November, 2008

Cover Story

I recently participated in a panel discussion for the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association and was asked this question "what does it take to be a great litigator?" I changed the question to "what does it take to be a great trial lawyer?" I chose "trial lawyer" over "litigator" because I think many people view litigators as paper-...

President's Perspective

It's Thanksgiving in Tennessee. A lawyer with a baby riding on her hip " we'll call her Cindy " bastes the turkey and turns her oven down low. Next, she's headed to Bruce Street in the heart of Sevierville. Before she serves her family Thanksgiving dinner, she's got a parenting plan to do for a client. After completing the first draft of the plan, she...

Letters of the Law

I am writing this letter to thank you, your staff, and your contributors for the excellent content and professional polish of the Tennessee Bar Journal. During the early '70s, I served on the TBA Board of Governors and contributed some legal articles which were published in the Journal. However, I believe that the quality of the ...

Book Review

Written by a law professor and an elder law specialist, this book's intended audience is the great mass of baby boomers " an estimated 80 million persons " born between 1946 and 1964. Reviewer Kelly Frére, born in 1959, sees the word "senior" in her not-too-distant future. Did this book give her the information she needs to avoid trouble?

History's Verdict

The Tennessee Bar Journal welcomes a new column this month. Russell Fowler will look to the past to help inform the practice of today in “History’s Verdict.” His column will appear three times a year.

2015 is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. It is time to pause and ponder its importance and plan how to commemorate this...


The Tennessee Bar Association was recognized in October with three Luminary Awards from the National Association of Bar Executives. The Tennessee Bar Journal earned a Luminary Award for The Law Launch Project, which followed 15 law students through their last year of school.


Ash reelected Court of Judiciary presiding judge
Circuit Court Judge Don Ash of the 16th Judicial District has been elected to a second term as presiding judge of the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary. The 15-member panel receives complaints against judges and imposes sanctions for violations of the Code of...


Female Majority

Sharon Gail Lee of Madisonville was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court Sept. 29, giving women the majority on the five-member court for the first time.

Lee, who has served on the Tennessee Court of Appeals since 2004, fills a vacancy created by the recent retirement of Justice William M. "Mickey" Barker.



Former Criminal Court Judge and TBA senior counselor FRED A. KELLY died Sept. 27 at the age of 93. Kelly graduated from the University of Tennessee and later served in World War II, earning the rank of captain. He graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1948 and began practicing law in Gallatin. A native of the city, he went...

Licensure & Discipline


Rebecca Gardner Coffee of Memphis has been reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education.

LaShundra Latrice Davis-Culpepper of Memphis has been reinstated to the practice of law after complying with...

Crime & Punishment

Corporate crime is big news. Lawyers practicing in Tennessee face an increasing likelihood of being asked to assist business clients in responding to an allegation of criminal wrongdoing. To protect the business and to avoid inadvertent harm to others (and your license), counsel must both understand the attorney-client privilege of an organization.

Paine on Procedure

If we had been alive in Memphis on Tuesday, March 10, 1891, around 11:20 a.m. at Main Street and South Court Alley, we would have witnessed lawyer Clay King murdering lawyer David Poston. Why did a lawyer kill a lawyer?

Henry Clay King was a prominent attorney. He compiled the Tennessee Digest in the nineteenth century, a copy of which I...

But Seriously, Folks

Mark Twain once said that a banker is a man who will give you an umbrella on a sunny day and then ask for it back when it starts to rain. But Twain wrote this back in the good old days when bankers were conservative men who wore dark suits and somber expressions and only loaned you money when you proved you didn't need it.