United States Supreme Court: Post-bankruptcy possession doesn’t violate automatic stay

It’s rare the the United States Supreme Court decides a legal issue that affects everyday consumer bankruptcies, but today was one of those days. In City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a creditor who repossesses property prior to a bankruptcy filing is not required to release that property after … Continue reading “United States Supreme Court: Post-bankruptcy possession doesn’t violate automatic stay”

Law Students: Law School Grades Will Not Define Your Career

Over the long New Years holiday, I found my law school’s “Lawyers of the Future” picture book in a box while cleaning out my basement. This was a booklet all University of Tennessee College of Law students were given at the start of a school year, with pictures and biographies of all the law students. … Continue reading “Law Students: Law School Grades Will Not Define Your Career”

Unreliable 2021 Predictions for the Nashville Legal World

2020 wasn’t a great year for predictions for me. Remember when I boldly predicted that June 2021 would see an all-time spike for consumer bankruptcy filings in Nashville? (Note: That time period actually saw local bankruptcies hit a 10 year low.) Remember when I joined an out-of-town law firm with the express goal of creating … Continue reading “Unreliable 2021 Predictions for the Nashville Legal World”

What I think about when I think about Nashville’s Second Avenue: My first law office. My first job. And the city I fell in love with.

My first job as a lawyer was on Second Avenue in Nashville. This was in 1999, and my future boss had me come to the office to interview on a Saturday morning (partly to avoid the suspicion of the lawyer I would be replacing). At the time, I didn’t know much about downtown Nashville, since … Continue reading “What I think about when I think about Nashville’s Second Avenue: My first law office. My first job. And the city I fell in love with.”

Tennessee courts will not save a party from its own contract: Liquidated Damages provisions will usually be upheld

When a tenant under a long term lease defaults, you’ll remember that the landlord can’t automatically sue for the entire balance due over the remaining contract. Instead, the landlord has to mitigate its damages, generally by trying to find a replacement tenant to take over the empty space. But, what about other types of long-term … Continue reading “Tennessee courts will not save a party from its own contract: Liquidated Damages provisions will usually be upheld”

341 Stories: PPP Money for local firms, Billable Hours, and the Tweet that Shut the Birch Building Down

Some people have told me that 2020 was a strange year to start my own law firm, and I tell them that I wished I’d done it sooner. Or, at the very least, while there was some Paycheck Protection Program money available… Law Firm Financial Planning during COVID. This Nashville Business Journal story, The 20 … Continue reading “341 Stories: PPP Money for local firms, Billable Hours, and the Tweet that Shut the Birch Building Down”

Tennessee Courts embrace Google Maps, AG sues Apple, and other technology updates

Some quick hits on this quiet Wednesday before Thanksgiving… Tennessee Court of Appeals takes judicial notice of Google Maps. Yesterday, the Tennessee Court of Appeals expressly approved a trial court’s taking “judicial notice” of Google Maps to prove distance in trial proceedings. (Note: Judicial notice is an evidentiary concept that means, basically, when a fact … Continue reading “Tennessee Courts embrace Google Maps, AG sues Apple, and other technology updates”

Looking to help this season? Consider donating to the Window of Love.

You may have seen the Tennessean article last week that the State of Tennessee has amassed a historically high amount of surplus money in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund, which is now at $741 million. This is awesome, right? What perfect timing for this money in an economic crisis? But, later, the article … Continue reading “Looking to help this season? Consider donating to the Window of Love.”

Judgment Creditors can cross county lines in execution sales of real property, says TN Court of Appeals

Yesterday, the Tennessee Court of Appeals answered another longstanding creditor question: Whether a Court can order an execution sale on a debtor’s real property in a different county. I get asked that all the time, and I’ve generally said you can. Now, I can cite the new opinion from the Court of Appeals in Ronald … Continue reading “Judgment Creditors can cross county lines in execution sales of real property, says TN Court of Appeals”

Foreign Judgments based on Confessions of Judgment are valid in Tennessee

I get 6 calls a year from out-of-state clients, asking me to file a lawsuit to enforce a confession of judgment contained in their out-of-state loan documents. It’s been happening so long that, for the past 7 years, I just send them a link to this post “Confessions of Judgment aren’t Valid in Tennessee: Here’s … Continue reading “Foreign Judgments based on Confessions of Judgment are valid in Tennessee”