The Legislature, Sex Week and Free Speech at UT

Apr 4, 2014

This is my column from the April, 2014 issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal, and it is reprinted with permission of the Tennessee Bar Association. Read more »

March Madness This Weekend, But Baseball Forever!

Mar 27, 2014

            Tonight I’ll be in beautiful AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis to watch my beloved St. Louis Cardinals  play my beloved Memphis Redbirds.  (They are really the same team.) Read more »

Bill's Annual Christmas Column...Remembering Christmases With My Father

Dec 18, 2013

            I have never been able to live in the moment at Christmastime.  Read more »

Will Rudolph Be Replaced By a Drone?

Dec 12, 2013

               As every child knows, Santa delivers his presents on Christmas Eve in a sleigh led by nine reindeer:  John, Elena, Sonia, Samuel, Stephen, Ruth, Clarence, Anthony, and Antonin.  Read more »

Fifty Years Ago Today

Nov 22, 2013

            Like almost every American of my generation, I can tell you exactly where I was fifty years ago today. Read more »

Reclaiming Overton Park

Nov 7, 2013

    Read more »

It Never Hurts Too Much to Laugh!

Oct 18, 2013

           I am a runner.  Not a very fast one, mind you.  In fact, I am so slow that these days in local races, they time me with a calendar.  Read more »

The Seersucker Solution

Aug 30, 2013

         When it comes to politics,America has become one big dysfunctional family.  Democrats hate Republicans, Republicans hateDemocrats, and now, Republicans even hate Republicans.  Read more »

A Tribute to the Finest Dad I Ever Knew

Aug 23, 2013

My father, Reverend William H. Haltom, Sr., passed away last Friday at age 89.  In his memory and in tribute, I republish the final chapter of my book, Daddies: An Endangered Species, (Guild Bindery Press, 1995).  I wrote these words eighteen years ago, and for me, they are now more relevant than ever.       I’m 43 years old, I have a wife, three ... Read more »

Football, Corn from a Jar...and Legal Fees

Aug 2, 2013

This is my column from the August, 2013 edition of the Tennessee Bar Journal, and it reprinted with permission from the Tennessee Bar Association.               My daughter, a/k/a her Royal Highness the Princess, is now a rising high school senior and is trying to figure out where she wants to go to college.  She recently ... Read more »

Testimony That “Church” Is Indeed A Verb

Jul 26, 2013

           The late Baptist preacher Will Campbell was fond of saying, "'Church' is not a noun.  It is a verb."           When I was growing up in the Baptist Church that my father pastored in North Memphis, we would gather on Wednesday nights for prayer meetings.  Read more »

I’m Not A Client, But I Play One on TV

Jul 12, 2013

         The following is my column in this month’s edition of The Tennessee Bar Journal and it is reprinted with permission of Tennessee Bar Association. Read more »

Remembering My Friend Elizabeth

May 17, 2013

            My dear friend Elizabeth Collins passed away yesterday after a long and courageous battle with cancer.             Elizabeth never wanted to be a hero.  She did not want to be a role model, a mentor, or an inspirational figure.  Read more »

Next Year in Boston

Apr 22, 2013

          22 times over the past 33 years I have crossed the finish line of a marathon.  They have been 22 of the happiest moments of my life.           It is hard to describe the feeling one gets when you cross the finish line after running 26 miles.  It is a combination of pain and joy, ... Read more »

The Second Battle of Lookout Mountain

Apr 12, 2013

          My wife, Claudia, is from South Pittsburg. Not Pennsylvania. Tennessee. She is a seventh generation Tennessean. Her favorite song is "The Tennessee Waltz," she knows all the words to "Rocky Top," and she looks fabulous in orange.           No doubt about it, Claudia is a peach. Read more »

An Old Cardinal Flies South in March

Mar 14, 2013

            JUPITER, FLORIDA - In the spring, an old man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of baseball.  Well, at least that's true for this old Cardinals' fan.             For the past 35 years, I have been a Cardinal snowbird of sorts, flying south to Florida each March ... Read more »

Spring Forward Into Confusion

Mar 6, 2013

          This Sunday morning at 2:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, it will suddenly no longer be 2:00 a.m. Central Standard time.  It will immediately become 3:00 a.m. Central Daylight Saving Time, unless you live in New York where it will be 4:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time, or you live in Denver, where it will be 2:00 a.m. Rocky Mountain ... Read more »

Remembering My Friend Kemper Durand

Feb 8, 2013

           Last Saturday, I lost a law partner and dear friend, Kemper Durand.  Kemper left this earth the way I hope to when my time comes.  He was seated in his favorite chair, by a fire, reading a good book.  He closed his eyes, fell asleep and did not awaken.  ... Read more »

