In The News

Bone McAllester Norton Welcomes Attorney R. Colten Jones to Hendersonville Office

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is proud to welcome R. Colten Jones in the firm’s Sumner County office. Jones counsels clients in numerous aspects of civil matters, including general civil litigation, estate planning, and intellectual property issues, and will work closely with attorney Marty Cook in other areas of commercial and employment litigation.R Colten Jones Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexR. Colten Jones Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton

Jones was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 2016 and admitted to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in 2018. Prior to joining Bone McAllester Norton, Jones handled all aspects of civil litigation with a focus on insurance defense as an associate attorney at Nashville law firm Brewer, Krause, Brooks & Chastain, LLP. His previous experience also includes performing extensive legal research and writing draft orders, opinions and legal memos as a staff attorney at Warren Circuit Court in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Colten to the Bone McAllester Norton family,” said Charles Robert Bone, president and CEO of Bone McAllester Norton. “His unique skill set, diverse work experiences and enthusiasm for law will be extremely valuable as we expand our presence in Sumner County. Colten has a bright future, and we look forward to his continued growth and success as a member of our team.”

Jones earned his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky. While attending law school, he served as a legal intern for Fayette County Attorney’s Office in Lexington, Kentucky as well as the office of U.S. Senator Rand Paul in Washington, D.C. 

A former tennis professional and NCAA Division 1 student athlete, Jones enjoys playing and coaching tennis. He is also a member of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and has participated in various volunteer activities with Lipscomb University and Nashville-area churches, including joint initiatives with Special Olympics Tennessee as well as disaster relief efforts.  

Loren Mulraine elected to Director of GMA Foundation Board

Lorne MulraineLorne MulraineBone McAllester Norton attorney Loren Mulraine has just been elected to the Gospel Music Association Foundation Board.

Lorne's talents know no bounds - from his early career as an on-air personality to independent gospel artist, songwriter, professor at Belmont and previously Tennessee State University to a successful entertainment law practice.  "I love being able to merge my understanding of the creative elements of the entertainment and media industries with my legal and business skills. . . " says Lorne of his legal career.

He has been elected to a two- year term as a Director of the Gospel Music Association Foundation Board.

About GMA Inc.

The mission of the GMA Foundation is to recognize and preserve the history and legacy of all forms of gospel music and to provide educational resources that encourage participation and appreciation by the general public.  The GMA Foundation oversees the righs to the GMA Dove Awards, IMMERSE and the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Steve Blumenthal Explains the Difference Between EMR and EHR for HIStalk

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Steve Blumenthal authored an article for HIStalk this week, explaining the difference between an EMR (electronic medical record) and EHR (electronic health record). Both are digital versions of a patient’s paper chart, but the difference lies in what they are designed to become. The EHR provides not only patient health information but must also have the “capacity to do more—to provide clinical decision support, support physician order entry, capture and query information relevant to health care quality and exchange electronic health information with other sources.” Steve draws on an analogy of an EMR being an earthworm and an EHR being a caterpillar to further explain the difference.

Steve is a business and corporate law attorney in Nashville whose practice includes both traditional commercial transactional work and innovative technology and data privacy work. He recently held a webinar on EHR contracts with HIStalk, a healthcare IT news and opinion resource.

Click here to read more.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 39 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 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.

Lessons Businesses & Public Figures Can Learn from NCAA Football Players

Businesses who use celebrities to endorse their products should pay attention to two recent decisions, as should celebrities and other public figures.

In two recent cases, former college football players filed suit against Electronic Arts, Inc., better known as EA, the maker of video game "NCAA Football."  The two primary plaintiffs were Ryan Hart, who played quarterback for Rutgers in the early 2000s, and Samuel Keller, who was QB at Arizona State in the mid 2000s.

ncaa-football-13

Although EA never used the players' names, it honed in on real-life details of each player, including jersey number, jersey color, type of helmet and facemask, player height and weight, physical appearance, and throwing and interception stats.  The players sued on behalf of themselves and other players.  The heart of each suit was that EA had violated their right of publicity.

The right of publicity is a creature of state law and, although they have a lot in common, all 50 states treat the right of publicity differently.  Typically a plaintiff must show the a defendant used an individual's name, photograph or likeness to advertise goods or services without the plaintiff's prior consent.  The right typically covers any form of an individual's likeness or persona.  For example, Bette Midler sued when Ford used someone who sounded like her to promote a car in a song, and Vanna White sued Samsung for using a robot dressed in a wig, gown and jewelry to turn letters on a game resembling Wheel of Fortune.  The right also typically covers any medium, from photographs to films to video games.

