Members of the 15th Judicial District Bar Association heard a special message from retiring Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William Koch Wednesday.
Koch, who was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2007 by Gov. Phil Bredesen, told his audience about some of his experiences in his 43-year career practicing law.
“There is an art to dealing with clients,” he said. “They come to us in the middle of the most vulnerable time in their lives.”
He added that trust is one of the most important factors between an attorney and client.
Koch related a story about a lawyer named Charlie Warfield who was appointed to represent a man accused of murder and how Warfield had exhausted every option to try to keep his client from the death penalty.
His client asked to see him the day before his execution, and Koch said the client thanked Warfield for doing everything he could on his case.
“Trust is such a rare commodity between people,” he said. “It’s my hope that you experience a Charlie Warfield moment before you retire.”
He also gave some advice to those currently practicing.
“Right now in Nashville there are around 3,500 lawyers. Young lawyers are sometimes left without the experienced lawyers passing down the way things are done and to learn the ways of the bar,” Koch said.