November, 2015

Cover Story

In Tennessee, independent child custody evaluations are ordinarily conducted by licensed psychologists and psychiatrists. These professionals are asked to conduct a fair and neutral evaluation for the purpose of assisting the judge. “Independent” means the psychologist or psychiatrist did not previously treat or counsel anyone in the family being...

President's Perspective

In the year 1881,

  • Kansas became the first state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages,
  • Sherlock Holmes had his first case with Dr. Watson (“A Study in Scarlet”),
  • the Barnum & Bailey Circus was organized,
  • the American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton,
  • President Garfield was shot by an assassin,
  • ...
Letters of the Law

Keeping the History Articles Coming

I read many of the legal articles in the Tennessee Bar Journal but I always read Russell Fowler’s historical articles. They are excellent. It’s clear that he puts a lot of time and effort into his research and writing. I hope you have him on a long-term contract and that he’ll keep the articles coming...

Book Review

By Annie Dike | LexisNexis | $40 | 100 pages | 2013 | Available at

History's Verdict

Ida B. Wells was one of the earliest and most eloquent pioneers of civil rights in America. Her long and courageous struggle for racial equality commenced in a Tennessee railroad car in 1884. Before Rosa Parks there was Ida B. Wells. And, sadly, before Plessy v. Ferguson,[1] there was Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Co. v. Wells...


The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee honored Sherrard & Roe attorneys, John Farringer, Scott Hickman, Bill Harbison and Phil Cramer for their part in the Tanco v. Haslam marriage recognition case. The Bill of Rights Celebration was held on Sept. 30 at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Nashville.


TBA Elections To Be Electronic

Beginning with the upcoming 2016 elections, the Tennessee Bar Association elections will be primarily carried out electronically — using online balloting. This change was approved by the TBA Board of Governors at its annual meeting in June under bylaw changes adopted by the TBA. Young Lawyers Division elections will...


Crossville attorney ROBERT IRVIN JR. died Aug. 18. He was 88. Irvin, who was born in South Carolina, graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School. Irvin was also an accomplished actor with performances on Broadway, Presidential Augural Balls, the Cumberland County Playhouse, and TV specials. Memorial donations may be made to...

Licensure & Discipline


The Supreme Court of Tennessee reinstated the license of Washington County lawyer Mitchell Stanley Givens on Sept. 22. He now will begin serving a probationary period. Givens’ license was suspended for one year on Aug. 13, with 30 days to be served on active suspension and the rest on suspension.

Crime & Punishment

There are just some cases that should never make it to trial. One often hears that there is no such thing as a motion for summary judgment in a criminal case. True, but it is wrong to conclude that trial courts lack authority to dismiss indictments if they have to rely on facts beyond the four corners of the indictment. It has never been disputed that a...

But Seriously, Folks

Like most folks, I began to learn to write when I was in the first grade. Under the tutelage of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Oswald, I gripped in my right hand a giant pencil about the size of a Louisville slugger baseball bat and painstakingly printed each of the 26 letters of the alphabet onto large thick news print in my Big Chief tablet.