TALS provides continuing legal education (CLE) training sessions throughout the year to help meet our mission of educating advocates about civil legal issues.

2017 Training Schedule

Each CLE is held at TALS' Office located at 50 Vantage Way, Suite 250, Nashville, TN 37228 unless otherwise noted. Parking is free and lunch is included. See the event's full agenda below. All times listed are central standard time.

July 14, 2017 – Special Education & Juvenile Justice Task Force CLE


9am: Registration

9:30am – 10:30am:

Ethical Considerations in Special Education Law

This CLE session will navigate the ethical landscape for attorneys practicing special education law.  We will begin by examining the effect that an attorney’s role in a case has on their ethical obligations and their ability to file due process on behalf of their clients.  We will discuss the ethical boundaries for parents’ attorneys, delinquency attorneys, and guardian’s ad litem.    The session will also address common ethical issues arising in special education law, including special considerations for defense attorneys, conflicts of interest, the challenges of representing clients with diminished capacity, and maintaining appropriate interactions with school staff.  Finally, we will examine a special education attorney’s duties in new or emerging areas of law.

Presenters: Beth Cruz and Carrie Mason, Metro Nashville Public Defender’s Office

10:30 - 10:45am: Break

10:45am - 12:15pm:

Outside the Bounds of Public Schools-Vouchers, Charters, and Education Accounts

This session will involve information and a lively discussion about the trend of educating students, including those with disabilities and behavior challenges, in nontraditional settings with tax money allocated for education. Attendees will be able to identify some applicable statutes and rules and the national and state trends toward “parent choice” in education.

Presenters: Craig Barnes, Memphis Area Legal Services and Sherry Wilds, Disability Rights Tennesse

12:15 - 1:15pm: Lunch from Calypso Cafe

1:15 - 2:45pm:

How Much Educational Benefit Is A School Required to Provide to Its Special Education Students?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided that the standard used to determine how much educational benefit a disabled student should get from a public school must be more than just “some” educational benefit. Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District Re-1 marked the first time in 35 years that the Court has attempted to explain its decision in Headrick Hudson School District v. Rowley that established a vague standard that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires a school district to adopt an education plan (IEP) for an eligible student that is “reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive education benefits.” This presentation will review the Endrew F decision and its potential impact on the quality of education a school must provide to its special education students. The emphasis will be on the importance of writing an IEP that maps out a “specially designed” plan to meet the “unique needs” of the child so that the student will “make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances."

Presenter: Bill Allen, Partner with Mostoller, Stulberg, Whitfield, and Allen

Approved for 1 hour of DUAL and 3 hours of GEN CLE credit.

Click here to register for this CLE.


July 21, 2017 – Employment Law Task Force CLE


9:30am: Registration Opens

10 – 11:30am:

ADA and FMLA—Two Laws Harmoniously Protecting Jobs for Employees During Leave—Considered Both Solo and in Concert in Music City

This presentation will provide an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with a focus on requests for leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, and under the FMLA.  You will learn about types of leave (continuous, intermittent, modified work schedules, and working from home), how leave is requested, and permissible inquiries by employers.  Fact patterns will be discussed demonstrating the benefits of the two laws separately and when they overlap.

Presenter: Bill Bush, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands

11:30am – 12:45pm: Lunch from Calypso Café

12:45pm – 1:45pm:

Overcoming Employment Barriers to Re-entry: A How-to Guide to Helping Client’s Face the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Records

When people attempt to reenter society from the criminal legal system, they face a host of barriers to achieving economic security.  Chief among these barriers are the difficulties associated with finding and maintaining employment.  This presentation seeks to provide a practical guide to understanding these barriers and the legal remedies advocates can use to help our clients overcome these barriers. This presentation will focus on Tennessee’s employment-related re-entry laws and use examples to show how these laws can be used to fight the stigma associated with criminal records.

Presenter: Sam Keen, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands

1:45pm – 2pm: Break

2 – 3:30pm:

Understanding Workers’ Compensation and the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.

This session will cover the basic tenets of workers’ compensation law in Tennessee and explain in detail the process by which a work related injury makes its way to the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims.  The mediation process, expedited hearing and compensation hearings process and the application of the Rules of Evidence, Rules of Civil Procedure and state regulatory rules will be outlined.  Discussion will include the preparation of the Petition For Benefit Determination (PBD) and the Dispute Certification Notice (DCN).  The purpose is to give the attendees a basic understanding of Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law and the role of lawyers in that process.

Presenter: Chief Judge Kenneth M. Switzer, Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims

CLE Credit: 4hrs. GEN

Click here to register for this CLE.


July 28, 2017 – Health and Benefits Task Force CLE


Equal Justice University

August 30 - September 1, 2017 - Murfreesboro, TN


CLE Faculty Guide

The Tennessee Bar Association provides several resources for those providing CLE training. Visit the CLE Faculty Guide to see these useful resources.

About TALS' Training Sessions

A primary service offered by TALS includes training opportunities for attorneys, paralegals, and advocates within the legal services arena. Each year the organization holds multiple CLE trainings on various issues of substantive law, advocacy strategy, and administrative issues. The topics are chosen by the TALS task forces, representing the following areas:

  • Employment Law

  • Family Law

  • Immigration Law

  • Special Education/Juvenile Justice Law

  • Health / Benefits / DCS Law

  • Housing/Consumer Law

These trainings are generally a partial or full day in duration, and are often available through our online training software for viewing after the event. Some events are also simulcast on the Internet for viewing during the training. For additional information about upcoming or previous trainings, please contact Samantha Sanchez, Director of Training, Compliance, & Technology.

Posted: December 10, 2015