Remembering My Dad…And Stan The Man

Jan 24, 2013

            It was the happiest day of a very happy childhood.  And I owe it to two men-my father and Stan the Man.             It was a summer day in 1959.  My father took me to Sportsman's Park in St. Louis where we saw the Cardinals play the Milwaukee Braves.  To ... Read more »

Change We Can Believe In

Jan 18, 2013

           According to something called the "U.S. National Debt Clock," the outstanding debt of the United States Government as of last night was $16,457,586,984,751.05.  Since the current estimated population of the United States is a little over 314 million, your share (and my share) of the current U.S. national debt, as of last ... Read more »

Bill’s Annual Christmas Column…The Christmas Typewriter

Dec 12, 2012

           When I was a senior in high school, my father gave me a wonderful Christmas gift.  No, not a car.  It was something a lot more powerful.             It was a typewriter.  And not just any typewriter, mind you, it was a Sears electric typewriter. Read more »

Christmas in The Balance

Dec 3, 2012

        One out of every two marriages in this country ends in a divorce.  Why?  Well, I can't prove this, but I firmly believe that the alarming divorce rate in this country is directly related to putting up Christmas trees.         I am proud to say my wife and I have a very strong marriage.   For over ... Read more »

Cornbread at Thanksgiving...and on Joy Street

Nov 21, 2012

        On the third Thursday of this month, I will be in beautiful Franklin, Tennessee attending the annual Swafford family Thanksgiving dinner.          I get to attend this wonderful dinner each November because thirty-one years ago I played a very small role in a wedding at the Holly Avenue Methodist Church in South ... Read more »

The President of Cuyahoga County

Oct 26, 2012

          I cast my first vote for President in 1960 when I was just eight years old.  Now before all you nit-picky lawyers out there point out that it is not legal for an eight-year old to vote, let me just point out that I grew up in Memphis, a city where on Election Day, strange things happen.  In fact, as a minister friend once said to ... Read more »

A Bad Week for the President and Big Bird

Oct 5, 2012

          On Wednesday night, sixty million Americans tuned in for the first Presidential Debate. By all accounts, it turned out to be a very good night for Governor Romney and a bad one for President Obama and Big Bird.           Governor Romney went on the attack from the outset. For a man whose faith ... Read more »

The Not-So-Great Presidential Debate: A Preview

Sep 28, 2012

          Next Wednesday night, over fifty million Americans will tune in for the first of three Presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Up until now, the 2012 Presidential campaign has been pretty boring, with President Obama running on the campaign theme, "I'm not Mitt Romney," and Governor Romney ... Read more »

Remembering Monday Nights with Grandmother and Sheriff Andy

Jul 5, 2012

         When I was a child, Monday night was my favorite night of the week.  That's because that was the night I spent with my grandmother and Sheriff Andy...and also Aunt Bea, Opie, Barney, Gomer, Goober, Thelma Lou, Otis, Floyd the Barber, Brisco Darling, and Ernest T. Bass.  Read more »

Rush to Judgment, or How to Read a Judicial Opinion

Jun 29, 2012

           Yesterday morning, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Freedom-Loving Right-Thinking Americans vs. Crazy Liberal Obama Care or Right Wing Nut Jobs Who are Determined to Drag Us All Back to the Dark Ages vs. The Wonderfully-Sensible Affordable Health Care Act, take your pick.  ... Read more »

Thanks to Dear Old Dad

Jun 15, 2012

       This Sunday is Father's Day, that annual day when we honor dear old Dad by giving him a new tie or bottle of aftershave, such as Old Spice Dad or Aqua Velva Dad. ("There's something about an Aqua Velva Dad!")       But if your Dad really was dear old dad at the time of your birth, you might want to give him ... Read more »

Welcome Back, Haltom!

May 25, 2012

      One of the most popular television shows of the polyester decade of the ‘70s was Welcome Back, Kotter, a sitcom starring Gabe Kaplan and a very young John Travolta.       Kaplan played a wise-cracking teacher who returned to his high school alma mater in Brooklyn to teach remedial classes to a group of students who called themselves ... Read more »

March Madness: A Time For Basketball…And Vasectomies!

Mar 16, 2012

          Well, it's that time of year again! It's March Madness time! And that means it's time to fill out your NCAA basketball tournament bracket, turn it in to the office pool, and then head to your neighborhood urologist for...a vasectomy!           You read that right, Mike ... Read more »

Does Pride Still Matter in the Super Bowl?

