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Pera nominated ABA treasurer

The American Bar Association announced nominations for key posts at its 2010 Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla., including Lucian Pera of Memphis to be treasurer. The ABA House of Delegates will hold elections in August at the 2010 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Pera would be elected to serve as treasurer for a three-year term beginning at the conclusion of the 2011 Annual Meeting until the close of the ABA Annual Meeting in August 2014.

Pera is a partner in the litigation practice group of Adams & Reese in Memphis. He has served on the ABA Board of Governors, in the ABA House of Delegates and as a member of the Ethics 2000 Special Committee.

Find out about more actions taken by the ABA House http://www.abanow.org/

Nashville lawyer and Adams and Reese LLP partner Gif Thornton has been elected to a one-year term as chair of the firm's executive committee. In this role, he will oversee the strategic operations of the firm and its 12 offices. Thornton practices on the firm's governmental relations team and serves as legislative counsel to a number of businesses, trade associations and governmental entities. He also represents clients before local, state and federal regulatory boards and administrative agencies. He has extensive experience in the areas of public utilities, telecommunications, energy, health care, insurance, transportation and public safety.

Memphis lawyer James B. McLaren has been named group leader for Adam and Reese's Transactions and Corporate Advisory Services Practice Group. In this capacity, he will oversee the firm's work on banking and finance, commercial restructuring and bankruptcy, corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions, economic development, forestry, public finance, real estate, stimulus work and tax law. In his own practice, McLaren focuses on economic development, public finance, real estate development, commercial lending, and mergers and acquisitions. He is also a leader of the group's Economic Development Practice Team and a member of the group's Public Finance Practice Team.

In other news from the firm, Adams and Reese recently announced it has expanded into the state of Florida, adding new offices in St. Petersburg and Sarasota formerly with the law firm of Ruden McClosky.

The Nashville Bar Association installed new officers and board members at its annual meeting on Dec. 3. TBA members among them are President Jonathan Cole, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; President-elect Robert J. Mendes, MGLAW PLLC; Secretary Yanika Smith-Bartley, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; First Vice President Martha Boyd, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP; and Second Vice President Anne Arney, Traugher & Tuke. New board members are Rebecca Blair, Day & Blair; Barbara Holmes, Harwell, Howard, Hyde, Gabbert & Manner PC; 20th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge (David) Randy Kennedy; Thomas Sherrard, Sherrard & Roe PLC; Marietta Shipley, The Mediation Group of Tennessee LLC; and Amanda Haynes Young with Miller & Martin PLLC.

As of Jan.1, the Chattanooga law firm of Gearhiser, Peters, Lockaby, Cavett & Elliott PLLC changed its name to Gearhiser, Peters, Cavett, Elliott & Cannon PLLC. The firm also announced that David G. McDowell has become a member of the firm and former member Robert L. Lockaby Jr. has become of counsel.

Stites & Harbison PLLC has named James "Randy" Michels as a member in its Nashville office. Previously an associate with the firm's Intellectual Property & Technology Service Group, Michels will continue to focus on the litigation of patents, copyrights and trademarks. Michels earned his law degree in 2001 from Vanderbilt University Law School.

The law firm of Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC has named Scott Derrick as its new managing partner. In this capacity, Derrick will chair the Firm Committee, which provides leadership and strategic direction for the firm. Derrick has been with Gullett Sanford since 1987 and most recently served as leader of the Litigation Practice Section. He practices in the areas of business, real estate and commercial landlord/tenant litigation; personal injury defense of railroad, trucking and bus clients; and administrative proceedings before state agencies. Derrick earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1979. He succeeds George Crawford Jr. who served as managing partner for 11 years.

The Mississippi-based firm of Wilkins, Stephens & Tipton changed its name effective Jan. 5 to Wilkins Tipton PA. In addition to offices in Jackson and Greenville, Miss., the firm maintains an office in Nashville. Its areas of practice include the defense of health care, insurance, premises liability, commercial, workers' compensation, and automobile and trucking liability claims. Jay R. McLemore is the managing member of the Nashville office and is joined there by associate David M. Eaton.

