In The News

Whole Foods Germantown Opens

Today marks the opening of the new Whole Foods in Germantown, a suburb of Memphis, Tenn. Bone McAllester Norton’s Alcoholic Beverage Law team provided the licensing for the store. Among favorite features are La Creperie, which offers sweet and savory crepes; a charcuterie carve; an upstairs loft; and Kei Jei Kitchens, which serves Japanese/Korean fusion dishes.

Read more from the Memphis Flyer here.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Johnny Garrett Helps Launch 100 Club of Sumner County

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Johnny C. Garrett IV has joined forces with four business leaders in Sumner County to launch the 100 Club, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide funds to families of local first responders in the event of a line-of-duty death. The 100 Club officially launched in June and is in the process of expanding an advisory board. So far, $20,000 has been raised. The fund would cover first responders in the Sumner County cities of Gallatin, Hendersonville, Portland, Westmoreland, Goodlettsville and White House. So far this year, 74 police officers have been killed in the line of duty across the United States.

Johnny, a resident of Sumner County, focuses his practice in the areas of civil and commercial litigaton, domestic relations, estate planning and probate.

Read more from the Tennessean here.

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

“Best Lawyers” Accolades Given to Bone McAllester Norton Attorneys

List Includes 15 Attorneys Named The Best Lawyers in America© 2016

Nashville, Tenn.—(August 17, 2015) Nashville-based law firm Bone McAllester Norton PLLC announced today that it is celebrating honors from the 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Fifteen of its attorneys have been named to the 2016 list, and attorney Anne C. Martin has been chosen as “Lawyer of the Year” in Nashville for Employment Law – Management.

“We are so pleased that our peers recognized the work our attorneys do every day and the expertise they provide to their clients,” said Sam J. McAllester, vice chairman and member of Bone McAllester Norton. “Our entire firm is proud of each of the attorneys selected for the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America.

The Bonelaw attorneys listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016 list are:

  • Trace Blankenship for the areas of Banking and Finance Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; and Non-Profit/Charities Law

  • Charles W. Bone for the area of Administrative/Regulatory Law

  • Charles Robert Bone for the areas of Administrative/Regulatory Law; Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); and Personal Injury Litigation—Plaintiffs

  • John P. Branham for the area of Personal Injury Litigation—Plaintiffs

  • William T. Cheek III for the areas of Food and Beverage Law and Non-Profit/Charities Law. Will is the only listed lawyer for Food and Beverage Law in Tennessee.

  • William J. Haynes III for the area of Employment Law—Individuals

  • Sharon O. Jacobs for the area of Environmental Law

  • Paul W. Kruse for the areas of Copyright Law and Trademark Law

  • Anne C. Martin for the areas of Employment Law—Individuals; Employment Law—Management; and Litigation—Labor and Employment

  • Sam J. McAllester III for the areas of Banking and Finance Law; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law

  • Richard J. Nickels for Corporate Law

  • Jack F. Stringham II for the areas of Banking and Finance Law and Real Estate Law

  • Stephanie R. Taylor for Entertainment Law—Music

  • Edward M. Yarbrough for the areas of Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; and DUI/DWI Defense

  • and Stephen J. Zralek for the area of Copyright Law.


The Best Lawyers in America list for 2016 includes attorneys covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and inclusion in this year’s publication is based on more than 4.3 million detailed, confidential evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

For more information on Bone McAllester Norton and its attorneys, visit http://bonelaw.com.

ABOUT BONE MCALLESTER NORTON PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

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Ink-N-Iron Celebrates a New Weird Americana

Last weekend, Bicentennial Mall was the site for the first ever Ink-N-Iron Nashville festival. The four-day event is what organizers call a celebration and reflection of the bizarre, paying tribute to alternative art, commerce, culture and music in the early 21st century. With nearly 280 internationally renowned tattoo artists, a custom car and motorcycle show, a retro pinup contest and musical acts ranging from classic honky tonk and rockabilly to country punk and post-hardcore punk, Ink-N-Iron offered something for nearly every taste.

This was the first year the festival has not been held in Long Beach, Calif. Event organizers saw the potential for growing the festival into much more by moving it to Nashville, which is known for embracing all types of live music.

