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Memphis Lawyer Bill Haltom Takes Reins as TBA President
New president announces “Stand Up and Deliver” theme for the year
KNOXVILLE, June 17, 2005 — Memphis lawyer Bill Haltom promises to stand up and deliver as he takes over the leadership of the 9,000-member Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) today. Haltom, a partner in the Memphis law firm of Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell PLLC was sworn in during the TBA’s 124th Annual Convention in Knoxville. Chief Justice Frank F. Drowota III administered the oath. Haltom takes the reins from Charles W. Swanson, a partner with the Knoxville firm of Sheppeard, Swanson & Mynatt PLC.
Haltom says his objectives for the coming year include a statewide-grassroots public education campaign to remind citizens that what makes America great is the rule of law. “During the coming year, I’ll be calling on lawyers around the state to help me ‘stand up and deliver’ for the American legal system,” Haltom said. “This campaign will remind fellow Tennesseans that when people attack the American legal system they are attacking the foundation of democracy. It will emphasize that when critics attack the jury system they aren’t attacking just lawyers and judges, but also attacking we the people, because they are saying we can’t be trusted to fairly and equitably resolve disputes in our communities.”
“That’s the ‘stand up’ part. We are going to do more than just talk though. We also are going to ‘deliver’ by giving back to our communities through an organized statewide public service effort.”
Haltom’s practice focuses on medical and legal malpractice defense, personal injury litigation, business litigation, health care law and media law. He is a graduate of the University of
Tennessee and received his law degree from the UT College of Law in 1978. He is admitted to practice before all Tennessee courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Haltom is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He previously served as chair of the Board of Editors of the ABA Journal, the world’s largest circulation legal magazine. He also is a member of the Memphis Bar Foundation and the Memphis Bar Association, where he served as president in 2000. And he is a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation.
Haltom has been a member of the Tennessee Bar Association since 1978 and has served as president of the Young Lawyers Division, chair of the Board of Editors of the Tennessee Bar Journal, chair of the Litigation Section and fellow of the Young Lawyers Division.
In addition to his lawyering skills, Haltom has made a name for himself in the publishing world. His most recent book No Controlling Legal Authority is being released this week as well. It features a collection of humorous essays on the insignificant legal issues of our times. Proceeds from its sale will be donated to the Tennessee Legal Community Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the ideals of professionalism in the practice of law and providing education about and access to the legal system. As Haltom’s third book, it joins Daddies: An Endangered Species (1996) and In Search of Hamilton Burger: The Trials and Tribulations of a Southern Lawyer (2000). Haltom also puts his wit to use as a humor columnist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Tennessee Bar Journal and numerous other publications.
Taking office along with Haltom are the association’s president-elect, Larry Wilks of Springfield, and vice president, Marcia Eason of Chattanooga. Wilks is a practitioner in The Law Offices of Larry D. Wilks with locations in Springfield and Nashville. Eason is a member with the Chattanooga office of Miller & Martin PLLC.
The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is the largest professional association in Tennessee with more than 11,000 members. Founded in 1881, the TBA provides opportunities for continuing legal education, professional development and public service. The TBA’s dedication to serving the state’s legal community is evidenced by its membership roll, which represents the entire spectrum of legal practice: plaintiff and defense lawyers, corporate counsel, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, government lawyers and legal services attorneys.