EJU Training Sessions & Event Schedule

Updated 8/21/17 - Conference attendees will receive an event schedule at registration.

Below is the schedule for the 2017 Equal Justice University conference. All training sessions will be held in Cambridge A & B or Broadlands A & B. Additional sessions will be added as they are confirmed. All trainings below will have CLE credit applied for, but meetings will not.

Agenda at a Glance

The Agenda at a Glance is the conference schedule in PDF form. Scroll down to see individual session description and presenters. TALS will provide you a copy of the Agenda at a Glance in your event program at conference registration.


EJU Schedule and Workshop Descriptions

Tuesday, August 29th

4:30 – 7:00 pm

TALS Board Meeting & Reception: Cambridge A (private group function)


5:30 – 7:30 pm

Evening Reception for Hotel Guests: Hotel Atrium

Bring ID and Hotel Key


7:00 – 8:00 pm

Early Event Registration: Hotel Lobby


Wednesday, August 30th

6:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast Provided for Hotel Guests: Hotel Atrium


8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Event Registration: Conference Center


8:30 – 9:45 am

Opening Plenary: Building a 21st Century Juvenile Justice System in Tennessee


Learn how the Pew Charitable Trusts is using science informed policy to help states create a 21st century juvenile justice system.  Experts will discuss the role of adverse childhood experiences in shaping the future of youth, data on disproportionate minority contact with the juvenile justice system, success stories in reducing recidivism while promoting community safety; ways to engage law students and pro bono attorneys in representing juveniles.

Presenters: LaShunda Hill (The Pew Charitable Trusts), Judge Dan Michael (Shelby County Juvenile Court), Linda O'Neal (Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth), and Dean Rivkin (University of Tennessee College of Law). 

Moderator: Deborah Taylor Tate (Administrative Office of the Court)


10:00 – 11:30 am

Session One Workshops:

Title: Immigration 101

Description: This training will cover the basic of immigration including terminology, the government agencies, and forms of relief available. The session will also briefly cover current enforcement priorities and intersections with other areas of law

Presenter(s): Chay Sengkhounmany

The Immigration Task Force will meet in the same room directly following the end of the presentation.


Title: Playing Well with Others - Conflict Management

Description: How often do you find yourself in the middle of a conflict whether real or perceived conflict?  What do you do?  How do you manage it?  What is the outcome? In this session, you will have the opportunity to learn a process that can be useful and productive to manage and resolve incidents of conflict in your office.  Utilizing a simple tool, a proven process, and real-time practice, you will have skills to face conflict in a way that gets to the heart of the matter while managing personalities/projects to get your office back into a place that excels in its goals and achievements.  All are welcome as we tackle a topic that many avoid.  Let's not run with scissors - Let's Play Well with Others.

Presenter(s): Dayle Savage


Title: When Four ACEs Don’t Equal a Winning Hand: The Impact of Childhood Trauma and What It Means for Your Practice

Description: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration as well as lifelong health and opportunity. Participants will learn about the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), how these can be observed throughout the juvenile system and in family law, and how trauma-informed courts and personnel can make a difference in the prevention and mitigation of ACEs.

Presenter(s): Judge Sheila Calloway and Brad Palmertree


Title: Introduction to CHOICES Eligibility

Description: This session will provide an overview of the application and enrollment process for the TennCare CHOICES program, including financial and medical eligibility criteria, Qualified Income Trusts, transfers of assets, and eligibility appeals. It will provide practical tips and and troubleshooting advice for common common problems clients may experience

Presenter(s): Chris Coleman and Allison Jones


11:45 am – 12:45 pm

Welcome Lunch: Oakleigh BC

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins will speak.

Justice Janice Holder will present the Janice M. Holder Access to Justice Award to Larry Bridgesmith and Caitlin (Cat), Legal Alignment.


1:00 – 2:30 pm

Session Two Workshops:

Title: Litigating Used Car Cases and Educating Consumers on the “A to Z of Used Car Buying”

Description: This session will offer insights to the practitioner on evidence, pleading, applicable statutory and regulatory schemes, and collection of judgments.  Also, the presenters will offer an overview of an educational seminar which can be provided to the general public to assist in making wise purchasing decisions.  The seminar was developed by Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc. in conjunction with Autozone® and is available for use by legal aid organizations.

Presenter(s): Craig Barnes and Matthew Jones

The Housing and Consumer Task Force will meet in the same room directly following the end of the presentation.


Title: The Top Ten Chancery Practice Principles – Part I

Description: The course covers the following: jury trials in Chancery; the proper scope of local Chancery rules of court; references to the master; findings of fact in Chancery; maxims of equity including unclean hands and laches.

Presenter(s): Russell Fowler


Title: Coordinating Home- and Community-Based Services in the CHOICES Program

Description: This session will provide an overview of home- and community-based services available to individuals eligible for the TennCare CHOICES program. It will provide practical tips and troubleshooting advice on plans of care, service limits, and coordinating CHOICES services with other health benefits, including basic TennCare benefits and Medicare. Participants in this session will work through hypothetical scenarios involving problems coordinating CHOICES services.

Presenter(s): Shelby Dodson and Russ Overby


2:30 – 2:45 pm



2:45 – 3:45 pm

Session Three Workshops:

Employment Law Task Force Meeting


Title: Landlord/Tenant 101

Description: Learn the necessary basics for Landlord/Tenant cases.

Presenter(s): Freda Turner


Title: The Top Ten Chancery Practice Principles – Part II.

Description: The course covers the following: injunctions; specific performance; contempt; and liqudated damages in tort in Chancery.

Presenter(s): Russell Fowler


Title: Advance Directives, the Necessity (or avoidance) of a Will and the Probate Process

Description: Review the probate process, wills, general durable powers of attorney, and advance directives

Presenter(s): David M. Cook


3:45 – 4:00 pm



4:00 – 5:00 pm

Session Four Workshops:

Special Education/Juvenile Justice Task Force Meeting


Title: The Tennessee Human Rights Act: Housing Disability and Reasonable Accommodations

Description: This session will provide an overview of the Tennessee Human Rights Act housing requirements regarding disability and reasonable accommodations. It will provide an overview of the pro¬cess by which tenants can request a reasonable modification and/or accommodation as well as provide an overview the requirements related to service animals. This session will also clarify How the Federal Fair Housing Act applies to this subject.

Presenter(s): Beverly Watts


Title: Tech Tips Lightening Round

Description: Join Cat Moon and Larry Bridgesmith as they review and illustrate a number of time-saving tech tools in a fast paced session focused on making technology your friend in the delivery of legal services. Many of these tools are free. Working in combination technology tools such as these can “give you more of your day back”.

Presenter(s): Larry Bridgesmith and Cat Moon


Title: Legislative Update

Description: This session will review bills and budget items which passed during thislast year, specifically those which would be important for lawyers and others working on behalf of low income and senior Tennesseans. The session will also mention some bills and issues which did not pass but which may be part of the 2018 session. This session will also review new laws as well as budget and professional issues that may impact advocates as well as clients.

Presenter(s): Stewart Clifton


5:30 – 6:30 pm

Evening Reception for Hotel Guests: Hotel Atrium

Bring ID and Hotel Key


6:30 pm

Access to Justice Reception: Oakleigh BC


7:00 pm

Access to Justice Dinner: Oakleigh BC

Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center for Justice's Washington, D.C. office, will share remarks.

The B. Riney Green Award will be presented to Carol Gish and Ashley Holliday, WTLS and the New Advocate of the Year Award will be presented to Christina Magráns-Tillery, LAET.


9:00 pm

Hospitality Suite Open


Thursday, August 31st

6:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast Provided for Hotel Guests: Conference Center


8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Event Registration: Conference Center


8:30 – 10:00 am

TBA Access to Justice Committee Meeting: Oakleigh A (private group function)


8:30 – 10:00 am

Session Five Workshops:

Title: Low-Wage Workers' Rights: An Overview

Description: This session will include a basic overview of federal and state workplace-related laws and protections that are particularly relevant to low-wage workers, including:  the independent contractor v. employee distinction, and minimum wage, overtime, family and medical leave, anti-discrimination, and anti-retaliation provisions.  It will also include basic information about referrals (state and federal agencies, private attorneys, and public interest organizations) for individuals with workplace legal problems.  The session is intended to help legal aid attorneys and intake workers familiarize themselves with basic workplace protections so that they can identify and provide resources to workers whose rights have been violated.