Feb 10, 2012

       Last Sunday night I and a 114 million other Americans watched Super Bowl XLVI, an extravaganza starring Madonna, M.I.A., LMFAO, Cee Lo, Nicki Minaj, Clint Eastwood, Ferris Bueller, and what appeared to be the cast of the 1959 motion picture, Ben-Hur.  Read more »

Not Exactly Bowled Over

Jan 6, 2012

          I'm old enough to remember when there was a final four in college football. No, not a March Madness - type final four, but rather four big bowl games. They were the Cotton Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and "the granddaddy of them all", the Rose Bowl. That's what they used to call the Rose Bowl. Why they called it ... Read more »

Facing the Truth: A Close Shave is No Longer on the Cutting Edge

Dec 27, 2011

           My two grown sons came home for Christmas last week, and forgive me for being so superficial, but the first thing I noticed about them is that they both needed a shave.              Read more »

Bill’s Annual Christmas Column…Midnight Mass Madness

Dec 19, 2011

            On Christmas Eve, my family and I always attend services at our church, Calvary Episcopal in downtown Memphis.  I am a Baptist in residence at Calvary.  I love the Episcopal liturgy, but sometimes I do wish the choir would sing “Just As I Am” as we walk down the aisle to take Communion.  You can take the boy ... Read more »

Return to the Enchanted Forest

Dec 13, 2011

       Like most men, I hate to shop. In fact, if I'm ever convicted of a hideous crime and the judge really wants to punish me, she will sentence me to 10 years of hard shopping in a suburban mall. Read more »

The Great Gaffes-By Should Press on in His Race for The…Um…The…

Nov 11, 2011

       In 1960, Richard Nixon lost the presidential race to Jack Kennedy by a whisker.   Read more »

A Summer Celebration of Seersucker Sartorial Splendor

Nov 1, 2011

(Author's Note: Last Saturday night at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, UT students had a "Fear the Pants Flash Mob."  It was the highlight of an otherwise terrible football season.  Check it out on YouTube under "Fear the Pants!" Read more »

Thanks to Cartoons, I'm Smarter Than the Average Bear

Sep 23, 2011

We have met the enemy, and he is Sponge Bob.  Read more »

Lux Et Veritas Et Football

Sep 1, 2011

      The college football season kicks off this weekend, and I am very worried about my alma mater.    Read more »

The Woman Who Empowered A Princess

Aug 24, 2011

        This Saturday morning I will be at Shelby Farms, a beautiful park on the outskirts of Memphis.  There I will see a sight that makes me very happy.  I will see a Princess running.         The Princess will not be running alone.  She will be among hundreds of other young women who will run through Shelby ... Read more »

It’s Hard to Teach an Old Trial Lawyer New Techs

Aug 19, 2011

         When I started law practice back when Jimmy Carter was President, a trial lawyer had only two items in his or her briefcase: a legal pad and a number 2 pencil. Read more »

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane!...It’s Super Congress!

Aug 4, 2011

            This week the President of the United States and members of Congress proved, once again, why there will be no sequel to Profiles in Courage.  In the face of a financial crisis that has been building for decades, they did what football teams do when its 4th and long and they are stuck deep in their own territory.  They ... Read more »

Closing The Borders

Jul 21, 2011

               My wife is fond of saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!”  I, on the other hand, abhor shopping. Read more »

What Hath Scopes Wrought?

Jun 24, 2011

          DAYTON, TENNESSEE - June 17 - Lawyers and judges from across the Volunteer State gathered here today at the Rhea County Courthouse, as part of the annual Tennessee Bar Convention. They met in the historic courtroom that was the venue for the most famous jury trial in American history, State of Tennessee v. John Scopes. Read more »

Daddy Turns Over the Keys

Jun 14, 2011

           This Sunday is Father's Day, and I should be looking forward to a new tie and a bottle of Aqua Velva Old Spice Daddy Aftershave Cologne.  ("There's something about an Aqua Velva daddy!")  But the truth is that for the first time in my 25 years as a Daddy, I'm dreading Father's Day.  ... Read more »

Glee–Bargaining: Settling For A Song

Jun 3, 2011

          Last November Willie Nelson was busted for pot possession after U.S. Border Patrol Agents and their weed-sniffing dogs searched his tour bus (“Honeysuckle Rose”) in Hudspeth County, Texas.This was not exactly breaking news.  Willie gets busted for pot about as often as most of us brush our teeth.  Read more »

Diary of A Mock Trial Dad

May 19, 2011

             On the night of March the 12th, I sat in a courtroom in Nashville, anxiously awaiting a verdict in the biggest case of my life. Read more »

The King’s Smack: When A Kiss Is More Than Just A Kiss

Apr 27, 2011

            In the classic 1942 motion picture, Casablanca, Sam (as in “Play it again, Sam.”) constantly reminded Humphrey Bogart that “a kiss is just a kiss.” Read more »

