People

Stephanie A. Elkins recently joined the Nashville law firm of Morgan & Akins PLLC, where she will focus on civil litigation, including workers’ compensation and insurance defense. Prior to joining the firm, Elkins was a law clerk to Justice Edward Thomas Brady of the North Carolina Supreme Court. She earned her law degree from the Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.

Nashville lawyer Steven A. Goodman, owner and president of TrainWorks, was the highest rated instructor at the American Bankers Association’s National Trust Schools. Goodman teaches courses on ethics, wealth management and asset protection techniques for the schools. He also regularly teaches at the Pacific Coast Banking School, statewide banking associations and national and local financial planning firms.

Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC has named Benjamin T. Reese and Kenneth D. Veit as members of the firm. Reese practices in the Chattanooga office and focuses on general civil litigation, including workers’ compensation and civil rights, construction, labor and employment and transportation law. He earned his law degree in 2004 from the University of Memphis School of Law. Veit practices in the Nashville office and focuses on insurance defense litigation, construction law, transportation law and workers’ compensation. He graduated from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2003.

Nashville lawyer Ryan Levy has been named a shareholder at Waddey & Patterson PC. Levy joined the firm in 2005 and focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation with a particular emphasis on patent disputes. He handles patent issues for a variety of clients, including those in the medical device, environmental remediation, chemical manufacturing and nutritional supplement industries. Levy earned his law degree in 2005 from Duke University School of Law. He also holds bachelor of science degrees in biochemistry and chemical engineering.

The Nashville office of Cornelius & Collins LLP has elected J. Cole Dowsley Jr. as a partner in the firm. Dowsley joined the firm in 2005 after receiving his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. He practices in the Tort, Insurance & Dispute Resolution Group and Commercial & Business Group.

Jason C. Davis, a 2011 graduate of the Nashville School of Law, has joined the Bussart Law Firm in Lewisburg. He will focus on civil litigation and building a general practice. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a tort claims examiner for the Tennessee Treasury Department.

Hall Booth Smith and Slover announced that Beth Boone has been named a partner in its Brunswick office. Boone earned a master of business administration from Tennessee State University and a law degree in 1998 from the Nashville School of Law. She focuses her work in the areas of professional negligence and medical malpractice defense as well as probate, estate planning and administration, trusts, fiduciary law and general civil litigation.

Adams and Reese recently added three lawyers to its Nashville office. The three — Dale Allen, Tony Swafford and Kyle Young — previously served in the Nashville office of Miller & Martin PLLC. Allen, who joins at the firm as a partner, focuses his work in transportation, government relations and regulatory law. He earned his law degree in 1983 from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Swafford, who also joins the firm as a partner, focuses on labor and employment, transportation and logistics. He graduated from Case Western University School of Law in 1995. Young represents regional and national clients in a wide range of litigation, transactional, and regulatory matters in the area of transportation and logistics. He received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2009.

Labor and employment law firm Littler Mendelson has announced the opening of an office in Memphis with 16 attorneys from the firm of Kiesewetter Wise Kaplan Prather. Those joining Littler Mendelson are founding partners Jay Kiesewetter, Ed Wise, Jonathan Kaplan and Paul Prather; shareholders Lisa Leach, Steven Likens, George Loveland, Elizabeth Rudnick, John Simmons and Amber Isom-Thompson; and associates Nicole Bermel, Alex Boals, Kimberly Brown-Gibbs, Brenda Nelson Canale, Matthew Gallagher and Tanja Thompson. The office will stay in Kiesewetter Wise’s current space at 3725 Champion Hills Drive, Memphis 38125.

Burr & Forman LLP recently named Amy K. Jordan as a partner in its Birmingham office. Jordan represents employers in a broad range of labor and employment matters, including discrimination claims, disability claims, family and medical leave and fair labor standards. She earned her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.

