With more than 40 years of experience practicing high-profile criminal defense and civil cases, Jerry H. Summers has paved a path for career in law. In his recent publication, “The Turtle and The Lawyer,” Mr. Summers narrates the many paths his life has presented, including the path he has chosen to follow.
Recognized each year since 1983 as one of “The Best Lawyers in America”, Mr. Summers’ focus of his writing was not to promote himself or his obtained skill-set as an attorney, but rather acknowledge the immense impact specific Chattanooga and regional friends have had in influencing and shaping who he has become.
Upon initially reading the title of Mr. Summers’ book, many do not see the relation between “a turtle and a lawyer” and, aesthetically speaking, the two have not the slightest similarities. However, throughout his publication, he explains the analogy between his personal life and a turtle placed on a fence post. One of Mr. Summers’ high school and college mentors, Dr. Walter L. “Oogie” Martin, Jr. once said, “If you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself.” This particular quote has encompassed Mr. Summers’ life story, as he uses it to describe the role that Chattanooga friends, family and professional acquaintances have played in guiding him through his journey.
“My desire is that through The Turtle and The Lawyer readers truly understand that life is not solely about the successes one achieves but is even more about the failures one survives," said Mr. Summers. "Without failure, one simply cannot enjoy the beauty of achieving their individual success.”
Numerous individuals have impacted Mr. Summers throughout the years, but without the support from Coach Stanley J. Farmer, Dr. Walter L. “Oogie” Martin, Jr. and Arnold “Sammy” Joyce, he would not have had the education and athletic opportunities he was able to experience, he said. Mr. Summers is grateful to the men who went above and beyond to help turn his dreams into realities.
“I believe we all have individuals that have helped us in achieving our ultimate goals, individuals who support our vision and constantly push us to become greater,” said Mr. Summers. “As we travel the path life presents us, we must take a moment to pause and recognize those who have influenced our journey.”
Mr. Summers will be signing his book at the Book Company, 3205 Ringgold Road, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday. He will acknowledge those who have impacted his life, as well as answer any questions regarding his publication. Copies of the book are also available from Summers and Wyatt P.C., 735 Broad St.
“Any proceeds from my book will be donated to Central High School, University of the South, University of Tennessee College of Law, Area IV Special Olympics and Orange Grove Center,” said Mr. Summers. “These organizations have had a tremendous impact on my life and the least I can do is contribute to them in return.”