People

Nashville lawyer Jeremy H. Cherry has been named a partner at Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford, where he handles residential and commercial real estate, commercial lending, corporate law, probate and estate planning. Cherry received his law degree in 2002 from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

E. Courtney Epps has joined the Knoxville firm of Watson, Roach, Batson, Rowell & Lauderback as an associate. She is a 2010 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law. She will focus her practice on litigation.

Nashville lawyer Jonathan Williams has been named a member and partner of Larry R. Williams. A 2007 graduate of the Nashville School of Law, Williams started as an associate with the firm. He practices in the areas of personal injury, workers’ compensation, business, real estate and probate.

Nashville lawyer Charles A. Trost has returned to the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis after serving since last September as Tennessee’s commissioner of revenue. At Waller he will serve as senior counsel to the Tax and Government Relations departments. Before the recent move he was of counsel with the firm, which he first joined in 1981. Trost was appointed commissioner by Gov. Phil Bredesen in September 2010.

The Nashville office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings recently announced several personnel changes and lawyer accomplishments. First, Lela M. Hollabaugh has joined the firm as a partner. She previously served as a partner and co-chair of the litigation practice group at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. In her new role, Hollabaugh will continue representing natural gas pipeline companies, as well as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1991. Second, the firm has named Amy D. Hampton to partnership. Hampton maintains a litigation practice, representing health care clients in malpractice, negligence, business and regulatory matters. She earned her law degree in 2000 from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Third and finally, the firm announced that attorneys Chloe Truslow Shafer and Richard F. Warren have been named as finalists for awards from the Nashville chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. Shafer, who focuses her practice on complex commercial real estate transactions, is a finalist for the Developing Leader Award (Non Broker). Warren, who advises clients on a variety of commercial real estate matters, is a finalist for the 2011 Outstanding Member Award. Winners will be announced March 10.

Adams and Reese partner Tim Gary has been named leader of the firm’s Health Care Practice Team. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Gary worked in the private health care and insurance industries. He graduated from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1992.

In other news from the firm, partner Joe Walker has been appointed to the Asset Protection Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel for 2011-2012. Walker practices in the areas of estate and tax planning in the firm’s Memphis office. He earned his law degree in 1973 from the University of Memphis School of Law.

Knoxville lawyer E. Michael Brezina has been named to partnership in the firm of Hodges, Doughty & Carson. Brezina graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2004. His practice is devoted primarily to medical malpractice defense, general civil litigation and commercial litigation.

Knoxville attorney Weldon E. Patterson recently joined the law firm of Butler, Vines and Babb PLLC. He will focus his practice on personal injury litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Patterson was a senior litigator and managing member of Spicer Rudstrom PLLC. He earned his law degree in 1988 from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Junaid Odubeko, former legal counsel to Gov. Phil Bredesen, has joined the Nashville office of Miller & Martin PLLC as an associate in the litigation department, where he will provide litigation and government relations services to clients. Odubeko earned his law degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School in 2004. He practiced law in Memphis at Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC and then joined Gov. Bredesen’s administration as deputy legal counsel in 2007. He was promoted to legal counsel in 2010.

Tennessee Bar Foundation Fellows

The Tennessee Bar Fellows inducted its class of 2010 in January at a dinner and ceremony in Nashville. TBA members among the new class are as follows:
Kathryn E. Barnett, Nashville
Clisby Hall Barrow, Nashville
Mark A. Baugh, Nashville
Rebecca C. Blair, Brentwood
Julie A. Boswell, Brentwood
Arthur P. Brock, Chattanooga
Carl Q. Carter, Memphis
Robert E. Craddock Jr., Memphis
C. Timothy Crocker, Milan
Robert Wayne Culbertson, Kingsport
Bruce D. Fox, Clinton
Ron E. Harmon, Savannah
Lela M. Hollabaugh, Nashville
W. Lewis Jenkins Jr., Dyersburg
Michael E. Jenne, Cleveland
Susan L. Kay, Nashville
C. Suzanne Landers, Memphis
Edward D. Lanquist Jr., Nashville
Melvin J. Malone, Nashville
Dennis R. McClane, Knoxville
John W. McClarty, Chattanooga
George H. Nolan, Nashville
Carl A. Pierce, Knoxville
Susan Elliott Rich, Chattanooga
Nathan D. Rowell, Knoxville
Michelle Greenway Sellers, Jackson
J. Christopher Williams, Lawrenceburg.