The Tennessee Bar Foundation has named its 2011 class of fellows. TBA members among them are Athens lawyer Bridget J. Willhite with Carter Harrod & Willhite PLLC; Bristol lawyer Julie Poe Bennett with the Bristol Motor Speedway; Chattanooga lawyers William E. Godbold III with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC and 11th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Don Wayne Poole; Dyersburg lawyer Jeffrey L. Lay with Jones, Hamilton & Lay PLC; Franklin lawyer Mark Hartzog with Hartzog & Silva; Knoxville lawyers Beecher A. Bartlett Jr. with Kramer Rayson LLP, Donna R. Davis with Butler, Vines & Babb PLLC, Tony Farmer with the Law Offices of Tony Farmer & John Dreiser; Wayne A. Ritchie II with Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson PC; Lawrenceburg lawyers Charles W. Holt Jr. with Boston, Holt & Sockwell PLLC and Lawrence County General Sessions Judge Patricia B. McGuire; Memphis lawyers Elizabeth T. Collins with Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell PLLC, Jef Feibelman with Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC, Robert L. Hutton with Glankler Brown PLLC, Judge Jon P. McCalla with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and Shepherd D. Tate with Bass Berry & Sims PLC; and Nashville lawyers Martha L. Boyd with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, Daniel L. Clayton with Kinnard Clayton & Beveridge, William J. Haynes III with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, Robert J. Mendes with MGLAW PLLC, Edward S. Ryan with May & Ryan, Keith B. Simmons with Bass Berry & Sims PLC,  Robert H. Waldschmidt with Howell & Fisher PLLC and Sheree C. Wright in the Office of General Counsel at Vanderbilt University.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP recently hired a number of new associates in its Nashville office. They are: Jake Neu, a 2011 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, who will handle patent and trademark prosecution, licensing and technology transactions; John P. Rodgers, a 2011 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, who will focus on labor and employment issues; Edmund S. Sauer, a 2004 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, who will handle litigation and appellate work; Kristi Wilcox, a 2011 graduate of the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, who will focus her practice on commercial, entertainment, copyright and trademark disputes; and Heather Howell Wright, a 2002 graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, who will handle business disputes, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Nashville attorney Gif Thornton has been elected chair of the Adams and Reese Executive Committee, which oversees the strategic operations of the firm and its attorneys and staff. This is Thornton’s second term as chair after serving in the role in 2010. Thornton is a partner on the firm’s government relations team and serves as legislative counsel to a number of businesses, trade associations and governmental entities with interests before state government. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1990.

The firm also announced that Memphis lawyer Emily Campbell Taube has been named president of the Association of Women Attorneys. She takes over from Lucie K. Brackin with The Landers Firm. Taube focuses her practice on business, bankruptcy and franchise/ dealership litigation. She also recently was elected vice president of The 100 Club of Memphis, which provides financial assistance to the families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. She earned her law degree from the Memphis University School of Law in 1998.

Miller & Martin PLLC lawyer Kara E. Shea has been appointed co-chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department. Shea handles employment and compliance issues for a range of national, regional and local employers. She regularly speaks on employment-related topics and provides workplace training. She also is the co-author of a comprehensive guide to wage and hour compliance and is editor of the Tennessee Employment Law Letter. Shea graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1996.

Murfreesboro lawyer John T. Blankenship was appointed to the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA) Board of Directors at the group’s recent meeting in Denver, Colo. Blankenship also is the first arbitrator in Tennessee to be elected as a fellow in the CCA. He frequently writes and speaks on the subject of arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution topics. He received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, and a master of laws in dispute resolution from the University of Missouri School of Law.

North Carolina lawyer Jason A. McGrath, co-founder of McGrath & Spielberger PLLC in Charlotte, recently expanded his practice into Tennessee. McGrath practices in the areas of business formation, trademarks, contracts, mortgage relief, debt, credit, collections and wills. An authority on the topic of operating a virtual law practice, McGrath also recently was featured in the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management magazine and spoke to the Mecklenburg County Bar Association on the issue. McGrath is licensed to practice in North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. He earned his law degree in 1996 from Florida State University.

The Nashville law firm of Evans, Jones & Reynolds PC has named John M. McDonald a shareholder with the firm. McDonald focuses his practice in corporate law, taxation and estate planning. Before joining the firm, he practiced with Stites & Harbison.

At its 114th annual meeting in January, the Chattanooga Bar Association, Robin L. Miller, an attorney with Spears Moore Rebman & Williams PC, was sworn in as the 2012 president. She takes over from now Immediate Past President Ira M. Long Jr. with of Weill & Long PLLC. New officers and board members also were named. TBA members among them are President-Elect M. Craig Smith with Miller & Martin PLLC; Secretary Timothy L. Mickel of Husch Blackwell LLP; Treasurer Paul Hatcher and Everett L. “Bo” Hixson Jr. of Duncan Hatcher Hixson & Fleenor PC; Barret Albritton with Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan PLLC; Neil A. Brunetz with Miller & Martin PLLC; Jason D. Demastus with the Office of the District Attorney; and Hamilton County General Session Court Judge Christie Sell.