Bone McAllester Norton’s Alcoholic Beverage Law team provided the liquor and beer licensing for the event.

Read more from the Nashville Scene here.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 39 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Bone McAllester Norton Adds Experienced Litigator to Its Labor and Employment and Litigation Practices

Susan Neal Williams Brings Background in eDiscovery and Litigation Management


Nashville, Tenn.—(August 10, 2015) Nashville-based law firm Bone McAllester Norton PLLC has added a skilled litigator to its Labor and Employment Law and Litigation and Dispute Resolution practices. The firm announced today the addition of Susan Neal Williams, who brings knowledge in electronic discovery and litigation management.

“Susan Neal is a fourth-generation attorney with experience in detailed, complex litigation matters,” said Charles W. Bone, founder and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton. “She comes to us with a background of working with some of the best plaintiff’s lawyers in Nashville, and the firm looks forward to having her expertise as an added benefit to our clients.”

Williams honed her litigation skills in product liability, insurance coverage, automobile wrecks, medical malpractice, gas explosions, roadway design and engineering cases. She graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court and the Lawyers Association for Women. She was previously with Leader, Bulso, & Nolan, PLC in Nashville.

The addition of Williams brings Bonelaw’s Labor and Employment practice to five attorneys and the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice to 19 attorneys.

For more information on Bone McAllester Norton and its attorneys, visit www.bonelaw.com.

 
ABOUT BONE MCALLESTER NORTON PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 39 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

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Media Contact:
Ann Dee McClane, (615) 742-6889

Bonelaw Attorney Elected as Nashville’s Next Vice Mayor

David Briley Claims Decisive Victory


Nashville, Tenn.—(August 7, 2015) Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is proud to announce that its own partner, C. David Briley, has been elected as the next vice mayor of Nashville. By a percentage of 53, he was chosen as the eighth vice mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, replacing Diane Neighbors.

“David Briley has been an invaluable partner with our firm since 2007, as a prominent litigator in personal injury, products liability and class action suits. He ‘gets’ what it means to listen and then take that knowledge to the next step of ensuring voices are heard,” said Charles W. Bone, founder and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton. “He honed his negotiation skills by serving eight years on the Metropolitan Council, and he is the right choice to work with our government to ensure Nashville’s future stays strong.”

As vice mayor, Briley will work with citizens on a map that plans for where Nashville is going. He plans to give the public an opportunity to be heard through their representatives, proactively engage the community to build consensus on important issues and working together with the mayor to make sure the city remains a stable place to live and raise families.

A native Nashvillian, Briley graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in 1982 and then moved to Washington, D.C., to attend Georgetown University. He graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law. He has been chosen as a Mid-South Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers and is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and American Lawyers for Justice.

For more information about Briley, visit www.davidbriley.com.

For more information about Bone McAllester Norton, visit www.bonelaw.com.

 

About Bone McAllester Norton PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

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Media Contact:

Ann Dee McClane, (615) 742-6889

Charles Robert Bone Featured as Attorney at Law Magazine’s Attorney of the Month

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Charles Robert Bone is the featured “Attorney of the Month” for the inaugural issue of Attorney at Law Magazine’s Middle Tennessee edition.

Charles Robert was honored to be selected by the publication’s editorial board this month. In the article, he shares his business insight, what makes Bone McAllester Norton different, how he chose the practice of law and the passion he has for politics.

“Like many of our clients, we’re entrepreneurs too. That serves me incredibly well when representing my clients. I have stood in their shoes and sat at their side of the table. I have an appreciation for the challenges they have,” he said.

 

Press. Attorney at Law Magazine  Attorney of the Month Feature_Cover  8.5.15 (01270106)

Read more from Charles Robert Bone in this issue of Attorney at Law Magazine here.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

David Anthony will Lead Marketing Your Legal Practice CLE

David Anthony Bone McAllester Norton Creditor's Rights Nashville


Bone McAllester Norton attorney David M. Anthony will present an interactive webinar on marketing a legal practice for The Tennessee Attorneys Memo and Alabama Law Weekly on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. “Marketing Your Legal Practice: Websites, Blogs and More” will cover the technology and tools available to attorneys to attract and impress future clients. David will cover social media, law firm website essentials, blogs and industry listings.

David concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, construction and lien litigation. He maintains and publishes two blogs (www.paidinfull.bonelaw.com and www.creditorsrights101.com), as well as a corresponding Twitter feed (@creditorlaw), which all focus on creditor issues in the law.

This webinar has been approved for one hour of general CLE credit.

Date: Thursday, August 27, 2015

Time: 2 to 3 p.m.

Click here to register.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler Honored with Veterans Award

Congratulations are in order to Bonelaw attorney James E. Mackler, who has been chosen for inclusion in the inaugural class of the Nashville Business Journal’s Veterans Awards. Nominations were submitted by the public, and a panel of judges scored nominees on a variety of factors, including professional accomplishments and community involvement. The 29 winners were announced today. They will be honored at an awards luncheon on Sept. 9 and profiled in the Sept. 11 print publication and online.

James, a member of the Army and Air National Guard, concentrates his law practice in the areas of federal criminal defense, regulatory compliance and civil litigation. He is also the founder of the firm’s unmanned aerial systems focus and leads veteran and military law efforts.

Read more here.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Tucker Herndon Gets Locked Up for the MDA

Bonelaw attorney Tucker Herndon was “arrested” today for the MDA Lock-Up of Music City, a fundraiser to help the organization find treatments and cures for muscle disease.

This annual event puts some of Nashville’s most prominent and community leaders behind bars, and “bail money” raised to help get them out goes back to the MDA.

Tucker’s warrant of arrest came this morning, and a sheriff arrived at the office to handcuff him and cart him off to jail.

Read more about this fundraiser—and how you can help get Tucker out—here.

 

 

Tucker Herndon Gets Locked Up for the MDATucker Herndon Gets Locked Up for the MDA 


 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Old Forge Distillery Celebrates History with a Focus on the Future

In the spring of 2013, a huge change to liquor laws in Tennessee happened, allowing once prohibited distilleries across the state to finally open. Long before then, though, distillers and those interested in the craft had dreams of producing spirits, mainly moonshine. The masterminds behind Old Forge Distillery, located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., were some of those lobbying for the new legislation.

Prior to 2013, only a handful of distilleries existed in Tennessee, and many of those were located in a few isolated clusters. When the legislation passed, though, provisions governing where distilleries may be located were loosened, opening the floodgates to moonshine enthusiasts. Distilleries could now open in areas with premier tourist attractions, where liquor could be sold in both restaurants and liquor stores, and where distilling had historically taken place (though distilling sites have to be listed with the National Register of Historic Places and have to possess a record of distilling). Pigeon Forge, a popular vacation destination in East Tennessee, was one city that became eligible for a distillery under the 2013 law. When the Old Forge guys approached Bone McAllester Norton PLLC attorney Robert D. Pinson, who focuses his Alcoholic Beverage Law practice on laws for distilleries, this law was still being lobbied. They knew they would have to wait to open, which they chose to do. What they did not do, though, was sit on their laurels.

“We knew there was a wave in this industry that was heating up, and we wanted to jump on it,” said Kris Tatum, general manager of Old Forge Distillery.

Without any formal knowledge or experience in the spirits business, they did know one thing: They wanted their moonshine to be different. Old Forge’s 1830 Original is entirely handmade because they want you to taste the various grain flavors – corn, wheat and/or rye.  Many of their flavors are Grain Neutral Spirits (GNS), liquor distilled up to 95 percent alcohol by volume to ensure maximum flavorlessness of grain. Old Forge wants you to taste the specific flavor on the label and not the grain used to make it.

“Since we really did not know much, we turned to other distilleries in Tennessee, who helped us tremendously before we opened. We have become a brotherhood. There is just great camaraderie among us,” Tatum said. They also visited with those in the industry in cities like Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Louisville, Ky., became their second home. There, attendees can collaborate with experts on everything from creating to prototyping and distilling spirits of all kinds. It was there they learned the science behind what they wanted to make.

After the legislation passed in 2013, they went straight to work, constructing Old Forge in a historic barn that housed a farm supply store more than 100 years ago. Old Forge is named after the iron forge that brought about the Pigeon Forge community. Every aspect of their spirits is done by hand, including grains grown right on their land.