The Washington County Bar Association recently installed new officers for 2010. J. Matthew Bolton with Herndon, Coleman, Brading & McKee is president, while solo practitioner Stephanie A. Sherwood is vice president. Both are from Johnson City.

Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC has named Lynn V. Lawyer and Anthony M. Noel members of the firm. Both are located in the Nashville office. Lawyer received her law degree from Southern Illinois University in 2002. Her practice emphasizes general liability, labor and employment law, product liability and workers' compensation. Noel earned his law degree from the New England School of Law in 1997. His practice focuses on labor and employment issues, general liability, workers' compensation and product liability. He also helps client companies draft personnel policies and employee handbooks.

Chief Deputy Knox County Law Director Joseph G. Jarret has been elected president of the Tennessee Valley Mediation Association. He also recently presented "The Ethical & Legal Challenges of Public Sector Mediation" and published "Animal Control Liability" in Public Risk Journal.

Orlando lawyer Samuel P. King received the Pursuit of Justice Award from the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section during the group's meeting in February. The award recognizes lawyers and judges who have shown outstanding merit and who excel in providing access to justice for all. King practices at Dellecker, Wilson, King, McKenna & Ruffier LLP and focuses in the areas of automobile negligence, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, insurance coverage and insurance bad faith.

The Maury County Bar Association has named two new leaders: President Dalton Mounger, a solo practioner, and Vice President Ed Lancaster, an attorney with the Tennessee Farm Bureau. Both are from Columbia.

Knoxville lawyer Dalton L. Townsend has been named the new chair of the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. Townsend practices with Hodges, Doughty & Carson in the areas of civil and commercial litigation, torts and products liability. A former chair of the Tennessee Bar Foundation and member of the Knoxville Bar Association Board of Governors, Townsend earned his law degree in 1967 from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Nashville mediator Marnie Huff has been appointed as a liaison from the American Bar Association (ABA) Dispute Resolution Section to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20. Created by ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm in 2009, the ethics commission will perform a thorough review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice. The commission held its first public hearing in February at the ABA midyear meeting.

FORTUNE Magazine released its annual list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in January and Tennessee law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC debuted on the list at number 77. It was the only law firm in the state " and only one of six firms nationwide " to be recognized. This year's list focused on hiring practices and the ways companies helped employees weather the recession. In addition, the magazine named Baker Donelson the top paying company on the list. The study found that the firm provides above-average compensation to shareholders, lawyers, legal secretaries and paralegals.

Paula D. Walker has joined the company Sitel as vice president and employment counsel for the Americas, Asia and Pacific. Sitel is a Nashville-based global business process outsourcing leader with associates in 27 countries. Walker previously was a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP.

Kristen Collier Wright has joined the Memphis office of Bass Berry & Sims PLC as an associate. She will focus her practice on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation, emphasizing banking, intellectual property, technology and business restructuring. She also serves on the firm's Law School Recruiting and Professional Development committees. Wright is licensed to practice in both Tennessee and Arkansas. She earned her law degree from the University of Arkansas in 2001.

The Association for Women Attorneys (AWA) held its annual banquet Jan. 21 at the Racquet Club in Memphis. During the evening, the association inducted new officers, presented its annual award and granted law school scholarships to several young women. The association's new leaders are: President Michele Howard-Flynn, a principal of The Howard-Flynn Law Group; President-elect Lucie Brackin with The Landers Firm; Vice President Emily Taube with Adams and Reese LLP; Immediate Past President Jennifer Hagerman with Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC; Secretary Jennifer Himes with Hale, Dewey & Knight PLLC; and Historian Ashley Martin with Harris, Shelton, Hanover Walsh PLLC. All are from Memphis and were inducted into office by Circuit Court Judge Lorrie K. Ridder. The AWA presented its premier award, the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award, to University of Memphis law professor Janet L. Richards " the first woman to achieve professor status at the school. University of Memphis law student and TBA member Diana Comes received the association's $2,000 Dorothy Osradker Memorial Scholarship.