Proof of Circumcision: The Cutting Edge of Politics

Apr 20, 2011

I’ve been thinking about running for public office.  I am not sure which office.  Dog catcher, Sheriff, Constable, Justice of the Peace.  Just any office where I can get lots of bribes . . . um, I mean contributions, from lobbyists and a promise of a really good pension down the road. Read more »

Cattle Call for Tort Reform

Apr 1, 2011

             For nearly 40 years, the most powerful man in Tennessee was a lawyer and farmer from Somerville.  His name was John Wilder.  Guvnah Wilder, that is.  From 1971 through 2007, John Wilder served as Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee.  Governors came and went.  Democrats had majorities in the Legislature, ... Read more »

Hope Springs Eternal at Spring Training

Mar 24, 2011

        JUPITER, FLORIDA – It is March, and once again this year, I am at spring training with my beloved St. Louis Cardinals.    Read more »

Faith, Hope and Waffles

Mar 10, 2011

             People choose to worship at a particular church for all sorts of reasons.  Some folks select a church because of the preacher.  Others like the choir.  For me, it all came down to waffles.  You read that right, Lenten-breath!  Waffles! Read more »

Save the Trial Lawyer! Buy a T-shirt!

Mar 4, 2011

            35 years ago when I was a “1L” at the Big Orange College of Law, I proudly wore a “Save the Snail Darter” t-shirt.  Read more »

Congressional Pillow Talk: From the Prom to the Sleepover

Feb 17, 2011

            Last month on the night of the State of the Union Address, we had the Congressional Prom.  And now, each and every night at the Capitol, we have the Congressional Sleepover! Read more »

Oh Say Can You Sing This Song?

Feb 8, 2011

            In 1814, a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key wrote a poem in honor of Super Bowl 1812 that was played at Fort McHenry Stadium in Maryland.  (Final score: USA 48, England 0!)  A few years later, the poem was set to the music of a popular tavern drinking song and renamed The Star Spangled Banner, probably because it ... Read more »

The Congressional Prom! A One Night Stand

Jan 27, 2011

             Since I’m addicted to sports TV, I spend most evenings on my sofa with man’s best friend (the remote control channel changer) firmly in hand, changing the channel every few seconds from ESPN to ESPN II to ESPN Classic to CBS College Sports to Fox Sports South to Fox Sport Tennessee to Fox Sports Eastern ... Read more »

Get Ready For An Electrifying Super Bowl!

Jan 21, 2011

           This weekend the Super Bowl will be held at the Embassy Suites in Columbus, Ohio.  What’s that you say?  You thought Super Bowl XLV was going to be held at the “Jerry Dome” in Arlington, Texas on February 6?  Well, I’m not talking about that Super Bowl.  I’m talking about a much more ... Read more »

A Nation of Wusses: Why the Chinese are Winning a New Cold War

Dec 29, 2010

         Vince Lombardi is jumping off-side in his snow-covered grave.  And somewhere in China, the Super Bowl of Calculus is being played in the snow.    Read more »

Bill’s Annual Christmas Column: Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men, and One Big Fight!

Dec 22, 2010

      My family is now scattered around the globe.  Literally.  My oldest son lives and teaches in Takasaki, Japan.         Read more »

Dear Santa: Please Don’t Send Me An E-Reader!

Dec 17, 2010

       When I was a child I would sit on Santa’s lap and ask him to bring me toys.  Hula hoops, electric football games, Slinkys, guns with greenie stick ‘em caps, roller skates.  Long before Toys R Us, it was Toys R Me.    Read more »

Remembering When Christmas Was Slow

Dec 10, 2010

This is an excerpt from Bill’s book, “Some Assembly Required: A Daddy’s Christmas Book”….To order copies, return to the home page! Read more »

The Next Wedding of the Century

Nov 19, 2010

       Twenty-nine years ago, in the summer of 1981, there were two weddings of the century.  The first occurred at Westminster Abbey in London.  The second occurred at the Holly Avenue Methodist Church in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.  Read more »

I’m Bill Haltom, and I Would Approve this Message

Oct 29, 2010

            This coming Tuesday is Election Day, and I think I speak for all of us when I say it can’t come a moment too soon. Read more »

Remembering Sputnik and June Cleaver

Oct 22, 2010

            On October 4, 1957, two significant events occurred that had a dramatic impact on the United States of America.  First, the Russians launched Sputnik.  And second, Leave It To Beaver premiered on the CBS Television Network.  Read more »

WWJD? Well, Not Yoga!