In these two most recent cases, EA argued that it had a First Amendment right to use these college players' likenesses in its video games.  The Third Circuit and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals acknowledged that a First Amendment right of expression extends to video games but held that the players' right of publicity trumped EA's First Amendment right.  The courts both employed the "Transformative Use" balancing test and concluded that EA's video game failed to transform the players' likenesses.  The dissenting judges in both cases disagreed, finding that the video games were highly transformative, given that gamers have the ability to change the avatars' appearances and to never encounter Hart or Keller if they so choose.

Businesses who utilize the images and personas of public figures and celebrities should always obtain consent prior to using the image.  Celebrities often give consent to have their songs recorded and published (a right governed by copyright), but that consent often does not encompass the right of publicity.  Celebrities should always check to see to what extent they have consented to having their right of publicity used.  The right of publicity continues to be one of the most rapidly changing and evolving areas of intellectual property law.

James Mackler Graduates from Young Leaders Council

Congratulations to Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler, who is among the graduates of Young Leaders Council Class 59. After completing more than 30 hours of leadership training, he will serve a one-year internship on the board of Friends of Warner Park. This Nashville-based nonprofit organization has trained men and women to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit agencies for the past 28 years.

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 33 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 16 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 Graduates from Young Leaders Council

Congratulations to Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler, who is among the graduates of Young Leaders Council Class 59. After completing more than 30 hours of leadership training, he will serve a one-year internship on the board of Friends of Warner Park. This Nashville-based nonprofit organization has trained men and women to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit agencies for the past 28 years.

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 33 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 16 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.

Nashville Bar Journal Publishes Profile of Attorney James Mackler

The Nashville Bar Journal publishes profile of  Attorney James Mackler's journey from civilian law to the military and back again. You can read the profile on page 16 of the Nashville Bar Journal.

Nashville Bar Journal Publishes Profile of Attorney James Mackler

The Nashville Bar Journal publishes profile of  Attorney James Mackler's journey from civilian law to the military and back again. You can read the profile on page 16 of the Nashville Bar Journal.

The Tennessean Features Editorial by James Mackler Discussing the Legal and Moral Ramifications of the Gen. Petraeus Affair

By James Mackler

Featured in the The Tennessean

This past Veterans Day weekend marked the 10-year anniversary of the day that I joined the Army. The holiday is usually an opportunity for me to reflect on my time in service and to note the contributions and sacrifices of my brothers and sisters in arms.

My thoughts, however, were clouded with a feeling of disappointment and sadness by news reports of David Petraeus’ criminal behavior.

It pains me to write these words. My first assignment as a new officer was with the 101st Airborne. Gen. Petraeus had not yet led the surge or written the manual on counterinsurgency, but he had already obtained a status just short of legendary. He was (I thought) the model of what every officer should strive for: a tactical expert and a man of personal honor and integrity.

All was not as it seemed. The general had an affair with Paula Broadwell, another Army officer. Unlike in the civilian world, adultery is a crime in the military. It is punishable under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The maximum punishment is a dishonorable discharge and up to a year in jail.

There is good reason to hold the military to a higher standard. Adultery undermines the discipline, trust and cohesion necessary for an effective fighting force. It discredits the armed forces, undermining public support and recruiting. It also is a slap in the face to the families left behind. They should not have to add marital infidelity to their list of worries when a loved one deploys.

The Army’s Manual for Courts Martial gives commanders a list of factors to consider when determining whether to prosecute adultery. These include, among other things, the accused’s marital status and rank; the co-actor’s marital status, rank and position; the status of the accused’s spouse; the impact of the relationship on the ability to perform military duties; the misuse of government time and resources; and the negative impact on the unit. By these measures, Gen. Petraeus’ crime was very serious.

He was a married, high-ranking leader, having an affair with another married officer who was potentially under his command. The affair appears to have taken place on a military installation using government resources, and evidence was found on a government computer. If the general were a lower-ranking soldier, he would face serious consequences. He certainly would not simply submit a letter of resignation and move on with his life.

A large portion of the public seems to believe that Gen. Petraeus should not have resigned. Is our nation so desperate for effective leadership that we are willing to allow a man who has admitted to criminal conduct to continue to run the country’s top spy agency? Do we want a man who exercised such extraordinarily poor judgment to decide who lives and dies via remote drone strikes?

Gen. Petraeus is a great American, but no one is irreplaceable. Another capable leader will step up to lead the CIA. I will turn my thoughts to the soldiers who, year in and year out, remain faithful to both their family and their country. They are the veterans whom I will honor.

The Tennessean Features Editorial by James Mackler Discussing the Legal and Moral Ramifications of the Gen. Petraeus Affair

By James Mackler

Featured in the The Tennessean
This past Veterans Day weekend marked the 10-year anniversary of the day that I joined the Army. The holiday is usually an opportunity for me to reflect on my time in service and to note the contributions and sacrifices of my brothers and sisters in arms.