The Napier-Looby Bar Association and its foundation elected new officers and board members at its annual meeting in January. Solo practioner Will Stover was named president of the association, after serving as president-elect last year. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC lawyer L. Nicole James was elected president-elect and will automatically assume the office of president in 2011. David E. Green with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP was elected treasurer and Shameak Belvitt with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC was elected secretary. TBA members now serving on the association's board of directors are: Andrea Perry with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC and Brian Winfrey with the Tennessee Department of Labor.

The group also elected board members for the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation. TBA members among them are: Shameak Belvitt, Isaac Conner with Manson Johnson Stewart & Associates, Nashville Public Defender Dawn Deaner and Charles Traughber with Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis LLP.

J. David Wicker has joined the Nashville law firm of Corbett Crockett where he will focus on business litigation and corporate and commercial transactions. Wicker has been practicing as a trial lawyer in Nashville for the past five years handling criminal, general business and tort litigation in state and federal courts. He earned his law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 2003.

The Nashville law firm of Trauger & Tuke has been accepted into membership by the International Society of Primerus Law Firms, an alliance of small to medium-size, independent law firms. The firm joins 140 others located across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom that are screened each year for their commitment in six key areas; integrity, reasonable fees, continuing education, civility, community service and excellent work product.

The law firm of Mudter, Morgan, Patterson & Akins recently announced the addition of three new attorneys to its Nashville office: Kelly E. Bacon, Richard R. Clark Jr. and Theresa M. Colwell. Bacon earned her law degree in 2009 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She will practice in the areas of civil litigation, real estate and transactional law. Clark, who received his law degree in 2009 from the University of Memphis School of Law, will focus on civil litigation. Colwell earned her law degree in 2007 from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She will focus her work on civil litigation and wills and trusts.

The Blount County Bar Association recently elected Diane Hicks with Goddard & Hicks in Maryville as president. Hicks earned her law degree in 1988 from the University of Miami Law School in 1988. She was licensed to practice in Tennessee in 2005.

The Tennessee Bar Foundation inducted 35 new fellows during its annual meeting in January. TBA members among the group are:

Chattanooga: Dana B. Perry with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC.
Clarksville: Roger A. Maness with Marks, Shell & Maness.
Dunlap: Solo practioner Stephen T. Greer.
Dyersburg: James A. Hamilton with Jones, Hamilton & Lay PLC and Douglas W. Wilkerson with Wilkerson, Gauldin, Hayes & Jenkins.
Franklin: Solo practioner Joseph D. Baugh and Michael W. Binkley with Schell Binkley & Davies LLC.
Knoxville: W. Dale Amburn and Heidi A. Barcus of London & Amburn PC, Douglas A. Blaze with the University of Tennessee College of Law, David M. Eldridge with Eldridge & Blakney PC, Leslie A. Muse with Butler, Vines & Babb and Clarence Risin with Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.
Lawrenceburg: Solo practioner David L. Allen and Ben Boston with Boston, Holt, Sockwell & Durham PLLC.
Memphis: Jerome A. Broadhurst with Apperson, Crump & Maxwell PLC, Jennifer S. Hagerman with Burch Porter & Johnson PLLC, Jonathan C. Hancock with Glankler Brown PLLC, Jay W. Kiesewetter with Kiesewetter Wise Kaplan Prather PLC, Lancelot L. Minor III with Bourland Heflin Alvarez Minor & Matthews PLC, Mark Vorder-Bruegge Jr. with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP and C. Barry Ward with Ballin, Ballin & Fishman PC.
Nashville: Larry W. Bridgesmith with Miller & Martin PLLC, Julie Murphy Burnstein with Leader Bulso Nolan & Burnstein PLC, James A. Crumlin Jr. with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, Margaret M. Huff with Margaret Huff Mediation, C. Bennett Harrison Jr. with Cornelius & Collins LLP, Trey Harwell with Neal & Harwell PLC, Barbara J. Perutelli with Schulman, LeRoy & Bennett PC, Jane Branstetter Stranch with Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings PLLC and John C. Tishler with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP.