Our community lost one of its most valuable pillars last week, and it is only fitting that we remember him here, where he often submitted articles on legal topics.
Jim Hawkins and I had a number of cases together as attorneys. Local judges and attorneys alike would agree that Jim’s professionalism and trustworthiness were beyond reproach. Jim and I once had a case together in which he and his client were late in answering discovery (written questions to be answered).
Because of their delinquency, Jim offered to pay me a portion of his fee for my time. I declined, and encouraged him to donate the funds to the charity of his choice. In true Jim fashion, he sent it to the Humane Society. That is just one small example of Jim’s character showing up in his professional life.
But his role as an honorable attorney was not the only corner of Sumner County in which Jim shone—he was a true public servant to our community.
From the school board to Rotary, from various charities to political involvement, from the bar association to public events, he strived to support local people in every way. The legal community and the county as a whole will miss his active, jovial participation. Jim was a positive voice and a true cheerleader in every circle of our county.
Jim was an avid supporter of the Boy Scouts, and as every good Boy Scout knows, one should leave his camp neater than he found it.
Jim left Sumner County a better place than he found it. He made a mark here, and his presence, his spirit, and his actions will be remembered forever. His example encourages all of us to live well and to serve joyfully. I am glad to have known Jim. Rest in peace, my friend.
Russ Edwards is a Hendersonville alderman and attorney.