People - Articles

All Content

Posted by: Sharon Ballinger and Stacey Shrader on Jun 18, 2010

Journal Issue Date: Jul 2010

Journal Name: July 2010 - Vol. 46, No. 7

The HF Law Group PLLC recently announced its intention to move from the central business district of downtown Memphis to eastern Shelby County. Its new address will be 3257 Sarazen's Circle. The firm will keep a presence at its former office in Suite 500 of 119 South Main Street, mostly to accommodate its mediation practice. The firm's principals, Bob Flynn and Michele Howard-Flynn, decided to make the move to be closer to clients.

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law recently recognized Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Kay Spalding Robilio and her family for a $50,000 contribution to the school, which also included funds specifically earmarked for a third-year law student scholarship. Robilio graduated from then-Memphis State University in 1973 and from the law school in 1980. The contribution was acknowledged during the school's open house on March 28 and commemorated with a plaque on the second floor of the new building.

Bristol lawyer Robert Ferril Peel has been named a shareholder in the firm of Jones, King, Downs & Peel PC. He practices in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable planning and administration, and fiduciary litigation. Peel graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2005. He is licensed to practice in Tennessee and Virginia.

Memphis lawyer Rick Bennett has been named a member of Farris Bobango Branan PLC. He will continue to focus his practice in the areas of labor and employment, construction, business and real estate law, as well as business and general litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Bennett was a member of the Law Offices of Maiden & Bennett. He earned his law degree in 1988 from the University of Memphis.

Susan Payne Woodrow, an administrative law judge with the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, recently completed the Max Gardener Bankruptcy Boot Camp. In her current position, Woodrow handles unemployment and wage and hour issues, and plans to expand into debtor bankruptcy matters. She graduated from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1978. Following graduation, she clerked for Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Charles E. Nearn.

Nashville lawyer Bobby Guy, a partner with Frost Brown Todd LLC, has been appointed co-chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute's  Health Care Committee. In this role, Guy will focus on policy analysis  and education of insolvency issues affecting the health care industry, and chair the committee's annual meetings. Guy's practice focuses on restructuring and corporate bankruptcy, helping ailing health care companies return to growth and profitability. He also works with buyers and private equity funds across the country to acquire undervalued health care assets in distress sales. He earned his law degree in 1994 from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Philip J. La Nasa has joined the Knoxville office of Spicer Rudstrom PLLC, where he will focus his practice in the areas of insurance defense and subrogation, and automobile, premises and products liability. La Nasa earned his law degree from Loyola University in 1995. He is also licensed in Louisiana.

Nashville attorney Kim Adkins was selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders as a delegate to Russia for a 10-day political exchange program. She joined six other political and policy leaders from across the United States who traveled to the country in May to study its political system, engage in dialogue on international issues and forge professional relationships. Adkins is a solo practioner focusing on general civil matters. She graduated from the Nashville School of Law in 2006. Prior to practicing law, she worked for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, as a government relations executive, and as fundraising coordinator for the Gore Lieberman presidential campaign.

Husch Blackwell Sanders attorney David T. Lewis has been selected vice chair of the American Health Lawyers Association's Physicians and Physician Organizations Practice Group. He also serves as chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Health Law Section. Lewis is a partner in Husch Blackwell Sanders' Chattanooga office, where he assists health systems, physician groups and other health care providers with regulatory compliance and administrative appeals. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1984.

Nashville lawyer Michael J. Vetter Sr. of Spicer Rudstrom PLLC recently obtained his license to practice law in Kentucky. He already was licensed in Tennessee, California and Missouri. Vetter practices in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, arson and fire litigation, vehicle liability, bankruptcy, financial fraud, insurance, products liability, and property and casualty litigation. He also is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator. Vetter earned his law degree in 1987 from Loyola Law School.

Several attorneys with the Little Rock firm of Wilson & Associates PLLC have been appointed to leadership positions with the Arkansas Bar Association. Randall Bueter, Chris Palmer and Aaron Squyres have been named to the Task Force on Unauthorized Practice of Law. Bueter also has been appointed to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and the Long-Range Planning Committee. Squyres also has been appointed to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee and the Uniform Laws Committee.

Marc Sorin recently joined the Memphis firm of McNabb, Bragorgos & Burgess PLLC, where he will practice in the areas of medical and nursing malpractice, long-term health care, personal injury, workers compensation  and general insurance defense.  Prior to joining the firm, he served as a member of the Law and Mediation Offices of Rebecca Adelman PLC; as an associate with Spicer, Flynn & Rudstrom PLLC; with the former law office of Nahon & Saharovich; and as an assistant Shelby County public defender. Sorin is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Mississippi.  He earned his law degree in 1991 from the University of Memphis.


Maryville attorney FRANK B. BIRD died May 25 at the age of 93. Bird practiced law for more than 60 years and at the time of his death was the oldest practicing attorney in Blount County. Originally from Alcoa, he opened his law office in Maryville in 1946 and was the first attorney for the Blount County Industrial Board " a position he held for 30 years. Bird received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1941. The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorial donations be made to any favorite charitable cause.

