July, 2015

Cover Story

A March 25, 2015 article by Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Jamie Satterfield pointed out the high percentage of inmates in local jails incarcerated for fines, costs, and fees; and likened it all to the “old debtors’ prison system.

President's Perspective

One of the most important purposes of any bar association is to serve as a voice for the profession. The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) has long served this purpose, and continues to do so. My immediate predecessors as president, Cindy Wyrick and Jonathan Steen, have shown incredible leadership and wisdom in the face of recent serious issues for the...

Letters of the Law

‘Senior Moments’ Column on Medicaid Gets High Praise

The following letters were written to Journal columnist Monica Franklin for her Senior Moments column, “What Is the Difference Between the Medicaid Five-Year ‘Look Back’ and a Medicaid Penalty Period?”

Thank you for your fine article in the Tennessee Bar Journal...

History's Verdict

Within the confines of the Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer’s duty, as a member of “the highest of the professions,”[1] is to “zealously” advance the client’s cause.[2] But what is the lawyer to do when the interest of the client conflicts with the interest of the nation?


The Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) has named Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby as a “Community Mother of the Year” for her dedication to her family and families across Tennessee. The recognition honors Kirby’s efforts on behalf of her son, Scott, who has Asperger’s syndrome but has earned an undergraduate and master’s degree,...


Memphis lawyer WILLIAM H. FISHER III died June 4 after a lengthy illness. He was 83. Fisher received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University and completed a master of law from NYU School of Law. He spent one year teaching at NYU and then returned to Memphis to practice law and teach part time at Memphis State...



Proposals put out for comment June 15 by the Tennessee Supreme Court include

Licensure & Discipline


Sumner County lawyer Mary Jeanette Clement was reinstated to the practice of law on May 8. Clement was suspended in June 2014 for two years, with nine months to be served on active suspension and 15 months to be served on probation. The court reports that Clement now begins the probation period.

Crime & Punishment

Imagine you are serving on a jury in a serious criminal case. The issue is identity. The crime is horrible, but the defendant strongly denies committing the crime. Wouldn’t you feel better if the state could produce forensic evidence linking this defendant to the crime scene — or perhaps a strand of the victim’s hair in the defendant’s car?

But Seriously, Folks

Mark Twain once said that America is the greatest country on the face of the earth for two reasons. First, every citizen has a right to say what they truly believe. And second, most folks are smart enough to not do it.

I’m not one of those smart Americans. I constantly exercise my freedom of speech as guaranteed to me by the First Amendment. I...