October, 2008

Cover Story

Justice Janice M. Holder, the third woman in the state's history to serve on the Supreme Court of Tennessee, became the first woman to serve as its chief justice when she was sworn into office Sept. 2 at the Supreme Court Building in Nashville.

"It's a little daunting, really, to come after people like Justice Martha Craig Daughtrey (the first...

Cover Story

This Retiring Chief Justice Didn't Make a Stand-up Comic, but the Judicial Gig Has Been Good, Too

Mickey Barker wanted to be lots of things as a young man " a career army officer, a high school English teacher, a politician, even a stand-up comic " but it never once entered his mind that he might one day become an attorney or a judge, let alone...

President's Perspective

Perhaps the most widely cited expression of the principle of the rule of law was drafted by none other than President John Adams when he penned the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In mapping out separation of powers in the Massachusetts constitution, he wrote,

In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative...
Letters of the Law

'Preaching to the Choir' on the Tennessee Plan

The following letters were sent to TBA President Buck Lewis about his column in the August Tennessee Bar Journal, "What's All the Fuss about the Tennessee Plan?"

In me, you are preaching to the choir, but I couldn't pass up telling you what an excellent article you wrote on...

Book Review

By Brian McGinty | Harvard University Press | $27.95 | 384 pages | 2008


Miller & Martin PLLC member and the Tennessee Bar Association's immediate past president, Marcy Eason, was elected to the executive council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents at the American Bar Association meeting in August. The conference represents presidents from more than 400 bar associations. Eason focuses her...


Uniform Law Commission approves seven new acts:

As they've done each summer since 1892, uniform law commissioners gathered for a full week to discuss - and debate line by line, word by word - legislative proposals drafted by their colleagues during the year. The commissioners draft proposals for uniform laws on issues where...

Licensure & Discipline


The following attorneys have been reinstated to the practice of law after complying with Supreme Court Rule 21, which requires mandatory continuing legal education: Dina Guirguis, Arlington, Va.; Owen Patrick Lalor, Ridgeland, Miss.

The following attorneys have been reinstated to the...

The Law at Work

Tennessee now has not one but two separate statutes governing the relationship between volunteer firefighters and their employers. The net effect is to protect employees against discharge based upon volunteer firefighting duties and to require payment of wages, vacation or sick leave when volunteer firefighters are absent from work in certain...

Paine on Procedure

My favorite contempt opinion is Dargi v. Terminix, 23 S.W.3d 342 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000). Steven Dargi sued Terminix and others for termite damage to his home. Good friends of mine represented the plaintiff and the principal defendant. The latter lawyer somehow incurred the plaintiff's wrath, exacerbated by another defense lawyer.

But Seriously, Folks

When I was a little boy growing up in the Baptist church my father pastored in north Memphis, our congregation would gather on Wednesday nights for mid-week "prayer meeting."

Prayer meetings weren't as formal as the Sunday morning worship service. There was no choir in the choir loft on Wednesday nights.

There wasn't even an organist or...