintiff, Nicholas J. Owens, Jr. and Christopher Sobczak for Defendant, Plaintiff Gross Verdict for $20,000.00 (Medical Expenses: $3,863.00, Pain and Suffering: $16,137.00) less 49% comparative for Net Verdict of $10,200.00.
DIV. 4: GINA C. HIGGINS 1. CT-004214-15: 9-11-18, Carolyn Hale v. Kristian Hopper, Auto Accident, Jury, Russell B. Jordan and Peter Gee for Plaintiff, H. Lynne Smith for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for $12,417.12 (Medical Expenses: $9,417.12, Pain and Suffering: $1,000.00, Loss of Enjoyment of Life: $2,000.00). 26
1. CT-000351-16: 5-17-18, Eimisha Wicks v. Blythe Nicole Johnson and Delana Johnson, Auto Accident, Jury, W. David Cheek for Plaintiff, Nicholas J. Owens, Jr. for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for $994.00 (Stipulated Liability). 2. CT-000584-16: 8-1-18, James E. Spencer, Jr. and Melissa Spencer v. Purple Haze, LLC, Willie D. Laury (Counter-Claimant) and John Doe, Assault and Battery, Jury, Thomas E. Hansom and Jean E. Markowitz for Plaintiff, Cannon F. Allen for Purple Haze, LLC, Laura Ann E. Bailey for Defendant-Willie D. Laury, Judgment for Counter-Claimant, Willie D. Laury for $30,000.00 (Compensatory Damages: $20,000.00, Punitive Damages: $10,000.00). 3. CT-004145-14: 11-1-18, Simon Miller v. Rebecca Smith and Jennie Smith, Auto Accident (Stipulated Liability), Jury, W. David Cheek for Plaintiff, Nicholas
J. Owens, Jr. for Defendant, Plaintiff verdict for $28,686.85 (Gross Damages: $31,002.00 consisting of Medical Expenses: $26,625.00; Lost Earnings: $1,877.00; Pain and suffering: $2,500.00, reduced by 7.5% comparative fault).
DIV. 6: JERRY STOKES 1. CT-001308-14: 8-6-18, Patricia M. Thompson v. James Harris, Auto Accident, Jury, Darrell Blanton for Plaintiff, James E. Conley, Jr., for Defendant, Plaintiff verdict: Gross Damages - $30.000.00 Reduced by 40% plaintiff fault; Net verdict: $18,000.00. 2. CT-004221-15,: 8-27-18, Rholando Jennings and D’juana Polk v. Charles Jones and Lannie Phillips, Auto Accident, Jury, Peter B. Gee, Jr., Quinton E. Thompson and William T. Hackett for Plaintiff-Rholando Jennings, Allen Gressett for Plaintiff-D’Juana Polk, H. Lynne Smith for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for Rholando Jennings for $50,000.00 (Medical Expenses: $21,000.00, Pain and Suffering: $29,000.00; Plaintiff Verdict for D’Juana Polk for $35,000.00 (Medical Expenses: $9,000.00, Pain and Suffering: $8,000.00, Loss of Enjoyment of Life: $18,000.00) 3. CT-001040-15: 9-7-18, Autrinice Parson and Traci Spruille, as Mother and Next Friend of Logan Parson v. Teresa Price, Auto Accident, Jury, W. David Cheek and Kelly N. Wilson for Plaintiffs, Louis P. Chiozza, Jr. and James D. Duckworth for Defendants; Plaintiff Verdict for Autrinice Parson for $22,800.00 and for Logan Parson for $18,000.00.
2. CT-000730-17: 10-16-18, Marlon Hernandez v. Rony Martinez d/b/a Rony’s Auto Repair, Breach of Contract, Non-Jury, Drayton Berkley for Plaintiff, Defendant, Pro Se, Defense verdict acknowledging validity of Mechanics and Materialman’s lien in favor of Defendant for $650.00. 3. CT-001283-16: 11-2-18, Tiffany C. Roby. v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, and U.S. Bank, N.A., Consumer Fraud, Jury, Kevin A. Snider for Plaintiff, Lauren Paxton Roberts for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for $250,000.00.
DIV. 8: ROBERT S. WEISS 1. CT-003328-13,:8-1-18, Barbara Everett v. Memphis Light, Gas and Water, GTLA (Premises Liability), NonJury, David Cheek for Plaintiff, Betty Ann Milligan, Todd Williams and Sasha Gilmore for Defendant, Defense Verdict (Insufficient Proof of Actual or Constructive Notice).
DIV. 9: DAVID M. RUDOLPH / YOLANDA R. KIGHT 1. CT-000763-17: 8-22-18, Boaz Home Improvement and Construction Company, LLC v. New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Breach of Contract (Construction), Non-Jury, Gerald S. Green for Plaintiff, Richard D. Bennett and Henry B. Talbot for Defendant, Defense Verdict on Counter-Claim for $143,551.90 plus attorney fees.
