Elvis is topic of Chattanooga legal seminar
By JOE EDWARDS - Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Turns out Elvis the King of Rock and Roll spawned Elvis the lawsuit - a whole lotta lawsuits.
It'll be a hunka hunka review of Elvis' legal cases Tuesday, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Legal Aid of East Tennessee is sponsoring a three-hour continuing legal education session. It's billed as "Elvis Law. The state and federal cases dealing with the late king of rock 'n' roll."
The presentation is free. Attorneys attending get three hours toward a required 15 hours of continuing education each year. To attract attention in an email announcing the session, the legal aid group showed a famous 1970 photo of Elvis and then-President Richard Nixon.
A 10-foot cardboard cutout of Elvis will greet attendees. And a little Elvis music may be played as they mingle before the presentation starts.
"We're approaching it in a light-hearted way," said Charlie McDaniel, pro bono project director. Around three dozen attorneys from southeast Tennessee are expected to attend.
The speaker won't be in a white jumpsuit a la Elvis. After all, it is a serious topic worth reviewing.
"Elvis was fascinating," said Russell Fowler, the group's associate director who will lead the presentation. "He was not litigious, never sued anybody. He'd fire someone and then give them $50,000 to be nice. But when he died, litigation sprang from everywhere."
He said topics will include ownership of Elvis' name, likeness and image; media access to his autopsy records; disputes over what happened to concert tickets sold before Elvis died, and others.
"We're amazed at how many different type cases there were," Fowler said. "This relates to his popularity and fame."
However, the presentation probably will not interest Elvis fans - even those with a burning love for him.
"I think they would get a kick out of knowing it's taking place, but it's a hard look at law to keep attorneys up to date," said McDaniel.
He'll speak during the presentation, encouraging the attorneys to do pro bono work.
"It'll be bait and switch," he said. "We'll tell them about Elvis, and then try to get them to represent poor people in this area."
Elvis Presley Enterprises did not return an email request for comment on the session.
Elvis died at his Graceland residence in Memphis in 1977 following a 20-year career.
Fowler is from Memphis and grew up in Elvis' neighborhood.
"I'd see him driving around the grounds (of Graceland), and talked to him, just "Hi, how are you?" One time he had a new big truck, and he had apparently broken a bumper."