My thoughts, however, were clouded with a feeling of disappointment and sadness by news reports of David Petraeus’ criminal behavior.

It pains me to write these words. My first assignment as a new officer was with the 101st Airborne. Gen. Petraeus had not yet led the surge or written the manual on counterinsurgency, but he had already obtained a status just short of legendary. He was (I thought) the model of what every officer should strive for: a tactical expert and a man of personal honor and integrity.

All was not as it seemed. The general had an affair with Paula Broadwell, another Army officer. Unlike in the civilian world, adultery is a crime in the military. It is punishable under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The maximum punishment is a dishonorable discharge and up to a year in jail.

There is good reason to hold the military to a higher standard. Adultery undermines the discipline, trust and cohesion necessary for an effective fighting force. It discredits the armed forces, undermining public support and recruiting. It also is a slap in the face to the families left behind. They should not have to add marital infidelity to their list of worries when a loved one deploys.

The Army’s Manual for Courts Martial gives commanders a list of factors to consider when determining whether to prosecute adultery. These include, among other things, the accused’s marital status and rank; the co-actor’s marital status, rank and position; the status of the accused’s spouse; the impact of the relationship on the ability to perform military duties; the misuse of government time and resources; and the negative impact on the unit. By these measures, Gen. Petraeus’ crime was very serious.

He was a married, high-ranking leader, having an affair with another married officer who was potentially under his command. The affair appears to have taken place on a military installation using government resources, and evidence was found on a government computer. If the general were a lower-ranking soldier, he would face serious consequences. He certainly would not simply submit a letter of resignation and move on with his life.

A large portion of the public seems to believe that Gen. Petraeus should not have resigned. Is our nation so desperate for effective leadership that we are willing to allow a man who has admitted to criminal conduct to continue to run the country’s top spy agency? Do we want a man who exercised such extraordinarily poor judgment to decide who lives and dies via remote drone strikes?

Gen. Petraeus is a great American, but no one is irreplaceable. Another capable leader will step up to lead the CIA. I will turn my thoughts to the soldiers who, year in and year out, remain faithful to both their family and their country. They are the veterans whom I will honor.

Law firm seeks help for our neighbors

Posted in Gallatin News

The responsibilities we all share as Americans and as good citizens within our respective communities are important.

As we approach the upcoming holiday season, we, as a law firm, are reminded of how fortunate we are to live and work in this great county. However, despite our county's excellent reputation as one of the state's foremost marketplaces, its wealth, and its acclaimed growth, we still have those within our community who are in need.

We have many who are out of work, who have families to feed, or who may be elderly and simply do not have the resources to adequately provide food for themselves or their families.

We believe we have a responsibility to help our neighbors, who perhaps have not been as fortunate as we. To answer these calls for help within our community our law firm is initiating a campaign to facilitate the replenishing of local food bank shelves.

In the coming weeks our law firm plans to make an all-out effort through a special awareness campaign to encourage our citizenry to join with us in making contributions of cans of food and other nonperishable items to area churches and charities.

We want to ask you to help us with this very special project. This effort is about serving our community and coming to the aid of our neighbors.

We are also reminded at this time of year of how fortunate we are to be citizens of this great country. In just a few days we each will have the opportunity to perform one of our civic duties when we are asked to go to the polls and vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

We each plan to vote as do the other attorneys in our office and members of our staff. If you haven't already voted, we encourage you to do so. To vote is one of the most sacred privileges afforded by our great democracy. And it's the right thing to do.

Please join us in serving our community and helping our neighbors by donating cans of food to local churches and charities. To us it's much like voting. It's the right thing to do.

This guest column was submitted by Susan R. High-McAuley, William (Bill) Wright, Marshall (Marty) Cook, George J. Phillips, Johnny Garrett, and Charles Bone of the law firm Bone McAllester Norton, Hendersonville.

Law firm seeks help for our neighbors

Posted in Gallatin News
The responsibilities we all share as Americans and as good citizens within our respective communities are important.

As we approach the upcoming holiday season, we, as a law firm, are reminded of how fortunate we are to live and work in this great county. However, despite our county's excellent reputation as one of the state's foremost marketplaces, its wealth, and its acclaimed growth, we still have those within our community who are in need.

We have many who are out of work, who have families to feed, or who may be elderly and simply do not have the resources to adequately provide food for themselves or their families.

We believe we have a responsibility to help our neighbors, who perhaps have not been as fortunate as we. To answer these calls for help within our community our law firm is initiating a campaign to facilitate the replenishing of local food bank shelves.

In the coming weeks our law firm plans to make an all-out effort through a special awareness campaign to encourage our citizenry to join with us in making contributions of cans of food and other nonperishable items to area churches and charities.

