Newport attorney wins Cocke County Citizenship award

Newport Vice-Mayor Mike Proffitt, 2018 recipient of the Cocke County Citizenship Award, congratulates the 2019 honoree, Newport attorney, James McSween Jr.

The 2019 Cocke County Citizenship Award was presented Thursday to long time Newport attorney James McSween Jr.

It was presented during a luncheon at the Carson Springs Conference Center, by the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service.

McSween, 88, is a native of Newport, graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Tennessee Law Review, and began practicing law in 1938.

He also served with the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1968.

In 1962, McSween was appointed by then U.S. District Judge Robert R. Taylor to serve as part-time United States Commissioner, later to be called United States Magistrate Judge, and filled that position until 1978, when the part-time position was eliminated and a full-time magistrate, based in Greeneville was appointed.

In 1967, a vacancy developed in the office of chancellor of the former Thirteenth Chancery Division, comprised of Blount, Cocke, Jefferson and Sevier counties. Gov. Ray Blanton appointed McSween to the position and he presided over this court until 1978.

He was recognized as a senior counselor by the Tennessee Bar Association in 2004, and has been appointed by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners to assist in determining the qualifications of applicants to practice law.

McSween has also been involved in lots of local political positions as well as lots of local activities to benefit the community

His main interests outside of work are his family and traveling. He and his family have visited nearly all of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and most of Central America and South America. He has toured nearly every country in Europe as well as Turkey, Israel, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Newport Vice-Mayor Mike Proffitt, last year’s honoree, presented McSween with this year’s award.

McSween remembered the time when, as a child, a neighbor woman came by his home asking his mother if she had any extra cornbread so she could feed her children. He said it is important that everyone be willing to assist those who are in need around them.

McSween was also presented with proclamations from Congressman Phil Roe, the Tennessee General Assembly, Cocke County and Newport.

The award by SCHAS recognizes and honors a deserving person who demonstrates care for the community and its citizens. It encourages volunteerism, philanthropy and community involvement.

SCHAS was founded in 1970 and now serves 18 counties. Its mission focus is to provide affordable in home caregiving services and housing on a sliding fee scale to seniors and disabled adults. The organization offers financial aid to clients who cannot afford the full fee and are not eligible for government programs. These home care programs are funded through grants, fundraisers and the United Way.