Presenter(s): Caitlin Berberich and Spring Miller


Title: Promoting Race Equity In Our Communities

Description: This training will share our experience with Racial Justice Training Institute (RJTI). This will an introduction to the following concepts for lawyers to consider in their practice: structural racialization, implicit bias, systems thinking, mapping, and race equity. We will frame the training around our own project involving racial discrimination in school discipline.

Presenter(s): Patricia Jones, Sam Keen, and Marla Williams


Title: Protection for Tenants under Fair Housing & VAWA

Description: Presenters will give an overview of the federal Fair Housing Act, the state Human Rights Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. Participants will learn which laws apply to which landlords, protected classes of tenants, what could constitute discrimination, and protections these class-member tenants have from discrimination in the housing context.

Presenter(s): Carol Gish and Christina Magráns-Tillery


Skills Track Session A - pre-registration required


10:00 – 10:15 am



10:15 – 11:45 am

Session Six Workshops:

Title: Shadow Boxing with Section 8 Subsidies

Description: Federal housing subsidies are complex and numerous. Often, identifying the subsidy involved is the hardest part of the battle. This presentation will provide advocates with information needed to help them identify the applicable housing subsidy, locate the associated federal regulations, and utilize the afforded protections for tenants.

Presenter(s): Sam Keen and Zac Oswald


Title: BPR Talks Legal Ethics

Description: This seminar will cover a number of ethical issues commonly encountered by public interest lawyers, including communication with prospective clients, working with clients with diminished capacity, client communication, and responsibilities regarding non-lawyer assistants.  The session will also provide an overview of the procedures used by the BPR in handling ethical complaints.

Presenter(s): Kevin Balkwill and Steven Christopher


Title: Ethics and professionalism and juveniles, oh my!

Description: Discuss ethical considerations and professionalism mandates in representing the child client in delinquency, dependency and neglect, special education, and unruly cases.

Presenter(s): Beth Cruz, Carrie Mason, and Stacie Odeneal


Skills Track Session B - pre-registration required


11:45 am – 1:15 pm

Leadership Lunch: Oakleigh BC

Lucian Pera, President and Joycelyn Stevenson, Executive Director, of the Tennessee Bar Association will speak.


1:30 – 2:30 pm

Session Seven Workshops:

Pro Bono Coordinators Meeting


Title: Supported Decision-Making: Protecting Rights, Ensuring Choices

Description: Supported Decision Making is the least restrictive alternative to guardianship/conservatorship.

Explore the legal and ethical considerations around supported decision making, which ensures that people with disabilities receive the services and supports they need and want to live full, meaningful and community integrated lives.

Presenter: Jonathan Martinis


Title: May I Have This Dance? Legal Aid and Family Justice Centers as Perfect Partners

Description: The three keys to a successful dance partnership are: close proximity, trust, and communication.  These are also the key elements to a successful partnership between Family Justice Centers and Legal Aid.  This session will briefly summarize Governor Haslam’s Tennessee Statewide Family Justice Center Initiative – the funding of 7 new FJCs (for a total of 9 across the state), the key role that civil-legal agencies play in the planning and implementation of the project, the continuing oversight that OCJP provides with regard to operational standards and supportive funding, and the state’s vision for the future of FJCs and their key partners.  Participants will have time for questions and discussion about their experiences working with FJCs, concerns, and ideas for the future.

Presenter(s): Jessica Cleveland


Skills Track Session C - pre-registration required


2:30 – 2:45 pm



2:45 – 3:45 pm

Session Eight Workshops:

Title: Decoding Court Room Body Langugage

Description: Using the research from modern scientific studies and my own experience in using that information in courtrooms and interrogation rooms, I explain how to use specific body language techniques and strategies to give you and your client advantages that no one else in the courtroom will have. The process involves five steps. (see link at #8)

Presenter(s): Scott Rouse


Title: Hot Topics in Mortgage Foreclosure Practice

Description: This session will share information on topics presented at the 2017 NCLC Mortgage Foreclosure Conference, to include information on the new “Flex Modification” home loan modification program.