We want to ask you to help us with this very special project. This effort is about serving our community and coming to the aid of our neighbors.

We are also reminded at this time of year of how fortunate we are to be citizens of this great country. In just a few days we each will have the opportunity to perform one of our civic duties when we are asked to go to the polls and vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

We each plan to vote as do the other attorneys in our office and members of our staff. If you haven't already voted, we encourage you to do so. To vote is one of the most sacred privileges afforded by our great democracy. And it's the right thing to do.

Please join us in serving our community and helping our neighbors by donating cans of food to local churches and charities. To us it's much like voting. It's the right thing to do.

This guest column was submitted by Susan R. High-McAuley, William (Bill) Wright, Marshall (Marty) Cook, George J. Phillips, Johnny Garrett, and Charles Bone of the law firm Bone McAllester Norton, Hendersonville.

2012 Liquor Legislative Recap

By Will Cheek

As usual, alcohol-induced legislation was popular with the 2012 Tennessee General Assembly. Legislators quaffed mass quantities of liquor legislation. Some made it to the state bar; others fizzled. We distill the most interesting and important beer and liquor laws of the 2012 Session.
Wine Fails Again
Most visible was the failure of Wine in Food Stores legislation to gain traction. According to an MTSU poll, 69% of Tennesseans favor wine in groceries.
This year, some supporters revamped the legislation to allow citizens to vote on wine in grocery stores with a local option election. Local option election is the way that cities, towns and counties decide to allow package stores and liquor-by-the-drink in restaurants.
Local option responded to criticism that the state should not be telling local folks whether Kroger and Mapco could sell wine. The thought was that major cities would legalize wine sales in food stores, based on the popularity of the issue, but that more conservative, generally smaller towns, would not be forced to swallow something that was not palatable to more conservative voters.
The new wine legislation died early in the legislative session. Many observers were not surprised, given the upcoming elections this fall and the fear among incumbents of primaries that almost certainly will focus on conservative values – including an anti-alcohol constituency that remains very important in more rural districts.
Discounts: Game Changing Marketing Rules?
Some liquor stores quietly offered small discounts to military personnel and elderly citizens. Technically, the practice was not legal. Someone asked the ABC and was told to stop.
In response, the legislature created a huge exception to the ABC prohibition against coupons and other discounts at the retail level. It is now legal for package stores – as well as bars, restaurants and other LBD licenses – to offer discounts, as long as the price is not below wholesale cost.
Specifically struck down are the limitations on case discounts at package stores. There are no case discount rules, as long as the price is not below cost. The impact on LBD could be sweeping, depending on how the ABC harmonizes the new law with existing laws and ABC Regs. For example, the new discount rule appears to allow happy hour beyond 10 pm, which will put considerable pressure on marketing to binge drinkers late at night.
It also opens up the possibility of selling drinks at multiple prices, at the same time, allowing preferred pricing to groups or preferred patrons. Allowing multiple prices on drinks could create headaches for tax collection and new tools for unscrupulous owners to cheat the tax man.
The open-ended discounting law could be this year’s Pandora’s box. PC 947.
Package Store Tastings
Following the 2011 passage of a law that allowed tastings at retail package stores – without any rules – 2012 legislation clarified that retail tastings are subject to very few rules:
• Liquor stores do not have to file a notice with the ABC for each tasting. Retail stores are required to give the ABC an annual notice of intent to conduct tastings, concurrent with renewals. The notice does not have to specify when tastings might occur. The ABC cannot charge a fee for the notice.
• Tastings may be offered at any time the retail liquor store is open for business.
• The size of each sample may not exceed “approximately two ounces” for tastings of wine or high-alcohol beer. Samples of spirits are limited to “approximately one-half ounce.”
• Retail liquor stores are responsible for limiting the number of tastings per customer and the number of products available for tasting.
• A retail licensee or employee of the licensee “may participate” in tastings. The change apparently overrides the general prohibition against licensees and employees drinking on the job.
• A server permit is not required for employees conducting tastings, if the employee has an employee permit for the retail store.
The new legislation does not address whether liquor stores may pair food with tastings, or offer guidance about mixers and other critical details. Keep in mind that liquor stores can only sell liquor, lottery tickets and cash checks. The ABC could easily take the position that since mixers and ice cannot be sold, mixers and ice cannot be used in tastings. Of course, liquor stores cannot sell glassware or Red Solo Cups, which if banned, would complicate tastings.