4. CT-003285/3286-11: 10-31-18, Gardenia Parker, Individually and as Next of Kin of Bessie Parker and William Parker v. Epstein Enterprises, LLC and Longview Heights Partners, Dog Bite, Jury, William A. Buckley III and Daryl A. Gray for Plaintiff, Larry Weissman and Robert Moore for Defendant, Plaintiff Verdict for $2,500,000.00 (Gardenia Parker: $500,000.00; Conscious pain and suffering for William Parker before death: $1,500,000.00; Loss of consortium for Bessie Parker: $250,000.00; Loss of consortium for Gardenia Parker: $250,000.00)
DIV. 7: MARY L. WAGNER 1. CT-005190-16: 8-20-18, Derek Marton v.Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division , GTLA (Auto Accident), Non-Jury, Shannon Toon for Plaintiff, Thomas Branch for Defendant, Defense Verdict. 27
From the Wellness Committee:
Practicing Healthy Habits for the Holidays by YVETTE H. KIRK, ESQ.
f you feel like you blinked and suddenly realized 2018 is almost over, you are not alone. Somehow this year has flown by, which means that all those year-end festivities are upon us. This time of year is a great time to catch up with friends and family, although it brings with it added stress, added bloat, and, generally, a few added pounds. While these things are just an inevitable part of this party season, there are some practices you can employ to better manage stress, decrease bloat, and keep added pounds in check. 1. Eat mindfully: This simple practice is about bringing awareness to the food you are putting into your body. When you are eating, whether it is at a party or at home, take time to enjoy the food. Take time to think about the taste. Make one plate at a time and take time to let your body digest the food. Before making another plate, ask yourself, “Would I eat an apple right now?” If so, then you’re probably still hungry, and you should reach for that apple, or at least go for the fruit plate. 28
2. Stay hydrated: First, know you are likely dehydrated, even as you are reading this. You should be drinking at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weigh 160 lbs., then you should drink at least 80 oz of water each day. Another way of keeping your body hydrated is to eat more fruit. Fruit has a high water content, but also provides critical phytonutrients to help our bodies better combat all that added stress, food, and germs we are inundated with this season. Step up your water’s hydrating effects (and anti-bloat power) by adding a juiced lemon, especially first thing in the morning. Keep the hydration going and help ease the stress of the holidays on your liver by practicing fat free (and protein free) mornings. Try just eating fruit before noon--a lot of it. This can keep your liver detoxing while providing all the nutrients and energy your body needs to get through the morning. Try this antioxidant-packed Liver Rescue Smoothie1 to kick your morning off right: • 2 bananas • 1 pitaya (dragon fruit), or ½ cup (1 packet) frozen pitaya • 2 cups wild blueberries (frozen) • Blend with water or coconut water
3. Maintain your normal routine: If you are already employing a lot of healthy habits, keep it up! Even if you had one too many slices of pie last night, wake up, have your lemon water, and start the next day employing all your healthy habits as usual. Do not waste time beating yourself up. Being healthy is not a sprint, it is a marathon. If you are employing healthy habits 80% of the time, your body can better handle that 20% you veer off course. Every meal is an opportunity to choose health. Healthy people do not completely abstain from all pie, they just eat a slice and then follow their normal healthy eating routine as usual. If you have an indulgent meal, make the next one healthy. Have compassion for yourself and do not waste time wallowing.
4. Have a meditation practice: Meditation does not require sitting still in a room, trying to focus on your breath. You can practice meditation in other ways. Take a walk and notice nature around you. Birdwatch, stargaze, or watch the sunset and try to connect with it. These practices can help us relax, destress, and be more present in every situation. Most of all, just remind yourself of why you go to all those parties and make the trek to your aunt’s house for the feast--it is to be with friends and family. Practice gratitude for those people every day. If you practice mindful eating, stay hydrated, stick to a healthy routine, and practice some sort of meditation, then you will have the happiest and healthiest holiday season yet!
experience, Knowledge, integrity… George Brown and James Lockard are highly effective mediators who have helped parties resolve hundreds of civil matters through the mediation process. Both employ a combination of facilitative and evaluative mediation styles. Each has completed state certified 40-hour mediation and advanced mediation training courses, and are approved Rule 31 mediators. Their background, experience and skill make them very successful mediators with a proven track record for resolving cases. Hon. George H. Brown, Jr. (ret)
James O. Lockard, Esq.
Resolute Systems, LLC Mediation, aRbitRation & adR ConSuLting
To schedule a case with Judge Brown or James Lockard, call Mike Weinzierl at 901-523-2930 (ext. 125) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org 1-901-523-2930 • Fax: 1-901-523-2931 707 adams avenue, Memphis, tn 38105 www. MemphisMediators.com
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Attorney Laura Bailey earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2003 and her juris doctor from the University of Memphisâ€™ Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2008. She has extensive experience in employment law, personal injury and workersâ€™ compensation. Laura is passionate about the rights of people with disabilities and has taken pro bono cases fighting for their right to medical care. Laura and her husband, Mark, are proud parents to two children.
Laura recently accepted an appointment from the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve as a Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing Committee member and has served on the board of the Community Legal Center. Other distinguished honors include the Super Lawyers 2018 Rising Star Award in the appellate category, given to only 2.5 percent of lawyers per state, and recognition by the Tennessee Supreme Court as 2018 Attorney for Justice.
