Tales from Tennessee Lawyers by William Lynwood Montell, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Tales from Tennessee Lawyers

Tales from Tennessee Lawyers

by William Lynwood Montell
     
 

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Perhaps no one has keener insight into human nature than the small-town trial lawyer. All but lost in an era of corporate law firms and specialized practice, this charismatic figure was once at the political center of a community and was the holder of its many secrets. A small town attorney's only specialization was the town itself. Serving as both defender and

Overview

Perhaps no one has keener insight into human nature than the small-town trial lawyer. All but lost in an era of corporate law firms and specialized practice, this charismatic figure was once at the political center of a community and was the holder of its many secrets. A small town attorney's only specialization was the town itself. Serving as both defender and accuser, these lawyers witnessed communities and individuals at their best and worst. Men and women of the legal profession often exert influence in seemingly small realms, but they play an important role in the lives of many people and help shape the American legal system. Veteran oral historian and folklorist William Lynwood Montell has brought together a fascinating collection of tales gathered from lawyers and judges throughout the Volunteer State. Montell searched small towns and cities across Tennessee for the law's older and middle age practitioners, and he shares the wealth of their experience in Tales from Tennessee Lawyers. These stories are recorded exactly as told by the lawyers themselves, and they reveal candid and unusual snapshots of the legal system -- both past and present. With a tape recorder and an ear for detail, Montell uncovers events and lives ranging from the commonplace to the extraordinary. A man resorts to prostitution to alleviate the debt brought about by divorce proceedings. Identical twins are tried for a string of murders. A convict flees his trial by stealing the judge's car. A prosecutor tries the nation's first school-shooting case. Judge George Balitsaris, a former University of Tennessee football player, escorts a special prosecutor out of a notorious rape trial as a precaution after the defendant's family issues threats. These and similar stories illustrate the strange, complex cases argued daily from Tennessee's largest cities to its smallest towns. Far more than just a collection of lawyer jokes, these recollections shed light on the tense and often dangerous lives of those who work to see that all receive fair representation and treatment in court.

Editorial Reviews

Lawyers are master storytellers, skillful at weaving together a compelling narrative from disparate facts. Oral historian and folklorist William Montell draws upon those skills in this anthology of first-person attorney stories from the Volunteer State. Like a batch of great closing arguments, Tales from Tennessee Lawyers covers the gambit, from a story about custody fight over a family dog to reports of homicide trials and domestic disagreements.
From the Publisher
"An entertaining book.... Collects jokes, musings, and anecdotes from more than 30 Tennessee lawyers whose collective careers span more than 50 years right up to the present day." — (Baton Rouge, LA) Advocate Magazine

"This lively book of true stories, some humorous and some horrifying, will capture your attention from beginning to end." — Calvin Dickinson, author of Rural Life and Culture in the Upper Cumberland

"Far more than a collection of lawyer jokes, Tales from Tennessee Lawyers recounts the most insightful, entertaining and occasionally, heartbreaking stories." — Cleveland (TN) Daily Banner

"Acquaints us with interesting professionals in the law, most of them good story-tellers, and what they think about their profession and its ability to bring wrong-doers to justice." — Loyal Jones, author of Faith and Meaning in the Southern Uplands

" Tales from Tennessee Lawyers is not only an excellent example of what can be learned from interviewing lawyers about their profession; these first-hand accounts also indicate how lawyers view other lawyers and judges and the people they serve." — Ronald L. Baker, Editor of Folklore Historian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813123691
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

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