Real-life ‘Matlock,’ Bobby Lee Cook, to Speak at UT on Friday

 

KNOXVILLE — Bobby Lee Cook, on whom the TV show “Matlock” was based, will speak on Friday, Sept. 11, at the College of Law on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus.

He will speak at noon in Room 132. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The event is part of the College’s Wyc and Lyn Orr Lecture Series, which is made possible by the support of E. Wycliffe Orr Sr. and Lyn H. Orr of Gainesville, Ga. Orr, a 1970 graduate of the UT College of Law, is a member with Orr Brown Johnson LLP in Gainesville.

Cook, 82, still practices with Cook and Connelly law firm in Summerville, Ga. He has tried thousands of cases in more than 40 states and several countries during the past six decades.

Cook is among seven attorneys tabbed by the ABA Journal as “Lions of the Trial Bar” because their names “can be found in the pages of casebooks and on the sides of law school buildings. They’ve tried some of the most important cases of the last 50 years, dazzling juries and swaying judges” and they have “also represented the guilty and unpopular because they thought it was the right thing to do.”

Cook has represented moonshiners and money launderers, bootleggers and bank fraud schemers. The Rockefellers and Carnegies have been his clients.

And his defense of Savannah, Ga., socialite Jim Williams helped bring to life John Berendt’s true-crime classic “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

A Vanderbilt Law School graduate, Cook defended Tennessee banker C.H. Butcher Jr., who faced 25 counts of fraud and was acquitted on all counts. In the 1950s he was the only lawyer in Georgia who represented unions, considered “communists” at the time. He currently represents Wayne Williams in Williams’ appeal of his 1982 conviction for the murder of two black youths in what was known as the Atlanta Child Murders.

Cook also represents three murder defendants in separate cases that will go to trial this year. He remains one of the most sought-after criminal defense lawyers in the South.

Another of the ABA Journal’s “Lions,” James Neal of Nashville, was the first speaker in the Orr Lecture Series last March.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu)

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