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Six lawyers were recognized for their contributions to the law and their communities at the annual Pillars of Excellence program, hosted by the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Alumni Chapter. The event, held on Aug. 13, honored Leo Bearman Jr. with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; David E. Caywood, attorney at law; W.J. Michael Cody with Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC; Robert L. Green with Allen, Summers, Simpson, Lillie & Gresham PLLC; John Paul “Jack” Jones, former owner of the Daily News; and former Shelby County General Sessions Judge Russell B. Sugarmon. All are from Memphis. Recipients of the award are chosen by past presidents of the alumni chapter.

In other news from the school, the University of Memphis Law Alumni Board has selected new officers and board members: Tanja L. Thompson, a partner with Kieswetter Wise Kaplan Prather PLC, is the new president; Circuit Court Judge Robert “Butch” Childers is the new president-elect; R. Hunter Humphreys, an adjunct professor of real estate transactions at the law school, has been named secretary/treasurer; and Robert E. Craddock Jr. with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs and John I. Houseal Jr. with Glankler, Brown PLLC are new board members. All are from Memphis.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP partner Kevin B. Campbell has been named to the 2011-2012 Nashville Health Care Council Board of Directors. The group, an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, works to advance the city’s reputation as a leading hub for the U.S. health care industry. Campbell focuses his practice exclusively on the representation of health care providers in transactional, regulatory and operational matters, with a particular emphasis on serving acute care hospitals. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1994.

The Nashville office of Hall Booth Smith & Slover PC has added Jennifer M. Eberle to its roster of attorneys. Eberle, a trial attorney focusing on medical malpractice, brings more than 10 years of defense litigation experience to the firm. She also represents business clients in the areas of commercial litigation, internal investigations, employment law, torts and insurance matters. She earned her law degree in 2001 from the University of Memphis School of Law.

Adams and Reese attorneys Thomas Lawrence Stewart and Patrick Norton recently completed work on a pro bono case in conjunction with The Innocence Project. The pair helped Rudolph Powers, a Memphis man who has been incarcerated for 30 years on rape charges, secure court approval for post-conviction DNA testing by spearheading an amicus curiae brief. The brief was filed with the Tennessee Supreme Court on behalf of former members of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Testing. On June 16, the court granted Powers access to additional testing.
 
Chattanooga lawyer Terry Olsen with the Olsen Law Firm presented a seminar on “Law Practice in the U.S.,” at the 33rd Southeast Taiwanese Association of America Summer Conference. The conference was held in Greenville, S.C., at Furman University July 8-10. Olsen is the former chair of the TBA Immigration Law Section and practices in the area of immigration law.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC has named Memphis lawyer David Thornton as the new chair of its Employee Benefits Practice Group. In this role, he will manage attorneys across the state that represent providers of employee benefit plans and programs. Thornton has been a member of the firm’s tax practice since 2005, focusing on employee benefits, corporate issues and health law. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1984. The firm also has added Marija Sokolov as an associate attorney in its Memphis office. Sokolov will work in the firm’s Corporate and Securities Practice. Previously an associate at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP, she earned her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2006.

John F. Bradley of the Bradley Legal Group PA recently chaired and presented a panel on “Legal Issues for the Film Industry” at the Geek Film Festival on July 1. The presentation was part of the Florida Super Con, South Florida’s comic book, anime, animation, video game, fantasy, sci-fi and pop culture convention. Bradley practices law in Ft. Lauderdale.

The Nashville law firm of Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella PC recently welcomed Tyler Chance Yarbro to the firm as its newest associate. Yarbro joins the litigation section, where she will focus on business, employment and personal injury matters. She previously spent six years as an assistant public defender for Metro Nashville. Yarbro earned her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.

Nashville attorney Jonathan “Jon” B. Harris recently joined the law firm of Morgan & Akins PLLC, where he will focus on commercial and business litigation, real estate and corporate law. He is licensed to practice in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. He earned his law degree in 2007 from the Mississippi College School of Law.

Merchant & Gould, a national intellectual property law firm, has expanded its office in Knoxville with the addition of the following four attorneys from Pitts & Brittian PC: R. Bradford Brittian, J. Kenneth Hoffmeister, Steven F. Owens and Matthew J. Stark. Brittian practices in the areas of patent, trademark, unfair competition, copyright and trade secret litigation and dispute resolution. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1979. Hoffmeister primarily handles patents for electrical, mechanical, and software-related inventions; product clearance opinions; and trademark actions. He also earned his law degree in 1997 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Owens focuses on patent application and infringement opinion preparation. He graduated from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2008. Stark practices patent and trademark law as well as general litigation. He earned his law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2006. They join John A. Lucas and John T. Winemiller who already were serving with the firm..

