|Fletcher “Keith” Adkinson, 69|
|Wednesday, June 26, 2013|
Nashville, TN – Fletcher “Keith” Adkinson, a dedicated ambassador to the country music community, serving on multiple boards of directors, acting a legal liaison for celebrity friends and the ultimate client the Estate of Hank Williams, passed away at the age of 69. Mr. Adkinson was actively engaged in the practice of law for over 40 years. He was admitted to practice in Virginia, West Virginia, California, Tennessee and the District of Columbia. He was also a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Additionally, was admitted pro hac vice in numerous other states to participate in cases of his selection before that state’s judiciary. Mr. Adkinson received his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in 1966 and his Juris Doctor degree from the University in 1969. He started practicing law in Beverly Hills, CA with the firm of Wyman, Bautzer, Rothman & Kuchel, and later in their Washington, DC office until 1974. His areas of concentration were litigation, corporate securities, entertainment and legislative counselling. His clients ranged from Kirk Kerkorian to MGM to Frank Sinatra, along with a host of major corporations and entertainment personalities. From 1974 until 1979, Mr. Adkinson was Counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations [The “Rackets Committee”]. In that capacity, he spearheaded investigations into organized criminal activity, labor racketeering, fraud, misfeasance, malfeasance, collusion, mismanagement, incompetence, corruption or unethical practices in all branches of government and all other aspects of crime and lawlessness within the United States. From 1979 until 1982, Mr. Adkinson was Of Counsel to the Chicago based management labor law firm Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson, working out of its Washington, DC office. While with the firm, he concentrated on legislative counselling and developed an active Washington presence for the firm. During the 1980 Reagan/Bush Presidential Campaign, Mr. Adkinson was tapped by Campaign Chairman Bill Casey to be the National Director of Democrats for Reagan/Bush. He enlisted the commitment of Leon Jaworski, Watergate Special Prosecutor and Houston, TX legal Brahmin, to be the Chairman of this component of the election campaign. After the victorious campaign, Mr. Adkinson was selected to serve on the Department of Justice Presidential Transition Team, with general responsibility for the various components of the Department and specific responsibility for the Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Bureau of Prison, among others. Subsequent to these responsibilities, Mr. Adkinson was appointed by President Reagan to two terms as a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations. In July, 1982, Mr. Adkinson established his own law practice in Washington, DC providing specialized legal and consulting services primarily in the areas of legislative counselling, white collar criminal defense, general corporate, small business formation and development, securities registration, venture capital, entertainment and international trade. His clients ranged from administration officials, congressmen and senators to major corporations and major alleged white collar criminals. In 1984, while Mr. Adkinson was litigating a major real estate matter in lower Alabama, he was invited by his client to meet with a young lady then known as Cathy Deupree Mayer. That meeting changed both of their lives. He undertook the case, proved that she was the daughter of Hank Williams, sued in Alabama to re-open the estate [making her an heir, 40 years after Hank’s death], sued in New York for her proportionate share of the copyright renewals of her dad’s songs – they won and changed multiple laws in the process. He married his client in September, 1986. Mr. Adkinson has spearheaded numerous related intellectual property cases growing out of and related to his representation of his father-in-law’s estate and his representation of Jett Williams. His current practice was restricted to his and Jett’s Grand Ole Opry performing buddies (Jeanne Pruett, Leroy Van Dyke, Moe Bandy, David Frizzell, Jim Ed Brown, among others) and cases of significant legal merit, from his point of view, and those that caught his interest. On Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at the age of 69, Fletcher “Keith” Adkinson was called home by the Master. He was a man of great knowledge and an inspiration to all. He will be sorely missed by his family and his multitude of friends and colleagues. Funeral services for Keith Adkinson will be conducted Monday, June 24 at 1 pm from the Alexander Funeral Home Chapel in Lafayette, Tennessee with Reverend Sid Leak officiating. Serving as Active Pallbearers will be LeRoy Van Dyke, Larry Finks, Lee Gillick, Jason Moore, Jeremy Parsons, Jeanne Pruett, and T.G. Shepperd. Honorary Pallbearers are; Razzy Bailey, Kathie Baillie, Moe Bandy, Emy Joe Bilbery, Keith Bilbrey, Bobby Bradley, Ty Brannon, Michael Bonagura, Jim Ed Brown, Jay Chugg, Helen Cornelius, Christi Dalton, Jamey Davis, Cliff Dinnen, Jim Dooley, Jimmy Fortune, David Frizzell, Eddie Fulton, Guy Gilchrist, Danny Joe, Kelly Lang, Hank Adam Locklin, David McCormick, Sam Moore, Collin Raye, Tom Roland, Carolyn Tate, Big Wayne, Kirt Webster, Jeremy Westby, Bob Whittaker, Hilary Williams, Holly Williams, and Leona Williams. A Private Interment will follow in the Adkinson - Williams Cemetery. Visitation will begin Sunday evening at the Alexander Funeral Home Chapel from 4 pm to 7 pm with Masonic Rights starting at 7 pm by the Lafayette Masonic Lodge F& M #543. Visitation will continue Monday morning from 11 am to 1 pm service time. Keith is survived by; Wife, Jett Adkinson Williams of Hartsville, TN, Son, Frederick Keith Adkinson of Montana, and one grandson.