“We are very open about our process, and we have a personable aspect about our distillery,” Tatum said. “When visitors come here, they get a little show. They see the entire process from start to finish—mash being put into a still, the product running through bottling spouts and the labels being put on the bottles. We have fun doing what we do, and I think that shows when folks come to see us.”

That personable aspect is one of the differentiating factors between Old Forge and other distilleries. Not only does Head Distiller Keener Shanton, a hometown guy turned-distiller-from-firefighter, craft the spirits while answering questions and explaining what he does while he’s working, he also teams with local bartenders to find out the kinds of products they want. . .and then he heads back to the distillery to make those very things. Everyone at Old Forge is also committed to educating their consumers. They want people to know what they are drinking and why it tastes the way it does.

Old Forge Distillery opened June 27, 2014. Since then, more than a million visitors have walked through their doors. They currently offer nine varieties of moonshine, including 1830 Original, made from pure mountain spring water and grains ground at the Old Mill next door to the distillery, as well as six flavored moonshines inspired by the recipes from The Old Mill Kitchens. Tennessee Roots is a line of innovative 80-proof, small-batch spirits they are working on releasing next. Old Forge’s line can be found in liquor stores in Knoxville and Chattanooga now. Tatum and his team are working to get distribution in middle and eastern Kentucky, as well as in Nashville, soon.

“I love what I do,” Tatum said. “We are experiencing history in the distilling business. From the law that passed that allowed us to open, to what’s on the horizon, we are on the cusp of something big with what we can do with Tennessee whiskey. It’s an exciting time.”

Trace Blankenship Assists in East Tennessee Bank Acquisition

Longtime Bone McAllester Norton client Citizens Tri-County Bank has announced the purchase of the Morrison, Tenn. branch of Massachusetts-based Berkshire Bank. The transaction, including the acquisition of $22 million in deposits and loans of nearly $11 million, is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2015. Citizens Tri-County Bank will retain the current employees of Berkshire Bank.

Trace Blankenship, member and general counsel of Bone McAllester Norton, is serving as lead counsel on this transaction. His practice is focused on mergers and acquisitions, securities/venture funding/private placements and company governance and board strategy.

Read the full announcement here.

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Bonelaw to Host Forum for Minority Bankers, July 21

Minority bankers at the officer or managerial level are invited to the Freedmen Bankers Forum at Bone McAllester Norton on Tuesday, July 21. Ron Samuels, president, chairman and CEO of Avenue Bank, will present “The State of Banking and Insights on Career Development” as part of the program. Attendance is free.

The Freedmen Bankers Forum is dedicated to providing business development and collaboration opportunities for minority officers and managers in Middle Tennessee’s banking industry, through referrals, professional education and placement. Bone McAllester Norton is proud to produce this Forum.

Time: 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, July 21

Location: Bone McAllester Norton (Nashville City Center, 511 Union Street, Suite 1600).

Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to RSVP.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Dear Employer: Is Your Social Media Policy Legal?

by William J. (Paz) Haynes, III

Social media is a fact of modern life. Billions of people across the globe use a variety of platforms such a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to connect with family, friends and the world at large. Businesses have moved rapidly to capitalize on opportunities for growth in social media, but have also recognized the realities of social media in the everyday lives of their employees.

Recent studies indicate that most employers in the United States now have some form of social media policy and that employers are relaxing policies restricting social media use during business hours.

Even though attitudes are changing on social media in the workplace, employers still face burning questions in developing best practices related to social media.

1. What privacy rights do employees have in their social media use and content?

Access to social media is now linked to the traditional rights of privacy recognized in the Constitution, and state and federal laws are being created (an interpreted) to protect employees' privacy interests in the social media content.

Several states, including Tennessee, have passed laws making it illegal for employers to demand access to employees' social media passwords and "private" social media pages.

2. What interests, if any, does the employer have in monitoring or "policing" employee use?


Despite the increased privacy protections for social media, employers still have legitimate interests in monitoring social media content. Social media laws still recognize an employer's right to monitor social media activity created with employer property (phones, laptops, servers, etc.) and social media content that is tied to their "brand."

