October, 2017

Cover Story

J. William Farr was a crook. Make no mistake about that. He was also a lawyer, or said he was. Farr started a law school in Nashville in 1899 and sold degrees through the mail. This is the story of Farr’s Nashville School of Law (sometimes National School of Law) and how the antics of a champion huckster and fraudster prompted the state to establish the...

President's Perspective

As I write, two terrible natural disasters have hit states within driving range of Tennessee. Thousands are in need; those needs include legal needs; you can help; and it’s never been easier.

Letters of the Law

Thumbs Up for Lincoln Book Review

I enjoyed John P. Williams’ book review of Lincoln’s Greatest Case: The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America (by Brian McGinty; review published in the September 2017 Tennessee Bar Journal).

I have read somewhere that in the closing argument for the defense, Lincoln asked the...

Senior Moments

Good news from Congress is not flashy, but it is encouraging. Congress is making important strides by studying, writing and passing significant legislation affecting our veterans and older adults.

The following laws are at various stages in the legislative process. The status of pending legislation is noted at the end of each summary.


Barbara Peck is the new director of communications for the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). One of Peck’s primary responsibilities is serving as a media spokesperson for the Supreme Court of Tennessee and the AOC. In addition, she will provide communications support to many of the AOC’s key initiatives, including...


Legal Resources Made Available in Wake of Hurricanes

Lawyers are serving as critical “second responders” helping with legal needs for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Soon after Harvey hit the Texas coast in August, the state’s Supreme Court went into action. By issuing an emergency order allowing out-of-state lawyers to practice...


RONALD GORDON “RON” DAVES of Knoxville died on Aug. 9. He was 74. Originally from North Carolina, Daves served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1962 to 1965. Prior to earning his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, he served as an investigator for the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. He was a member of Wimberly...

Licensure & Discipline

Administrative Suspensions Online

Notice of attorneys suspended for, and reinstated from, administrative violations — including failure to pay the Board of Professional Responsibility fee, file the IOLTA report, comply with continuing legal education requirements and pay the Tennessee professional privilege tax — is now available exclusively on...

The Law at Work

A few years ago, we authored an article, “Guns in Trunks: An Erosion of Tennessee’s Employment-at-will Rule?”[1] which discussed the “guns in trunks” legislation and the interaction between Second Amendment rights and a private employer’s ability to terminate and/or discipline employees who violated a no firearm policy.

But Seriously, Folks

As an old trial lawyer, I frequently appear in court for motions or trials. When I do, I never appear alone. I always have a female lawyer right beside me. And often, when we address the court, she does the talking. (Well, at least some of the talking, as I generally can’t resist saying a few words myself!)

The late great British Prime Minister...