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Chief Justice William M. Barker will retire Sept. 1 after a judicial career spanning 25 years. Barker, 66, is a native of Chattanooga. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Chattanooga and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati School of Law. In a letter to Gov. Phil Bredesen, Barker said he has "seen countless positive changes in both substantive and procedural laws" while serving as a judge.
With Barker's retirement Justice Janice M. Holder of Memphis will become the state's first female chief justice. Justice Gary R. Wade told the Chattanooga Times Free Press in April that the justices selected Holder as Barker's successor when he announced plans to retire two years ago.
Brian Casper has joined the Nashville office of Adams and Reese as an associate in the litigation practice group. His work includes representing clients in patent infringement cases, complex litigation, industrial espionage and civil rights. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. district courts for middle and eastern Tennessee. Casper earned his law degree in 2003 from Vanderbilt University Law School.
The Maury County Bar Association has elected its officers for 2008. Randy Hardison, with Hardison & Hay, will serve as president, while Larry Sands, with Sands & Richardson, will serve as vice president/president-elect. Both are from Columbia.
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC recently announced the addition of two new associate attorneys in its Nashville office. Kenneth Scott Newman practices in the health law group. Prior to joining the firm, he clerked for Judge Thomas Rose of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and for Dayton, Ohio firm Dunlevey, Mahan & Furry. He received his law degree from the University of Dayton Law School. Steven G. Simmons practices in the business law department. He previously served with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, Nashville's Riley Warnock & Jacobson PLC, and the Dallas County District Attorney's office. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.
In other news from the firm, Mark A. B. Carlson has been named co-leader of the corporate/mergers & acquisitions practice group. A shareholder in the Memphis office, he focuses on mergers, acquisitions, securities offerings and general business transactions. Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Carlson worked as in-house attorney for a large international corporation in California. He earned his law degree in 1995 from Harvard Law School. In addition, Nashville shareholder Tonya Mitchem Grindon has been named co-leader of the securities/corporate governance practice group. Her work focuses on investment management, securities, mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and international business transactions. She earned her law degree from the George Washington University Law School.
Holly M. Bishop has joined the Nashville office of Wilson & Associates PLLC, where she will focus her practice in the areas of bankruptcy and evictions. A native Memphian, she earned her law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 2007.
Glankler Brown PLLC has announced new members of its management committee and new practice group chairs. Among the new committee members are George Nassar Jr., who is serving as chief manager, and Oscar C. Carr III. Carr also was appointed to chair the firm's litigation practice group. Douglas P. Quay continues as chair of the business practice group, while Hunter Humphreys remains chair of the real estate practice group.
Ethan Ware has been named unit manager of the administrative/regulatory law practice at the McNair Law Firm PA in Columbia, S.C. He represents business and industry in environmental and OSHA matters and chairs the environmental regulatory practice group. Ware is admitted to practice law in Tennessee and South Carolina.
Bass, Berry & Sims PLC lawyer Russell E. Stair has moved from the firm's office in Nashville to its office in Knoxville. Stair joined the firm in 2003 as an associate in the litigation practice area. He earned a masters degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee and a law degree in 2003 from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Three new associates have joined the Nashville firm of Stewart, Estes & Donnell PLC. Kerry M. Ewald received a joint law and masters in business degree from the University of Tennessee, where she served on the Tennessee Journal of Business Law. She will focus her practice on general civil litigation, including civil rights and representation of governmental entities. Patrick J. McHale obtained his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School and will practice in the areas of general civil litigation defense and workers' compensation. Prior to joining the firm, he served in private practice, as managing attorney for an insurance company and for the state of Tennessee. Janis O. Mize received her law degree from Western New England College School of Law where she served on the national trial team and as president of the student body. Prior to joining the firm, she was assistant general counsel with the Tennessee Department of Labor. Her practice areas include general civil litigation defense and workers' compensation.
Memphis lawyer Michael P. Coury has been inducted as a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy. Coury received the recognition at the college's annual meeting in March. An attorney with Farris Bobango & Branan PLC, Coury focuses his practice on reorganizations and related litigation, business restructurings, out-of-court workouts, and commercial litigation. He was one of 29 nominees, the only inductee from the Sixth Circuit federal judicial district, and the first practicing attorney from Memphis to receive the honor.
Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC has added attorney William P. Moss III to its East Memphis office. Moss obtained his law degree from the University of Memphis in 2001 and focuses his practice in the areas of banking and commercial lending, business transactions and business entities, litigation and real estate law. The firm also announced recently that member William W. Dunlap Jr. has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The induction ceremony took place at the 2008 Spring Meeting of the college in Tucson.