The Nashville Business Journal recently named Charles W. Bone of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC; Christy Crider with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC; and Angela Humphreys with Bass, Berry & Sims among its 2011 Health Care Heroes. They were honored at a luncheon on Aug. 18. At that event, the journal also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Gordon Bonnyman, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center. The fourth annual Health Care Heroes awards celebrate the accomplishments of those working to grow the region’s health care industry.

The Chattanooga office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC has named Heidi R. Hoffecker and John P. McGehee as its Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year. The pair were recognized for their work with the Orange Grove Center, a local nonprofit serving adults and children with intellectual disabilities. Hoffecker is a shareholder and civil litigator. She earned her law degree in 1996 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. McGehee is an associate and a member of the firm’s Advocacy Department. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law.

The Nashville Chamber of Commerce has named Brad A. Lampley, partner in charge of Adams and Reese’s Nashville office, as its 2011 emerging leader in the legal services category. Lampley joined the firm in 2005 and became the youngest attorney to be named its managing partner. He practices in the areas of banking, business and construction litigation; commercial dispute resolution; sports law; and real estate. He also serves as legislative counsel to businesses and trade associations with interests before the Tennessee General Assembly. The emerging leader awards recognize individuals for accomplishments in their respective fields and their involvement in community service activities. Nashville attorneys named as finalists for the award included Rachel L. Bell with Bell & Kinslow PLLC; Matthew M. Curley with Bass, Berry & Sims PLC; Kolin B. Holladay with Adams and Reese LLP; and Matt Potempa, attorney at law.

Mark E. Davidson has been named a new assistant district attorney general in the 25th Judicial District, assigned to the Somerville Criminal Division to prosecute cases in Fayette County. Davidson earned his law degree in 1994 from the University of Memphis School of Law, and served as assistant district attorney general in Lauderdale County, has worked in the Tennessee Attorney General’s office, and served as senior counsel in the office’s capital division. Since 2010 he has been practicing law in Covington.

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Former Knox County Judge C. HOWARD BOZEMAN, 93, died July 10. The longest-serving judge in the county’s history, Bozeman sat on the bench for more than 25 years from 1948 to 1966 and again from 1974 to 1982. He was a 1941 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Shrine Children’s Hospitals, the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts, the Sertoma Center or First Baptist Church of Knoxville.

Retired Humphreys County General Sessions Judge DANNY RAY BRADLEY died May 26 at his home in Waverly. He was 62. Bradley was a member of the Humphreys County Bar Association and a number of civic organizations. In addition to serving on the bench, he spent some time in the private practice of law. Memorial donations may be sent to the Hope Center in Waverly or the Humphreys County Humane Society.

Smithville lawyer GEORGE ELMER LEFEVRE died July 26 at the age of 79. He graduated from the Cumberland School of Law in 1961 and went on to serve in private practice and as an assistant district attorney, public defender and federal prosecutor. He also served as a jury foreman for many years. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Faith Baptist Church of Smithville, the American Heart Association or the charity of one’s choice.

Memphis criminal defense lawyer SEYMOUR “SY” ROSENBERG died July 23 after a long illness. He was 77. Rosenberg practiced law for more than 50 years and was a fixture on the Memphis music scene as a musician, impresario, producer, publisher, manager and music business attorney. His clients included Isaac Hayes, Charlie Rich, Rufus Thomas and Stax Records. He also managed many of the city’s “garage bands” that emerged in the 1960s. In addition, Rosenberg was part owner of American Studios, which turned out a number of musical hits in the 1970s by Dusty Springfield, B.J. Thomas, Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond. In his later years, Rosenberg, a trumpet player, was an integral part of the Memphis Jazz Orchestra. He retired from the practice of law in 2008. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Memphis Music Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.

Nashville attorney and former Brentwood judge TOM SCHLATER died July 26 at the age 81. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, Schlater served with Boult Cummings until he formed Taylor-Schlater, later to become Taylor, Schlater, Lassiter, Tidwell & Trentham. After litigating cases for 35 years, Schlater was named the first city judge of Brentwood and served in that position from 1969 to 2009. He used his position to teach teenagers who came before his court about responsibility behind the wheel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the Nashville Rescue Mission, Salvation Army or First Presbyterian Church of Nashville.

Shelbyville native SAMUEL R. “RICK” TAYLOR died July 4 in Chicago. He was 58 years old. A 2002 graduate of Marquette University Law School, Taylor was living in Waukegan, Ill., at the time of his death. Taylor began his career in television broadcasting but later turned his attention to the field of asset management and the practice of law. He held master degrees in management and business administration and was an ordained minister.

Madisonville lawyer NESTOR EUGENE WORTHINGTON died May 2 at the age of 68. Worthington earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1968 and practiced law in Madisonville until his death. Early in his career he was an assistant district attorney general for the 10th Judicial District. He also served as a member of the Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates.