Lawyers Recognized for Service to Profession, Public

Award recipients honored at TBA convention in Nashville

NASHVILLE, June 3, 2010 — A select group of Tennessee lawyers was honored for their work in serving the legal profession and the public during today's Lawyers Luncheon at the Tennessee Bar Association convention in Nashville. Award recipients include Nashville Judge Barbara Haynes, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Nashville attorney Steve Cobb, Chattanooga lawyers T. Maxfield (Max) Bahner and S. Spencer Elg, Knoxville lawyer Sarah Sheppeard and Memphis lawyer Brian Fauhgnan.

Drowota Judicial Service Award
Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Haynes was honored with the association's Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award. The award is given to a judge or judicial branch official of a federal, state or local court in Tennessee who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion and dedication to the improvement of the law, our legal system and the administration of justice as exemplified by the career of former Supreme Court Justice Frank F. Drowota III -- the award's first recipient.

Haynes was elected to the Davidson County General Sessions Court in 1982 and then moved to the circuit court in 1990. From 1986 to 1994 Judge Haynes was chair of the Tennessee Sentencing Commission. She also has served in the past as a legal assistant for a congressional office and a partner in the law firm of Haynes & Haynes. She earned her law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 1976.

William M. Leech Jr. Public Service Award
Nashville Mayor and lawyer Karl Dean was awarded the William M. Leech Jr. Public Service Award for his extraordinary service to the people of Nashville and Middle Tennessee in the wake of devastating flooding last month. In addition to the timely and organized provision of basic services to flood victims, the award recognized his commitment to the provision of pro bono legal services to those affected by the flooding.

Dean was elected mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County on Sept. 11, 2007. He previously served as Nashville's public defender from 1990 to 1998, and as metro law director from 1999 to 2007. He also has served as an adjunct professor of law at his alma mater, Vanderbilt University Law School.

The Leech award is given annually by the TBA Young Lawyers Division Fellows and is named for former Attorney General William M. Leech. The award honors a lawyer who has been of outstanding service to the profession, legal system and the community.

Justice Joseph W. Henry Award
Chattanooga lawyer S. Spencer Elg received the Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for the most outstanding article published in the Tennessee Bar Journal during the preceding year. He was recognized for his 2009 article, "Health Car Arbitration Agreements in Tennessee," which was published in the October 2009 issue of the journal. He also won a cash prize of $500.

Elg practices law with Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP in Chattanooga. He is a 2009 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law and a 2006 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Memphis. He began work as an associate with Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP last September.

The purpose of the Joseph W. Henry Award is to encourage practicing Tennessee lawyers to write scholarly yet practical articles that will be of maximum benefit to the members of our bar. Recipients are selected by a committee of three: the state Supreme Court chief justice, the dean of one of the state's law schools -- on a rotating basis -- and the president of the Tennessee Bar Association. This year, the judges were Chief Justice Janice Holder, Vanderbilt Law School Dean Chris Guthrie and TBA President Gail Vaughn Ashworth.

Presidents' Awards
Each year the TBA president designates certain individuals to be honored for their work during her year in office. This year, awards were given to the following lawyers:

  • Attorney T. Maxfield (Max) Bahner, for his service as chair of the TBA's Task Force on Judicial Conduct Rules. Bahner is a partner with the Chattanooga firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC.
  • Attorney Steve Cobb, for his work furthering the legislative initiatives of the TBA as the association's legislative counsel. Cobb is a solo practioner in Nashville.
  • Attorney Brian S. Faughnan, for service as chair of the TBA's Standing Committee on Ethics & Professional Responsibility. He serves with the firm of Adams and Reese in Memphis.
  • Lawyer Sarah Y. Sheppeard, for her service as reporter of the Task Force on Judicial Conduct Rules. She is partner with Sheppeard, Swanson & Mynatt PLC in Knoxville.

For photographs or additional biographical information on any these award winners, please contact Stacey Shrader at sshrader@tnbar.org or (615) 383-7421.


The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is the largest professional association in Tennessee with more than 11,000 members. Founded in 1881, the TBA provides opportunities for continuing legal education, professional development and public service. The TBA’s dedication to serving the state’s legal community is evidenced by its membership roll, which represents the entire spectrum of legal practice: plaintiff and defense lawyers, corporate counsel, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, government lawyers and legal services attorneys.