Meet the Barrister – Mary Ann Stackhouse
A periodic Q & A session with a Lewis Thomason (LT) lawyer
Lewis Thomason: Describe your most memorable moment in a deposition or trial?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: When I was with Legal Services, I represented a woman who was being evicted. We asked for a jury trial. When she came to my office for the trial, she was dressed in an Aigner leather jacket and Aigner leather shoes. I thought she looked too fancy for an eviction trial, so I traded jackets and shoes with her. On my legal aid salary, my clothes were more humble, and I rather enjoyed wearing her Aigner duds. We lost the very short jury trial, and I returned her clothes. The next day the Judge called me over to the Courthouse. He showed me an article in our local paper reporting that my client had been arrested shortly after the jury verdict for receiving stolen property: one Aigner leather jacket and one pair of Aigner leather shoes The Judge said, “Didn’t I see you in those clothes yesterday?” Yes, the very same.
Lewis Thomason: What is your favorite family vacation?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: Going to the beach!
Lewis Thomason: What would you change about yourself if you could?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: I would like to be tall and blonde.
Lewis Thomason: If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: I would like to go back to see my childhood home.
Lewis Thomason: What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: My family.
Lewis Thomason: If you had time for a new hobby or to learn a new skill, what would you choose and why?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: I play the piano and I would like to learn to play the drums. Ringo Starr was my all-time fave.
Lewis Thomason: What fad do you wish would come back?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: None.
Lewis Thomason: What is the best concert you have ever been to?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: Bette Midler.
Lewis Thomason: What is the wildest thing that has ever happened to you?
Mary Ann Stackhouse: Ten years after I had represented a client at Legal Services, he sought me out at the firm I had joined in Gadsden, Alabama. By then his “little” son was no longer little and was playing college football, and was being wooed by 6 NFL Teams. My old client wanted me to serve as his son’s sport’s agent. The joke in the firm was that I didn’t know a yard line from home plate. But, not to be deterred, I registered with the Alabama Secretary of State as a sports agent, and we sealed the deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Because my client was a native son from Fort Payne, Alabama, we had the signing ceremony at the Shoney’s Restaurant in Fort Payne, Alabama: local boy made good. Later, the local Quarterback Club, which had repeatedly rejected my annual applications because I had not played football in high school (hah!), asked me to be a speaker at their monthly meeting: I was the only sports agent in Gadsden, Alabama at the time. You just never know.
Mary Ann Stackhouse is a shareholder with a broad range of jury and non-jury litigation experience. In Tennessee, her litigation work has been in the areas of transportation and tort defense, civil rights and employment defense, public education issues and public access cases in state and federal court. Ms. Stackhouse has argued cases to the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, the Alabama Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and the Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. Her practice in Alabama included the prosecution and defense of civil rights cases, personal injury, products liability and felony prosecution and defense. For many years, Ms. Stackhouse served as Adjunct Faculty for the University of Tennessee College of Law, teaching Pre-Trial Litigation and Case Development and was the recipient of the 2001 Outstanding Adjunct Teacher Award from the College of Law.