New U.S. Attorney plans to ‘dispassionately’ prosecute white-collar crimes

Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 11:45pm

Jerry Martin took the ceremonial oath of the office of U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Thursday afternoon at the federal courthouse.

Judge Todd Campbell, currently presiding over the Middle District Court, presented Martin with the oath in the formal investiture ceremony before a courtroom of prominent lawyers, politicians and city leaders. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. Jim Cooper and attorney George Barrett addressed the court at the ceremony.

Cooper suggested Martin for U.S. Attorney, and according to Barrett, Alexander was instrumental in moving Martin’s confirmation through the Senate in less than two months.

“We’ve been involved in a great deal of litigation and a lot of representation, during the course of which I’ve learned to respect and value Jerry’s advice, wisdom and insight,” Barrett said of his time working alongside Martin.

“He has wisdom beyond his age and knowledge far beyond his education,” Barrett said.

Cooper said in his remarks, “Jerry is truly outstanding, been outstanding his entire life, and his legal career is amazing.”

Each who spoke, acknowledged the job Ed Yarbrough did as the U.S. attorney before Martin.

Alexander said of Yarbrough, “[He] stepped aside from his law practice at the peak of his career and came into this office, one of the most important in our state. He composed himself with integrity and dignity and professionalism. … We owe Ed Yarbrough a lot.”

Martin was legally sworn into the office on May 21 following his nomination for U.S. Attorney by President Obama and his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Before taking the post as a federal prosecutor, Martin practiced law as a partner at Barrett Johnston & Parsley trying class-action suits in the federal judicial system.

In his remarks, Martin asserted his intent to “dispassionately” prosecute white-collar crimes including those against the environment and political corruption. He also vowed to use discretion in the cases he chooses to prosecute.

8 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 7/9/10 at 6:04

Does this mean he'll act like there is NOT a dual standard of justice? one for the rich, the powerful and the corporations, and a harsher one for the rest of us?

By: budlight on 7/9/10 at 6:11

Kosh, you hit the proverbial nail on the political head. Of course. I had to read it several times to see if "dispassionate" was actually the right word, cause I thought it should have said "passionately prosecute white-collar crimes". Shouldn't all crimes and criminals be passionately prosecuted -- within the law, of course?

By: Kosh III on 7/9/10 at 7:50

Right sid. He should be vigorously pursuing justice.
To quote Jesus, "zeal for the Law has consumed me."

By: nlnagy on 7/9/10 at 8:31

dispassionate –adjective

free from or unaffected by passion; devoid of personal feeling or bias; impartial; calm: a dispassionate critic.

A highly unrealistic assertion and frankly impossible to believe. He's human.


By: nlnagy on 7/9/10 at 8:37

"He also vowed to use discretion in the cases he chooses to prosecute."

Do I have the freedom of speech to suggest that I am willing to bet that the white-collars with the most money don't get prosecuted.


By: Moonglow1 on 7/9/10 at 11:35

White collar crooks are paraded in front of Congress and “scolded." Following the public farce, they continue to amass more money from government funded contracts and favorable tax laws. They are able to do this because expensive lobbyists represent them and help them advance favorable legislation. Middle Class Mortals do not have the funds to purchase lobbyists to advocate for their interests. Thereby, we have NO representation under the law. Monied interests with the implicit backing of the government run the country.
However, I remain hopeful that the new U.S. Attorney will act. The question is: will he have the guts to take on the healthcare industry, which provides Nashville with Billions of Dollars in revenue? I hope so because that industry needs a good scrubbing.
I want to know that government is allocating my tax money to advance my interests and that Nashville is attracting good corporate citizens. Nashville needs clean air and water, strong public education, strong law enforcement , good sidewalk system, and accessible healthcare for all people so that Nashville can continue to attract good and profitable businesses but ones that also have the public interests in mind, and not only the value of their stock options.
Short term gain is the the name of the game!

By: budlight on 7/9/10 at 1:45

nlnagy on 7/9/10 at 9:37
"He also vowed to use discretion in the cases he chooses to prosecute."

Do I have the freedom of speech to suggest that I am willing to bet that the white-collars with the most money don't get prosecuted.

Yes, you STILL have freedom of speech. Look at Google & China. Glad we're not there.

Also, what about that Russian/U.S. Fly Swatting? Oh, I'm mis-spoke; it's spy-swapping. Faster than a sunday show of wife swap.

That is so suspecious. 2 british spies? what's up with dat?

By: govskeptic on 7/10/10 at 5:14

One problem I see with government prosecutions is the length of time used to investigate many cases. We certainly aren't talking about hasty-willy nilly fact finding before filing charges but taking forever to get to the "perfect" prosecution point allows the individual or corporation to continue their misdeeds much longer (inflicting more harm) than often seems necessary. Best wishes to Mr. Martin in this most important job. Hopefully the Washington superiors will allow him the freedom to pursue those cases that are very important to this circuit without too much interference!