2013 YLD Board & HOD Appointments - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on May 14, 2013

The YLD Board will fill several leadership positions at its Summer Meeting June 15 in Nashville. Two district representative positions are vacant due to special circumstances and two seats reserved for young lawyers in the TBA House of Delegates are considered vacant because no candidates filed by the election petition deadline. Members of the board should be prepared to cast a ballot for one candidate in each position.


The current District 2 Representative has relocated her office and residence outside of the district, which makes her ineligible to continue in the position. A new district representative will need to be appointed to complete the one year remaining in her term. The individual would then stand for election in 2014. Applicants must maintain an office or residence in the district to be eligible for consideration. District 2 covers the counties of Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Fentress, Grainger, Jefferson, Scott, Sevier and Union.

Lauren Bennett
Department of Children's Services

Lauren Bennett practices in the area of juvenile law as assistant general counsel for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services in Clinton (Anderson County). She represents the state in juvenile, circuit and chancery courts throughout the department’s East Region of Tennessee.

Bennett graduated from Drake University Law School in December 2007. While in law school, she worked at Drake's Criminal Defense Clinic where she represented indigent adults and juveniles charged with criminal violations of the Iowa Code. After graduation from law school, Bennett entered private practice where she focused primarily on family law, juvenile and criminal defense cases in Iowa and later in Tennessee.

Bennett has long been a proponent of equal access to justice and has volunteered her time through the Iowa Volunteer Lawyers Project and at Legal Aid of East Tennessee. On July 26, 2012, she received an award from Legal Aid of East Tennessee's Pro Bono Project for her pro bono service to the agency.

Bryce W. McKenzie
Law Offices of Bryan Delius

Bryce W. McKenzie grew up in Franklin, Tenn., and moved to Knoxville in 2001 to attend the University of Tennessee. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee College of Business in 2005. He then graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2008, and remained in Knoxville for a two-year clerkship with the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge James Curwood Witt Jr. After the clerkship, he began practicing law with Bryan Delius in Sevierville. The practice consists primarily of criminal defense in state and federal court, but also includes personal injury representation.

McKenzie moved to Sevier County in the summer of 2012 after marrying Laura. He is a member of the Sevier County, Knox County and Tennessee Bar Associations, as well as the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Tennessee Association for Justice and these organizations’ national counterparts.

Over the last several years McKenzie says he has had the opportunity to volunteer with the Young Lawyers’ Division Mock Trial tournament, and I hope that he can be of service to future YLD programs.

Anna Penland
Ogle, Gass and Richardson

Anna Penland is a native East Tennessean and graduate of Central High School in Fountain City. She attended college at Ohio State University and the University of Tennessee. While at the University of Tennessee, she spent a semester abroad in New Zealand studying parliamentary democracies. She was a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program and authored a thesis about the United States presidency. She also was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Honor’s Political Science and a Minor in Women’s Studies.

Penland attended the Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she focused on the areas of family law and litigation. She was a member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s student division and served as fundraising chair of the school’s domestic violence advocacy group. In that position, she planned the group’s annual fundraising raffle, which raised thousands of dollars for local domestic violence shelters.

During her summers, Penland worked as a judicial clerk for Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge D. Michael Swine, interned with the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office in Winston-Salem and worked for Ogle, Gass and Richardson in Sevierville

After graduating from law school in 2012, Penland began her full time legal career with Ogle, Gass and Richardson. Her practice now focuses on family law, juvenile court, and wills, estates, probate, social security disability and personal injury cases.


With the election of current District 6 Representative Rachel Moses to the position of vice president, a new district representative will need to be appointed to complete the one year remaining in her term. The individual would then stand for election in 2014. Applicants must maintain an office or residence in the district to be eligible for consideration. District 6 covers the counties of Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Van Buren, Warren and White.

While two candidates initially expressed interest in being appointed to this position, one has since withdrawn, leaving Jason Hicks of Cookeville as the sole candidate.

Jason F. Hicks
Moore, Rader & Fitzpatrick PC

Jason F. Hicks is an attorney with the law firm of Moore, Rader & Fitzpatrick PC in Cookeville. He is a graduate of Cookeville High School and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received his law degree from Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law in 2009. While in law school, he worked for the district attorney’s office in Auburn, Alabama; the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals; and the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office.

Hicks has been actively involved with local community organizations. He serves as assistant scoutmaster with Troop 108 for the Boy Scouts of America. He is a founding member of the Cookeville Children’s Museum, a member of the Cookeville History Museum, ambassador with the Cookeville/Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Putnam County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. Hicks is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Cookeville, where he serves as a member of the church council and attends the young adult Sunday school class. He also is a member of the Methodist Church, Tennessee Conference, Board of Trustees. Hicks is also a Mason, affiliated with Cookeville Masonic Lodge #266. He served as Worshipful Master in 2012.

