But Seriously, Folks

My Closing Statement

Twenty-five years ago I began writing this column for the Tennessee Bar Journal. This is my 261st column. It is also my last.

At the end of this month, I will be retiring from the practice of law. I’ve been a full-time lawyer and part-time writer for 40 years. That’s a biblical timespan, and I’m concerned that if I keep practicing law, my next era might be seven years of tribulation.

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The THEC Says Six Law Schools Are Enough!

It was a hot topic of debate by Tennessee lawyers for many months. Does the Volunteer State need another law school?

Tennessee now has six law schools, covering all three grand divisions of the Volunteer State. In Memphis, there is the Cecil C. Humphreys World’s Greatest Barbeque Law School at the University of Memphis. In Nashville, there is the Vanderbilt University Grand Ole Opry Law School, the Belmont University 95%ers Law School, and the Nashville GooGoo Clusters Law School. And in Knoxville there is the University of Tennessee Rocky Top College of Law and the John Duncan Donuts Law School.

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Tennessee Lawyers Make a Fashion Statement

Aug. 31, 2018, will go down in Tennessee history as the best-dressed day ever for the legal profession. On that day, lawyers across the Volunteer State made a fashion statement … a seersucker fashion statement.

They did it at the first statewide Seersucker Flash Mob! When I started law practice 40 years ago, lawyers dressed for work every day even when they had no scheduled court appearances, depositions or client conferences.

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The Tennessee Lawyer Who Turned Down a Seat on the U.S. Supreme Court

Next to the presidency, it is the most powerful position in the United States government. And unlike the presidency, it is a position one can hold for more than eight years. In fact, once your appointment is confirmed by the United States Senate and you are sworn in, you can hold the job for the rest of your life.

The position is, of course, justice of the United States Supreme Court.

It is no doubt a dream job for many lawyers.

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Remembering the Law School Grad Who Walked Out of the Bar Exam

After graduating from the University of Tennessee Law School, he sat for the Bar Exam. But he didn’t sit for long. Just an hour into the exam, he got up from his seat, turned in an incomplete exam paper, and walked out the door. He hadn’t studied for the exam, and he quickly realized there was no way he could pass it.

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Toys ‘R’ Bankrupt

On Sept. 18, Toys “R” Us, one of America’s leading toy retailers, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia.

I feel real guilty about it, because I believe it’s my fault. For many years I kept Toys “R” Gonna Cost You a Fortune in business. This was back in the era when I had three small children, and on Christmas Eve, for me the three most dreaded words in the English language were “some assembly required.”

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Time for Lawyers to Face the Truth about Our Phones

We are all addicted to them. They don’t work for us; we work for them.

This month, Apple is releasing its newest phone, the iPhone X, which you can now purchase for a mere $1,000. (Well, okay, $999). The iPhone X hosts numerous features including “facial recognition” that will unlock the phone for its user.

That’s right, if you drop a grand on an iPhone X, your phone will actually recognize your face every time you stare at it, and if someone steals your phone or just borrows it and tries to use it, your iPhone X will scream, “Put me down, you thief!” and will then quickly call the police.

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Women in the Law: Seen AND Heard

As an old trial lawyer, I frequently appear in court for motions or trials. When I do, I never appear alone. I always have a female lawyer right beside me. And often, when we address the court, she does the talking. (Well, at least some of the talking, as I generally can’t resist saying a few words myself!)

The late great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously observed, “If you want anything said, get a man. But if you want something done, get a woman.”

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Nutt v. Ole Miss: It’s Lawsuit Time in the SEC!

I’m a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee where I received my Bachelor of Conservative Arts degree in Football Appreciation.

We are now about to enter either my favorite or most miserable time of the year, depending upon how my Vols perform on the gridiron. Yes, it’s September, and in the words of UT Law School graduate John Ward, the legendary voice of the Vols, “Its football time in Tennessee!”

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So Who’s Driving This Lawsuit?

It’s shaping up to be a huge legal battle. And there is no one in the driver’s seat.

It’s a heavyweight lawsuit between two Silicon Valley behemoths, Google and Uber. The case also involves the alphabet, although it’s not as simple as A-B-C.

At issue is laser sensor technology used in driverless cars. Uber wants to convert its world-wide taxi fleet to driverless cars, enabling it to layoff of tens of thousands of drivers and replace them with robocars.

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