Although the new law makes it clear that notices are not required for each tasting, the legislation is ambiguous about annual notices. To be safe, we encourage owners to give a general notice of intent to conduct tastings now, and then give the same notice again each time the license is renewed.
Plaintiff’s lawyers could have a field day with the open-ended language allowing stores to set their own policies about how much a consumer can taste, how many samples can be available at any given time and how much alcohol staff consumes while conducting a tasting. We encourage store owners to impose the same controls a responsible restaurant imposes concerning consumption of alcohol. Dram shop liability is a logical concern and owners should have insurance coverage.
Allowing owners and employees to sample wines and spirits at tastings is fraught with danger. For example, what if the tasting lasts all day and the imbibing employee is also selling alcohol at the register. After a tasting, we encourage employees that have sampled alcoholic beverages not to return to regular duty selling wine and spirits. Bottom line, it is apparently legal to be under the influence and sell alcohol, provided the owner or employee is “participating” in a tasting. We say it is a bad idea. PC 947.
ABC Gets the Hammer for Admin Hearings
The ABC can now be awarded costs at administrative hearings. This puts considerable power into the hands of the ABC to press for settlement of citations. The ABC can use the threat of being awarded costs at an administrative hearing as a hammer to convince reluctant licensees to pony up for settlement or close the doors for a suspension.
Under the new law, in any administrative proceeding where sanctions are imposed, the ABC can be awarded costs. Costs include legal fees for the investigating and prosecuting attorney (generally the ABC Director or Assistant Director), the administrative judge, experts, and agents and other “persons” investigating and prosecuting the charges. Rates were not set, but are required to be “reasonable.”
“Reasonable” legal fees can be horrendously expensive. We expect that the hammer will be especially effective against licensees that try to ignore citations. We do not foresee a change for the vast majority of licensees that respond to citations. PC 1063.
Help Me, I’m Hungry
Tipped employees are no longer entitled to a 30 minute break for meals. The new law imposes a complex set of rules for employers to institute a “voluntary” program for tipped employee’s to waive their right to a 30 minute meal break. We see this law as fodder for bottom-feeding plaintiff’s employment attorneys. PC 760.
Limited Service License Fees
Previously, new limited service restaurants, commonly known as bars, were automatically presumed to sell less than 20% food and therefore had to pay the maximum $4,000 license fee. The law now allows new bars to submit a business plan projecting their percentage of alcohol and food sales. This should help future aspiring bar owners that plan on selling more than 20% food.
At renewal, the limited service licensee must file a sworn statement of food sales. If the projection in the business plan does not match the percentage in the sworn statement, the restaurant will either retroactively pay the difference between the higher license fee or receive a refund.
Buried in the change is language that arguably strips the ABC of authority to investigate the accuracy of the business plan and sworn statement. This favors the unscrupulous at the expense of honest bar owners. PC 947.
Farmer Brown’s Wine Bar
d
Tennessee’s bucolic farm country is now ripe for wine tastings and sales of farm wines. Farmers can now become farm wine producers. A farm winery grows its own grapes and contracts with a licensed winery to make wine from the grapes and bottle the wine in custom labeling for the farm.
Back on the farm, Farmer Brown can offer tastings of the wine and sell the wine by the bottle, in a separate room. There are no location restrictions, which we read as opening up dry rural areas to wine sales for Farmer Brown. Perhaps the most interesting provision of the farm wine producer law is the omission of the wholesale tier. Wineries can transport wine directly to the farm. Farm wine does not have to pass through wholesalers.
The farm wine law imposes almost no restrictions on sales. Hours are not set and server permits are not required for tastings, for example. The law does not expressly allow a charge for tastings, although the law does not prohibit charging admission to a tour that includes
As expected, a handful of dry restaurants were licensed as a premier type tourist resort and are now able to serve booze. Included are:
1) Catfish Place in Cheatham County. PC 661. 2) Long Branch on Dale Hollow Lake. PC 1005. 3) East Fork Stables. PC 0503. 4) Blue River Resort in Perry County had its license revised. PC 0440.
Cocke County can roll out the red carpet for distilleries. Cocke County, home of world famous moonshiner Popcorn Sutton, is now allowed to have distilleries in their county. PC 515. Four new specific businesses were added to the list of special licenses for LBD:
1. Woodland Golf Club. PC 136. 2. National Ornamental Museum in Memphis. PC 110. 3. Franklin Theater. PC 053. 4. The convention center at Tellico Lake. PC 1035.
If You Can’t Buy… Stay Out of the Liquor Store
The law for many years has outlawed people under 21 and people who are “visibly intoxicated” from buying liquor in liquor stores. The law has been extended. Now anyone “visibly intoxicated,” under the age of 21 or otherwise disruptive can be criminally charged, if asked to leave to store. Anyone under the age of 18 without a parent can be criminally charged just for entering a liquor store.
