In 1775 the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of War which remained in effect and essentially unchanged for 175 years. In 1951 Congress passed the Uniform Code of Military Justice effecting sweeping reforms and bringing all the military services under one set of rules which went into effect one year before I became an Army lawyer.
This book tells the story of my two years in postwar Germany 1953-1955, effectuating the new military code and of several of the 168 General Courts Martial trials in which I participated. The book also tells of my transformation from a 23-year-old happy-go-lucky law school graduate with no military training into an experienced trial lawyer and Army officer and the sometimes humorous and interesting occurrences I encountered along the way.  

BLUFF CITY BARRISTERS, a "Coffee Table Book," is an overview of the history of the legal community in Memphis, Tennessee from about 1820, when the first lawyers began to practice there to the present, especially how the practice of law has changed, and who changed it. General Andrew Jackson and John Overton two of the three developers who founded Memphis were lawyers and although neither of them lived or practiced in Memphis they were luminaries of the Legal Profession. Both served as justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court and Jackson was the first Congressman from Tennessee and President of the United States. They along with James Winchester also possessed the vision and means to establish this city. These stories and more are found in this handsome, beautifully illustrated, once in a generation chronicle of the Legal Community in a city that has been a vanguard in precedent setting cases and influence. Read about the characters, the visionaries, and the pioneers of Legal History as well as the Attorneys and Firms of Memphis that are making history today and creating their own Legacy for future generations to enjoy. It will be time well spent.

INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE is a work of fiction inspired by an actual controversy between a German airframe manufacturer and an American defense contractor arising out of their efforts to win a US government contract to build a remotely controlled drone aircraft. As a result of the dispute, the German company brought suit in the United States District Court in Texas alleging breach of contract, breach of a duty of good faith, interference with a prospective business opportunity and fraud. In 1997 the Texas jury found that the American company had been guilty of fraud and returned a verdict in favor of the German plaintiff, awarding punitive damages in the amount of forty-five million dollars and compensatory damages in the amount of one dollar. The trial judge, in vacating the punitive damage award, found that there was sufficient evidence to sustain the verdict of fraud, but that the compensatory damage award would not support the punitive damage verdict, and entered judgment for one dollar in favor of the German plaintiff. Both parties appealed and in 2001 the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court in all respects. Although this story was inspired by the federal court case and some of the locations described are real, none of the facts in the novel are true, no one was murdered, there was no “smoking gun” e-mail, and no romance. All the events described in the novel are fictitious and all of the characters described in this story, their deeds and misdeeds are the product of the author’s imagination.

John J. Thomason

The story of an Army lawyer in postwar Germany; a COurtroom page-turneR and a "coffee-table" history of the legal community in Memphis, Tennessee.