August, 2016

Cover Story

“How can I get a pardon?” is one of the most common questions I am asked as a criminal defense attorney. In many situations the conviction at issue was the person’s only legal transgression, resulted in no one getting hurt, and is decades old. Nonetheless, my answer always begins with a piece of advice: circle January 2019 on your...

President's Perspective

Those who attended the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) annual convention in June in Nashville were treated to an abnormally high number of colleagues sauntering through the convention halls wearing seersucker. They also had abundant opportunity to speak with former president Bill Haltom, as he extolled the virtues of seersucker. Bill’s devotion to...

Letters of the Law

‘Favorite Courthouse Square Lawyers’ Column Appreciated

Bill, I enjoyed and appreciate your moving TBJ column on your “Favorite Courthouse Square Lawyers,” Howard and Claude Swafford. What great stories!  Howard was elected to the General Assembly the year I left, 1972.  I got to know him in his capacity as legislator, but,...

Book Review

By Jerry H. Summers | Waldenhouse | $34.99 | 520 pages | 2016

For many years, prominent Chattanooga attorney Jerry Summers has been fascinated by the mix of legal and political issues surrounding the impeachment of Judge Raulston Schoolfield in 1958. To Summers, Schoolfield was an enigma: a lawyer who fiercely fought for his...

Where There's a Will

Marriage is a matter of more worth
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship. — 1 Henry VI 5.5.50-1

Marriage is sacred in the eyes of Tennessee law, so much so that it has its own forms of property rights, including tenancy by the entirety (TBE), available only to spouses.[1] Among TBE’s unique characteristics is that it may not be severed...


The Legal Aid Society announced that a $100,000 gift from legal aid co-founder Harris A. Gilbert and his children will be used to establish the Gilbert Family Fellowship. The fellowship will fund staff efforts to identify and resolve legal issues facing children and young adults.


New Patent Pro Bono Program Launched
The Legal Assistance Volunteers for Patent Applicants (LAVPA) program has been officially launched by the Tennessee Bar Association. Online applications from inventors are being received, and attorney volunteers are signing up through the online forms found on the LAVPA page of the TBA’s website...


Retired Justice ROBERT E. COOPER, who served a long tenure on the Tennessee Supreme Court, died July 10 at his home on Signal Mountain. He was 95 and a TBA senior counselor. A native of Chattanooga, Cooper studied at the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University Law School. After law school, he joined the firm of Kolwyck...

Licensure & Discipline


Davidson County lawyer Randall Lowrie Bostic Jr. was reinstated to the practice of law on June 6. Bostic was placed on inactive status in May 2006. According to the Tennessee Supreme Court, he remained compliant with all registration requirements during that time. The court issued the order on June 22.

Bank on It

With the disclaimer that I am not an economist or financial analyst but merely a bank lawyer, I am frequently asked what I think are the biggest risks to the U.S. banking system as we move toward 2017. My opinions are based on what I learn from real bankers, their industry associations, their regulators and an occasional perusal of the Federal Reserve’s...

But Seriously, Folks

She won more games than any coach in the history of college basketball. She won eight national championships. She coached the U.S. Women’s Team to an Olympic Gold Medal and had a graduation rate of 100 percent: Every athlete who played for her for four years graduated.

But one of Pat Summitt’s biggest victories came not on the basketball...