Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Sep 1, 2020

Journal Issue Date: Sept-Oct 2020

Journal Name: Vol. 56 No. 9

The contents page from the February 1970  Tennessee Bar Journal is a good snapshot of the practice of law at the time. For starters, look at the lions of the bar who were on the TBA Board of Governors! The officers were James D. Senter, Joe W. HenryFrank N. BrattonJohn W. Nolan IIIDon G. Owens, Harlan DodsonFoster D. Arnett.

The other members of the board were Walter P. Armstrong Jr.F. Graham BartlettLeo Bearman Jr., Randall P. BurchamG. Nelson ForresterRoy Hall, William C. KeatonPaul D. KellyWilliam R. Kinton Jr.J.G. Lackey Jr.William W. Lackey, Judge William B. LefflerJack C. Raulston and (What is this? A woman??) Anne H. Schneider.

A Tribute to Gov. Clement

Also included is a very dear resolution was adopted by the board Dec. 17, 1969 in memory of Gov. Frank G. Clement, upon his untimely death, including this section:

Whereas, Frank G. Clement was a man of great personal charm of manner, of impressive personal appearance, of keen intellect, and was blessed with  a fine sense of humor. He was a worthy advocate in the courtroom and a fearless and effective campaigner in the political arena …

Rules of Procedure Welcomed

The Hon. James Swiggart wrote about Tennessee Civil Procedure, asking, “How does Tennessee procedure in civil cases differ from that of other states?” After researching (by checking each state’s Code, one by one, and this was not with a quick computer search), he determined that “the most obvious finding is that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have directly influenced the procedures of almost every State, but in Tennessee this influence is limited to discovery depositions.” He advocated the adoption of the new proposed rules: “I make many rulings on procedural points with little assurance of correctness because there is no written rule and no authority. … My purpose is selfish. I believe that with the proposed Rules I can be a better and more efficient Judge.”

Don’t Miss This Part 

We now turn our attention to “Lawyers, Where Is Our Money Going?” by Mrs. John P. Colton Jr., who that year was secretary of the now-defunct TBA Auxiliary. 

It begins: “How many times have you asked your wife, ‘What did you do with all that money I gave you just the other day?’” (Remember, as you are hyperventilating, that this was just two months past the end of the ‘60s, and that is just how it was.)

“So, the local Bar Association asked their dedicated Bar Auxiliaries, ‘Just what do you women do with all that money you are always raising?’ Surely, such a reasonable question deserves an equally reasonable answer. Well, you did ask, so we feel it is time to give a full report.

“We must admit that a portion of all money goes for socializing. That is, there are certain expenses involved in paying for meeting places and in buying gifts for guest speakers … [but] our main purpose for existence is in doing what we can to further the chosen profession of our lawyer husbands.”

Each of the groups reported worthy recipients of their fundraising efforts, including sponsoring trips and visitations to the various courts for high school civics classes (and in one case, the “newly formed League of Women Voters requested a tour”); various scholarships to law school students; and the production of a booklet outlining all the courts with information on their jurisdictions, histories and structures. 

“So lawyers,” the article concludes, “these are some of the projects your busy wives have undertaken.”  

— Suzanne Craig Robertson

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