Report on TBA Dispute Resolution Section’s Accomplishments 2006-7

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as chair of the Tennessee Dispute Resolution Section.  On behalf of the Section’s Executive Council, we appreciate the friendship and collaborative work of every member of the Dispute Resolution Section.  We are, after all, ADR professionals in the Volunteer State!  Our Section will continue to grow and contribute to the positive reputation of alternative dispute resolution among bar members and the general public under the leadership of upcoming Section Chair David Taylor and Co-Chair Mark Travis.  Below is a summary of the Section’s accomplishments over the past year.

Warm regards,
Marnie Huff

A.  Kudos to TBA Staff, Section Executive Council, and Section Committees

The Section’s accomplishments are the result of the strong support of TBA President Larry  Wilks, the outstanding TBA staff, an effective committee structure, and Executive Council leadership, so kudos to:
• Wonderful TBA staff people, especially Lynn Pointer, Stacey Shrader, Becky Rhodes,  Vivian Bowles, and Allan Ramsaur
• Appellate ADR Committee (chair Mark Travis, Cookeville)
• CLE Committee (co-chairs Dan Nolan, Clarksville and Pat Vital, Chattanooga)
• DR Section Newsletter editor (Elizabeth Guenther, Nashville)
• Liaison to TBA Access to Justice Committee (Max Williams, Memphis)
• Public Education Committee (chair David Taylor, Nashville)
• Rule 31 Amendments Committee (chair Earle Schwarz, Memphis)
•TBA Dispute Resolution Section Executive Council (members Ron Daves, Richard Z. Gray, Elizabeth Guenther, Marnie Huff, Ken Jackson, Hayden Lait, Dan Nolan, Earle Schwarz, Marietta Shipley, David Taylor, Mark Travis, Pat Vital, Max Williams, Carole Worthington, and Jocelyn Wurzburg)

B.  Section Accomplishments 2006-2007

American Bar Association Connections
o we updated information related to TBA Dispute Resolution Section and Tennessee ADR resources for inclusion on ABA web site
o responded to detailed ABA survey on Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (2005) and Tennessee ADR information
Collaboration with City Bar Associations and Tennessee Association for Professional Mediators
o publicized activities of local bar ADR Sections and TAPM in our newsletter
Comments on Rules - Appellate ADR & Rule 31 Amendments Committees
o drafted and submitted proposed comments on amendments to Rule 31 and proposed provisional Rule 48 on appellate ADR for review by TBA President and Board
Continuing Legal Education
o excellent continuing legal educational program “Mediation and the Art of Negotiation” on April 18, 2007
Executive Council and Section Meetings
o Section met on June 16, 2006 and will meet again during June 2007 TBA convention
o Executive Council met by phone conference seven times during the past year and proved to be effective in making proposals and deciding issues through the committee structure
o we polled all Section members by email in June 2006 to develop goals for the year
o conducted outreach to several TBA sections and all Tennessee state and federal judges, by providing complimentary copies of Section newsletters featuring topics of interest to targeted groups
o provided information on membership benefits through our newsletter and successfully recruited new members to DR Section
o monthly Dispute Resolution Section electronic newsletter provided timely news and information on mediation, arbitration and other ADR issues, including updates on caselaw, legislation, proposed Tennessee Supreme Court Rules 47 and 48, and Rule 31 amendments
o sent to all Section members, all Tennessee Rule 31 listed mediators (attorneys and non-attorneys), and others interested in ADR (circulation now over 900/month)
o improved content and increased frequency (11 issues July 2006-June 2007)
o TBA staff archived several past DR section e-newsletters on TBA web site and will continue archiving
o we met with and encouraged TBA staff to develop a template for e-newsletter with more attractive graphics and format (to be launched soon)
Pro Bono
o supported TBA Access to Justice Committee
o frequently promoted pro bono activities and referrals to pro bono mediation through newsletter, including list of community mediation centers and legal aid offices
• Section Chairs meetings
o participated in phone conferences & mid year meeting of Section chairs in Nashville
Tennessee Coalition for Mediation Awareness and Mediation Day
o spearheaded formation of Tennessee Coalition for Mediation Awareness which planned and publicized events surrounding Mediation Day (third Thursday in October) and other events to increase public awareness of ADR; publicity efforts included dissemination of press releases to over 500 media outlets
o organized Coalition meeting in March at Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict Management and Coalition meeting to take place during TBA convention
Web site
o met with TBA staff on improving Dispute Resolution Section’s web pages

June 2007

Margaret Huff Mediation
PHONE:  615.812.5557

TN Supreme Court Orders related to Alternative Dispute Resolution (archive of orders of historical interest)
  • Rule 31 Governing Tennessee's Listed Mediators Amended Twice in 2009.  First, on December 17, 2009 the Tennessee Supreme Court amended Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 31 Sections 3(b), 9 and 11 governing the conduct of mediators in Tennessee.  The Court:  1) changed § 3(b) on court orders for mediation, judicial settlement conferences, and case evaluations; 2) established an Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee; and 3) revised provisions on discipline of Rule 31 mediators. These changes go into effect January 1, 2010, subject to a transition provision. Second, on April 24, 2009, the Court amended Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31.  Among other things, the Court amended the definition of "Baccalaureate degree" and "graduate degree", increased (from 10 to 15 years) the permissible amount of time between the receipt of mediation training and the date of a person's application to be listed as a "Rule 31 Mediator", and provided that part-time judicial officers may, in certain circumstances, apply to be listed as Rule 31 Mediators.  For more information on Rule 31, to to TN Ethics - Mediators.
Margaret Huff Mediation   PO Box 121951   Nashville TN 37212-1951
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Appellate Mediation in Tennessee (archive)

Go to Appellate ADR for current information, including Rule 34.
Tennessee ADR Caselaw (archive)
by Marnie Huff

Tennessee rule amendments to go into effect July 1, 2010:  evidence rule will limit waiver of privileged information or work product; rule of civil procedure will allow discovery of insurance policies.  The Tennessee Supreme Court adopted amendments to the Tennessee Rules of Evidence. Among other provisions, the amendments include new Rule 502:  "Inadvertent disclosure of privileged information or work product does not operate as a waiver [if] (1) the disclosure is inadvertent, (2) the holder of the privilege or work-product protection took reasonable steps to prevent disclosure, and (3) the holder promptly took reasonable steps to rectify the error."

The Court also amended the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, including Tenn. R. Civ. P. 26 regarding the scope and limits of  discovery.  Rule 26.02(2) will allow discovery of liability insurance policies:  "A party may obtain discovery of any insurance agreement under which an insurance business may be liable to satisfy all or part of a possible judgment in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment."

The Court withdrew certain amendments in an order entered February 1, 2010.  The intact amendments go into effect July 1, 2010, subject to General Assembly approval.
Federal Court Local Rules - amendments.  The Local Rules of U.S. District Court for Middle District of TN were amended effective December 1, 2009.  The Court revised time periods in the Rules, which affected provisions on mediation, arbitration, and early neutral evaluation.  In addition, Rule 80.01 was amended and the previously separate Magistrate Judge Rules were incorporated into the Local Rules.
Tennessee State Law - Tennessee Governor signs bill that impacts arbitration.  On May 27, 2010, Governor Bredesen signed House Bill 3768.  The controversial legislation relates to enforceability of certain decisions made by arbitration panels, courts and other tribunals of another state or foreign country.  A summary of this legislation is on the General Assembly website.