Tennessee Bar Association Announces Statewide Civility Initiative

Friday, August 31, 2012

Can civility co-exist with free speech in today's world? That's just one topic that will be explored in a series of public conversations presented across the state this fall by the Tennessee Bar Association. This initiative is designed to encourage a public conversation about the tensions between civility and free speech, the state of the public square and the challenges of maintaining civil discourse in a democracy.

"We cannot preserve our democracy without finding the right balance between free speech and civility," TBA President Jacqueline B. Dixon said in announcing the initiative. "The TBA is pleased to be a part of such an important project."

The TBA's "Balancing Civility and Free Expression Initiative" will involve three public forums -- one in Memphis, one in Nashville and one in Knoxville. Each forum will focus on a particular topic, feature a panel of experts who will present real-life scenarios that raise civility and free speech issues, and conclude with a question and answer session with the audience. The forums are free and open to the public.

The series will kick off in Memphis on Sept. 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. This program, sponsored by the TBA and the law school, will focus on civility in the public square, where policy debates -- especially those with cross-cultural implications -- can quickly become contentious. It will use the current effort to consolidate city and county schools in Memphis as a case study in how to bring civility into a divisive debate. Three members of the Transition Planning Commission - the body responsible for overseeing the consolidation -- will serve as the program panelists. Get details about the Memphis program here.

The second forum, set for Nashville on Oct. 16, will focus on civility in interacting with the courts, as well as in discussing issues affecting the access to and delivery of justice. It is being sponsored by the TBA, the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and Lipscomb University. The event will be held at Lipscomb's Ezell Center.

The final forum, scheduled in Knoxville on Feb. 21, 2013, will focus on civility and effective governance, using the model emulated by former U.S. Senator and Ambassador to Japan Howard H. Baker Jr. The event is being sponsored by the TBA and the University of Tennessee. It will be held at the university's Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Learn more about these events and the overall initiative here.


Northwest Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Declines To 4.9 Percent In March

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in March was 4.9 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 5.2 percent in February. In March 2016, the rate was 5.5 percent. The rate declined because more people became employed as the labor force continued to grow. The number of employed residents ... (click for more)

Lynn Pollock Named Director Of Catering And Conference Services At The Chattanoogan Hotel

The Chattanoogan hotel has named Lynn Pollock director of catering and conference services.   Tom Cupo, regional managing director, said, “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Lynn to The Chattanoogan. She comes to us with important knowledge of and leadership experience in conference and catering operations, which is so essential to the success of our meetings ... (click for more)

Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Predatory Law Firm Targeting Grieving Families

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III on Wednesday announced the filing of a lawsuit against a Texas law firm, its sole attorney, and two investigators working for the firm, in connection with the tragic Woodmore Elementary bus crash. The civil enforcement action, filed in Hamilton County Chancery Court, alleges that the Witherspoon Law Group PLLC, based in Dallas, ... (click for more)

Multi-Agency Drug Bust Leads To 1 Of The Largest Meth Seizures In Hamilton County

Agents with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics and Special Operations Division, along with personnel from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Chattanooga Police Department and the DEA, arrested Mathew Turner, of Chattanooga, in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express in Tiftonia on Tuesday night.     A search of Turner’s vehicle revealed approximately ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me too contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Knoxville’s Godsend

Back when we were uppity teenagers, the best put-down when a friend started acting crazy was to say to the heathen, “Quit acting like you are from Knoxville!” I don’t know how the term originated but I can say that back in the day it was pretty insulting to be told you were acting like you were from Knoxville. This week I wish that more of us acted like Knoxville. The Knox County ... (click for more)