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Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Cornelia Clark gave the keynote address at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County. Clark emphasized the role the juvenile court has played during its century of service to the children and families of Memphis and Shelby County, including serving as a model juvenile justice system for municipalities and states around the nation.
TBA President Sam Elliott was the keynote speaker at the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s inaugural signature event in Nashville on Nov. 13, 2010. Elliott’s speech addressed the coming of the Civil War to Tennessee and focused on the process that led to Tennessee’s secession in May and June 1861. Elliott is the author or editor of three books relating to the Civil War in Tennessee, and is a member of the Chattanooga firm of Gearhiser, Peters, Cavett, Elliott & Cannon PLLC.
Memphis divorce attorney Amy J. Amundsen has been selected as a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML) — a worldwide association of family law practitioners working to improve international family law practice. Amundsen is a partner in the firm of Rice Amundsen & Caperton PLLC, where she has worked for more than 20 years. She is certified as a Rule 31 Family Law Mediator and as a Family Law Specialist. Amundsen is vice president of the Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court and chair of the Memphis Area Legal Services 2010 Campaign for Equal Justice. She previously served as president of the Memphis Bar Association. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1987.
Frost Brown Todd LLC recently announced that long-time Tennessee government relations practitioner and public strategist Thomas H. Lee has joined the firm as a partner in its Nashville office. Lee has three decades of experience as a government relations counsel, lobbyist, attorney, journalist and strategist. He previously operated his government affairs company BlairBlvd LLC, and handled government relations and civil litigation at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis PLLC. He earned his law degree in 1995 from the Vanderbilt University Law School.
The Tennessee Medical Association has named Ashley E. Shields as assistant general counsel. She will focus her practice in the areas of health care, insurance and government affairs. Shields earned her law degree in 2009 from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC recently announced the addition of three new associates. Christopher J. Hennen, a 2010 graduate of Emory University School of Law, joined the firm’s business section where he is practicing in the areas of commercial and business transactions, automotive law and general business law. Willa B. Kalaidjian also joined the firm’s business section and is handling commercial and business transactions, environmental law, regulatory law and general business law. A 2010 graduate of Emory University School of Law, she is licensed to practice in Tennessee and Georgia. Amanda N. Ray joined the firm’s litigation section, where she is focusing on general civil litigation matters. Originally from Chattanooga, she received her law degree in 2010 from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
The Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association has named new officers for 2011. They are President Melanie Stewart with Stewart & Wilkinson PLLC in Germantown, President-elect Robert A. Crawford with Kramer Rayson LLP in Knoxville and Secretary/ Treasurer John Barringer with Manier & Herrod in Nashville.
The Pickler Law Firm recently welcomed Germantown native Matthew VanCleve as a new associate in its Cookeville office. VanCleve will focus his practice in the areas of estate planning, family law, civil dispute resolution, contracts and organizational formation. He also will coordinate the firm’s newest initiative, Planning for Patriots, which provides free estate plans for U.S veterans and first responders. VanCleve first joined Pickler as an intern in 2005 prior to beginning his legal studies at Florida Coastal School of Law. He graduated from the school in May 2010.
Steven A. Goodman has again been named top instructor at the Pacific Coast Banking School, the largest banking school in the country. Goodman, a lawyer and owner of TrainWorks in Nashville, teaches financial planning and asset protection techniques at the school, which operates in partnership with the University of Washington Graduate School of Business. Goodman provides training on various topics for the American Bankers Association, the Tennessee Banking Association, and financial planning firms across the country. He earned his law degree in 1983 from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.
East Tennessee attorney Dawn Coppock received the Bill Williams Service Award for outstanding achievement in adoption during a recent National Adoption Day event at the Hamblen County Chancery Court. The award, presented annually by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS), recognized Coppock’s efforts in finding families for children in DCS custody. Coppock is a frequent speaker, writer and consultant on the subject of adoption and lobbies for adoption law reform. She is certified as a juvenile-child welfare specialist and a family law mediator, and is a fellow in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. Coppock earned her law degree in 1987 from Marshall-Wythe School of Law.
Allyson L. Lambert has joined the Clarksville law firm of Runyon & Runyon as an associate attorney. She will practice in the area of criminal defense. Lambert earned her law degree in 2010 from the Mississippi College School of Law.
