News and Publications


The Board of Professional Responsibility provides these online resources to help keep the legal community and the public informed about the Board's actions and legal happenings throughout the state of Tennessee.

Latest News

 

Ethics Workshop 2018

The Board of Professional Responsibility would like to thank everyone involved in helping to make the recent annual Ethics Workshop at the Nashville School of Law a huge success.  Based on the positive feedback from this year’s 400 attendees, the speakers at the November 2nd workshop did a wonderful job and were extremely well-received. The following is a list of the speakers and the topics they covered:

  • William T.  Ramsey, Esq. and Jordan McQuown: “Attorney’s Competent Use of Technology”
  • Lisa Smith, Esq.:  “Girl Walks Out of a Bar” (Substance Abuse issues)
  • Krisann Hodges, Esq.:  “Ethics from Hollywood”
  • Judge Michael Binkley, Judge Phillip Robinson, and Judge Philip E. Smith:  “Ethical Issues in Domestic Relations”
  • Deborah Taylor Tate, AOC Director and Judge Duane Slone:  “The Opioid Epidemic”
  • Justice Roger A. Page and Judge Brandon Gibson:  “Professionalism and Social Media”
  • Judge Frank  Clement:  “Professionalism”
  • Gail Ashworth, Esq., Brigid Carpenter, Esq., Jonathan Cole, Esq., Charles Grant, Esq., Krisann Hodges, Esq., Beverly P. Sharpe, Esq., and A. Russell Willis, Esq.:  “Mock Disciplinary Hearing”

The photo on the home page is of Director Deborah Taylor Tate of the Administrative Office of the Courts and Judge Duane Sloane speaking at the Ethics Workshop about our nation's current opioid epidemic. The misuse of opiods is affecting the administration of justice across the United States. State courts handle 95% of all litigation in the country and are positioned to play a crucial role in combatting the opiod epidemic. (Click here to read about "Opioids and the Courts.") To address the issue and promote solutions, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) established the National Judicial Opiod Task Force (NJOTF) in August 2017. The NJOTF will make recommendations  to courts at every level to support the Judiciary and help individuals make a successful recovery. Click here to learn more about the National Judicial Opiod Task Force.  Use the following link to learn about Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders.

Three New Formal Ethics Opinions

The Board of Professional Responsibility recently issued two new Formal Ethics Opinions. The first Formal Ethics Opinion, 2017-F-163, is regarding Prosecutors' ethical obligations to disclose information favorable to the defense. Click here to read Formal Ethics Opinion 2017-F-163.

The second Formal Ethics Opinion, 2018-F-165, is regarding the ethical implications of a website owned and operated by a company on which businesses and invidivuals may post a description of legal services for which they are seeking representation and lawyers/law firms may subsequently submit quotes for the cost of the legal services. Click here to read Formal Ethics Opinion 2018-F-165.

The third is Formal Ethics Opinion 2018-F-166 and is regarding the ethical propriety of a settlement agreement which contains a confidentiality provision that prohibits any discussion of any facet of the settlement agreement with any other person or entity, regardless of the circumstances; and which prohibits the requesting attorney from referencing the incident central to the plaintiff’s case, the year, make, and model of the subject vehicle or the identity of the Defendants. Click here to read Formal Ethics Opinion 2018-F-166.

Spring 2018 issue of Board Notes

The Spring 2018 issue of Board Notes is now available.  Board Notes is a semi-annual publication of the Board of Professional Responsibility which offers articles of interest and other information to Tennessee attorneys and judges such as recently-issued Formal Ethics Opinions and recent Disciplinary Actions.  Click here to read the Spring 2018 issue of Board Notes.

Ethics Workshop 2017

Three-hundred attorneys attended the Board of Professional Responsibility 2017 Ethics Workshop which was held on November 3rd at the Nashville School of Law.  Each attorney attending had the opportunity to earn 6.5 hours of dual CLE credits at a cost of $106. Prominent speakers included Ed Yarbrough on ethics in criminal law; Ashley French from Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program discussed effective coping skills; Justice Roger Page and Judge Brandon Gibson spoke on social media and professionalism; Judge Joe Riley shared information about trust accounting and Bill Ramsey addressed an attorney’s competent use of technology. Additionally, Laura Chastain addressed advertising; Laura Chastain, Krisann Hodges, Beverly Sharpe and Sandy Garrett presented a panel on everyday ethical dilemmas; and Sandy Garrett discussed “Raising Cain” in the courtroom.  Click here to view photos from the workshop.

Special Edition Board Notes

The Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP), the Board of Professional Responsibility, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners and the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education have partnered to publish this Special Edition Board Notes.  The focus of this newsletter is the recently released study by the American Bar Association/Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation on substance use and other mental health concerns among American attorneys. We are hopeful this study and the related articles assist lawyers and judges by providing helpful information and tools to improve lawyer wellness and our profession.

**Notice to Fax Recipients**

Please be advised that effective immediately the Board of Professional Responsibility will be sending releases of information by email and will no longer be sending releases of information by facsimile.

If you are a judge, you will receive releases by email.  If you are not a judge and want to continue receiving releases, please send your email contact information to releases@tbpr.org.

Additionally, please note that all releases can also be accessed by clicking on "Informational Releases" in the "News and Publications" section of this website.

The Board and staff appreciate your interest in the Tennessee Supreme Court's disciplinary system.

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