Oct 15, 2010

     Several years ago millions of Americans began to wear rubber bands around their wrists.  The bands came in a wide variety of color, but they were all emblazoned with the initials “WWJD.”  When I first saw them I thought it was some marketing campaign for an AM radio station.  But as we all now know, these wristbands posed an intriguing ... Read more »

The Parable of Tim McCarver and the Prodigal Son

Oct 6, 2010

       I have a confession to make, a terrible awful confession.  I was once…excuse me, but this is very difficult to say…(gulp)…a Yankees fan!             Read more »

Time to Legalize Seersucker in September

Sep 23, 2010

           Today is the first day of fall, although there is not exactly a nip in the air or frost on the pumpkin.  In fact, according to the local TV weather person, the high today here in Elvis’ hometown is supposed to hit a record 98 degrees with a heat index approximately the same as Ted Williams’ lifetime batting ... Read more »

All The News That’s Fit To Scream

Sep 17, 2010

            When I was a child growing up during the Eisenhower Administration followed by the New Frontier, there were only two nightly television new programs.  There was the Huntley-Brinkley News Report on Channel 5 and the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite on Channel 3.  Each program lasted a grand total of 15 minutes.  ... Read more »

No Longer Sleeping With a Judge

Sep 2, 2010

            For the past 17 years, I have been sleeping with a judge. Read more »

The Night Momma Tried to Save Elvis

Aug 20, 2010

        It's "Elvis Week" in my hometown, and River City is being overrun by more Elvis worshipers and wannabes than you can shake a fried peanut butter and nanner sandwich at. Unless you believe those reports that the King is now flying around in a UFO with Jimmy Hoffa or is living in a Burger King in Kalamazoo, Elvis has been dead now for 33 ... Read more »

Coffee, Tea…Or Reality TV!

Aug 13, 2010

          Meet America’s newest hero, Jet Blue Airlines flight attendant Steven Slater.  Read more »

The Cover-up: Invoking One’s Privilege Against Self-Tattoo-Ization

Aug 4, 2010

      We all have our prejudices, and let me admit mine. I don’t like tattoos. Actually, it’s worse than that. I hate tattoos. I hate tattoos on men, and I really hate tattoos on women. Read more »

There Is No “I” In Loyalty

Jul 9, 2010

     It’s one of the oldest adages in sports: There is no “I” in “team.” Read more »

Sunrise At Myrtle Point

Jul 1, 2010

            This past Sunday morning, my wife and daughter and I awoke at 5:30 a.m. in the darkness of a tiny rustic cabin at the top of Mt. LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Read more »

Are You Ready For Some Soccer?

Jun 24, 2010

           I attended my first soccer game twenty years ago.  It was an epic showdown battle between Evergreen Playschool and First Baptist Church’s Mother’s Day Out. Read more »

Father Knew Best: TV All-Time Greatest Dads

Jun 17, 2010

            This Sunday is Father’s Day, that special annual day when we honor dear old Dad by giving him either a bottle of Aqua Velva (there’s something about an Aqua Velva Daddy!) or a new tie. Read more »

Al and Tipper: Say It Ain’t So!

Jun 2, 2010

            I have always admired Al and Tipper Gore.  While they do bear a disturbing resemblance to Ken and Barbie, I have respected both of them for a number of reasons. Read more »

College: Why Bother?

May 21, 2010

            MAY 15, 2010 – PRINCETON, N.J. – I love college campuses.  I spent eight of the best years of my life on one.  No, it didn’t take me eight years to graduate from college.  It took me eight years to get a bachelor’s degree and a law degree.  I know, that’s only supposed to take ... Read more »

Nothing but Softball Questions for Ms. Kagan

May 13, 2010

            CHAIRMAN LEAHY:  This meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee will now come to order!  Today we will begin hearings on the issue of the confirmation of Elena Kagan for the United States Supreme Court!  Good morning, Ms. Kagan! Read more »

This Mother’s Day, Momma Needs A Nap

May 6, 2010

            This Sunday is that special annual day when we tell the Mommas of America just how much we love them by sending them flowers and greeting cards that say, “To Momma, on her special day . . . Now what’s for dinner?” Read more »

Let Us Now Praise Famous Administrative Professionals

Apr 22, 2010

            Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day, that annual day when America honors the wonderful office workers who greet the clients, answer the phones, process the words (a task formerly known as “typing”), organize the files, schedule the appointments, cancel the appointments, make sure all the business trains run ... Read more »

How to Become a United States Supreme Court Justice

Apr 15, 2010

            Last week, United States Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will soon be retiring from the Nation’s highest court.  I am sure that when you heard the announcement, you immediately asked yourself, “Hey, what do I have to do to get President Obama to appoint me to this opening on the ... Read more »

Opening Day: Let’s Keep the Game Nice and Slow, Thank You!

