Attorney/Client » Attorney, 107, Still Comes To Work

Attorney, 107, Still Comes To Work

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August 25, 2017

James Bass (Harvard Law, ‘34) comes to work daily at the Nashville law firm co-founded by his father in 1922. Bass, who turned 107 in July, went directly to Bass, Berry & Sims after graduating from law school and has been there since, except for his years in the U.S. army during World War II. He enlisted shortly after Pearl Harbor. He has also served as both a state representative and a state senator in Tennessee, and in the 1960s headed a committee that negotiated conflicts between business owners and civil rights advocates in Nashville. That committee helped end segregation in Nashville restaurants, hotels, and hospitals, according to an article in Harvard Law Today, which honored him as the law school’s oldest living alumnus. Admired for his gentlemanly conduct before adversaries as well as judges and clients, he is known also for meticulous preparation. “I certainly do not minimize the value of an effective argument before a court or jury, but no longer is the loudest or most flowery oratory able to carry the day,” he said at a company retreat. “The substance is what is most important, and the substance depends on preparation.”

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