James D. Robinson died on August 28, 2009.
In death, Jim is re-united with Nancy, his beloved wife of 49 years who passed away in 2007. He was preceded in death by his parents, James N. and Lucy Robinson of Knoxville, Tn.
He is survived by his son, Jay Robinson, his grandsons, James Walton Robinson, Nicholas Wilder Robinson, Alexander Price Robinson, and Miller Chesley Robinson, and his brother and sister-in-law Ben and Cookie Jordan of Bradenton, Fl.
Born in Knoxville on January 26, 1933, Jim received a B.S. in 1956 and J.D. in 1958 from the University of Tennessee.
He served in the United States Army before coming to Chattanooga and beginning the practice of law in 1960.
Jim was a trial attorney who had practiced law in Chattanooga more than 44 years. At the time of his retirement, he was the senior partner in the law firm of Robinson, Smith & Wells.
One of the most accomplished and respected lawyers of his generation, Jim tried cases in state and federal courts throughout east Tennessee. He practiced in the area of civil tort litigation and was perhaps best known for defending physicians in medical malpractice lawsuits.
In addition to his trial court practice, he also argued cases before the Tennessee Court of Appeals, the
Supreme Court of Tennessee, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. In the case argued before the United States Supreme Court, Jim won by unanimous decision - 9 to 0.
He also served as Special Judge in the Circuit Court of Hamilton County. Jim served as a member of the Board of Directors and as president of the
Chattanooga Bar Association. He was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Tennessee Bar Foundation, and Chattanooga Bar Foundation. He served as vice-president of the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association.
He was adjunct professor in Criminal Justice Studies and the Legal Assistant Program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He was a
charter member of the Legal Aid Society (now Southeast Tennessee Legal
Jim had a lifelong passion for the sport of tennis. He earned three varsity letters in tennis while a student at the University of Tennessee. Four times, with four different partners, Jim and his doubles partner won the Tennessee
State Men’s Open Doubles Championship.
He was a director and ran the U.S.T.L.A. Boy’s 14 and under Nationals Tennis Tournament. He served as director of the Tennessee Valley Invitational Tennis Tournament.
In the early 1970's he was a director of two U.S. Amateur Tennis Tournaments held in Chattanooga. He served as a member of the Board of Directors and president of Manker-Patten Tennis Club, the Chattanooga Tennis Association, and the Tennessee Tennis Association.
He was also a director and founding member of the Chattanooga Tennis Foundation.
Jim served as a board member for SENTENGA Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis.
In his retirement, in remembrance of his wife Nancy’s teaching career in the Chattanooga City School System, Jim worked as a volunteer reading tutor working one-on-one students at Hillcrest Elementary School.
Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 2:30 p.m., in the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home on Hwy. 153 in Hixson, Tn.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorial contributions be made either to CADAS, 207 Spears Avenue, Chattanooga, Tn., 37405, or to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of East Tennessee, 12 Oaks Executive Park, 5401 Kingston Pike, Suite 230, Knoxville, Tn., 37919.
Arrangements are by Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist, North Chapel.
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