Success! & Passages

Kelso Stevens has joined the Nashville office of Stites & Harbison, where he will practice in the Business & Finance Service Group. He previously was a summer associate at the firm. Stevens received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2019. While in law school, he was involved in the Sports and Entertainment Legal Society, Pro Bono Clinic and Vols for Vets. Prior to law school, he worked as an events specialist for Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Rebecca Ketchie of Wilson Worley PC was recently named the new president of the Kingsport Bar Association. She assumed the role this fall, succeeding Marjorie A. Thornton of the Hanor Law Firm. Ketchie has a background in municipal law and land use planning, and currently practices in Wilson Worley’s Litigation Section.

Nashville lawyer Ed Lanquist, a shareholder at Patterson Intellectual Property Law, has been approved as a Rule 31 Listed Mediator after completing specific educational and training requirements. Lanquist focuses his practice on patent and trademark litigation, intellectual property counseling and trademark prosecution. He also serves as general counsel of the Tennessee Bar Association.

Vanderbilt University is honoring Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas S. Zeppos by naming one of its new residential colleges in his honor. The Nicholas S. Zeppos College will open in 2020. The school also announced that Zeppos has been named “University Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science” and will hold full-status appointments in the political science department and the law school. He also will hold the newly created position of the “Cornelius Vanderbilt Chancellor Emeritus Chair.”

Kingsport attorney Michael Forrester, a partner at Hunter, Smith & Davis, was named the 2019 recipient of the Seaton Hall of Fame Award at Legal Aid of East Tennessee’s Heritage of Justice Jubilee in Johnson City. He also received an Access to Justice Award. Forrester has been the coordinator of the Kingsport Bar Association’s free monthly legal clinic since its inception in 2013. The annual award is named after lawyer Tony Seaton, who served on the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission from 2012 to 2018 and recruited lawyers to start free legal advice clinics in nearly all judicial districts in the state. Forrester practices employment-related law.

The TBA Criminal Justice Section Executive Council invited local criminal law practitioners and section members to mentor students during the group’s first “Crim Law Day” recently at the LMU Duncan School of Law. Participants engaged in a panel discussion with students and met with Professor Melanie Reid’s second-year criminal law students to discuss a case study and trial strategies. TBA members among the group were Duncan Law alumni John Chavis, John Haines, Josh Hedrick and Kyle Vaughan, and section members Cody Fox, John Gill, Steven Moore, Leslie Price, Samantha Simpson and Barry Staubus.

Nashville lawyer Joshua Wilson has joined Manier & Herod as a principal. He will serve in the firm’s Employment Law Group and Entertainment, Sports & Intellectual Property Group. He also has experience with arbitration. Wilson previously was with King & Ballow in Nashville and Wiggins, Childs, Quinn & Pantazis in Birmingham. He earned his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.

Memphis City Attorney Bruce McMullen left his post at the end of the year, before the start of his second term. McMullen returned to Baker Donelson, where he held a part-time job during the last four years. Pending Memphis City Council approval, Jennifer Sink, one of McMullen’s deputies, will take over as the city’s chief legal officer.

This past fall, Butler Snow added attorneys across six offices. In the Memphis office, Katelyn R. Ashton will practice in the firm’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Health Care Litigation Group. A graduate of the Savannah Law School, she most recently clerked for Chief Judge S. Thomas Anderson of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.
   In the Nashville office, the firm has added Jianne D. McDonald and Wilson Roe Moore. McDonald will practice in the firm’s Health Law Group. She graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law and recently interned with Judge Pamela L. Reeves of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Tennessee. Moore will practice in the Business Services Group.
   The firm also announced that David Johnson was named a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Johnson leads the Nashville office’s Labor and Employment Group and has extensive experience in noncompete and trade secret matters, as well as appellate and motion practice.

University of Tennessee College of Law Dean Melanie Wilson surprised 1966 graduate Carl Colloms with the 2019 Accomplished Alumnus Award during homecoming activities this past fall. The school recognized Colloms for his support of student scholarships. In 2011, Collom gave $1 million to the college. In June 2019, he committed another $1.15 million over seven years. All funds will go to the Judge Carl E. Colloms Scholarship Endowment. Following law school, Colloms worked as a trial lawyer, Bradley County attorney, Charleston city judge, Bradley County judge (now called county mayor) and real estate developer.

Larry Cheng has joined the Nashville office of Hall Booth Smith as an associate. He will focus on business and commercial litigation, general liability, transportation-related lawsuits, premises liability and medical malpractice matters. Cheng graduated from Belmont University College of Law and recently worked as a judicial intern for Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins.
   The firm also announced that partner and shareholder Beth Boone has been named a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, which dedicates itself to the right to civil jury trials. Members in the invitation-only group must have tried a minimum of 10 civil jury trials from beginning to conclusion. A 1998 graduate of the Nashville School of Law, Boone handles professional negligence, medical malpractice and aging services defense in the firm’s Brunswick, Georgia, office.

Cindy Ettingoff joined Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) as its new chief executive officer in December 2019, succeeding Harrison McIver, who retired in March 2019. As a practicing attorney in Memphis and the surrounding areas for more than 25 years, Ettingoff has experience handling labor and employment cases and mediation. She also previously worked as managing attorney of MALS’ Pro Bono Unit. A graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law, she also is the current chair of TBA’s Dispute Resolution Section.

