Letters of the Law

Letters of the Law

A Long History of Judicial Robes

In regard to the discussion in the Tennessee Bar Journal on judicial robes, I wanted to note that simple black robes have a long history and strong defenses. The first U.S. Supreme Court justices wore black and crimson robes and long wigs similar to those of their British counterparts. They abandoned the wigs and crimson after being followed by small boys in the street shouting, “Lobsters! Lobsters!” Plain black robes and no wigs became the norm for the court. And even though Tennessee judges did not commonly wear robes until the early 20th century, there is an account of Andrew Jackson doing so while conducting trials on circuit as a judge of Tennessee’s Superior Court in the 1790s.

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Letters of the Law

Thank You for Writing about Lutie Lytle

This letter was written to our columnist, Russell Fowler, about his article, “Tennessee’s Lutie Lytle: A Woman of Many Firsts,” which was published in the October 2018 Tennessee Bar Journal.
 
Thank you in general for your many contributions to the Tennessee Bar Journal. I always enjoy reading your articles, and  I especially enjoyed reading the October 2018 article on the trailblazing attorney Lutie Lytle.  I learned of her long ago (just how I don’t recall) and had intended to conduct some research on her. You can imagine my pleasant surprise to read that she was the subject of one of your articles.

As the current president of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, I also want to thank you for your work on behalf of Legal Aid.
— Charles K. Grant, Nashville

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Letters of the Law

Appreciation for Lutie Lytle Article

Thank you for featuring the Lutie Lyle story (“Tennessee’s Lutie Lytle: A Woman of Many Firsts,” by Russell Fowler, October 2018 Tenn. Bar Journal)! I had never heard of her, even though I am both African-American and female.

— Mattielyn Williams, Nashville


WRITE TO THE JOURNAL! Letters to the editor are welcomed and considered for publication on the basis of timeliness, taste, clarity and space. They should include the author’s name, address and phone number (for verification purposes). Please send your comments to Suzanne Craig Robertson, 221 Fourth Ave. N., Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219-2198; EMAIL: srobertson@tnbar.org.

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Letters of the Law

Wonderful Article About Ida Wells; Consider a Statue of Her

Wonderful article about Ida Wells (“Ida B. Well: Fearless Journalist from Memphis Who Changed the World,” by David L. Hudson Jr., August 2018). As a postscript, Ms. Wells was “run out” of Memphis and her newspaper office burned to the ground, fueled by the racial hatred of Edward Ward Carmack, editor of the, then, Memphis Commercial. His paper demanded retaliation against “the black wench” for her denunciation of the lynchings.

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Letters

Fees for Appointed Counsel in Criminal Cases Should Be Raised

Our government was founded as a constitutional democracy; protecting human rights, which do not need to be created but which need to be respected, was a principal motivating factor of our founding fathers and mothers. They understood that creating a foundational document assuring these rights was only the first step and that the document would fail in its central purpose if there was no one to protect and enforce the rights contained therein.

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Letters of the Law

50-Year TBJ Reader Likes October Issue Best

I have been reading our magazine for over 50 years. The October issue is the best written and informative one ever.

I have been a lawyer and TBA member all these years but never knew all the history of some of our law schools. Mr. Laska has written so many articles, but this was his best. The articles about Justice Brandeis and damages were good too.

Thanks for putting together all this information.

Landis Turner,
Hohenwald, Tennessee
TBA President, 1988-1989

Letters of the Law

Thumbs Up for Lincoln Book Review

I enjoyed John P. Williams’ book review of Lincoln’s Greatest Case: The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America (by Brian McGinty; review published in the September 2017 Tennessee Bar Journal).

I have read somewhere that in the closing argument for the defense, Lincoln asked the question,

“Gentlemen, the question in this lawsuit is whether a man has a greater right to go up and down this river, than he does to cross it.”

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Letters of the Law

Readers React to ‘We’re All Going to Die’

I really enjoyed Eddy Smith’s article about the magic age of 50 [“We’re All Going to Die (and Other Happy Thoughts of an Estate Planner Turning 50,” April 2016 Tenn. Bar Journal]. I recall that some time in the distant past I, too, turned 50. It can often be a time of reflection and self-assessment, but the most important thing is the achievement itself.

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Letters of the Law

The Start of a ‘Long Overdue Conversation About Justice’

Thanks to President Bill Harbison for his February President’s Page about the lynching of Ed Johnson and the contempt trial of Sheriff Shipp (“Contempt Case Helped Develop Due Process Concept”). I share President Harbison’s belief that “...

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Letters of the Law

A Little Law School Rivalry

I want to say “Amen” to Bill Haltom’s “In Defense of UT-Knoxville” article in your January 2016 issue. I attended a different law school, and I must admit that, on occasion, I have been guilty of looking down my nose at the Big Orange law school. I even may have indulged in making derogatory comments to my UT partners and friends (Donn Southern, Marty Regan, Brad Lampley, just to name just a few).

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