County Law Director
WILLIAM S. LOCKETT, JR.
â€˘ Married to Dawn Lockett since 1985; two sons, Trent, age 18, and Stephen, age 9.
â€˘ Born in Knoxville, Tennessee on July 8, 1954.
â€˘ KENNERLY, MONTGOMERY & FINLEY, P.C., since 1987. Shareholder since 1990. Engaged in litigation in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels. Practice areas include contract and commercial litigation; prosecuting and defending employment law cases (sexual harassment, gender, race, disability and age discrimination); ERISA litigation; representing defendants in mass tort litigation (multidistrict litigation involving silicone gel breast implants, latex glove sensitivity and blood-clotting factor tainted with HIV); representation of county government and local elected officials; medical malpractice; and regulatory and compliance issues under the Tennessee Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Act.
â€˘ Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law.
â€˘ Lecturer at The University of Tennessee on Business and Professional Communications in the School of Communication Studies since 2001.
â€˘ CUMBERLAND SCHOOL OF LAW, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY, Doctor of Jurisprudence, 1982. Class rank: 34th in class of 190 (top 13%).
Honors and Activities: President of Tennessee Student Bar Association; Associate Editor of The Cumberland Law Review; Order of Barristers; Executive Committee Member and Justice of Moot Court Board; Delta Theta Phi Legal Fraternity.
â€˘ UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, Bachelor of Arts, 1976. Majors: History and Political Science. Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
â€˘ Served as law clerk for The Honorable Ray L. Brock, Jr., Associate Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, 1982-83.
â€˘ Solo counsel in Wakefield v. Crawley, 6 S.W.3d 442 (Tenn. 1999). The Tennessee Supreme Court overruled its prior decision in Blasingame v. American Materials, Inc., 654 S.W.2d 659 (Tenn. 1983) (Tennessee stock in closely held corporations does not meet the definition of a security, thereby preventing application of the statute of frauds provision contained in Article VIII of the Uniform Commercial Code), reversed the Court of Appeals and dismissed case against my client.
â€˘ Local counsel for Baxter Healthcare International and Baxter Healthcare Corporation in: silicone gel breast implant cases, national class action and multidistrict litigation; latex glove cases, national class action and multidistrict litigation; blood clotting factor cases, national class action and multidistrict litigation.
â€˘ Defended General Oils Company and Ashland Oil, Inc. in suit for property damage resulting from oil spill. Obtained dismissal during trial.
â€˘ Defended The Parsons Corporation and obtained jury verdict for the defense in age and disability discrimination case in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, affirmed in McLeod v. Parsons Corporation, et al., 73 Fed. Appx. 846; 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 18753 (6th Cir.).
â€˘ Became the first associate in the then newly opened Knoxville office of Heiskell, Donelson, Bearman, Adams, Williams & Kirsch (which later merged to form Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C.) representing First Tennessee Bank in the aftermath of the Butcher bank closings from 1983 until 1987.
â€˘ Represented Grainger County, Tennessee in Neverez v. Williams, No. 3:02-cv-635, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, a lawsuit alleging that conditions in the Grainger County Jail were unconstitutional because of overcrowding and inadequate facilities.
BAR AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES
â€˘ Boy Scouts of America: District Commissioner (Echota), Great Smoky Mountain Council; Adult Leader and Troop Committee Member for Troop 22.
â€˘ Youth League Baseball Coach
â€˘ Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing Committee Member by appointment of the Tennessee Supreme Court
â€˘ Served on Board of Directors of Knoxville Legal Aid Society 2000-01, during restructuring to Legal Aid of East Tennessee.
â€˘ Served on Advisory Board of Legal Aid of East Tennessee 2001.
â€˘ Legal Aid of East Tennessee Committee Chair of Client Grievance Committee, 2002-present.
â€˘ Co-Chair Knoxville Bar Association Committee on Continuing Legal Education, 1996-97.
