Death of a Lawyer: Hon. William Cain

Yesterday afternoon I attended the funeral of Judge Bill Cain of Columbia.

Judge Cain served on the Court of Appeals and had served as a trial judge.  He was a lawyer who loved the law and loved to discuss the subject.  He prided himself on his ability to dive into the books and find the answer to a problem, and was justified in his pride.  We debated many tort law subjects over the years and I found him to be a worthy adversary, someone who not only knew the law but understood why the law was the way it was.  

Judge Cain despised the phrase "reasonable degree of medical certainty" and did his best to relegate it to the ash-heap of history.  He thought the "locality" rule in medical malpractice cases was assine, but applied it because he was duty-bound to do so.  He applied to plaintiffs and defendants, and in fact reversed a jury verdict for the defendant in a Clarksville case because the defendant’s experts did not know the local standard of care.

It just hit me that the word "duty-bound" sums up Bill Cain pretty darn well.  He was a man of honor who was blessed with the intellect to be a lawyer, and used his talents to serve his fellow man as a soldier, lawyer, and judge.  He believed it doing the right thing – it was his duty.

So, Moses, if you happen to be reading this let me give you fair warning:  Bill Cain is there, ready to talk a little law.  He isn’t going to give you any trouble on your Top Ten list, but anything else is fair game.  I suggest your familiarize yourself with a dude named Blackstone, because Bill will refer to him frequently.

Goodbye, Bill.  Thank you for your friendship and your many contributions to the law of Tennessee.