Presenter(s): Patricia Jones


Title: Statewide Resources for Seniors & Adults with Disabilities

Description: An overview of the state and local resources lawyers can provide to for seniors and adult clients with disabilities

Presenter(s): Laura Brown


Skills Track Session D - pre-registration required


4:00 – 5:00 pm

Session Nine Workshops:

Title: Three TN Apps Making Legal Help More Accessible

Description: Learn about 3 new tools that you can use in your practice to make legal help more accessible in TN - TN Supreme Courts automated divorce form, TALS' legal wellness check upm and the Tennessee Justice Center's Ask Jane.

Presenter(s): Kirsten Jacobson, Rob Watkins


Title: Effective Mediation Preparation and Advocacy

Description: Whether by court order or choice of the parties, mediation continues to grow as an effective, rewarding, and cost efficient method for resolving disputes. Legal aid clients will increasingly find themselves in mediation of many of their most important decisions and conflicts, sometimes with an attorney and often without. One of the challenges faced by parties and advocates alike is adopting a mindset and approach most likely to result in a successful mediated resolution. Join Dr. Sara Figal, Executive Director of Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and Frank S. Cantrell, a mediator in private practice with Memphis Mediation Group, LLC, as they discuss the principles of effective preparation and advocacy in mediation. With Dr. Figal’s extensive community mediation center experience, often with pro se parties, and Mr. Cantrell’s work in private mediation, the goal of this session will be to equip you to prepare your client and yourself to get the most out of mediation.

Presenter(s): Frank Cantrell and Sara Figal


Title: Ethical Considerations While Planning for Death and Dying

Description: Elder law attorneys have unique relationships with their clients. This session discusses the ethical considerations involved in assisting clients plan for the end of life and beyond, including specific TN Rules of Professional Responsibility and the holistic nature of elder law.

Presenter(s): Lauren M. Ludwikowski


Skills Track Session E - pre-registration required


5:30 – 6:30 pm

Evening Reception for Hotel Guests: Hotel Atrium

Bring ID and Hotel Key


8:00 pm

Hospitality Suite Open


Friday, September 1st

6:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast Provided for Hotel Guests: Conference Center


8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Event Registration: Conference Center


8:30 – 10:00 am

Session Ten Workshops:

Title: Diminished Capacity and Elder Abuse

Description: This sessions explores ways in which attorneys can use existing Tennessee law to protect elders with diminished capacity from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation

Presenter(s): Matthew Schwimmer

The Housing and Consumer Task Force will meet in the same room directly following the end of the presentation.


Title: Promoting Race Equity In Our Communities

Description: This training will share our experience with Racial Justice Training Institute (RJTI). This will an introduction to the following concepts for lawyers to consider in their practice: structural racialization, implicit bias, systems thinking, mapping, and race equity. We will frame the training around our own project involving racial discrimination in school discipline.

Presenter(s): Patricia Jones, Sam Keen, and Marla Williams


Title: Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure

Description: A basic review of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, excluding rules related to discovery. Emphasis will be on those Rules that are particularly relevant to legal aid practice and the representation of low income persons.  Although open to all attorneys/advocates, this session is especially designed for attorneys in practice for five years or less.

Presenter(s): David Kozlowski


Managing Attorneys Meet


10:00 – 10:30 am

Break & Checkout from the Hotel


10:30 – 11:15 am

Session Elevan Workshops:

Family Law Task Force Meets


Title Employment Discrimination

Presenter(s): Ann Martin and Michael Russell


Title: Coordinating Immigration Pro Bono Services

Description: Learn how the MEMigration Coalition in Memphis, TN is recruiting, training, and working with volunteer attorneys to provide representation for immigrant clients across Tennessee and the Mid-South.

Presenter(s): Lauren Prater


Ombudsmen Meet





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