Nashville lawyer Ryan Holt has joined Sherrard & Roe PLC as an associate in the Litigation Practice Group. He will focus on commercial and general appellate litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Holt was a law clerk to Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. A Nashville native, Holt received his law degree in 2010 from Vanderbilt University Law School. Before attending law school, he taught middle school in New York City through the Teach For America program.

The Memphis-based law firm of Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh PLLC recently announced that Melanie R. Dunlap has been named a member of the firm. Dunlap focuses her practice in the areas of equine law, business litigation, domestic relations and general civil litigation, including personal injury, premises liability and medical malpractice. She earned her law degree from the University of Denver in 2003.

In addition, the firm announced that member James D. Wilson has been named a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Wilson focuses his practice in the areas of civil and criminal litigation, including personal injury, medical malpractice and business litigation, and RICO and securities fraud. He earned his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1974.

The Memphis office of Butler Snow O’Mara Stevens & Cannada PLLC recently welcomed Susanna M. Moloveanu to its Product Liability Group and Appellate Writing Advocacy Group. Moloveanu is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. Prior to joining the firm, she clerked for Judge Leslie H. Southwick of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Tennessee lawyer and state Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, announced in January that he would not run for reelection this year, but instead serve as president of the Ned McWherter Center for Rural Development when his current term expires. The center is a non-profit, non-partisan, charitable organization that provides scholarships and educational opportunities for Tennessee students. It was founded in 2008 and named for former Gov. McWherter.

Sarah Coleman was recently awarded Bradley County’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award for her outstanding performance in rendering legal aid in the community. Coleman is a 2008 graduate of the Appalachian School of Law. She maintains a solo practice in Cleveland.

Former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell and current Metro Nashville Councilman Jason Holleman have been named partners at the Nashville law firm of Jones Hawkins & Farmer PLC. Along with James W. White — who joined the firm this past fall after serving as executive director of the state legislature’s Fiscal Review Committee — Purcell and Holleman will form the core of the firm’s new public policy practice.

Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed Nashville lawyer Jane W. Young to be general counsel at the Tennessee Department of Health. Young previously served as ethics compliance officer for the department. She earned her law degree in 1981 from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Huntingdon lawyer John D. Stevens has been named to the Post-Conviction Defender Oversight Commission. Stevens, a 2002 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law, operates a solo practice focusing on Medicaid, estate planning and workers’ compensation. He earned his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2002.  

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Memphis lawyer VALERIE WALSH JOHNSON, 53, died Jan. 31 after an extended illness. Walsh Johnson spent most of her professional career with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, where she practiced intellectual property and corporate law. A 1993 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law, she was active in the state legal community serving as president of the Association of Women Attorneys (1998), chair of the TBA Intellectual Property Section (2004- 2005), and co-chair of the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law’s Women in the Profession Committee (2007-2008). Memorial donations may be made to the United Methodist Neighborhood Centers of Memphis, 3000 Walnut Grove, Memphis 38111, or the Methodist Alliance Hospice Memphis, 6423 Shelby View Dr., Memphis 38134.

Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge ROBERT “BOB” LEWIS MOON JR. died Jan. 26 at his home in Signal Mountain. He was 60. Moon, a lifelong resident of Hamilton County, earned his law degree at Memphis State in 1976 but returned to the area after graduation to begin practicing law. He served as Signal Mountain City judge for 13 years before being appointed General Sessions judge in 1996. He was elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2006 to that position. Moon was active in the Chattanooga Boys Club and often spoke to student groups about the importance of making wise choices in life. He also was involved with the Rotary Club of Chattanooga, the Harrison Ruritan Club, the Chattanooga Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chattanooga Boys Club, 610 Lindsay Street, Chattanooga 37403.

Murfreesboro attorney WILLIAM P. NELMS died Jan. 17 at the age of 68. Nelms earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1969 and practiced law in Murfreesboro for his entire career. He focused his work in the areas of trusts, estate planning and probate, as well as real estate and business law. For many years he served as legal counsel to the Commerce Union Bank Board (now Bank of America) and as chair of the Board of Zoning Appeals.