Fletcher “Keith” Adkinson, who was the attorney for the Estate of Hank Williams, passed away Wednesday (June 19) at the age of 69. Adkinson was also husband to entertainer Jett Williams.
Adkinson was actively engaged in the practice of law for over 40 years. 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, Calif. with the firm of Wyman, Bautzer, Rothman & Kuchel. His clients ranged from Kirk Kerkorian to MGM to Frank Sinatra, along with a host of major corporations and entertainment personalities.
In 1984, while 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. He undertook the case, proved that she was the daughter of late entertainer Hank Williams, sued in Alabama to re-open the estate [making her an heir, 40 years after Williams’ death], and sued in New York for her proportionate share of the copyright renewals of her father’s songs. They won and changed multiple laws in the process. He married his client in September 1986.
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.
Update: Adkinson’s funeral will be held Monday (June 24) at Alexander Funeral Home in Lafayette, Tenn., beginning at 1 p.m. CT. Afterward, a Celebration of Life reception will be held at 3 p.m. at the home of Jett Williams. Visitation will be held Sunday (June 23) from 4p.m. until 7 p.m., and on Monday (June 24) from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Alexander Funeral Home.
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