MALLORY FARRAR Mallory has accepted a position at Bass Berry & Sims. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and a B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Mallory provides healthcare regulatory counsel as it relates to compliance, operational and transactional matter at Bass, Berry & Sims.
The Crone Law Firm founder and attorney, Alan Crone, was named a Super Lawyer, in a list issued annually by Thomson Reuters. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Fewer than 2.5 percent of all attorneys in the Mid-South are selected as Super Lawyers. Alan earned his undergraduate degree from Memphis State University in 1987 and completed his Juris Doctor at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 1990. Former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist appointed him as Chief Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Employment Security in 1995. Crone was an assistant Shelby County attorney from 1996 to 2002. He also served as Chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party from 1999 to 2003. Crone became a member of the Memphis City Council in 2015 and now serves as Special Counsel to the Mayor for City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. A fifth generation Memphian, Alan is an ordained Roman Catholic Deacon, voracious reader and a devoted husband and father.
CHEYNE W. HARRIS Cheyne W. Harris has accepted an associate position at Bass Berry & Sims. He was previously an attorney with Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh, PLLC. Before practicing law, Harris worked as a city planner for a Tennessee municipality where he worked with city officials on commercial and residential development projects and related zoning and variance matters. Harris earned a law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and a BLA from Mississippi State University. 31
EARL W. HOUSTON, II Earl, a director and shareholder with the Memphis-based law firm of Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston, P.C., has been appointed to an ex officio position on the USLAW Network board of directors, representing the organization’s Diversity Council. In this new position, Houston will be the communications link between USLAW Network’s board of directors and its Diversity Council, which serves as a forum through which USLAW members firms and clients can discuss best practices in matters of diversity and inclusion, recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion. CATHERINE G. NORTON Catherine G. Norton has recently joined Bass, Berry & Simms where she assists clients with the design, implementation and administration of qualified benefit plans, health and welfare benefit plans, and deferred compensation packages. She earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a B.B.A. from Southern Methodist University. LARRY RICE Larry Rice has earned the distinction of being named a Mid-South Super Lawyer in family law every year since 2008. Rice has also been included in the Top 100 Lawyers in Tennessee in all fields for multiple years. He is a senior member at Rice Amundsen Caperton PLLC in Memphis, Tennessee, and is certified as a Family Law Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
SUBMIT YOUR NEWS AND UPDATES ONLINE AT: WWW.MEMPHISBAR.ORG/BLOG/SUBMIT-CONTENT If you are an MBA member in good standing and you’ve moved, been promoted, hired an associate, taken on a partner, or received an award, we’d like to hear from you. Talks, speeches, CLE presentations and political announcements are not accepted. In addition, we will not print notices of honors determined by other publications (e.g., Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers). Notices are limited to 100 words; they are printed at no cost to members and are subject to editing. E-mail your notice and hi-resolution photo (300 dpi) to email@example.com.
BRICE TIMMONS Brice Timmons has been named a shareholder of Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee, P.C. “Brice’s expansive knowledge in civil litigation, family law and student and civil rights law enhances our ability to provide prompt response and more diverse services to our clients,” said Stevan Black, founding member of the firm. BRAD TRAMMELL Brad Trammell, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Memphis office, has been named an "IP Star" in the 2018 edition of Managing Intellectual Property's IP Handbook, an annual publication which recognizes leading law f irms and lawyers in intellectual property. Mr. Trammell concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation. CHRIS WEBB Chris Webb has been named a shareholder of Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee, P.C. “Chris’ expertise and extensive background in handling vaccination injury cases makes him a valuable asset, said Stevan Black, founding member of the firm.
LEIGH-TAYLOR WHITE Attorney Leigh-Taylor White with Shea Moskovitz & McGhee has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers. She is a member of the Memphis Bar Association (and has served as president of the MBA Family Law Section), the Tennessee Bar Association and the Mississippi Bar Association. White concentrates her practice in the areas of divorce, child custody/parenting, alimony, child support, adoption, parentage/paternity, and prenuptial agreements. She regularly provides pro bono legal services for Memphis Area Legal Services and the Community Legal Center.
JOCELYN WURZBURG A fifth-generation Memphian and dedicated trailblazer, Jocelyn Wurzburg has won the AWA Marion Griffin-Frances Loring award. This honor is especially dear to her as Frances Loring was her friend and legal mentor.A founding member of the Association for Women Attorneys (AWA), Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (T-LAW), and the Mediation Association of Tennessee,
Ms. Wurzburg is former president of the Memphis Bar Association (MBA) Family Law and ADR sections. Ms. Wurzburg has won numerous awards for her civil rights and feminist activities, including Women of Achievement for Courage, the Legacy Award from the Womenâ€™s Foundation, the Tennessee Tribune Person of the Year, Heritage Trail Award, Planned Parenthoodâ€™s Lifetime of Achievement award and the NAACP Service Award, as well as an annual Civil Rights award given by the Tennessee Human Rights Commission that bears her name.
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