The Leo Bearman, Sr. American Inn of Court Organizational Charter No. 231 was issued on June 30, 1994.  The first organizational meeting was held in the Fall of 1994 at Rhodes College and thirty-one Judges and Lawyers were invited to attend.  The Inn's first officers and committee chairs were later elected by the Judges and Masters.  The Executive Committee of the Inn consisted of the following:

President: Judge Jerome Turner

Counselor: John Thomason

Secretary/Treasurer: Gary Smith

Program Chair: Leo Bearman, Jr.

Membership Chairs: Judge Robert A. Lanier and Dean Donald J. Polden

 The founding Masters of the Inn were the following:

Chancellor D.J. Alissandratos           Judge Julia Gibbons                    Glen G. Reid, Jr.                  
Leo Bearman, Jr. J. Alan Hanover Gary K. Smith
Judge George H. Brown, Jr. Judge Janice M. Holder Jerry F. Taylor
James D. Causey J. Kimbrough Johnson John Thomason
Lee J. Chase, III Judge Robert A. Lanier Blanchard E. Tual
Judge Robert L. Childers Henry T.V. Miller Judge Jerome Turner
Judge W. Frank Crawford Charles F. Newman Kay F. Turner
Jef Feibelman Dean Donald J. Polden Judge Bernie Weinman
Hal Gerber Dorothy J. Pounders








The Executive Committee determined that the Judges and Masters would serve five-year terms and that the terms of the founding Masters would be staggered.  The original number of Masters was set at thirty-one (31) members, although it was anticipated that, through attrition, that number would be reduced to 24 Masters.  At the June 4, 1997 Masters Dinner it was reported that the current membership was sixty-six (66): 26 Masters, 16 Barristers, 16 Associates and 8 Pupils.  It was decided at that meeting to increase the number of Inn members from 66 to 84.

Inn meetings were initially held on the first Tuesday of the months of September, October, November, January, February, March, April and May.  Initially the Judges and Masters were to meet at least twice a year and at least once in the Spring to discuss plans for the upcoming year and to conduct other Inn business.

The first Judges and Masters dinner meeting was held February 7, 1995.  Although the first Inn meeting was held April 4, 1995, and the second meeting was May 2, 1995, the formal program schedule did not begin until the September 1995 meeting.  The program meetings the first year were held at the River Terrace Yacht Club on Mud Island.  The program was conducted first and the members had dinner afterward.

The program schedule for the first Inn year was:

September 1995:     Confidential Communications with clients and Problems Arising Therefrom

October 1995:          Ethical Issues for Trial Lawyers

November 1995:      Media and the Law

January 1996:          Plea Bargaining Issues

February 1996:        Problems and Solutions in the Appellate Process

March 1996:             Mediation Techniques

April 1996:                Famous Trials in History

May 1996:                 I Object - A series of questions and ruling about evidence problems, state and federal. Audience participation.

--Prepared by Judge Robert L. Childers, June 29, 2015