Apr 5, 2010

            It’s opening day for Major League Baseball, and hope springs eternal, even for Cubs fans.  With just 162 games left on the schedule, every team in Major League Baseball (with one wonderful exception) is currently undefeated and tied for first place in their division.  That exception is the evil New York Yankees, ... Read more »

A New Career Takes Off

Mar 30, 2010

Over the years, people have frequently asked me, "Bill, why have you not pursued a career as a fashion model?  It's a good question.  I obviously have the potential to be a model model.  To read the remainder of the article, please download the PDF. Read more »

Remembering the King of the Wild Frontier

Mar 25, 2010

            On the night of December 15, 1954, something dramatic happened.  I have no memory of the event.  I was only two years old at the time, but what happened that night had a huge impact on my childhood, as well as the childhoods of millions of baby boomers.  Read more »

Are You Ready for Some Curling?

Feb 24, 2010

            Because I’m a sports addict, I spend most evenings and my entire weekends watching ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN U, ESPN Classic, Fox Sports, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports Eastern Montana, the NFL Network, the SEC Network, the MLB Network, and the 24 hour-a-day Lacrosse Channel.  I will watch ... Read more »

Note to Tiger: Litigation Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Feb 18, 2010

            According to news reports, Tiger Woods is about to have a press conference so he can publicly apologize for certain transgressions.  I think this is a bad idea for two reasons.  First, insofar as I know, the only person Tiger needs to apologize to is his wife.  (Well, maybe he should apologize to Phil Mickelson for ... Read more »

Move Over, Vancouver! Make Way for the Memphis Winter Olympics!

Feb 11, 2010

            We Memphians see snow about as often as we see Halley’s Comet.  But when we do get a little snow here in River City, we make the most of it. Read more »

Any Country That Can’t Put a Man on The Moon . . .

Feb 3, 2010

            It has been said that every American over the age of fifty can tell you exactly where they were at three moments in their life.  First, they remember where they were on September 11, 2001, when they heard that terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center. Read more »

Remembering Friday Nights with Johnny

Jan 22, 2010

            Nearly fifty years ago when I was a little boy growing in suburban Memphis, my favorite night of the week was Friday.  That was the night Mom and Dad let me stay up late with my buddy Johnny.  Johnny was Johnny Carson, host of the Tonight Show which came on Channel 5 in Memphis at 10:30 p.m.  When I was ten years ... Read more »

Kiffin and Calipari: The Evil Twins of the NCAA

Jan 14, 2010

            I am convinced that University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari and University of Tennessee . . . excuse me, I mean University of Southern California head football coach Lane Kiffin are evil twins who were separated at birth.  Along with Ed Orgeron, they may even be evil triplets. Read more »

Holiday Season Over, Diet Season Begins

Jan 6, 2010

            Our family Christmas tree now rests by our mailbox at the edge of the driveway.  Later this week it will be picked up by the city sanitation crew and given an honorable burial. Read more »

Remembering New Year’s Eve With Ben and Guy

Dec 31, 2009

            Tonight, millions of otherwise-sensible Americans will leave their warm, safe homes, gather in public squares or at restaurants or night clubs, and put on funny hats.  At approximately ten seconds to midnight, they will start counting backwards like mission control before a space shuttle launch.  ... Read more »

Christmas Past

Dec 22, 2009

            My wife is a fabulous cook.  She learned from her mother, who is also a fabulous cook.  In fact, according to an impartial survey that I have conducted over the past 30 years, my wife and my mother-in-law are the two finest cooks in the world. Read more »

Santa’s Legal Dream Team

Dec 15, 2009

            It’s a little known fact, but Santa Claus has the best lawyers money can buy.  Read more »

A Book Review of Some Assembly Required: A Daddy's Christmas Book

Dec 9, 2009

Excerpt: The holiday season is upon us. Chances are, by the time you read this review, you will be knee deep in Christmas parties, presents to wrap, cards to send, deadlines to meet, traffic to fight, shopping to finish and relatives to entertain.  It is enough to send most people over the edge.  For those looking to escape, I highly recommend Bill Haltom's latest book, Some ... Read more »

Keep Them Cards and Letters Coming In!

