Friday, September 30, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

Attorney Larry Rice discusses the various legal grounds for divorce including, but not limited to, adultery, habitual abuse of alcohol or narcotics, living separately for more than two years, willful or malicious desertion, conviction of a felony, bigamy, and inappropriate marital conduct, which is the most common ground for divorce. He also defines fault and no-fault divorces, explaining the differences between the two types.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Clerking at Rice Law: by Erin O'dea

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.
~ W.C. Fields

Obviously, from the quote I have chosen for this week’s blog post, I am talking about good advice for anyone faced with taking the Bar exam in the future. There are, at this very moment while I am typing this word, 10 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes, and 51 seconds left until the list of successful Tennessee Bar applicants is posted on the TBA’s website at noon on October 7th. People love to tell law school graduates, “Of course you passed the Bar! You’re smart.” My fellow law graduates and I would like to tell those people to try taking the Bar, and see if they still feel that same sense of calm and confidence. I doubt their comments following the exam would be anything along the lines of, “Of course I passed the Bar! I’m smart.” I took the Tennessee Bar in July, and I have been waiting for the results for almost nine agonizing weeks now. I studied more than I have ever studied for a test in my life, but I am still not completely confident I passed. Taking the Bar, you write, and bubble in so much, and regurgitate so much information, that, at the end, you just cannot keep track of what you may have said right or wrong.
In May, prior to taking my leave of absence from work to study for the Bar Exam, Mr. Rice called me into his office and gave me some excellent advice. He said, “Erin, fear the Bar… and you will pass. Don’t fear the Bar… and you will fail.” I heeded Mr. Rice’s warning. I became overwrought with fear. I would wake up from nightmares about coming to the exam late, or naked, which was even worse than the usual naked dream because I was so out of shape after sitting at a desk studying for three months, that Sainthood was more attainable than a waistline. I came to understand what a panic attack was, and then I finally got a grip. I realized what Mr. Rice was really saying. I would have to get over my fear. I would have to use my fear. I would have to really, really study.
My realization paired with my parents allowing me to move back in with them for almost a month so they could cook and clean for me, and do my shopping and my laundry, with any luck, created a recipe for my success. Yes, that is a shout out to my wonderful Mother and Father, Frances and Bob O’Dea. You’re the best, Mom and Dad! Thanks for supplying me with endless amounts of coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper, turkey sandwiches, and clean clothes! I promise to never stick you in a dingy old nursing home, but if it ever comes to that: Mom, you get an attractive and attentive male nurse; Dad, you get the same, but the female version, deal? All joking aside, I am lucky to have such supportive parents.
I am also lucky to work for Mr. Rice who insisted that I take off work for the entire three months between graduation and the exam to study. Mr. Rice understands, and taught me, that Bar applicants need to fear the Bar exam, then take that fear and use it. It is easy to look at the extremely high number of students from the University of Memphis who pass the Tennessee Bar, and assume that the exam is not as hard as people say it is, but that is not true. Attention future Bar exam takers: “FEAR IT.”
If, however, you do not see my name on that list of successful applicants on October 7th, please, assume it is a glitch in the computer system, because that is what I am going to do (especially after this long blog post about how much I studied; talk about embarrassing). According to everyone else, “I’m smart, and so of course I passed the Bar,” which is also the fantasyland I will choose to live in, for at least that weekend, if my name is not on “THE LIST.” Until then, I will continue to live in fear that the velvet rope that is passing the bar may not be lifted for me this time, but thankfully that fear is no longer crippling (talk to me October 6th at midnight, and I doubt I will sound this level headed, but for now the fear is manageable). At some point, after passing the Bar, when I am faced with MY first big case, and things just do not look like they are going to go my client’s way, I will remember what Mr. Rice said about the Bar… “fear it,” and I will hopefully use that fear the same way I used it to prepare for the Bar. I will get a grip. I will buckle down. I will work hard. I will not move back in with my parents, but I will give it my all, and if my client still loses, I will assume there was a glitch in the system.
I apologize for the very Bar centered post, but if you were in my shoes, this would be all you would be able to think or write about too. To add to what is becoming a post about good advice, I’ll leave you with one more W.C. Fields quote. Mr. Fields may have had an affection for the bottle, but he also had a way with words… “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” ~ W. C. Fields

Monday, September 26, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Domestic Violence in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the twists and turns of abusive relationships and the vicious cycle that couples in violent relationships become caught in. He also discusses the effects of spousal abuse on children and how the parent can take initiative and get out of the situation before the effects on the children and family escalate.

To view the complete video, please follow the link below:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney: on Discovery in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the stressful components of the discovery process when going through a divorce. He elaborates on the rules of discovery and the challenges both the attorneys and clients face when preparing the discovery.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clerking at Rice Law: by Jessica Farmer

“With Friends Like These…”

One of the most perplexing and yet, wonderful things about the legal field is the ability of lawyers to fight all day in Court but still respect each other at the end of the day…most of the time. What happens when two opposing counsels genuinely don’t get along? Well, I’ve had opportunities to see that unfold. I’ve seen attorneys raise their voices, make gestures in Court, and even cry.

