Press Releases

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jun 18, 2004

Will focus on growing association's membership, studying fee dispute models

NASHVILLE, June 18, 2004 — Knoxville City Council attorney Charles Swanson promises a steady hand at the helm as he takes over the leadership of the 8,500-member Tennessee Bar Association this week.

Swanson, a partner in the Knoxville law firm of Sheppeard, Swanson, Mynatt & McMillan, PLC was sworn in today during the TBA’s 123rd Annual Convention in Nashville. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank F. Drowota III administered the oath. Swanson takes the reins from Nashville attorney John R. Tarpley, a shareholder with the Nashville law firm of Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop.

Swanson’s wife, Knox County Election Commission Chairperson Pamela Reeves, was also president of the TBA, in 1998-99, making them the first married couple to serve as presidents of the largest professional organization in Tennessee.

Swanson says his objectives for the coming year include continuing a number of incredibly successful programs launched last year, such as Leadership Law, a six-month program that teaches lawyers how to be leaders in their communities; and Lawyer’s Care, which challenges attorneys to take seriously their responsibility to perform pro bono work. Swanson also is committed to a strong emphasis on growing the association’s membership and maintaining an active role for the association’s Governmental Affairs Committee, which provides invaluable insights and resources to both state and federal policy makers.

Swanson’s new ideas for the coming year include exploring the potential for a fee dispute system in Tennessee, and addressing concerns regarding the unauthorized practice of law in the state.

Swanson’s practice focuses on personal injury, domestic relations and municipal law. He is a graduate of Pfeiffer College and received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1979. As a new lawyer, he was a member of the TBA Young Lawyers Conference, and from 1981 to 1984, he served as the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Knoxville. He is a certified mediator for the Tennessee Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court, Eastern Division. In 1996, he was a contributing author to the definitive manual of practicing in federal courts, in a publication titled “Sixth Circuit Federal Practice Guide.” Previously, Swanson has served as president of the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court in 1998 and president of the Knoxville Bar Association in 2001.

Taking office along with Swanson will be the association's president-elect, Bill Haltom of Memphis, and vice president, Larry Wilks of Springfield. Haltom is a partner in the Memphis law firm of Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell. Larry Wilks is a practitoner in The Law Offices of Larry D. Wilks, with locations in Springfield and Nashville.