â€˘ 1983-1986, Knoxville Bar Association â€“ Young Lawyers. Chaired Mock Trial Committee that established first mock trial competitions in Knoxville high schools in 1984-85.
â€˘ Member of Knoxville Bar Association and Tennessee Bar Association.
â€˘ All Tennessee state courts; Eastern, Middle and Western United States District Courts of Tennessee; United States District Court of Colorado; United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Sixth Circuits; and United States Supreme Court.
â€˘ Co-Author, AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYEE BENEFITS, BNA Erisa Litigation Reporter, Chapter 25, 2003.
â€˘ Comment, THE PARENTAL KIDNAPPING PREVENTION ACT OF 1980; DEATH KNELL FOR â€śTHE RULE OF SEIZE AND RUN,â€ť 12 Cum. L. Rev. 485 (1982).
â€˘ J. Hood, W. Lockett and D. Centeno, APPELLATE BRIEF WRITING AND MOOT COURT COMPETITION GUIDE (1982)
Wakefield v. Crawley, 6 S.W.3d 442 (Tenn. 1999).
Smith v. First Union National Bank of Tennessee, 958 S.W.2d 113 (Tenn. App. 1997).
Standard Pipe & Supply, Inc. v. First City Service Corp., 833 S.W.2d 510 (Tenn. App. 1992).
Dickerson v. Godfrey, 825 S.W.2d 692 (Tenn. 1992).
Testerman v. Tragesser, 789 S.W.2d 553 (Tenn. App. 1989).
Rogers v. First Tennessee Bank Natl. Assâ€™n, 738 S.W.2d 635 (Tenn. App. 1987).
Kirchner v. Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., 184 F.R.D. 124 (M.D. Tenn. 1998).
Cantrell v. Knoxville Community Development Corp., 60 F.3d 1177 (6th Cir. 1995).
In Re Arango, 992 F.2d 611 (6th Cir. 1993).
Hall v. Federal Deposit Ins. Corp., 920 F.2d 334 (6th Cir. 1990).
Super X Drugs Corp. v. Federal Deposit Ins. Corp., 862 F.2d 1252 (6th Cir. 1988).
In Re Earl D. Wilson, William L. Davis v. American Express Company, 56 B.R. 74,
42 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. (Callaghan) 934 (E.D. Tenn. Bkrtcy. 1985).
In Re Earl D. Wilson, William L. Davis v. Valley Federal Savings and Loan, 52 B.R. 639,
(E.D. Tenn. Bkrtcy. 1985).
In Re Earl D. Wilson, William L. Davis v. Bank of Commerce, et al., 52 B.R. 637,
(E.D. Tenn. Bkrtcy. 1985).
In Re Earl D. Wilson, 52 B.R. 634 (E.D. Tenn. Bkrtcy. 1985).
Why are you running for office?
I decided to go to law school at an early age because of my interest in government. I felt that a law degree would make me more qualified for public service. The office of Law Director is perfect for me because I can combine my long held desire to serve in government with my love for the practice of law.
Do you have any relatives who are employed by Knox County?
No. My campaign literature contains a written pledge to the people of Knox County that I will not hire family members to work in the law directorâ€™s office and that I will be the only member of my family working for or being paid by Knox County.
Are you for or against a consolidated city/county government?
I have doubts about whether the economies of scale sought to be achieved by consolidating city/county government can be obtained based on the present population and residential concentration in Knox County. At whatever point and time in the future, if ever, those economies of scale are reached, and it makes economic sense to consolidate (in terms of services provided for taxpayerâ€™s dollars), I would support it subject to voter approval.
In your opinion, what is the most important role of government?
To ensure liberty.
Which past U.S. president do you most admire and why?
Ronald Reagan. President Reagan adhered to a set of guiding principles about the role of government and the effect it could have for good or evil. He implemented his vision for good and as a result Americans prospered economically and communism crumbled.
Other than the Bible, what was the last book you read?
Robert Reminiâ€™s three volume biography of Andrew Jackson.
Click player to view video clip