The Memphis Bar Association (MBA) hosted its annual meeting on Dec. 2, 2010, at The Racquet Club of Memphis. At the event, John R. Cannon of Shuttleworth Williams PLLC officially took office as the 2011 MBA president. Gary K. Smith of Apperson Crump & Maxwell PLC and Linda Warren Seely of Memphis Area Legal Services Inc. automatically succeeded to the positions of vice president and treasurer, respectively. New members of the association’s board of directors also were announced. TBA members among them are Sam Blaiss, attorney at law; Lee Chase, Glankler Brown PLLC; Charlotte Knight Griffin, Memphis Light, Gas & Water; Evan Nahmias, McDonald Kuhn; Tommy Parker, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; Steve Vescovo, Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell PLLC; and MBA Young Lawyers Division President Shon Johnson, Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee PC. Returning board members include Frank Cantrell, Memphis Area Legal Services Inc.; Elizabeth Collins, Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell PLLC; Craig Conley, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; Porter Feild, Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC; Michael Fletcher, attorney at law; Odell Horton Jr., Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP; Lisa LaVigne Kelly, Shelby County Government; Steve Ragland, Bass, Berry & Sims PLC; and Van Turner, Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC. Finally, Michele Howard-Flynn with the HF Law Group PLLC was named a section representative to the MBA Board of Directors.
In addition to naming new leaders, the MBA announced the recipients of several awards. Craig C. Conley of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC was honored with the Sam A. Myar Jr. Memorial Award, which is given to a young attorney who renders outstanding service to the Memphis and Shelby County legal profession and community. David M. Cook of The Hardison Law Firm was honored with the Judge Jerome Turner Lawyer’s Lawyer Award, which is presented annually to a lawyer who exemplifies the aims and aspirations embodied in the Guidelines for Professional Courtesy and Conduct. Two additional awards were given by Memphis legal groups. Judge Jennie D. Latta of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee was honored with the W. J. Michael Cody Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award by Memphis Area Legal Services Inc., and attorney Beth Brooks was presented with the Community Legal Center’s annual award.
The law firm of Shuttleworth Williams PLLC — with offices in Memphis and Nashville — recently opened an office in Knoxville at 200 Prosperity Drive, Knoxville 37923. The new office can be reached at (865) 622-7118. In addition, the firm’s Nashville office recently moved to 230 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 500, Nashville 37219. That office can be reached at (615) 833-3390.
The Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization has certified James H. Harris III as a Civil Trial Specialist. Harris is a founding member of the Nashville firm of Harris Martin Jones PA. Prior to receiving his certification from the Tennessee commission, Harris was certified as a civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Harris focuses has practice on litigation, particularly in the music and entertainment industries. He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1967.
Jay L. Brenner has transitioned to the position of placement coordinator in the Memphis office of Counsel On Call. In this new role he will focus on candidate selection and coordinating client assignments in Memphis and nationwide. Previously, he was a litigation attorney and team leader in the company’s E-Discovery Division. He previously worked as a project manager and associate at McCarter & English LLP, with offices in Wilmington, Del., and Philadelphia. He also was an associate at The Wagerman Law Firm in Memphis. Brenner earned his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law.
Adams and Reese Special Counsel Mark Norris was re-elected Tennessee Senate majority leader in December. He will serve a two-year term. Norris, who works in the firm’s Memphis office, maintains a diverse civil litigation and business practice. His commercial litigation caseload includes professional liability, products liability, petroleum marketing and franchise litigation and condemnation/eminent domain cases. Norris was elected to the Senate in 2000 and first elected majority leader in 2007. He is the current chair of the Rules Committee and served for many years on the Judiciary Committee.
Kathleen Van Pelt Gibson has joined the Chattanooga law firm of Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison PC as an associate. Gibson, who is licensed in Tennessee and Georgia, earned her law degree in 2010 from the University of Georgia School of Law. She will focus her practice in the areas of criminal defense, general litigation and family law.
Nashville lawyer Jack Waddey, co-founder of the law firm of Waddey & Patterson PC, has been selected to serve on the International Trademark Association’s National Panel of Neutrals. As a member of the panel, Waddey is eligible to mediate trademark and unfair competition cases across the United States. Waddey is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and a member of the technology panel of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution. He also is a member of the Tennessee Academy of Mediators and Arbitrators, Commercial Mediators Association and the International Trademark Association. Waddey was president of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators from 2005 to 2006 and president of the Tennessee Intellectual Property Association from 2004 to 2006. He is a past chair of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Section on Intellectual Property.
Neil McBride, general counsel and managing attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s Oak Ridge office, has been appointed to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Board of Directors. McBride was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate this past fall. He took office in October at a ceremony that included remarks by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander. U.S. District Court Judge Sandy Mattice administered the oath of office. McBride will serve on the board until 2013.
Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with a reception at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Among those attending were 12 of MALS original founders: Irvin Salky, Robert Lanier, Michael Hewgley, Ed Kaplan, Al Harvey, W. J. “Michael” Cody, Harrison D. McIver III, Ross Clark, Robert “Butch” Childers, Jim Gilliland, James T. Allison and Donn Southern.
Memphis lawyer WILLIAM B. BELL JR. died Oct. 9, 2010, at the age of 87. He earned his law degree from Southern Law University and was licensed to practice law in Tennessee in 1951. He spent his career working at Memphis Light Gas and Water as a staff attorney. The family requests that memorial donations be sent to Kirby Pines Foundation or Kirby Pines Alzheimer’s Fund in care of Kirby Pines Manor, 3535 Kirby Rd., Memphis 38115.
Memphis attorney FRANCIS E. DICHTEL died Dec. 31, 2010, after a long illness. He was 76. Dichtel earned his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law and was licensed to practice law in Tennessee in 1968. He also developed a career as an engineer and electrical contractor. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis 38105.
Former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice WILLIAM H. D. FONES SR. died Dec. 23, 2010, after a long illness. He was 93. Fones served on the Supreme Court from 1973 to 1990. He and the four other justices with whom he served were known as a “progressive court,” setting new standards in Tennessee for comparative negligence, women’s rights, First Amendment rights and death penalty cases. Originally from Friendship, Fones grew up in Memphis. After graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Law and being licensed to practice law in 1942, Fones enlisted in the service. He served as a bomber pilot in the Pacific theater during World War II. After the war, he joined the firm of Rosenfield, Borod, Fones, Bogatin & Kremer and served there for 25 years. In 1971, he was named a circuit court judge. The family, which includes Fones’ sons Jere Barr Fones and William H. D. Fones Jr. who practice law in Memphis, requests that memorial donations be made to the Church Health Center, 1210 Peabody Ave., Memphis 38104.
Madison County Judge WALTER BAKER HARRIS died Jan. 2 following bypass surgery. He was 79. Harris received his law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1954 and worked as a private attorney until he was appointed city judge in 1967, also serving as juvenile court referee. In 1972, he was elected county judge, county executive and juvenile judge. In 1982, Harris took a newly created General Sessions Court judgeship. From then until his retirement in 1998, he devoted most of his time to Juvenile Court. Harris was instrumental in organizing numerous juvenile programs in the county, including the largest group children’s home in the state, a crisis intervention program, an alternative school program and a juvenile intake center. He served as chair of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, executive committee member of the Tennessee Juvenile Judges Council, chair of a Special Child Abuse Task Force, president of the Tennessee County Judges Association and president of the Tennessee County Services Association. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the Jackson-Madison County Humane Society, 23 Quaker Oats Dr., Jackson 38301.
HENRY WARREN MILLER JR. died Jan. 1 at the age of 78. A 1958 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law, Miller practiced law in Memphis for more than 50 years with his two sons, Henry W. Miller III and Michael W. Miller, at The Miller Law Firm. In 1984, he received the Pro Bono Panel for Senior Citizen Service Award. In 2008, he was designated a senior counselor by the Tennessee Bar Association. Memorial contributions may be made to the building fund at Redeemer Evangelical Church, 7011 Poplar Ave., Germantown 38138.
DAN STEWART MURRELL, who taught at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis for more than 30 years, died Dec. 5, 2010. He was 77. After receiving a law degree in 1968 from the University of Mississippi School of Law, Murrell joined the General Crimes Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. While in D.C., he attended George Washington University School of Law and earned a master of law degree. He joined the Memphis law school faculty in 1970 and taught there until 2001, teaching courses on constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure and law in literature, a course he developed. He also was active in international law, spending time at the American Bar Association’s Center for Eastern European Legal Initiatives in Moldova and as a visiting professor in Budapest, Hungary. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 480 South Highland St., Memphis 38111; Trezevant Manor Foundation, 177 North Highland St., Memphis 38111; the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 North Front St., Memphis 38103; or a charity of the donor’s choosing.
Memphis lawyer WILLIAM ERNEST NORCROSS died Jan. 1 at his home. He was 76. Norcross earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1964, graduating first in his class. He moved to Bristol, Va., and began practicing law as a partner in the law firm of Hall & Norcross. In 1970, Norcross moved to Memphis to become vice president and general counsel of the Downtowner/Passport Inn Hotel Corporation. In 1976 he opened his own hotel management company, which, after 10 years, operated more than 100 properties. In the late 1980s, Norcross sold the company and resumed the practice of law until his retirement. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South, 1780 Moriah Woods Blvd., Suite 10, Memphis 38117.