Tennessee Bar Foundation Legal History Project Now Available at State Library and Archives

Thursday, July 19, 2012


A unique collection of videotaped interviews of prominent Tennessee lawyers and judges is now available for public use at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The Tennessee Bar Foundation Legal History Project is a collection of video oral histories that began in 1998. The collection consists of 76 interviews sponsored by the Fellows of the Tennessee Bar Foundation.

"I commend the Bar Foundation for conducting interviews with many of our great state's most prominent judges and lawyers highlighted in this collection," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "This collection will serve as a new source of firsthand legal history, available to all Tennesseans."

Interview subjects are a virtual “Who’s Who” of the 20th Century legal profession in Tennessee from each grand division of the state. They include such notables as Howard Baker, Adolpho Birch, Wyeth Chandler, Martha Craig Daughtrey, Lewis Donelson, Joe Duncan, Benjamin Hooks, Irvin Kilcrease, Gilbert Merritt, James Neal, Paul Summers and Thomas Wiseman, among many others.

The interviewees recount the significant legal topics dealt with during their careers as well as the important social and political issues of the day. Interviewees also give personal biographical information. 

The master tapes as well as reference DVD copies are housed in the State Library and Archives. The reference DVDs are available for research purposes, but commercial use will require permission of the Tennessee Bar Foundation.

The collection is available through the Public Services section of the State Library and Archives during normal business hours, which are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Finding Aid for this collection can be accessed directly at the following link from the State Library and Archives web site: http://www.tn.gov/tsla/history/manuscripts/findingaids/2012-007.pdf.

The State Library and Archives building is at 403 7th Avenue North, just west of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville. 



Michael Williams Has Law License Suspended

Michael Gregory Williams, of Hamilton County, was suspended from the practice of law on Thursday by Order of the Tennessee Supreme Court for four years.  The suspension will begin on Nov. 9. A Petition for Discipline was filed on Oct. 30, 2013, alleging that Mr. Williams had misappropriated funds from an estate for which he had been appointed administrator and had failed ... (click for more)

Browns Ferry Unit 1 Completes Refueling, Back Online

The Unit 1 reactor at the TVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant returned to service at 8:16 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, following the successful completion of a planned refueling and maintenance outage.  Plant operators will be raising power over the next several days until the unit once again achieves full power. “The Browns Ferry team worked hard to refuel and prepare Unit 1 for ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Lock To Reopen As Soon As Next Thursday

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District  plans to reopen Chickamauga Lock to all navigation traffic as early as next Thursday. An inspection of the upper gate anchorage and a repair plan were completed today. Chickamauga Lock closed on Monday after a routine inspection revealed a crack in the anchorage of the upper gate. Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)