The Legal Aid Advocate
November 2013
Table of Contents
Taking a Moment to Say Thanks 
This month, we want to take a moment to thank you for your support. Because of your time, talent, ideas and money, we - Legal Aid Society, Nashville Pro Bono Program and our other pro bono programs - are able to provide free civil legal assistance and community education to thousands of people who have nowhere else to turn. We are finishing 2013 strong because of your support, and we look forward to helping more people in 2014. 
Campaign Update 
As of Nov. 25, we have raised $708,302 towards our $760,000 goal. To make your own tax-deductible gift or to complete your pledge, go online to or send checks payable to the Legal Aid Society to 300 Deaderick St., Nashville, TN  37201. For more information, contact Cindy Durham at or (615) 780-7125.
Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence Honors Jean Crowe
The Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence recently held a reception honoring Jean Crowe, former Legal Aid Society attorney and domestic violence prevention advocate. Crowe retired in August after 28 years of service in the Nashville office of Legal Aid Society, including 15 years as lead attorney of the Family Law Section. Crowe had a profound impact on the family law community, and she created a program centered on holistic advocacy and helping clients become self-sufficient.
Speakers at the reception included Judge Philip Smith, 4th Circuit Court; Gary Housepian, executive director of Legal Aid Society; Jacqueline Dixon, former Tennessee Bar Association president; and Mayor Karl Dean, who gave Crowe a Mayoral Proclamation. To read more about the reception on TBA’s website and to see more photos, click here.
 Pictured: Jean Crowe and Mayor Karl Dean
Neil McBride Retires from Legal Aid Society 
Neil McBride is retiring from Legal Aid Society in late November after 35 years of service. In 1978, McBride founded and became executve director of Rural Legal Services of Tennessee, which consolidated with Legal Aid Society in 2001.  Since that time, he has served as General Counsel of Legal Aid Society and Managing Attorney of its Oak Ridge office.  McBride is a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, and a member of the Tennessee Bar Association’s House of Delegates.
McBride was lead counsel in a case before the Tennessee Supreme Court that clarified the constitutional rights of natural parents in termination proceedings. From 2006 to 2010, he served on the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense, the ABA’s primary policy-setting body on issues related to legal assistance to the poor. He also served on the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission’s Court System Advisory Committee in 2010. McBride is a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a part-time, nonpartisan position appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. In 2010, the Tennessee Bar Association gave him its annual Ashley T. Wiltshire Award for outstanding service in the field of public interest law.
He was formerly an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he taught a course on representing nonprofit corporations. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he started his career as a staff attorney with Ralph Nader in Washington, D.C.
McBride has contributed much to Tennessee’s low-income individuals through free civil legal aid throughout his career and has made a significant impact on Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.
Kevin Doherty Receives Bob Sullivan Service Award
For the fourth year in a row, Legal Aid Society hosted a breakfast for Music Row leaders. During the Bob Sullivan Memorial Breakfast – named for the late attorney with Loeb & Loeb, LLP and one of the driving forces behind the annual event – Kevin Doherty received the Bob Sullivan Service Award. The award honors those who have provided pro bono legal assistance or other assistance to Legal Aid Society and the Nashville Pro Bono Program. Doherty is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.
Doherty is involved in the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and Partnership 2020, Rotary Club of Nashville, Operation Stand Down Nashville, the Nashville Food Project, Catholic Charities of Tennessee and the Nashville Youth Hockey League. Doherty has been a Nashville Business Journal “Best of the Bar” winner and listed in the Nashville Post’s In-Charge List, the Best Lawyers in America® - Insurance Law, Entertainment Law and as a decision maker in the music industry in the “In Charge” edition of Music Row magazine. Doherty received his juris doctorate from Vanderbilt University, where he was a Patrick Wilson Scholar, and his undergraduate degree from Princeton.
Kevin Doherty receives the Bob Sullivan Service Award from Gary Housepian,
executive director of Legal Aid Society.
John Tishler to Serve as 2014 Campaign for Equal Justice Chair 
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP Partner and Chairman John Tishler will serve as the 2014 campaign chair of the Campaign for Equal Justice, an annual initiative that raises funds for Legal Aid Societyand the Nashville Pro Bono Program.
Tishler is an insolvency and restructuring attorney by trade, and he speaks in both the transactional and litigation arenas. Tishler has a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Law. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Rules of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the American Bankruptcy Law Institute. He was previously president of the Tennessee chapter of the Turnaround Management Association.
Tishler is also a board member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin Road Academy and on the board of directors of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
Tishler has assembled a campaign committee for the 2014 campaign.
  • Large firm co-chairs: Robert “Bob” J. Mendes of Frost Brown Todd LLC and Todd J. Rolapp of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
  • Small firm co-chairs: Spruell Driver, Jr. and W. Casey Reed
  • Government attorneys chair: Saul Solomon of the Metro Nashville Law Department
  • Judges co-chairs: The Hon. Philip E. Smith, 20th Judicial Dist., Div. IV, and the Hon. Rachel Bell, General Sessions Court, Div. VIII
  • Corporate attorneys chair: Kathryn “Kate” A. Stephenson of Corrections Corporation of America
  • Williamson County attorneys chair: Joseph J. Jensen of Stites & Harbison
Staff Updates 
Derria Ford has joined Legal Aid Society as the grant administrator. Ford was previously Title III coordinator at Meharry Medical College. She also served as interim fiscal officer and budget analyst at Meharry Medical College’s Department of Psychiatry. Ford has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in business communication and industrial/organizational psychology and a master’s in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University.
Rae Anne Seay, staff attorney for the Tullahoma office, will serve a two-year term as vice president of the Tennessee Joint Task Force on Children’s Justice and Child Sexual Abuse. She is currently chair of the joint task force’s Court Improvement Committee. The task force’s role is to advise and assist specific state departments, as well as child advocates, service providers, law enforcement and the judiciary, in carrying out their duties related to child protection and responding to child abuse and neglect. The members are appointed by the DCS Commissioner.
Cherrelle Hooper, staff attorney for the Gallatin office, was recently named to the governing board for VSA Tennessee. It is Tennessee’s affiliate of VSA, a national nonprofit organization that gives people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the arts. It nurtures and encourages their growth in the arts. VSA Tennessee is now part of the John F. Kennedy Center in the education department, as well as a JFK grant recipient.
Whitney McFalls, former victim advocate at Legal Aid Society, recently was hired by the city of Nashville as the city’s first domestic violence coordinator. McFalls will work toward creating a family justice center model, creating an integrated data collection system, standardizing training for Metro employees that work with domestic violence victims and increasing victim services and advocacy at court. The new position is being funded for three years by a state grant. McFalls was an advocate with Legal Aid Society for more than 15 years.
Upcoming Clinics 
In 2013, the Nashville Pro Bono Program and Legal Aid Society offices will host more than 100 clinics to provide free legal help throughout its 48-county service area. If you want to volunteer at one of the clinics, contact Lucinda Smith with the Nashville Pro Bono Program at (or 615-780-7127) or call your local Legal Aid Society office.
You can see a list of upcoming clinics here.

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Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee
1321 Murfreesboro Pike, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37217