TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Tba People on Jun 1, 2012

Journal Issue Date: Jun 2012

Journal Name: June 2012 - Vol. 48, No. 6

The Nashville office of Adams and Reese has welcomed four new lawyers to the firm: partners C. Dale Allen and Thomas Anthony Swafford, special counsel R. Slade Sevier and associate Kyle A. Young.

Allen is a corporate lawyer who focuses his practice in transportation, government relations and regulatory law. He will serve as legislative counsel to business, trade associations and non-profit organizations. He earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in 1983.

Sevier will focus on litigation and contract negotiation related to construction, real estate and general business. He also will maintain a transactional practice focused on real estate and health care. Sevier, a 2003 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, is also a licensed patent attorney, who previously worked as a civil engineer.

Swafford will serve as team leader of the Transportation & Logistics Group and member of the Labor & Employment Group. He will focus his work in the areas of transportation, labor and employment, employee benefits, non-competition agreements and trade secret issues. He previously worked at Miller & Martin PLLC and chaired that firm’s Labor & Employment Department and Transportation & Logistics Practice Group. Swafford graduated from Case Western University School of Law in 1995.

Young joins the firm’s Transportation & Logistics Group. A 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law, his experience includes handling employment litigation, transportation agreements and advising clients with cases before the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Donna L. Green and Emily Moore Leininger have announced the formation of family law firm Green & Leininger PC in Brentwood. The office will handle divorce, child support, juvenile and adoption matters. Green began her legal career at Neal & Harwell in Nashville after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1998. In 2001, she joined a large-asset divorce law firm in Atlanta. In 2004, she returned to Tennessee to launch Green Family Law Office in Brentwood. Leininger graduated from Nashville School of Law in 2006 and joined Hale & Hale in Franklin. She joined the Green Family Law Office as an associate in 2010.

Nashville lawyer Timothy R. Discenza has been named a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was inducted during the group’s recent spring meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. Discenza is disciplinary counsel for the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary. He has served in that capacity since July 2010. Prior to that, he worked for 33 years with the U.S. Department of Justice, retiring as senior litigation counsel in 2010. He earned his law degree in 1973 from the University of Memphis School of Law.

Nashville lawyer Thomas B. Russell has been named a member of Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin PLLC. He joined the firm in 2009 and focuses his practice in the areas of appellate, general and business litigation. Russell previously served as assistant attorney general in the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General where he managed litigation for the financial division. He received his law degree in 2001 from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.

Burr & Forman LLP recently announced that Whitney C. Henry has joined its Birmingham office as an associate. She will practice in the Financial Services Litigation Group, where she will focus on financial services, commercial, insurance and product liability litigation. Henry’s background includes experience in the areas of commercial transportation, premises liability, professional malpractice, admiralty and subrogation claims.

Chattanooga native Michael A. Anderson has joined Patrick, Beard, Schulman & Jacoway PC as a shareholder. He has practiced law for 25 years and has experience in product liability, personal injury, professional negligence, medical malpractice and family law in both litigation and mediation settings. Anderson is a 1985 graduate of the Cumberland School of Law. He is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

Brett Burrell has joined Nashville-based Aegis Sciences Corporation as a compliance officer. He previously served as vice president of compliance for King Pharmaceuticals in Bristol and as a corporate and health care lawyer with London & Amburn in Knoxville. Burrell earned his law degree in 1998 from the University of Memphis School of Law and a master of business administration from the University of Mississippi.

John S. Hicks has been elected to serve on the board of directors of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC. Hicks has practiced with the firm for nearly 20 years and is also the firm’s assistant general counsel and primary ethics counsel. He is the past chair of the Health Law and Medical Professional Litigation groups. Hicks maintains a practice that includes healthcare, business tort, consumer fraud, insurance, commercial and banking litigation. He also handles shareholder and corporate governance disputes and professional liability defense cases.

Three Tennessee lawyers have been selected as 2012 fellows of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity — a national organization of general counsels and managing partners. They are: Vinh Duong, Alonda McCutcheon and Junaid A. Odubeko, all of Nashville. Duong leads Waller’s Corporate Immigration Practice and focuses exclusively on immigration law and related issues. McCutcheon is a member of Bass Berry & Sims PLC, practicing in the areas of labor and employment, and serving on the firm’s Diversity Committee, Law School Hiring Committee and African-American Affinity Group. Odubeko, an associate with Miller & Martin PLLC, focuses his practice in the areas of general litigation, government relations and labor and employment. Prior to joining the firm he served as legal counsel to former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and practiced law at the Memphis law firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC.

Ted Cummins has been named an associate partner in the Memphis office of Wilson & Associates PLLC. He joined the firm in April 2007 after graduating from the New England School of Law in 2005. Cummins also recently was admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Wilson & Associates is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., with offices throughout Arkansas and Tennessee. It focuses on providing services to the real estate default market.

Chattanooga lawyers Richard W. Buhrman and John R. Buhrman, formerly of Buhrman & Associates PC, have announced a new name and address for their firm. The Buhrman Law Firm PC is now located at the Terrace at Frazier Building, 345 Frazier Ave., Suite 210, Chattanooga 37405. The father-and-son team focuses mainly on estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, conservatorships, guardianships, business law, tax law and elder law. The office may reached at (423) 266-5691 or online at www.buhrmanlaw.com.