We wonder if the change has anything to do with wine in grocery store legislation. We doubt Publix will restrict minors from its stores, if groceries are allowed to sell wine. PC 899.
Criminals Rejoice
The prohibition against hiring LBD employees for eight years after conviction of a felony was reduced to four years. Employees convicted of crimes involving the sale, manufacture or transportation of alcohol are still precluded from holding sever permits for eight years.
The law muddied an age-old ABC practice of disregarding crimes resolved by “judicial diversion,” a common way for someone with a good record to dismiss criminal charges after doing community service and avoiding a subsequent arrest for a few months. The new law specifically approved of disregarding non-alcoholic beverage crimes resolved by judicial diversion. By omitting judicial diversion for alcoholic beverage crimes, does the law require the ABC to deny a server permit where a sale to minor was resolved by judicial diversion?
Note that the law does not apply to employee permits for retail liquor stores. Judicial diversion may not be an option for package store clerks. PC 1063.
Hours for Beer Sales
Two laws change the hours for beer sales in many cities and counties, most likely impacting more rural areas. For establishments holding LBD licenses, the hours for the sale of beer are now the same as the hours for the sale of wine and liquor. PC 027.
Another law expands the areas for Sunday 10 am sales to the entire county, where one city has LBD. Counties can opt out by 2/3 vote of the county commission.
We were astonished to see legislation that mentioned Sunday and alcoholic beverages in the same legislation. The general wisdom is that bills that expand the availability of alcoholic beverages on the Lord’s Day are dead on arrival. Perhaps it confirms that Legislators treat beer differently than alcoholic beverages, presumably based on antiquated assumptions that beer poses a lower risk than wine or spirits. Need we remind Legislators that this is an election year? PC 231.
Smoking Bath Salts and Plant Food
Unscrupulous convenience stores across Tennessee have been selling plant food, incense, bath salts and other seemingly innocuous products that have a popular use among youth bound for a buzz. When smoked, inhaled or injected, these substances create marijuana and hallucinogenic-type effects. The downside? The stuff is really dangerous, all too often leading to hospitalization and sometimes serious permanent injury. Every now and then, someone dies.
The Legislature created a new Class E felony to manufacture, sell or posses for sale an “imitation controlled substance.” Importantly, the law declares the building where the substance was sold to be a public nuisance. Beer boards should be able to close public nuisances by suspending or revoking beer permits.
It is very difficult to criminalize variations of synthetic drugs. Manufacturers tweak the formula to avoid criminal laws and suddenly have a legal product. With this law, Legislators took a broad approach, seeking to ban all “imitation controlled substances.” Look for court challenges by defendants. PC 843.
Important Technical Changes
• Full Bars in Smaller Restaurants. This new law fixes an inconsistency that came about with the adoption of limited service restaurants. Now, a restaurant with as few as 40 seats can sell alcohol, even if the restaurant sells more than 50% food. Two years ago, the limited service license lowered the seating requirement to 40 for bars, but not for restaurants. Restaurants with 40 seats could only serve wine. PC 790.
• Charities in the Hinterland? Special occasion licenses can now be issued to dry areas of a county that contains at least one city that has LBD. Charities can now hold special events in dry areas of major counties with wine and spirits. The law does not address beer. PC 447.
• Alcohol on Golf Courses Legalized? The premises for a private club now includes the golf course, tennis courts and areas immediately surrounding the swimming pool. Previously, many clubs allowed patrons to imbibe while golfing, but technically, the practice was not legal at most clubs. The law did not legalize duffing with beer and does not apply to for profit clubs.
• Due Process? Legislators developed a pilot program that authorizes the beer boards in Hancock, Union, Grainger, Claiborne, Cocke, Jefferson, Hawkins, Hamilton and Knox counties to suspend or revoke the beer permits if the ABC suspends or revokes alcohol licenses of any establishment. The law is complicated and amends an existing attempt to coordinate prosecution against establishments charged with selling alcohol to patrons under the age of 21. PC 881.
• Report Cards for Beer Boards. Beer boards are required to file yearly reports with statistical information identifying: (a) the number of beer permits issued, (b) information surrounding violations for the sale of beer for off-premises consumption and (c) any penalties imposed by the beer board for these violations. The ABC is required to compile the data and file a report with the Legislature by March 15. Copies of the report are available upon request. We suspect a number of beer boards will ignore the law, saying that the beer board does not have access to the information required pursuant to the law, which is a specific exception to the unfunded mandate. The other problem with this law is constitutional: the law goes far beyond the caption of the bill. PC 964.