Dec 4, 2009

            I have no idea who started the tradition of sending out cards and letters during the Christmas season.  I suspect it as part of an elaborate conspiracy by the Hallmark Greeting Card Company.  While I don’t want to come across as the Grinch Who Stole Christmas Cards, this is one holiday tradition that I really ... Read more »

Thanksgiving: The Kickoff to the Holiday Season

Nov 20, 2009

            Jasper, Tenn. – On Thanksgiving afternoon two undefeated teams will square off in the biggest game of this football season.  I’m not talking about Super Bowl XXXVII or the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl or even the Weedeater Microsoft Waterpik Shower Massage Liberty Freedom Independence Bowl!  No, I’m talking ... Read more »

The Trial of Atticus

Nov 5, 2009

            Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird, and the 48th anniversary of the film based on the novel, featuring an Academy Award-winning performance by Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. Read more »

Halloween is a Conspiracy of the American Dental Association

Oct 29, 2009

            Saturday night is Halloween, that special annual night when neighborhoods across America are invaded by millions of little yard apes dressed like ghosts and goblins.  These little monsters appear on our front porches, ring our doorbells, and demand that we give them candy bars. Read more »

WWJS: What Would Jesus Say?

Oct 23, 2009

            In 1985, a group of liberal theologians created “The Jesus Seminar.”  The purpose of the “Seminar” was to re-examine the New Testament Gospels to determine what Jesus may or may not have said during his lifetime. Read more »

Will President Obama Win the Heisman Trophy?

Oct 15, 2009

            Last week President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  His selection for this prestigious award came as a surprise to just about everybody, including President Obama.  He said he was “humbled” by the award and would accept it as a “call to action.”  In other words, he will ... Read more »

Letterman: Sleaze Will Make Him King

Oct 9, 2009

Once upon a time in Television Land, Johnny Carson was the King of Late Night.  For thirty years, a series of pretenders (including Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett, Joey Bishop and Arsenio Hall) tried to steal his throne.  But they failed miserably. Read more »

The Jumbotron That Ate Dallas

Oct 1, 2009

            It is an understatement to say that I am a football fan.  I am actually a football fanatic.  Literally.  In fact, I need to be in a twelve-step recovery program for football fans: Read more »

Time to Start Building An Ark?

Sep 24, 2009

            One of my favorite stories is about the man who as a small child survived the Johnstown flood.  Understandably, it was an incredible experience that the man never got over.  He spent the rest of his life writing about it, teaching about it, and regaling anyone who would listen as he gave his first-hand account of one of ... Read more »

A Word of Advice (Actually, Two Words) for All Rude Americans

Sep 17, 2009

            Is it just me, or is everyone in America suddenly spring-loaded in the hacked-off position?  Whether it’s politics, sports, or show business, everyone seems to be downright rude to each other these days. Read more »

John, Paul, George, Ringo . . . and Me

Sep 10, 2009

            I have waited nearly a half century for this moment.  And this week, it finally arrived.  At long last, I get to join The Beatles. Read more »

We Interrupt This Marriage to Bring You Another College Football Season

Sep 3, 2009

          This weekend I will say good-bye to my wife and daughter and head straight for the sofa.  As my wife is fond of saying, “We interrupt this marriage to bring you the college football season!” Read more »

Coming Soon: The First Chick-Fil-A Presbyterian Church

Aug 27, 2009

            I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state.  However, I do not believe in the separation of church and chicken.  In fact, I believe that when God rested on the seventh day, He enjoyed a large plate of fried chicken, washed down by some sweet tea. Read more »

Daddy Faces the Death Panel

Aug 20, 2009

            America is now embroiled in a fierce national debate over health care.  Well, it’s a “debate” if you call town hall meetings in which people scream at each other at the top of their lungs a “debate.”  It reminds me of the “debates” that take place between wrestlers before a big ... Read more »

To Kill A Chihuahua

Aug 14, 2009

            Ask any lawyer over the age of 50 to name his or her all-time favorite movie, and the odds are overwhelming that he or she will quickly reply, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  Indeed, many lawyers of my generation (myself included) will tell you that they became a lawyer because they were inspired by Gregory Peck’s ... Read more »

No Shirt, No Shoes . . . No Babies!

Aug 6, 2009

Like all descendants of Adam and Eve, Kaylin Frederich entered this world naked.  Actually, she was wearing her birthday suit, but it did not come with shoes. Read more »

Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Interns

Jul 28, 2009

            My daughter is a budding politician.  She is President of her middle school’s honor counsel, a graduate of two national student leadership programs, and, of course, a Princess.  She is an eloquent speaker and a good writer.  She reads the newspaper every morning (she has to be the only person in America under ... Read more »

A Classic Summer Law Suit

Jul 24, 2009

            I’m an old-fashioned, traditional Southern lawyer.  I talk like a Southern lawyer, walk like a Southern lawyer, and dress like a Southern lawyer.  And so on Tuesday morning, May 26 (the day after Memorial Day), I put on my summer law suit. Read more »

Judge Sonia Sotomayor: A Case of Misplaced Empathy

Jul 16, 2009

            Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who is a very wise Latina woman from the Bronx, has spent this week being cross-examined by a bunch of white men.  (Well, not all white men, but mostly.)  The white men who are interrogating her are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and many of them do not have much empathy for Judge ... Read more »

Girding Our Loins: Will Real Men Wear Girdles?