Lewis Thomason recently announced the hiring of new associate lawyers in its Memphis and Nashville offices. In Memphis, Robert Reid and Kimberly Sterling will practice health care liability defense and general civil litigation. In Nashville, Kaitlin White has joined the Transportation Practice Group, while George Scoville joined the Product Liability Group. White recently earned her law degree from Belmont University College of Law. Scoville previously served as judicial law clerk to Judge Sheryl H. Lipman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.
   The firm also announced that President and Managing Shareholder Lisa Cole was named one of the “100 Women Who Inspire Us” by the ABA Litigation Section at an event designed to kick-off a celebration of the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment. In nominating her for the honor, the firm wrote that she “broke new ground, working part-time to care for a baby and ailing father, while also quadrupling her client base, becoming an equity shareholder and working her way up to managing partner.” She also is the only female leading a large firm in Tennessee. Cole focuses her practice on health care liability and employment law cases.

The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville recently welcomed new members to its board of directors. Attorneys and TBA members among the group are Kirsten Jacobson and Kara Johnson. Jacobson, who focuses on leveraging technology to increase access to justice at the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, will serve a three-year term. Johnson, who serves in the Criminal Appeals Division of the state attorney general’s office, will serve one year as the Young Leaders Council intern. She previously was as an investigator at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., and a judicial law clerk in Rutherford County Criminal Court. The group also named its leaders for the 2019-2020 term. Attorneys among them are Vice Chair Kelly Frey, a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.

Memphis lawyer Al Bright has joined Bass, Berry & Sims as a member of the Corporate & Securities Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm, Bright was a partner at Waller, Lansden Dortch & Davis and in-house counsel for Medtronic Inc. He has more than 15 years of experience counseling public and private companies on a wide range of corporate law matters. He also is board chair of the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County and a former member of the Memphis and Shelby County Community Redevelopment Agency.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed Knoxville lawyer  J. William “Bill” Coley to serve as the next chair of its Access to Justice Commission. Coley will serve for two years beginning in April. Coley joined the commission in 2016 and has led the Faith-Based Initiatives Committee the past four years. Coley is a member of Hodges, Doughty & Carson. He is a past president of the Knoxville Bar Association (KBA) and the TBA Young Lawyers Division. A longtime advocate for access to justice efforts, Coley served as the 2006-2007 chair of Legal Aid of East Tennessee’s Campaign for Equal Justice, was a member of the KBA Access to Justice Committee for many years, and helped the commission expand its faith-based initiative into East Tennessee.

Michele Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, recently spoke at the 2019 Equal Justice Works Annual Dinner in Washington, D.C. Johnson was an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 1996. At the dinner, the organization shared a video highlighting the Tennessee Justice Center and Johnson’s work helping hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans over the last 23 years. Funding from the organization also has contributed to the success of the center. Watch the video at


Nashville-area lawyer FRANK BOND DODSON died Sept. 3. He was 86. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, Dodson practiced law for 40 years and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. For 13 years he was a Navy fighter pilot and later held a commercial pilot’s license. He also was a certified scuba diver and enjoyed golf, skiing, tennis and bridge. Memorial contributions may be made to the “In Honor” section of the Wounded Warrior Project at

Nashville lawyer PAUL JOHNSTON MORROW JR. died Nov. 11, 2019, at the age of 70. A graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, Morrow moved to Tennessee to work for the attorney general’s office. He then practiced with Ted Walker and Keith Hope in the early 1980s and later joined the Capital Case Resource Center (which has since changed its name to The Post Conviction Defenders Office). Morrow served there defending death penalty inmates until his retirement in 2012.

Nashville attorney ROBERT “BOB” MANSELLl MOSES died Dec. 4. He was 71. Moses and his wife, Marlene Eskind Moses, also a lawyer and Tennessee Bar Journal columnist, practiced at the firm of MTR Family Law PLLC. He earned a masters degree in business administration from Tulane University and a law degree from the Nashville School of Law. Before practicing law, he was president of a sound studio and worked in the wholesale liquor and wine business. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Abe’s Garden, Harding Academy or the W.O. Smith Music School.

Chattanooga lawyer JOHN B. PHILLIPS JR. died Nov. 14, 2019, at the age of 72. Originally from Winchester, Phillips earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and moved to Chattanooga to practice law. He was a long-time member at Miller & Martin and served as the firm’s managing partner for five years. Phillips also served as deputy general counsel and vice president of employment and labor at Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., and as senior vice president and general counsel of Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries Inc. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger or the Tennessee Aquarium.

Signal Mountain attorney JOSEPH FOUNTAIN TIMBERLAKE JR. died Nov. 16, 2019, at 93. After serving three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, during which time he received a Purple Heart Medal, Timberlake attended the University of Tennessee College of Law on the G.I. bill and graduated first in his class in 1951. He practiced general civil law in Chattanooga for 68 years. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans.

Former 8th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge CONRAD E. TROUTMAN JR. died Nov. 27, 2019, at the age of 91. Originally from LaFollette, Troutman served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and then attended the University of Tennessee College of Law. After graduating, he returned to LaFollette and practiced law with his father and brother. He also served as attorney for the LaFollette Hospital Board, the LaFollette Housing Authority, the Campbell County School Board and the City of LaFollette. Troutman later was elected Campbell County attorney and in 1974 was elected to the circuit court, serving Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress, Scott and Union counties. He served 30 years on the bench until his retirement in 2004. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holston United Methodist Home for Children, 404 Holston Dr., Greeneville 37743.

          | TBA Law Blog