published Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Chattanooga lawyers write blog to keep others current on legal issues

Two local lawyers have created a one-stop shop to keep people current on legal developments in local and national courts.

Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss started the Davis & Hoss Law Blog earlier this year to share law news with fellow attorneys, police and law students.

Hoss said he and Davis contribute to the blog, and they’re reaching out to fellow attorneys to also write short articles.

The idea came out of the attorneys’ work teaching classes at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Davis said. The blog helps students connect with cases that relate to the state and federal laws they study, he said.

An added benefit is the lawyers get to educate themselves.

“I enjoy reading the case law for starters, and it forces me to think about it,” Davis said.

The site has referred to a wide range of legal topics, from the historic Scopes Monkey Trial, held in Dayton, Tenn., in 1925 over the issue of teaching evolution, to opinions issued by local judges and to cases on appeal with the U.S. Sixth Circuit of Appeals and current legislation being considered.

The articles cite news and court documents, but as with most blogs, also offer some opinion.

In a reference to a Tennessee Senate bill that allows the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, Davis wrote, “I was unaware that we needed new laws to help students understand science. I assumed that science teachers already had their days filled with enough direction from elected politicians on how to run their classrooms.”

Local attorney Brian O’Shaughnessy said he plans to contribute to the blog. O’Shaughnessy practices criminal and civil law and said the postings help “distill” information from wide-ranging sources.

Writers are not paid for their postings, but O’Shaughnessy said it’s worth the time for a couple of reasons.

“First is, it educates the writer,” he said. “Second is information. You can’t have a criminal system without people understanding what criminal law is.”

As laws grow and become more complicated, it becomes difficult for non-attorneys to stay informed, O’Shaughnessy said.

Davis said the work also has helped him better embrace technology.

“I sort of resisted the Internet for a long time; I’m definitely not a technically savvy guy,” he said. “It’s one of those things you’ve got to invest a little sweat equity.”

Online: To see the Davis & Hoss Law Blog, visit davisandhossblog.com.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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stuartfjames said...

Good article, there is also another website here in Chattanooga that provides news about crime and courts and more. It is located at www.legaleaseus.com. The site has legal news, the layman's law dictionary, decisions from the Tennessee Appellate Courts and more. It is a cite for everyday people to learn more about news and the law.

May 2, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.
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