What Attorney Died Today?
Over his decades-long legal career, he made waves as one of New York City’s foremost bankruptcy lawyers and served as an inspiration to many young lawyers.
An assistant circuit attorney from St. Louis named James Heitman died Wednesday evening after an automobile crash on Interstate 270. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol officials, Heitman died as a result of this tragic event.
Williamson County District Attorney Kim Helper
Kim Helper was appointed Williamson County District Attorney in 2008 and later elected three times after that. Additionally, she served as president of the Tennessee District Attorney General Conference. On Monday March 20th she passed away suddenly from cancer.
“Mrs. Copeland was both a dedicated family woman and public servant. Over her career, she worked to raise awareness on issues related to elder abuse, fentanyl use and victim services. Additionally, she was extremely active at her church St Paul’s Episcopal in Franklin and served on Keep Tennessee Beautiful Advisory Board; also serving on several Governor-appointed committees and being part of Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Alumni.”
Helper was alarmed to learn that City Manager Carrol Carroll planned on restructuring the FVPD by eliminating detective positions. She immediately reached out to Mayor Carroll and City Manager Carol Collins with her concerns, whereby City Manager Collins informed her of planned changes as promised, before later discussing Plaintiffs in her suit with Helper briefly on the call.
According to their complaint, the Plaintiffs allege that CM Collins and Helper engaged in retaliatory conduct against them for their criticisms of her and the City’s handling of its police department in public forums. Retaliation violates 42 U.S.C. 1983 as well as various state statutes.
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that defendants violated both their constitutional and statutory rights, such as due process and free speech. Furthermore, they allege retaliatory measures by defendants violate Tenn. Code Ann. 8-126(d), as well as other relevant state provisions.
This lawsuit was initially filed in July 2018; mediation sessions took place between November 29, 2018 and December 6, 2018, which concluded with an agreed upon settlement, approved by the court on December 6 and becoming effective January 1. 2019, thus dismissing this litigation altogether. Plaintiffs are represented by Gary Blackburn, Robert Hassell and Bryant Kroll of their law firm.
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney William “Dub” Duston
Attorney William “Dub” Duston, Taney County prosecuting attorney since 2009, died after a long fight with cancer. His office announced his passing via Facebook and noted his life is survived by his wife and two children; it also acknowledged their “devastating loss”, noting how passionately and diligently he served his community of Taney County with dedication.
According to his obituary, Dub was born and educated in Branson before graduating high school there. After attending Middle Tennessee State University for his Bachelor’s in American History degree and James Madison University for his Master’s, he graduated with his law degree at American University before starting a prosecutorial career there before going into criminal defense with Allman Ingrum & Wilson PC (Holister-based). Later that same year he was elected City of Branson prosecutor before eventually being appointed Prosecuting Attorney of Taney County until 2018.
He was widely respected for his tireless pursuit of justice and unflinching support of law enforcement, as well as for his unwavering belief in local charities and fight for victims’ rights, such as their right to self-determination. Furthermore, he tirelessly championed their rights.
He enjoyed an exceptional legal career that encompassed not only teaching and lecturing on various legal subjects such as bankruptcy law, but was also widely revered among scholars, writing several legal books himself, mentoring young attorneys and being beloved member of New York bar and respected legal figure in community.
Neil Byam was another prominent Texas attorney who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Friday when he collapsed and passed away while appearing before the Court of Appeals with fellow judges Allan Mendonca, Prakash Moosai, and Gillian Lucky at their Court of Appeals hearing. At 67 years old and best known for his television advertisements portraying himself as the “strong arm,” Byam practiced law throughout Texas for decades with offices throughout his home state.
Family of California attorney Elliot Blair who died while celebrating one-year wedding anniversary at Las Rocas Resort and Spa in Rosarito, Baja California are raising questions over his death in Mexico. According to them, conflicting information has been given as to what occurred with Elliot Blair, an Orange County Public Defender. Elliot died while celebrating this eventful occasion with his bride when tragedy struck at Las Rocas Resort and Spa – family members demand an independent investigation be undertaken in order to uncover all facts.
Friends have responded in grief by raising funds to assist with his investigation. John Jenks, who worked with Blair on various drug cases, expressed disbelief at both the details surrounding Blair’s death and lack of answers from local authorities; 33-year-old Blair was known for being passionate and dedicated public defender – traits Jenks saw first-hand from working closely together during their drug cases.
She attended Servite High School in Long Beach before receiving her bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton. Subsequently, she attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles to attain her Juris Doctorate and had since joined the Orange County Public Defender’s Office as a staff attorney.
Blair was an outstanding public defender with great compassion for his clients, colleagues, and community. He enjoyed spending time with his wife and their dog; often going to the beach together or staying at their place in Placentia. Blair enjoyed working on cars, dirt bikes, and dune buggies when time permitted.
GoFundMe campaign to cover investigation costs into Blair’s death has been established, with over 500 mourners attending his memorial service Saturday in Garden Grove to pay their respects and mourn the loss. Congressman Lou Correa presented Kim Blair, his widow, with an official congressional placard at that event.
The family has informed the coroner’s liaison of their intention to hire an independent firm for an autopsy and toxicology examination of Blair’s body, including a brain scan. Although results of this investigation could take weeks to come back, they informed the liaison that they will not consent to cremating his remains until receiving results of this investigation.
Thomas Wine was a well-recognized local figure who ran for district attorney in 2013 on a platform of reform and racial equality. At age 69, he defeated his Democratic predecessor with his campaign platform of reform and equity. He died Saturday.
He held almost every position within the legal system, from prosecutor and assistant commonwealth’s attorney to judge. Since 2012 he had served as Louisville’s commonwealth’s attorney – an appointment he reelected in 2018 – while also holding trial judge and appellate court judgeships before returning to his commonwealth’s attorney office after each period of bench service.
Wine’s career started in 1984 when he joined the Kentucky attorney general’s office as part of the Leviticus Unit investigating fraudulent investments in coal and oil tax shelters. Later, he served in both the Medicaid Fraud Unit and as an assistant in Special Prosecutions Division before eventually being appointed as Circuit Court judge; being reelected without opposition both times until becoming chief judge by his peers in 2002.
Mitch McConnell proposed in 2021 that President Biden nominate Wine as U.S. attorney for Kentucky’s Western District; however, many Democratic leaders opposed this nomination and instead took an interim approach with First Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Erwin Roberts filling Wine’s duties temporarily.
Thomas Liquors was a family-owned business. As its third-generation owner, it had always been his intention to be dedicated to its employees, neighborhood, and community – never failing in sharing his expertise about wine with all who came through their store. Everyone will miss him greatly.
Neil Byam, former deputy state solicitor general and son of former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Robert Byam as well as brother to Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, died unexpectedly at Court of Appeal hearing Friday morning after collapsing unexpectedly during appearance before them. According to courthouse reports he suffered from an unnamed medical condition before suddenly collapsing in front of Allan Mendonca, Prakash Moosai and Gillian Lucky judges Allan Mendonca was the one that summoned him before them before collapsing and falling ill suddenly while appearing before them before Allan Mendonca Mendonca Prakash Moosai and Gillian Lucky judges when suddenly collapsing and dropping dead during their proceedings before. Neil was born out of former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Robert Byam while brother Andy Beshear of course was Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear whose brother serves in that position today he works in.