• ABC’s High Alcohol Research Project. This law was created in response to the death of an 18 year old from consuming Everclear. This law requires the ABC to research and report information regarding beverages with high alcohol content to state and local government committees by January 30, 2013. New laws may come from this research next year. Stay Tuned? PC 730.
• ABC Regs. The ABC is now required to file a report by March 1 each session covering each new Reg enacted in the previous year and specifying the rationale for the new Reg. PC 947.
• Fines. The ABC is required to state the particular rule or statute in all citations, codifying a process that we believe has been in effect for decades at the ABC. PC 947.
• What’s better than receiving a letter from a loved one in the military? Receiving a bottle of wine with that letter. Tennessee passed a law allowing military men and women overseas to ship wine to Tennessee for personal consumption, but only once, and with a $100 license. PC 968.
• Wholesale Importing Now Legit. The law specifically provides for licensed wholesalers to become importers. Tennessee wholesalers can import wine and spirits from abroad and sell the spirits to other wholesalers throughout the US, with proper federal permitting and an ABC permit. PC 448.
• Jack Trucks. Manufacturers are now allowed to transport product out of state without using common carries. Jack, George and other Tennessee distilleries can use their own trucks to haul spirits out of state. Manufacturers and wineries can also store product at other locations in the county where their manufacturing facility is located. PC 448.
• Nonresident Sellers. The scope of the nonresident seller permit was modified and we encourage holders to view the changes in Section 6 of PC 448. • The exemption for wholesalers selling to out of state wholesalers was reduced from 20 to 10 years. The Attorney General has since thrown out the residency requirement, which makes the law meaningless, in our humble opinion. Read our story here. PC 592.
• High Alc Beer. Beginning at Section 7, Public Chapter 448 cleared up a number of provisions of the high alc beer laws and brewers are encouraged to review the changes. PC 448.
THE FOLLOWING BILLS WERE DEFEATED:
• Open container law fails again. For the fifth consecutive year, a bill regarding open containers in motor vehicles has failed. This year, the bill limited the offense to only passengers sitting in the front seat, yet it still failed. Many think the General Assembly’s love for golf and UT football is to thank for the bill’s failure.
• A bill redefining beer to include beverages with up to 12 % alcohol failed, mostly because of the fiscal impact on the state. High alcohol beverages have a different tax structure, and this would decrease state revenue’s by nearly $800,000 per year, which we think would grow significantly over time. With such a fiscal impact, do not expect to see high gravity beers in gas stations anytime soon.
• Self-checkout beer purchases remain legal. The apparent purpose behind this bill was to prevent minors from using the “swipe and swap” method. This is where someone “swipes” a 12 pack of cokes and “swaps” it for a 12 pack of booze. This failed, primarily because it would be easier for minors to simply steal the beer. Also, almost all grocery stores monitor self-checkout services. The main impact of the law would have made it more inconvenient for the vast majority of purchasers that are of age.
• Another bill with the purpose of protecting minors authorized the commissioner of revenue to revoke business licenses for the illegal sale of synthetic drugs and the local beer boards to revoke the beer license of a business selling such drugs.
• In response to many high profile drinking and driving accidents, investigating officers of fatal traffic accidents involving alcohol would have been required to forward the accident report to the ABC. One of the primary reasons this failed is because it is unnecessary, since the ABC can simply read about high profile drunk driving accidents in the newspaper.
• The ABC will continue to randomly conduct background checks on alcohol permit/license holders, as a bill requiring checks on all holders failed.
• It is currently a Class E felony for persons without a direct shipper’s license to ship alcohol in this state. A law requiring the ABC to contact the Federal Alcohol and tobacco tax trade bureau was introduced, but defeated this year.
• Pick TN/ Don’t Pick TN. Two bills were introduced with the intent of preserving the authenticity of Tennessee alcohol products. The first would have prohibited labeling whiskey, rum, and other “spirits” from being advertised as Tennessee products, unless they were actually distilled in Tennessee. The second required products sold as “Tennessee Wine” or “Tennessee Sour Mash whiskey” to contain a certain percentage of products grown in Tennessee.
We have seen at least one Tennessee-style whiskey that appears to have absolutely no connection to Tennessee – it is not distilled, aged or bottled in Tennessee. This is an issue that probably requires a fix at the federal level, since Tennessee cannot regulate what folks do in other states.
• Wineries - The law in Tennessee will continue to prevent wineries from having more than one location after a bill authorizing satellite locations was defeated. Coincidentally, the sponsors of this bill happen to be from the areas where Arrington Vineyards, (Williamson County) and Tennessee Valley Winery (Loudon County) areas.

