November, 2012

Cover Story


Under the 1796 Tennessee Constitution, the state’s highest court had no home. The legislature created the court and determined where it met. A commentator, known only as Madison, observed in the Nashville Whig that the judges were “run from Nashville to Jackson — from Jackson to Centerville — from Centerville to Jonesboro — from...

President's Perspective

As lawyers, we have much for which we can be thankful. We live in the greatest country in the world. We are well educated, employed or employable. Many of us operate in a world of privilege with career satisfaction, financial rewards and prestige that others only dream about. As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to reflect on a few of the things I am...

Book Review

By Robert A. Caro | Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | $35 | 712 pages | 2012

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...


Kevin Balkwill, disciplinary counsel in the Litigation Division of the Board of Professional Responsibility, is the new president of the Tennessee CASA Association. He replaces Meagan Frazier Grosvenor, who served in the position for two years. She will continue to serve as immediate past president.


More than 300 Tennessee lawyers gave free legal services at more than 50 events to those unable to afford a lawyer throughout the month of October as part of the national Celebrate Pro Bono initiative. Activities included legal advice clinics, education programs, public presentations and other events.


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


The October 2012 issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal listed Sally Jo Helm of Knoxville as being suspended for failure to comply with continuing legal education requirements. Helm died in November 2011 and was inadvertently included on the list by the CLE Commission.

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

Two fishermen in Carter County at Elizabethton found a body beside the Watauga River on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2004. It was Kristal Gale Dubuque, age 22, the single mother of a son. Recently she had made the mistake of working for bounty hunter Bob Miller. He brutally raped and murdered Kristal during the night of Feb. 15.

At trial during the first...

But Seriously, Folks

On the third Thursday of this month, I will be in beautiful Franklin, Tenn., attending the annual Swafford family Thanksgiving dinner.

I get to attend this wonderful dinner each November because thirty-one years ago I played a very small role in a wedding at the Holly Avenue Methodist Church in South Pittsburg, Tenn. I was the groom.