Hixson attorney PARKER LYNN CARROLL died May 23. He was 87. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Carroll worked in federal service for more than 30 years before retiring from the Johnson Space Center in 1978. He then moved to Chattanooga, where he practiced law for many years.

Chattanooga attorney JAC CHAMBLISS, a partner at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, died June 8 at the age of 99. A 1932 graduate of the Cumberland University Law School, Chambliss entered his family's law firm, Sizer, Chambliss & Kefauver, in the summer of 1932 and, although the firm changed names through the years, spent his entire legal career there. Chambliss was known for his life commentaries, which were published by the, as well as his poetry and prose. He was co-founder of the Citizens Good Government League, a local nonpartisan group dedicated to promoting better government on the local level. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Reflection Riding Endowment Fund, 400 Garden Road, Chattanooga 37419; or the McVea-Chambliss Scholarship Fund of the Webb School, 319 Webb Road East, Bell Buckle 37020-2044.

Nashville lawyer STANLEY MORTON CHERNAU died May 15 after an extended illness. He was 76. Chernau graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1956 and after spending two years in Army Counter-intelligence, began practicing law in Nashville with the late Louis Leftwich and Raymond Denney. He later practiced with Vaden Lackey, and most recently, with Chernau, Chaffin & Burnsed PLLC. Chernau maintained a civil trial practice for the duration of his career. He retired in 2009. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Family and Children's Service; Alive Hospice at St. Thomas Hospital; The Suzanne J. Morris Fund at The Temple; or the Community Foundation for Nashville Flood Relief.

Memphis attorney CHARLES PITTMAN COBB, 87, died June 1 of complications following a stroke. Cobb graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1948 and joined what is now the Evans & Petree law firm, in 1949. He became a senior partner before retiring from the firm in 1984. He served as an officer of election for the Shelby County Election Commission, as a member of the Memphis & Shelby County Planning Commission and as a member of the Rhodes College Board of Trustees. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Lindenwood Christian Church, Rhodes College or Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

ROBERT HOUSTON CRITCHFIELD, 78, passed away May 10 in Fort Worth, Texas. A native of Iowa, Critchfield earned his law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1966. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army and then joined the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a corporate attorney. After retiring from TVA, he served as city judge in Estill Springs, Tenn. He was buried with military honors at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

Knoxville attorney PAUL E. HODGES died May 27 at the age of 78. At the time of his death, he was of counsel with Pitts & Brittian PC. Hodges began his career as a laboratory chemist with Union Carbide Corporation in Oak Ridge, eventually being promoted to patent counsel for the corporation's nuclear division. He later joined the Chicago patent firm of Fitch, Even, Tabin & Luedeka as a partner in its Knoxville office. He left that firm to form the intellectual property group Ludeka & Hodges PC. He then opened his own firm of Paul E. Hodges PC, which was merged in 1998 with Pitts Brittian. Hodges spent his career practicing in the area of intellectual property, and was a cofounder and board member of the Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1966. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Legal Aid of East Tennessee.

WILLIAM P. ORTALE, 79, a founding member of the Nashville law firm Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford, died May 21 after a yearlong battle with cancer. Ortale graduated from the Vanderbilt University Law School in 1955 and worked as a claims adjuster for State Farm Insurance for eight years. In 1963, he joined Thos. O. H. Smith Sr. and Thos. O. H. Smith Jr. in private practice. In 1971, he founded the law firm of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford, which today comprises more than 50 employees. Ortale was a fellow in the Nashville and Tennessee bar foundations, and was active in numerous industry and charitable organizations, including the Tennessee Defense Lawyers, the Vanderbilt Law School National Alumni Council and the Exchange Club of Nashville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Friends of Warner Parks, St. Henry Church or Alive Hospice.

Murfreesboro lawyer NANCY SMITH SELLERS died June 1 at the age of 82. Her law career spanned 57 years, having the distinction of being the first, and for many years the only, female attorney in Murfreesboro. Sellers graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1950 and married Bill Sellers, whom she joined in practicing law at Smith & Sellers. She practiced in the areas of tax and probate law, and served on various boards and commissions within the community and with the Tennessee and American bar associations. In 2001, she was honored by the Tennessee Bar Association as one of the state's pioneering women lawyers. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a charity of one's choice.

Memphis attorney JAMES MINOR TAIT JR. died May 8 at the age of 83. Tait earned his law degree from the Southern University College of Law in 1954. After graduation, he was appointed assistant district attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit where he served for almost nine years. Tait left the DA's office in 1964 to join the law firm of McDonald, Kuhn, McDonald, Crenshaw & Smith " now McDonald Kuhn. In 1968, he was appointed part-time assistant Shelby County attorney where he served until his retirement in 1997. Tait served on the board of directors of the Memphis and Shelby County bar associations and the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, also serving as president of that group from 1989 to 1990. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be sent to the King's Daughter's and Son's Home.