Nashville lawyer Julian Bibb recently was elected an officer with Franklin's Charge Inc., a coalition of organizations dedicated to preserving historic open space in Nashville's suburb. He also was re-elected to the group's board of directors for a new one-year term. Bibb works at Stites & Harbison, where he practices in the areas of banking and real estate.
Arkansas law firm Bridges, Young, Matthews & Drake PLC has announced that Tanya B. Spavins has been named a member of the firm. Spavins " who is licensed to practice in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee " will continue to focus her work in the areas of employment law and civil litigation.
Hunton & Williams LLP has elected John A. Decker to partnership in the firm. Decker, who is newly based in the Atlanta office, serves in the business practice group and focuses on real estate and business transactions. Before moving to Atlanta, Decker spent five years with the firm's former practice in Knoxville. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Kimberly N. Galloway has joined the Memphis office of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz PLC where she will serve as an associate in its auto/workers' compensation litigation group.
Before joining Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, she was associated with Spicer, Flynn & Rudstrom PLLC. Galloway received her law degree from the University of Memphis.
The Sarah Cannon Research Institute has hired Denise P. Jones as associate corporate counsel. Prior to joining the institute, Jones held the same position with the American Cancer Society Inc. in Atlanta and worked in the Nashville offices of Deloitte & Touche and KPMG. She earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she focused on business transactions. She is past chair of the Nashville Bar Association's corporate counsel section.
The Lawyers Association for Women's Marion Griffin Chapter in Nashville has elected new officers and members to its board of directors. M. Bernadette Welch, with the Tennessee Department of Revenue, is now president of the organization. Other officers include President-elect Candice L. Reed with Counsel on Call, Secretary Mary Ellen Morris with Miller & Martin PLLC, and Treasurer Margaret Myers with Adams and Reese LLP. Archivists for the coming year are Chasity Goodner with Walker, Tipps & Malone and Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle. Newsletter editors are Donna L. Roberts with Stites & Harbison PLLC and Patty Daniel Stranch. New board members include Kristal Hall Boone; Martha Boyd, Boult Cummings Conners & Berry PLC; Clisby Hall Barrow, Vanderbilt University; Kim McMillan, Austin Peay State University; and Patricia Head Moskal, past president and Boult Cummings Conners & Berry PLC member.
John D. Burleson has been appointed president of Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell PLC. He succeeds Jerry D. Kizer Jr., who had served in the position since the early 1990s. Burleson is a partner with more than 25 years' experience representing employers in the areas of workers' compensation, employment law, municipal law and federal civil rights litigation. He previously served as practice group leader for the firm's employment law group. He joined the firm in 1983 after graduating from the UT College of Law.
Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge WILLIAM FRANK CRAWFORD died April 17 at the age of 81. Crawford, who was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1982, served on the bench for 25 years and was presiding judge of the western section from 1995 to 2007. Crawford continued working until two weeks before his death despite battling lung cancer. The Memphis native served as an Army paratrooper for a year before attending Union University. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1950.
ERICH WILLIAM MERRILL died April 20 at the age of 84. After serving in World War II as a decorated Army officer, Merrill attended Harvard University College of Law. While there he was as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following law school graduation in 1949, Merrill clerked for Sixth Circuit Judge John Martin and then practiced law in Memphis until his retirement in 2001. In 1964, he was recognized by the Memphis Bar Association with its Sam Myar award for community service. The family requests that any memorials be sent to Lindenwood Christian Church, the Memphis Humane Society or a charity of the donor's choice.
NORBERT J. SLOVIS died April 18 at the age of 75. He was a senior partner in the Knoxville law firm of Slovis, Rutherford and Weinstein PLLC, a successor entity to Lockett, Slovis & Weaver. He practiced law actively for more than 50 years after receiving undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Heska Amuna Synagogue in Knoxville.
Memphis attorney ERNEST BLAND WILLIAMS III died April 20 at the age of 79. Williams graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1954 and began his law practice in Memphis at Chandler Sheperd Heiskell & Williams, a law firm founded by his father (now operating as Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC). He later served as managing partner of the successor firm Heiskell, Donelson, Bearman, Adams, Williams & Kirschand and founded its first commercial law group. He focused his practice on the Uniform Commercial Code, secured transactions, and usury. At the time of his death, he was practicing law with Williams & Prochaska PC in Memphis.
Memorials may be made in his honor to The Neighborhood School, Memphis Neighborhood Christian Center or Second Presbyterian Church.
Compiled by Sharon Ballinger and Stacey Shrader. Tennessee Bar Association members may send information about job changes, awards and work-related news. Send it to PEOPLE, c/o The Journal at 221 Fourth Ave. N., Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219-2198, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are subject to editing. Pictures are used on a space-available basis and cannot be returned. Electronic photos must be saved as a tiff or jpeg (with no compression), minimum resolution 200 dpi, and at least 1"x1.5" or they will not be used.