In addition to those local organizations, Hicks also is a member of the American Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association and the Putnam County Bar Association, where he has served as vice president. Hicks has been admitted to the Tennessee Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Young lawyer delegates serve for two years and will attend their first meeting Sept. 27 in Nashville. Five candidates are under consideration. They are listed alphabetically.

Marisa Lee Combs
Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop

Marisa Lee Combs, an associate in the Nashville office of Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop, focuses her practice in construction law and litigation, including liens and construction defects. Combs regularly represents contractors, owners, designers, and other members of the construction industry. She also engages in the professional liability defense of architects, engineers, surveyors, and attorneys. Combs is admitted to practice before all Tennessee state courts and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Prior to joining Lewis King, Combs practiced in Robertson County, where she grew up and continues to live. For four years, she worked in a general practice setting on a rural town square, representing members of the community in a variety of matters touching many areas of law, gaining significant courtroom and trial experience.

While in law school, Combs received awards in several courses and was a member of the National Trial Team. She earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2005.

Combs is married to Thad, and they have two children. When not practicing law, she is active in the community, her church and missions.

Professional Honors and Activities:
• Tennessee Bar Association
  • House of Delegates, Middle Tennessee Young Lawyer Delegate, 2011-present
  • Succession Planning Subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2012-2013
  • Young Lawyers Division, Secretary, 2012-2013
  • Young Lawyers Division, State High School Mock Trial Chair, 2009-2011
  • Young Lawyers Division, President’s Award Recipient, 2011
  • Young Lawyers Division, Star of the Quarter Recipient (five times) for service to the Bar Association and particularly the Tennessee State High School Mock Trial program
  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee, Member
• Member, American Bar Association and ABA Construction Forum
• Member, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel
• Member, National Association of Women in Construction, Region No. 2, Nashville Chapter
• Member, Member, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., Mid Tennessee Chapter
• Member, Associated General Contractors, Middle Tennessee Branch
Nina Kumar
Burr & Forman

Nina Kumar is an associate in the Banking and Real Estate practice group in the Nashville office of Burr & Forman with a focus on representing business clients in commercial transactions, real estate, bond finance, bank lending, acquisitions and dispositions. She also serves in the firm’s Healthcare Section, representing hospitals, physician practices and other healthcare providers in corporate, regulatory and compliance matters, medical staff concerns, physician practice formations, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and contract negotiations.

She previously served as a law clerk to Judge Holly M. Kirby on the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Kumar earned her masters degree in International Relations from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland and her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School where she served as the executive managing editor of the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review.

Kumar is a Tennessee native. She is a trustee of the First United Methodist Church, and president of the class of 2013 of Leadership Middle Tennessee.

Linda Nicklos
Solo Practioner

Linda Nicklos began her professional career as a classically trained musician, performing with various orchestras from around the world, after earning a master of music from Indiana University. Nicklos says that performing and traveling with orchestras in Europe taught her the teamwork and flexibility needed to adapt to and thrive within numerous disparate cultures. Becoming fluent in three languages also gave her unique opportunities to communicate with people from a variety of cultures and opened her mind to possibilities and ways of thinking that otherwise would not have been considered. That experience, she says, has provided her with the ability to view legal issues more objectively from multiple positions without prejudging or being biased in her opinions.

After years of traveling and performing, Nicklos returned to the states to pursue other interests, including a career in the business world. During those years Nicklos successfully opened and operated several businesses. She garnered significant support from investors to develop and finance these businesses and acquired experience dealing with licensing requirements and compliance issues. One of her business ventures provided the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) with a model it used to develop and institute several modifications to existing legislation.

Through these experiences, Nicklos realized that running successful businesses and navigating licensing, compliance and other legal and administrative hurdles rekindled a long dormant, but lifelong interest in the law. She soon made the decision to sell her business interests to finance a legal education at the Nashville School of Law (NSL). She completed her law degree in 2011, graduating eighth in her class. While in law school, Nicklos wrote numerous legal articles, some of which were accepted for publication in a monthly newsletter. After passing the bar exam, she had early success in the profession when she offered recommendations that later were incorporated into new local rules for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Kate Summers Scarbrough
Constangy, Brooks & Smith

Kate Summers Scarbrough focuses her practice on partnering with her clients to effectively resolve a wide range of employment issues. Her experience includes successful handling of discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims in a variety of forums, from preventive measures to administrative charges to state and federal court litigation. Scarbrough assists employers in dealing with complex wage and hour issues, including both single plaintiff and class action litigation. She also has expertise in areas such as employee benefits issues and safety and retaliation complaints before OHSA and TOSHA.   

Scarbrough received her law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she served as executive editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and was a founding member of the Double Dawg Society. Prior to joining Constangy, she served as a law clerk to federal Magistrate Judge Juliet Griffin in the Middle District of Tennessee.