Employers also have a legitimate right to review social media content that perpetuates unlawful harassment or discrimination in the workplace.

3. How far can the employer go to regulate employees' social media conduct?


A series of recent decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hold that, under certain circumstances, social media content may qualify as "protected activity" under the National Labor Relations Act.

Those NLRB decisions have shed more light on the limits on employers when creating social media policies and how employers respond to social media activity by their workers.

4. What are the best social media practices in a changing digital and legal landscape?

The law of social media changes as rapidly as the nature of social media itself. In 2015, employers are best advised to create policies that properly balance their workers' rights to privacy and protected workplace activity against the employers' interests in protecting their brands, ensuring productivity, and addressing unlawful conduct in the workplace.

Are_Your_Social_Media_Policies_Legal_sqEmployers should seek out qualified legal counsel when reviewing and creating social media policies and practices.

I will be addressing these questions in greater detail in the Sterling Education Seminars' Fundamentals of Employment Law on August 11, 2015.

James Mackler Addresses Drone Laws at American Railway Development Association Annual Meeting

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler spoke about drone laws at the American Railway Development Association’s (ARDA) annual meeting in Denver today. The founder of the firm’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or commonly "drones") focus, he was part of a panel that discussed inspections and imaging using UAS.

ARDA is a not-for-profit educational trade association founded to promote economic development, real estate development, technology and environmental activities of North American railroads.

 

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Bonelaw Client Abby Rubenfeld Has Been Long-Time Fighter for Equality

Abby Rubenfeld, the Nashville civil rights attorney who lead the charge for equality in marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court, is a Bone McAllester Norton client. Our Business and Corporate Law attorneys worked alongside her to form Rubenfeld Law Office PC, Abby’s law office in Music City. She has been a longtime supporter and advocate for equality, and as such, she wrote 50 drafts of the first court filings for same-sex marriage rights and sat at the lawyers’ table in front of Supreme Court Justices during arguments in April.

The Tennessean features Abby in a feature story today. Click here to read the article.

 

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Why I’m Voting for Charles Robert Bone for Mayor

Charles Robert Bone is my friend and law partner.  Having each begun practicing at other firms, we both joined Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in 2004.  Practicing beside him for the past 11 years gives me a unique perspective into his qualities that make him a great attorney and law partner.  I believe these same qualities will make him a great mayor:

    1. Shirtsleeves. It’s a term we use inside our firm to describe someone like Charles Robert – he rolls up his shirtsleeves and gets the job done.  He doesn’t seek credit, and he helps others shine.  When he joined the firm, it was his to inherit and he could have rested on his perceived laurels, but he kept his nose to the grindstone and outworked everyone. 

    2. Leadership. Charles Robert brings people to the table when no one else can.  He leads by example and is a natural facilitator and mediator.  Inside the firm, he helps us reach compromise, and everyone leaves the conversation feeling ownership of the idea and generally happy with the outcome.  If he can do that with a bunch of headstrong lawyers with strong opinions, think what he can do as mayor!

    3. Perspective. When things get tough or we face a bump in the road, Charles Robert doesn’t get rattled and he doesn’t get discouraged.  Instead, he sees the big picture and focuses on the end game.  He has an ability to find humor in many of life’s challenges that most of us would describe as difficult.

    4. Heart. Those sound bites from the debates where Charles Robert talks about taking care of the least among us?  They’re real.  He comes from a long line of servant-leaders, and he will make sure that we prioritize helping people who need an extra hand as much as we focus on economic development.

    5. Accessible Intelligence. Charles Robert is easy to relate to and incredibly smart, a rare combination.  He is a humble guy, who deflects attention.  People laugh at all those numbers he spouts in his commercials and speeches, but it’s no joke.  He can grasp extremely complicated concepts and details, including financials, then translate them into plain English for the rest of us.  I’d call him a grounded optimist: he is forward-thinking about the future, but not Pollyannaish.

Nashville is blessed with an abundance of passionate candidates for Mayor.  The above combination of personal characteristics is one of the main reasons why my vote is for Charles Robert.

