April, 2016

Cover Story

For the past 16 years, a hearing to question a criminal defendant regarding his or her decision not to testify at trial has become a common feature of criminal trials in Tennessee. This procedure was adopted by our supreme court in Momon v. State.[1] In Momon, the Tennessee Supreme Court established “a prophylactic procedure designed to...

President's Perspective

Bar associations have long noticed that lawyers, more than members of many other professions, are disposed to depression, substance abuse, and similar problems. Local and state bars have worked to establish groups for lawyers-helping-lawyers and lawyers’ assistance programs. The TBA has promoted “better next year” as a way of motivating

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 “...

Book Review

By Marlene Trestman | Louisiana State University Press Southern Biography Series | $39.95 | 208 pages | 2016

Bessie Margolin may not be a household name, but, it turns out, we live with her legacy every day in our everyday doings. For more than five decades, between the 1930s and the 1970s, her consummate lawyering shaped...

Where There's a Will

First you forget names; then you forget faces; then you forget to zip up your fly; and then you forget to unzip your fly.

— Attributed to Branch Rickey

Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

— Ecclesiastes 7:2

No one here gets...


C. Scott Johnson of Fleissner, Davis and Johnson sent this photo in to thank his fellow lawyers in the Chattanooga Bar Association and its “outstanding executive director Lynda Minks Hood,” for their support following a recent lengthy hospital stay. “During this time, my always busy Chattanooga Bar comrades went above...


Pro Bono Event Pushes Fundraising Past Half Million Mark

Tennessee lawyers helped raise more than $45,000 to help legal aid programs in the state at the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Initiative Gala March 5 in Nashville. Now in its 10th year, the event has raised more than half a million dollars to support pro bono efforts that engage in-house and...


Retired Shelby County JUDGE ANN PUGH, one of the area’s first female judges, died Feb 23. She was 70. An Arkansas native, Pugh was a teacher before attending law school. After serving on the City Court, Pugh served four terms on the General Sessions Criminal Court bench. She also led a specialized court handling domestic violence cases....

Licensure & Discipline


Bank on It

Among the late Senator Fred Thompson’s acting roles was spokesperson for the efficacy of a financial product called a “reverse mortgage.”

A reverse mortgage or a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is a home loan for homeowners 62 or older that requires no monthly mortgage payments and permits the homeowner to convert her equity in the home into...

But Seriously, Folks

The first televised presidential debate occurred in 1960, as Vice President Richard Nixon took on Senator John F. Kennedy. Kennedy won the debate by a whisker. Literally, Nixon’s. Nixon forgot to shave before the debate and appeared before millions of voters with a heavy five o’clock shadow. He bore an unfortunate resemblance to Yasser Arafat.