Circuit-Riding Judges Were, and Are, a Hearty Bunch - Articles

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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Jul 23, 2018

Chattanooga lawyer Russell Fowler looks at the history of the Circuit Court, starting with judges who rode their horses, and also trains, to make the rounds through the circuits. In this month's "History's Verdict," Fowler describes circuit-riding lawyers as the vanguard of civilization, but “[o]nly the hardiest survived for long in the backwoods. There, a strong constitution, common sense and a talent for storytelling were more important than knowledge of the law.” Even today, Tennessee has a circuit-riding Supreme Court, with sessions held at Jackson, Nashville and Knoxville -- although one presumes they don't ride horses or trains to get there.