New Criminal Drone Laws Take Effect

By James E. Mackler

James Mackler Unmanned Aerial Systems Attorney

Tennessee recently passed a bill making it a crime to fly an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, commonly known as a “drone,” over large, ticketed public gatherings of 100 or more people, into fireworks displays, or over jails. The law will take effect on July 1st. Although it might seem at first like this law is a solution looking for a problem, it turns out that the legislation was prompted by actual events.

In the past year, the FAA has investigated numerous drone sightings over professional stadiums sporting events. Also, on July 4th of last year, a man flew a drone into Nashville’s largest fireworks display, gaining national attention. There has also been a rash of incidents involving attempted air-drop deliveries of contraband by drones to jails.

It is dangerous and reckless to fly a drone over a large crowd, into a fireworks display, or over a jail to deliver contraband. Under current law, however, it has been difficult for the police to charge drone operators engaged in these activities. For example, although the FAA restricts flights over large outdoor events, there has been some question about whether these restrictions apply to drones. Flight into fireworks is not an obvious violation of any particular state law.  Delivering contraband to a jail is already a crime, but until the payload is dropped, the flight itself is in a gray area.

Under the new law, drone operators can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail for violations. Although there is no question that this law addresses serious safety concerns, the law raises some interesting legal issues. For example, the Federal government has long held exclusive jurisdiction over the “navigable airspace” above the surface of the earth. The law defining “navigable airspace,” however, developed before the widespread use of drones. Drones can and do navigate all the way down to the ground. The FAA, consequently, insists that its jurisdiction over drones extends to the ground. This means that Tennessee, through this law, is asserting a claim to govern the same space that the FAA claims the exclusive power to control.

Drone operators should not view this legal uncertainty as an opportunity to challenge the new law. They should, instead, understand that the law prohibits such flights for good reason.  Operators who would violate the law are reckless and irresponsible. They risk injuring spectators. They also add to the undeserved public distrust of the large community of responsible drone enthusiasts. Increased distrust can only result in restrictions and regulations, which are likely to be much less reasonable than the law taking effect in July.

 

Upcoming Changes to the FLSA Exemptions Pursuant to Obama Executive Order

By Anne C. Martin

In late June of 2015, President Obama announced changes to the executive exemptions included in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) – the federal law that regulates pay for employees.  This change will go into effect sometime in 2016.  What this means for employers is that they will need to reassess which employees they have classified as exempt to ensure that they meet the salary threshold.

The three primary exemptions to the overtime requirements are for executive, administrative and professional employees.  All three require that the employee be paid on a salary basis and the current requirement is that the salary be at least $455 per week, or $23,660 annually. President Obama is raising that salary requirement to $50,400, more than doubling the pay rate.

The other requirements for the three exemptions are as follows:

  • Executive exemption:  The employee’s primary duty must be managing the enterprise, or managing a customarily recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise; the employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees or their equivalent; and the employee must have the authority to hire or fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees must be given particular weight.

  • Administrative exemption: The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and must include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

  • Professional exemption: There are two subclassifications under this category.  I) A learned professional is an employee whose primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment; has advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning; and the advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. II) A creative professional employee is one whose primary duty must be the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.[1]


It is good practice to periodically review the classifications of exempt employees to ensure that they really do meet these tests. With the resetting of the salary basis, all exempt classifications need to be checked to ensure that the subject employees are paid at least that much in salary. If they are not, their employers will either need to raise their pay or reclassify them as non-exempt and pay time and a half for all overtime hours worked.

This change in the law will not be effective until 2016, but as employers enter the third quarter of 2015 and are thinking about budgets for 2016, these pay rates should be reviewed in anticipation of the change.

[1] A full list of all exemptions and the tests associated with them can be found at the Department of Labor’s website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.pdf.

Employment Attorney Anne Martin Comments on Overtime Pay Ruling

Nashville employment attorney Anne C. Martin, a member at Bone McAllester Norton, was interviewed by the Tennessean regarding President Obama’s overtime pay ruling. Some, such as the National Federation of Independent Business, claim the ruling will hurt small businesses, while others say it is the right move for employees.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable for review to see if it needs to be increased,” Anne said.

Read the article here.

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.