When not practicing law, Scarbrough enjoys spending free time with her husband, Brad, and their two Labrador retrievers, Porter and Millie. She is an excellent wake surfer, an average but enthusiastic snow skier and a sometimes-photographer. To call her a "runner" might be stretching things a bit, but she enjoys jogging and hiking outdoors.

Professional Activities/Associations:
• American Bar Association
• Tennessee Bar Association
• Nashville Bar Association and Young Lawyers' Division
• Lawyers' Association for Women
• TBA Mock Trial Coach
• TBA Leadership Law Class of 2012
• TBA Law Office Technology/Management Section Executive Council

Civic/Charitable Activities/Associations:
• Big Sister, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee
• The Tomorrow Fund

Rachel D. Sharp
Karla C. Miller & Associates
Columbia / Nashville

Rachel D. Sharp grew up in Columbia, Tenn., and graduated, with honors, from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in 2002, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending MTSU, Sharp was a Presidential Scholar and an active member of many campus organizations. She also served as a legislative intern in the Tennessee General Assembly and, after graduation, worked with the Tennessee General Assembly House Clerk’s Office, working closely with the Health, Education, and State and Local Government committees.

In 2006, she received her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, graduating in the top one-third of her class. While in law school, Sharp was a member of the University of Memphis Law Review, an officer for the Student Bar Association and a Student Orientation Leader. During her final year of law school, she worked as the law clerk for Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Karen R. Williams.

From 2006-2008, Sharp worked as an associate attorney with the law firm of DuBois, DuBois & Bates in Columbia.  Her practice areas included general litigation, family law, real estate law, commercial law and estate planning.  Since 2008, she has been working as an associate attorney with Karla C. Miller & Associates (formerly known as Karla C. Hewitt & Associates), where she primarily focuses on domestic law.

Sharp is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Spring Hill Economic Leadership Council and the Kiwanis Club.

Young lawyer delegates serve for two years and will attend their first meeting Sept. 27 in Nashville. Two candidates are under consideration. They are listed alphabetically.

Nicole M. Grida
Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan

Nicole Grida joined Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan in August 2006 as an associate attorney. She focuses on general civil liability matters including medical and legal malpractice, workers’ compensation, and premises, automobile and products liability. She represents clients in both state and federal courts, and has trial experience in the state’s general sessions and circuit courts.

Grida earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2006. While in law school, she was a member of the founding class for the Tennessee Journal of Law & Policy and served as its research editor. She also was vice chair of the Moot Court Board, and a member of the National Moot Court and Dean Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court teams. She served as a student attorney in the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic representing indigent clients in civil, criminal and juvenile courts. She also was nominated to the Order of the Barristers and received numerous awards for her involvement in moot court.
Grida currently serves on Memphis Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Board of Directors and sits on the Public Service Committee, which is responsible for organizing the local mock trial competition, as well as other community service events for young lawyers in the Memphis area.

Grida also is active in the local community. She is a graduate of the Memphis Bar Association Leadership Forum (class of 2008-2009), which is focused on developing the leadership skills of attorneys in their early years of practice and empowering those attorneys to use their leadership skills to make greater contributions to the Memphis community and the legal profession. As part of the forum, Grida and her small group partnered with the Memphis Urban Debate League, a member of the National Urban Debate League, to help secure attorney judges and speakers for its city championship, while also serving as role models to the debate students. She also is involved with MPACT Memphis, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a new level of social, civic and cultural engagement among young professionals.

Professional Affiliations:
• American Bar Association
• Tennessee Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
• Memphis Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Board of Directors (2009-present; Secretary/Treasurer 2012-present)
• Memphis Bar Association, Publications Committee (2006-present)  
• Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, District Justice overseeing the operations of seven law school chapters in Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio
• Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association
• Defense Research Institute

Lauran Glassman Stimac
Glassman, Edwards, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox

Lauran Glassman Stimac, a native of Memphis, received her bachelor of arts degree from the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, magna cum laude, at the University of Richmond in 2004. She went on to the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, earning her law degree there in 2007. While in law school, Stimac served as managing editor of the Richmond Journal of Law & Technology, the interscholastic chair of the Moot Court Board and a teaching assistant for the appellate advocacy legal skills class.

Following graduation, Stimac began her practice with Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle in Richmond, Va. As a litigation associate, she defended hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health care providers in medical malpractice litigation. She also provided risk management advice to healthcare clients, and lectured regularly on risk management and litigation topics to health care and attorney audiences. She was a member of the Virginia Bar Association, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys and Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association. While in Virginia, she also volunteered at the University of Richmond, working with both undergraduate and law students, and was an active member of the Junior League of Richmond.

Stimac returned to Memphis in September 2012 to join Glassman, Edwards, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox as an associate. She now focuses her practice in the areas of professional and business litigation, handling matters for both plaintiffs and defendants.

Stimac is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Virginia. She is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, Young Lawyers Liaison to the Lawyers' Professionalism and Ethics Committee of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), and a volunteer with the Junior League of Memphis and the Child Advocacy Center.