*Special thanks to Bone McAllester Norton law clerk Thomas Austin for his assistance with this year’s summary.

Paul Kruse, Trademark Lawyer of the Year, introduces Trademark Vigilance Program

CoreFourSM
Trademark Vigilance Program
FOUR SERVICES

1. SEARCHING
Do you know whether or not a new trademark you are about to adopt is likely to cause confusion with the prior trademark of another party? CoreFour will search: State and federal trademark registration records for old, senior marks of others that are likely to cause confusion.

2. REGISTRATION
Do you know federally registered trademarks enjoy a right of priority, nationwide in effect, even in markets you have yet to enter? Our services include:
Assistance with all stages of the application process and registration maintenance up to but not including appeals, oppositions, cancellations or interferences.
3. SURVEILLANCE
Do you know whether or not another party has an interest in or is using a trademark that is likely to cause confusion with your trademark? Each month, we will: Monitor state and federal trademark registration records for new, junior marks of others that are likely to cause confusion.

4. INFRINGEMENT INTERVENTION
Do you know you have a duty to protect your trademarks by taking appropriate action to prevent any likelihood of confusion in the mind of the public? Our job is to: Send letters to suspected infringers and forward replies with comments regarding how best to proceed up to but not including litigation.

ONE PRICE
CoreFour services are available for a fixed monthly fee based on the number of classes of goods and/or services covered by your trademarks. The subscription rate is $150 per class/per month plus expenses. Every trademark covers at least one class of goods or services and sometimes more. Complementary subscription rate estimates are available upon request.

PROACTIVE MONITORING AND PROTECTION OF YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ASSET – YOUR GOOD NAME
In today’s competitive environment where the quality and price playing fields are increasingly level, trademarks are often the only way consumers differentiate one company from another. Consequently, trademarks play a critical role in driving new and repeat business. Many believe registration is enough; however, it is only the beginning. A comprehensive trademark vigilance program is a proactive, ongoing process involving four key steps. CoreFour offers these services at a fixed monthly fee.

HIGH QUALITY, CREATIVE, COMPREHENSIVE, EXPERIENCED
CoreFour is led by Paul Kruse, who has more than 20 years of experience helping individuals and businesses manage their trademark portfolios. While working at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office early in his career, he examined over 4,400 trademark applications and has prosecuted countless applications as a private attorney since. Paul has consistently been one of The Best Lawyers in America® since 2006.

Isn’t it time you got the most out of your trademarks?

To learn more about CoreFour and how it can work for you,
contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Paul Kruse
Bone McAllester Norton PLLC

William Haynes voted President of Christ the King School Board

Bone McAllester Norton attorney William "Paz" Haynes was recently voted President of the Christ the King School Board.  Congratulations Paz!

Bone McAllester Norton Attorney George J. Phillips Speaks at Local College

As general counsel at a publicly traded company, George has keen insight into contract law and best business practices. Never shying away from community involvement, George has been sharing his knowledge by speaking frequently at Volunteer State Community College with his most recent appearance being June 14, 2012. The topics of his presentations include Top 10 Tips for Small Business Owners and also Contract Review and Negotiation for the Tennessee Small Business Development Center. Keep an eye out for George's next appearance.

Attorney Bill Wright Appointed to the Board of World Christian Broadcasting

Bill Wright was recently appointed to the board of Christian Broadcasting, a non-profit organization that strives to share God's Word through mass media and also to improve living conditions of its listeners.

Click here to learn more.

Attorney Rob Pinson Graduates From Tennessee Leadership Law Program

NASHVILLE, June 12, 2012 -- Thirty-five attorneys from across the state graduated from the Tennessee Bar Association's Leadership Law program during the association's annual convention in Memphis last week.

Now in its ninth year, Leadership Law is designed to equip Tennessee lawyers with the vision, knowledge and skills necessary to serve as leaders in their profession and local communities.

Bone McAllester Norton is excited to congratulate Rob on this achievement.

To read more, click here.

Attorney Jack Stringham Named 2012 Best Lawyer

Bone McAllester Norton is delighted to congratulate Jack Stringham. Jack was recently named 2012 Best Lawyer in the area of finance and banking.

 

David Anthony Presents at Continuing Legal Education Seminar

On June 7, 2012

David Anthony presents “Liens and Security Interests in Tennessee: What Attorneys Must Know.”

This Continuing Legal Education seminar reviews the various types of liens in Tennessee, including consensual liens, judicial liens, statutory liens, and common law liens. Additionally, Mr. Anthony’s presentation includes a discussion of advanced topics, such as dealing with state and federal tax liens and special issues arising under the Bankruptcy Code.

This webinar is presented by M. Lee Smith Publishers and is presented live from 10am to 11am Central. The webinar is also available in CD-Rom format after the seminar date.

www.mleesmith.com/products/audio-conference-on-cd/tn-liens-cd
David M. Anthony concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, creditor’s rights, construction, and lien litigation. Mr. Anthony represents clients throughout middle Tennessee in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts. He also has significant experience representing financial institutions and other creditors in all aspects of the litigation process.