Nashville – The Tennessee Supreme Court has approved the petitions of two attorneys to receive pro bono emeritus status. Through the Court’s pro bono emeritus program, retired attorneys may provide pro bono legal services through organizations that offer free legal services to Tennesseans who are unable to afford legal counsel.
Susan Carolyn Howard of Memphis and Charles E. Racine of Gallatin received pro bono emeritus status from the Supreme Court in January.
“We commend Ms. Howard and Mr. Racine for sharing their time and talents with the growing number of Tennesseans who cannot afford legal services,” Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark said. “We hope more attorneys will follow their example by participating in this program and other opportunities to provide pro bono legal assistance.”
The pro bono emeritus program was established on Jan. 1, 2011, as part of the Court’s ongoing efforts to improve access to justice in the state. Three attorneys statewide have received this designation since the pro bono emeritus program was adopted.
The pro bono emeritus rule gives retired attorneys the authority to perform all legal work, without pay, on behalf of a client. Pro bono emeritus attorneys may represent the client in court with the approval of the judge hearing the case.
Retired attorneys who wish to participate in the program must file an application with the appellate court clerk’s office. They must have actively practiced law for five of the past 10 years or practiced law for 25 years preceding their application. The Supreme Court reviews all applications and provides a written approval to the attorney.