The Memphis law firm of Glankler Brown PLLC has named the members of its 2011 Management Committee, which will be led by Chief Manager William R. Bradley. They are: William L. Bomar, Kevin C. Cox, Charles W. Hill, John I. Houseal Jr. and J. William Pierce Jr. The Management Committee addresses firm matters and advises members and staff on administrative issues.

Nashville attorney Margaret Moore has joined Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PLC as a member. With more than 16 years of experience representing health care clients, she will continue to handle litigation needs for hospitals and medical centers throughout Middle Tennessee. Moore previously served with the Nashville firm of Gideon, Cooper & Essary PLC and as a law clerk for Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Barbara N. Haynes. She received her law degree in 1995 from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

The Nashville office of Hall Booth Smith & Slover PC has hired Bryant C. Witt, a health care attorney who most recently co-chaired the Health Care Practice Group at Miller & Martin PLLC.

Witt has more than a decade of experience representing physicians, hospitals and other health care providers in professional liability and business litigation. He earned his law degree in 1996 from the University of Memphis School of Law.

The University of Tennessee College of Law Student Bar Association recently elected new leaders. TBA members among them are 2L Representatives Sye Hickey and John Craig Howell, and Graduate Student Senate Representative Alex Waters.

Joseph B. Baker has joined the Memphis law firm of McDonald Kuhn PLLC as an associate. Baker, who is licensed in Tennessee and Arkansas, earned his law degree in 2009 from the University of Memphis School of Law.

The Association for Women Attorneys (AWA) held its 31st Annual Banquet and Silent Auction Feb. 3 at the Racquet Club in Memphis. During the evening, AWA Scholarship Committee Chair Anita Lotz, an attorney with Farris, Mathews, Branan, Bobango, Hellen & Dunlap PLC, presented financial scholarships to five law students including TBA student member Amanda S. Floyd. The group also inducted new officers. TBA members among them are President Lucie K. Brackin, a partner at The Landers Firm; President-elect Emily Taube with Adams and Reese LLP; Secretary Jennifer Himes with The Hale Law Group PLLC; and Immediate Past President Michelle Howard-Flynn with the HF Law Group PLLC. Other leaders elected were Community Legal Center Liaison Karen Hall with the Hall Law Firm PLC; Annual Banquet Co-Chair Leah Hillis with Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC; Membership Chair Kathy Kemp with Wiseman Bray PLLC; Scholarship Committee Chair Anita Lotz; Historian Ashley Martin with Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC; Liaison to the Law School Chapter Haavi Morreim; and Publicity Co-Chair Linda W. Seely with Memphis Area Legal Services.

Estelle Winsett, assistant dean for career services at the University of Memphis School of Law, has been appointed to the Memphis Bar Association Board of Directors. She fills a seat on the board that is reserved for the law school. Winsett joined the law school administration in August 2010. She previously worked as client relations and placement director at Counsel On Call. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis in 1997.

Wiseman Bray PLLC recently named Memphis lawyer Chris Patterson a member of the firm. Patterson focuses his practice in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and business and commercial litigation. He earned his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2004.

Michael R. Ewing has joined the litigation section of MGLAW PLLC as an associate attorney. He will practice in the areas of business litigation and employment law. Prior to joining the firm, Ewing practiced with Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis PLLC for two years. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2008.

Passages

Former Knox County Criminal Court Judge GEORGE PETER BALITSARIS died Feb. 25 at the age of 87. Balitsaris graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1950 and began private practice in Knoxville. During that time, he shared offices with attorney Joe Nigro until Nigro left his practice to become a criminal court judge. In 1976, Balitsaris was elected as judge of the newly created Criminal Court Division III, where he served until his retirement in 1990.

Knoxville lawyer ROBERT M. CHILD died Feb. 4 at the age of 83. Child graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1950. He worked for two years for a title company before joining the family law firm of Child and Child where he worked with his father and brother. Following retirement of his father and the judicial election of his brother, Child founded the law firm of Child and O’Connor where he practiced until his retirement in 1991. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be sent to the University of Tennessee College of Law, 1505 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville 37996 or to First Baptist Church of Knoxville, 510 West Main St., Knoxville 37902.

Memphis attorney CRAWFORD MCDONALD, 86, died Feb. 26. A 1961 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, McDonald practiced law with his father Percy McDonald and brother Percy McDonald Jr. at McDonald Kuhn McDonald in Memphis. His practice focused on probate, real estate and admiralty law. He retired from the firm in 1994. Prior to attending law school, McDonald earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering and worked on the hydrogen bomb project for the University of California, and later for Standard Oil and Grace Chemical Corporation. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be sent to Mission Memphis or World Missions at Second Presbyterian Church, 4055 Poplar Ave., Memphis 38117.

