March, 2009

Cover Story

Class Action Residual Funds Support Pro Bono Efforts

In addition to more traditional methods of supporting pro bono programs, you can support Tennessee pro bono programs by directing residual funds from class action settlements or class action judgments to the Tennessee Voluntary Fund for Indigent Civil Representation (the "Cy Pres Fund" or the...

President's Perspective

Lawyers, like kids, say the darndest things. During one of our TBA House of Delegates meetings, one of the House members explained to me that country lawyers call city lawyers like me, "tall building lawyers," meaning of course, that we practice law in tall buildings and implying, quite accurately, that we tall-building lawyers have gaps the size of...

Letters of the Law

President's column and 'Byrd' article very helpful

The following letter was written to Andrée Blumstein about her article, "Bye, Bye Byrd? Summary Judgment After Hannan and Martin: Which Way to Go?" which appeared in the February Tennessee Bar Journal.

I really enjoyed your article on summary judgment in the recent ...

Book Review

By Harold Schechter | Ballantine Books | $27.95 | 494 pages | 2007

You and I know about the evidence principle that other crimes are inadmissible in an accused's trial for the indicted crime. It is ensconced in Rule 404(b).

A famous case applying that principle is People v. Molineux, 61 N.E. 286 (N.Y. 1901). You...

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...

Membership Maven
Kathy Prescott

Dear Maven,
Fall is such a nice time of year…the leaves are changing colors, the air is getting cooler and college football is in full swing.  And, then BAM, it’s time to get health insurance!  I need a quick solution to this dilemma.  What can I do???



Criminal Law

The Illinois governor's alleged offer to sell President Obama's former Senate seat to the highest bidder has outraged citizens all over the country. We would hope such a scandal is a rare event.

Actually it is not. During the period of reconstruction following the Civil War the buying and selling of political offices was rampant in the South. One...


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.


Lauren Brittain Patten and Emily B. Warth have joined the Nashville law firm of Walker, Tipps...


Nearly 40 law firms were honored for adopting pro bono polices during the 2009 TBA Public Service Luncheon Jan. 17. Three individual attorneys were also honored during the program, which featured a keynote address from Chief Justice Janice Holder. Holder urged attorneys across Tennessee to take part in the April 4 public service effort supported by the...


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


Edward Victor Longinotti III of Nashville was reinstated to the practice of law on Jan. 6 after complying with Section 20 of Supreme Court Rule 9, which requires the payment of annual registration fees.

Wilson County lawyer Gary Wayne Vandever was reinstated to the practice of law on Jan. 7. He...
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

When I was a baby law professor in the '60s, specificity reigned. But adoption of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure changed things effective Jan. 1, 1971. Following the federal model, our Rules allowed generalities. For example, a plaintiff only need plead a short and plain statement of the claim. The defendant can respond with a short and plain...

But Seriously, Folks

Long-time readers of this silly column (and you know who you are) know how I feel about how we lawyers should dress. I believe that every problem now faced by the American legal profession " tort reform, the decline in civility, Alberto Gonzales " has been caused by the advent of "casual day" at law firms throughout our once well-dressed nation.