Jul 9, 2009

            As a life-long member of the male gender, I have always felt that men have two advantages over women.  First, we wear sensible shoes.  Second, we wear loose underwear. Read more »

Compared to Streaking, This Is Just a Flash (Mob) in The Pan

Jul 2, 2009

           I am pleased to report that the First Amendment is alive and well on Tennessee's college campuses.  Students across the Volunteer State are vigorously exercising their Constitutional right to assemble and engage in free speech often directed toward fellow students at the University of Florida.  And unlike the college ... Read more »

Tennessee Just Says No To Al Gore…Again!

Jun 25, 2009

He has won a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award.  For eight years he was a heartbeat away from the Presidency.  In the 2000 Presidential Election, he won the popular vote by a large margin, only to lose the election by one vote (Justice Scalia’s).  But back here in his home state, on Election Day 2000, Al Gore was snubbed by his fellow Tennesseans.  And last week, he got ... Read more »

Father's Day: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow!

Jun 16, 2009

            When I was a little boy growing up in north Memphis during the Eisenhower Administration, Father’s Day was a big deal.  That’s because fathers were a big deal.  Read more »

But Seriously, Folks: Twelve Angry Tweeters

May 27, 2009

When I first heard my fellow lawyers using the word “twitter,” I thought they were referring to the little birdie who co-starred on the Bugs Bunny Show (“I taught I taw a putty tat!”) or a famous country music singer (“Hello, darling! Nice to see you! It’s been a long time!”) Recently, a young female attorney asked me whether I “twitter,” and ... Read more »

Big Orange Alimony For Fun and Profit

May 3, 2009

    I am a big fan of Bruce Pearl, head coach of the University of Tennessee Gentlemen Vols basketball team.  He is, in my impartial opinion, the second greatest basketball coach in America.  The first, of course, is the legendary Pat Summitt, coach of the Tennessee Vols basketball team.    You will note that I do not refer to the University of Tennessee ... Read more »

Legal Rawhide: Time To Brand Them Dogie Lawyers!

Apr 21, 2009

Long before I dreamed of being a lawyer, I wanted to be a cowboy.  I wanted to sit tall in the saddle like the Marlboro Man or Roy Rogers or Gene Autry.  That’s because I grew up watching TV Westerns such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and Wyatt Earp.    My all-time favorite TV Western was Rawhide.  The show featured cattle drivers and starred Eric Fleming as trail boss ... Read more »

A Time to Bring Back Law Suits... And Shoe Shines!

Mar 2, 2009

Long-time readers of this silly column (and you know who you are) know how I feel about how we lawyers should dress.  I believe that every problem now faced by the American legal profession – tort reform, the decline in civility, Alberto Gonzales – have all been caused by the advent of “casual day” at law firms throughout our once well-dressed nation.   ... Read more »

Prayer Meetings in the Conference Room

Feb 3, 2009

When I was a little boy growing up in the Baptist church my father pastored in north Memphis, our congregation would gather on Wednesday nights for mid-week “prayer meeting.”    Prayer meetings weren’t as formal as the Sunday morning worship service.  There was no choir in the choir loft on Wednesday nights.  There wasn’t even an organist or ... Read more »

Time For a Federal Bailout of Rabbit Ears

Jan 7, 2009

    I have been watching television now for over 56 years.  Not in one sitting, mind you.  I have gotten up from my Barcalounger from time to time to go to the bathroom or make a sandwich.  And I did break away from the screen long enough to get an education, pass the bar exam, get married and raise a family.  But other than that, I have pretty much been ... Read more »

Not Your Father's Supreme Court Anymore

Nov 2, 2008

Tennessee, where the men are men, and the women are . . . Supreme Court Justices!    On September 2, the Honorable Janice Holder became the first female Chief Justice in the history of the Tennessee Supreme Court.  Three weeks later, Governor Bredesen appointed Judge Sharon Lee to the State’s highest court, and faster than you could say “Ruth Bader Ginsberg,” ... Read more »

Dress For Female Lawyer Success

Oct 30, 2008

Unreliable sources advise me that the Memphis Bar Association Board of Directors is considering drafting a dress code for women lawyers.  Such a code would be designed to provide sartorial guidelines for female lawyers making court appearances.      Insofar as I know, there is no MBA dress code for male lawyers.  If there is one, it sure isn’t enforced.  ... Read more »