TBA YLD Elects Officers, Presents Awards - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 14, 2011

Lawyers take office, honored at TBA convention in Chattanooga

NASHVILLE, July 14, 2011 — The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division named new officers and recognized award winners during the TBA's annual convention in Chattanooga.


Memphis lawyer Mason W. Wilson was installed as president of the Young Lawyers Division for the 2011-2012 year. He takes over from Knoxville lawyer Tasha C. Blakney, a partner with Eldridge & Blakney PC, who will serve as immediate past president for the next year. Wilson earned his law degree in 2004 from the University of Memphis School of Law. He practices in the areas of transportation, health care, products liability and mass tort law at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

David H. Veile with the law firm of Lowery, Lowery & Cherry in Lebanon took office as president-elect of the group. He will assume the office of president in 2012. A 2004 graduate of the Nashville School of Law, Veile focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury litigation and business formation law. Prior to attending law school, he was a police officer and sergeant with the Nashville Police Department.

Chattanooga lawyer David G. McDowell with the law firm of Gearhiser, Peters, Cavett, Elliott & Cannon PLLC was named vice president of the group. He will take office as president in June 2013. McDowell practices primarily in the area of civil litigation, handling construction, professional liability, consumer protection, personal injury, insurance, real estate and commercial cases. He earned his law degree in 2003 from the University of Memphis School of Law.

Other officers are as follows:
Secretary: Stacie S. Winkler, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, Memphis
Treasurer: Marisa L. Combs, Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop PC, Nashville
East Tennessee Governor: W. Paul Whitt, Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop PC, Knoxville
Middle Tennessee Governor: Mary Beth Haltom, Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop PC, Nashville
West Tennessee Governor: Steven W. King, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, Memphis


In addition to electing new officers, the YLD honored a number of young lawyers who worked to improve the practice of law in the state and served the public and the bar during the past year.

Nashville lawyer Marisa L. Combs with Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop PC received the YLD President's Award for her longtime commitment to the YLD's high school mock trial program and for serving as chair of the Mock Trial Committee for three years, while also serving as treasurer of the division.

The YLD president also presented special recognition awards to those who go beyond the call of duty. This year, Ahsaki E. Baptist with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs in Memphis and Blair Bennington Cannon with Leitner Williams Dooley & Napolitan in Chattanooga received awards for exceptional service as co-chairs of the Diversity Committee and the inaugural Diversity Leadership Institute. That program provided leadership training and mentoring for 15 law students from across the state. In addition, Nathan E. Shelby with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell in Jackson and Joseph A. Fanduzz with Eldridge & Gaines in Knoxville were recognized for their service as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Membership & Law School Outreach Committee and the inaugural Judicial Internship Program. That program placed nearly 50 law students with trial court judges in the state for summer internships. Finally, a special recognition award was presented to David H. Veile with Lowery, Lowery & Cherry PLLC in Lebanon for his exceptional service as vice president, Long Range Planning Committee chair and Wills for Heroes Committee chair.

The division's Public Service Award, which recognizes the best Statewide Public Service Day organized by a district representative, went to District 6 Representative Rachel M. Moses of Cookeville. Moses, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society, held a benefit for Genesis House, a domestic violence shelter in Cookeville. Her efforts netted more than 1,000 diapers and baby wipes for residents of the house.

The inaugural Distinction in Publication Award went to W. Michael Baisley with Hodges, Doughty & Carson in Knoxville for his article "Primer on Mechanics' and Materialmens' Liens." The article appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of the Tennessee Young Lawyer.

Finally, Star of the Quarter Awards for the last quarter of the bar year were presented to Lee Bussart Bowles with the Bussart Law Firm in Lewisburg for her work as editor of the Tennessee Young Lawyer; Rachel M. Moses with the Legal Aid Society in Cookeville for her service as District 6 Representative; and P. Matt Potempa, a solo practioner in Nashville, for his work coordinating disaster legal services following storms, tornadoes and flooding in the state this past spring.

For photographs or additional biographical information on any these individuals, please contact the TBA at (615) 383-7421.

The YLD serves more than 2,000 young lawyers across the state, providing continuing legal education for new lawyers and opportunities for public service, networking and professional development.