The ugly truth of the matter is that although most attorneys respect one another for a job well done, some just do not get along. The important thing though, is that the attorneys (at least the ones that I am privileged enough to work for) make the issues in the case and their clients their top priorities. It takes restraint and diligence, but at the end of the day, professionalism and civility prevail.

I think this is an important lesson for people, both inside and outside of the legal profession. It is impossible to surround yourself every minute of every day solely with people you like. However, personal feelings do not have to impede your ability to have a good working relationship.

When attorneys have a job to do, a little respect and civility between them can go a long way. In fact, seeing someone you generally do not like going out of his or her way to be professional and respectful, may make some of that hostility disappear. I believe that this is a lesson I will continue to carry with me after law school and into my many years of practicing law.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Contempt in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice talks about the forms of contempt and the consequences of violating a court order. He defines the two types of contempt, civil and criminal, and explains the various ramifications when one does not comply with a court order, ranging from a simple monetary fine to a more severe punishment such as jail time.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clerking at Rice Law: by Chelsea Conn

The pressures of going to school and working can be extraordinary, but I have found that the key to getting through just about any situation is being prepared. Sometimes, you have to learn the value of preparation the hard way. Professors at law schools use something called the Socratic method in class, meaning they call on students at random to answer questions. This ensures that each student is prepared and ready to talk about the day’s assignment.

My first class in law school was a Torts class. The Professor called on a student, but she didn’t know the answer because she hadn’t read the assignment. Instead of making her leave, the professor decided that she should read the case while the class waited. It was an agonizing fifteen minutes for the class to sit silently while she read. Most of us could imagine ourselves in her position, and we felt embarrassed and sorry for her. After that, no one came to class unprepared, including her.

It is important for people to be prepared at school, but it is even more important for attorneys to be prepared at all times. I can’t think of a worse situation for an attorney than a judge deciding that a client should lose a case because their attorney was unprepared. It is one thing to lose a case, but it is unacceptable to cause harm to a client because of a lack of preparation.

Since preparation is so important, most of the time at the firm is working towards preparing a client’s case. All the ducks need to be in a row, so to speak, and everyone works towards keeping everything organized and updated. I think every attorney owes clients a duty to be prepared in front of the judge.

In the end, I think that is why professors use the Socratic method – to ensure that we are ingrained with the habit of staying prepared. If we can master the art of preparation, we can create new arguments and approaches to problems with ease. I am endlessly impressed with Mr. Rice’s focus on preparation at all levels of his firm. To my knowledge, no one at the firm has ever been unprepared to go to Court. Perhaps that is because that along with emphasizing preparation, the attorneys also have the qualities of competitive spirits and a genuine interest in their clients’ cause. Mr. Rice always stresses that the law is supposed to be fun, but I seriously doubt that anyone would be having fun losing cases because of their own personal failures. In order to have fun, you have to be prepared!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Attorney/ Client Priviledge in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice speaks candidly on the significance of confidentiality agreements between clients and attorneys as well as between the clients and the employees. He also explains the exceptions of the agreement, such as the attorney's legal obligation to report any criminal intent suggested by the client's actions or words.

To view the entire video, please click the link below.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Alimony in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice speaks about Tennessee law for alimony. Mr. Rice's lecture enlightens listeners on the reality of alimony, including the different types of alimony and the factors that influence the final rulings for alimony in divorce cases.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Clerking at Rice Law: by Blair Beaty

Alas, school has started back and I am braving my second year as a 2L. Everything appears the same: same lovely classmates, same eccentric professors, and the same bad coffee in the bookstore. The only major change is that I am now attempting to balance work with school, and thank goodness for that.

Starting back in my third week as a student, I am already wishing for a motion to draft or a trip to the courthouse. As I settle in for another hour and half lecture, I can’t help but think about the knowledge I have gained while working at the firm…

…how to file a Complaint.

…how to draft an abundance of Motions and Petitions.

…how to draft a subpoena for different types of records.

…how to brainstorm on legal issues with a group.

…how to interact with clients and opposing parties in a variety of settings.

…how to keep track of my billable time in a detailed and organized manner.

And my personal favorite,

…wear the color “red” during a deposition or when questioning someone during a trial. It has been proven to distract people and cause them to make mistakes.

Most importantly, I have learned that actual work experience, at least in my humble opinion, far outweighs the classroom experience. I feel so lucky to be able to continue in my position at the firm during the school year and look forward to the new cases and opportunities that come my way. That being said, I leave you with a quote that encompasses my daily experience at Rice Law and urge all students to seek out an opportunity to gain knowledge through a work environment.

"We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character." --Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on the facts about Snooping in a Divorce Case in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the importance of not snooping in a divorce case. It can get you in a lot of trouble. Watch out because you could be charged with a criminal sanction. Snooping will hurt you, more than it can help you.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice: on Relocation in Tennessee

Memphis Divorce Attorney Larry Rice discusses the importance of Relocation. Does the moving primary parent have a good reason to go? Mr. Rice recommends that you want to do what is in the best interest of the children.

To view the entire video, please follow the link below: