TLI NEWS April 2018

TLI NEWS April 2018

On a gorgeous Tennessee spring afternoon, several hundred Tennessee attorneys and friends met in Nashville and said goodbye to Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank F. Drowota.

Some of us learned for the first time at the service that Frank was a “P.K.” (a/k/a “preacher’s kid”). Some folks in that role had a hard time adhering to the ethical standards of being a “PK.” Others rebelled. Frank Drowota had no such issues. Those of us who met him later in life had no trouble understanding that Frank just did the right thing. And we came to expect no less from this Tennessee lawyer, Chancellor, Court of Appeals Judge, Supreme Court Justice, icon and friend. Sadly, in December of 2017, he was diagnosed with a difficult disease and fought it valiantly.

Ironically, on the night after his funeral there was a bizarre shooting at a nearby Waffle House, killing four and injuring eight. Frank Drowota would have respected and honored the individual, later hailed as a hero, who was a restaurant patron who saw an opportunity to separate the gunman and his gun. This effort probably saved the lives of the remaining patrons. Frank would also look at all those involved, and worry about those injured. And he would have determined what was right at the time.

As we said goodbye to Justice Drowota, we hope he is reunited with other Tennessee icons he respected, such as our own Don Paine. We remind ourselves about the accomplishments of humble heroes like Don Paine and Frank Drowota. We hurt for the beloved family members they left behind. And we miss them terribly.

And we acknowledge how much better our judicial system is as the result of the selfless, tireless efforts of public servants such as Justice Frank Drowota. Please remember him, his family and his dear friends in your thoughts and prayers.

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For the Institute,

Sarah Sheppeard

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