JOHN MARSHALL ROBERTS, former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, died Feb. 6 after a long illness. He was 74. A native of Livingston, Roberts earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1960 and served as a General Sessions Court judge. He was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bill Clinton, and remained in the post for the entirety of the Clinton presidency. After leaving office, he served as executive director of the Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce. In 2006, Roberts briefly returned to the bench at the request of Gov. Phil Bredesen, filling a criminal court seat in Overton County that was vacant due to a contested election.

Nashville lawyer PHILIPPA T. THOMPSON, 51, died March 1. Thompson graduated from the Nashville School of Law in 2009, and had been working as a solo practitioner and technology teacher at Gower Elementary School in Nashville. She was a member of the TBA’s Estate Planning and Probate Section, Dispute Resolution Section and Law Office Technology/Management Section. She also was active in the TBA as a student member, a frequent volunteer at TBA events, and a prolific TBAConnect poster.

Ford & Harrison LLP has named David A. Prather, an attorney in its Memphis office, as a partner. Prather focuses his practice on employment litigation, including discrimination, harassment and tort cases. He joined Ford & Harrison in 2001 but left the firm in 2008 to serve as senior advisor to the administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. He returned to the firm in January 2009. Prather earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in 1997.

The city of Graysville recently named Signal Mountain lawyer Robert D. Philyaw as judge of the city court. Philyaw is a 2001 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law. He began his practice with the former firm of Shumacker & Thompson and has practiced in Chattanooga and surrounding area for 10 years. In addition to his local practice, Philyaw represents clients in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Anna Cates Williams has joined Special Counsel Inc. as placement director of the Tennessee branch, which is located in Brentwood. In this new role Williams will focus on lateral attorney placement and business development. Previously, she was an attorney at Medical Reimbursements of America in Franklin. Williams earned her law degree from the Cumberland School of Law and her master in business administration from the Brock School of Business, both at Samford University.

Nashville area lawyers Anne Russell and Larry Thrailkill have been elected members of Belmont University’s Board of Trustees. Russell practices at Adams and Reese LLP. She graduated from the Nashville School of Law in 1984 and has served as an instructor in wills, probate and trusts at the school since 1995. Thrailkill is a partner in the Brentwood firm of Thrailkill, Harris, Wood & Boswell PLC. He previously served as chief operating officer of the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation and as president of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team for the 1998 season. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1971.

Local Bar Elections

The Chattanooga Chapter of the Federal Bar Association recently held its annual meeting and elected new leaders. TBA members among the officers elected are: President Tonya Kennedy Cammon with Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison PC; President-elect Christopher T. Varner with Gearhiser, Peters, Cavett, Elliott & Cannon PLLC; and Neil A. Brunetz with Miller & Martin PLLC, who transitioned into the immediate past president position. In addition, the following Board of Governors were elected: Gary Henry with Gearhiser, Peters, Cavett, Elliott & Cannon PLLC; Donna J. Mikel with Burnette, Dobson & Pinchak; Robert D. Philyaw; and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley D. Rucker. Finally, new committee chairs were named. TBA members among them are D. Aaron Love with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC, who takes the helm of the Continuing Legal Education Committee; and Michael K. Alston with Husch Blackwell LLP, who takes over as Membership Committee chair.

The Montgomery County Bar Association has elected new officers for 2011. TBA members among them are: President Julia North with Rassas, North & Associates and Secretary/Treasurer Stanley Ross with Harvill Ross Hogan & Ragland. They both practice in Clarksville.

The Obion County Bar Association has elected new officers for 2011. TBA members among the group are President Charles Anthony “Tony” Maness and Vice President John Miles. Both are solo practioners in Union City.

The Robertson County Bar Association recently elected new officers. TBA members among them are President Jennifer Williams, a solo practioner in Springfield, and Vice President Gary Dilliha with Richert & Dilliha in Springfield.

Murfreesboro lawyer Thomas S. Santel Jr. has been elected president of the Rutherford/Cannon County Bar Association. A lawyer with Cope, Hudson, Reed & McCreary, Santel practices in the areas of criminal, general civil, insurance, government and domestic law.

Stephanie Sherwood has been elected president of the Washington County Bar Association. She practices with Kennedy and Sherwood in Johnson City.