Lynda F. Jones, principal and managing attorney of The Jones Law Group in Nashville has been named to the board of directors of Morning Star Sanctuary — an organization dedicated to providing programs and services to victims of domestic violence. Jones has been practicing law for more than 21 years. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1989.

Ann Mostoller, founding member of the law firm of Mostoller, Stulberg, Whitfield & Allen in Oak Ridge, recently received recertification as a consumer bankruptcy specialist from the Tennessee Commission on Certification and Specialization and the American Board of Certification. Mostoller has more than 20 years of experience as a Chapter 7 Panel Trustee and more than 25 years’ experience representing debtors.

Memphis attorney Josh Kahane, a partner with Glankler Brown, has published Landlord Tenant Law: Guide and Handbook — a comprehensive legal reference for the practice of landlord and tenant law in Shelby County. The volume provides a history and analysis of applicable law, the text of the updated Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act with interlineated comments, sample form pleadings and pre-drafted notices. Kahane has significant experience in landlord-tenant matters as an advocate for multi-family owners and management companies. Copies of the book are available by contacting the author.

Waller partners Robert Harris and Brent Hill have been elected to the firm’s board of directors. Both will serve two terms of two years each. Harris is the past leader of the firm’s Finance and Restructuring Practice Group. He provides legal counsel on strategic acquisitions, investments and complex financial transactions to businesses and private equity firms in the health care arena. Hill has extensive experience in the health care industry and maintains a practice focused on mergers and acquisitions.

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC recently announced the election of six new shareholders in Tennessee. Four serve in the Memphis office. They are: Adam S. Baldridge, Christopher J. Coats, Richard F. Mattern and Stacie Smith Winkler. Baldridge, a 2004 graduate of Columbia University School of Law, handles intellectual property litigation and represents clients in federal court and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Coats focuses his practice in the areas of estate and gift planning, estate and trust administration, tax law and business law. He earned his law degree in 2004 from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a master of laws in taxation from New York University in 2005. Mattern, a 2004 graduate of Emory University School of Law, maintains a practice focused on corporate governance, securities law, and mergers and acquisitions. Winkler, a 2003 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law, handles business and health care litigation, including breach of contract, malpractice, personal injury, products liability and insurance cases. She recently was elected vice president of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and will serve as president during the 2014-2015 bar year.

In the Nashville office, Stephen F. Wood handles securities, venture capital, tax and corporate transactional matters, with a particular focus on software licensing, information privacy and security, and health information technology. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1991 and taught there as a professor for five years. Prior to attending law school, he founded a software development company and had a successful career in banking and commercial real estate financing.

In the Johnson City office, Chad E. Wallace focuses in the areas of labor and employment and commercial litigation, including premises liability and security cases. He also is a member of the firm’s 24-Hour Motor Carrier Emergency Response Team. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2001.

Memphis attorney George Nassar Jr. has been named to a three-year term on the University of Mississippi Law Alumni Board of Directors. A 1979 graduate of the law school, Nassar now practices with Glankler Brown PLLC, focusing in the areas of estate, tax and wealth planning, probate, mergers and acquisitions and business transactions. He also serves as a special judge on the Shelby County Probate Court.

The Nashville School of Law (NSL) were to honor five lawyers at its 19th annual Recognition Dinner on June 1. Nashville lawyer Aubrey B. Harwell Jr., a member of the NSL board since 1993, received the 2012 Community Service Award. He is a co-founder of Neal & Harwell, where he practices commercial litigation, crisis management and white-collar criminal defense. Ashland City lawyers Bill Stinnett and Bill Wilkinson were named joint honorees of the dinner. The two, who met as students at NSL, have been law partners for 34 years and share a passion for public service. Wilkinson was appointed Ashland City’s first city judge and Stinnett was the town’s first elected judge — a position he still holds today. George A. Dean was named the school’s 2012 distinguished faculty member. Dean has taught land use planning at the school for 25 years. He practices law at Tune Entrekin & White in Nashville. He previously served with Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell & Dean for nearly 30 years. Finally, the dinner paid tribute to the school’s late dean James Gilbert Lackey Jr., naming him the first “Legend of Nashville School of Law.” Lackey led the school for four decades, serving as both dean and instructor from 1946 until 1986. He died in 1987. This year’s dinner was chaired by Charles R. Niewold, a 1984 graduate of the school and an attorney with Underhill, Niewold, Hagar, Underhill & Evans in Nashville.

Justin Paul Jones has joined the Brownsville offices of Spencer Law Firm PLC as an associate. Jones is a 2011 graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law where he received the American Jurisprudence Award in Legal Writing. He will focus his practice on criminal defense and civil litigation.
Tulane University’s Newcomb College Alumnae Association has presented its 2012 Distinguished Alumna Award to Nashville lawyer Marlene Eskind Moses. A graduate of the college, Moses received a degree in psychology in 1972 and a master of social work in 1973. She earned her law degree in 1980 from the Nashville School of Law. Moses is founder and managing partner of the family law firm Moses Townsend & Russ PLLC. She is a longtime member of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (also serving as its president) and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (also serving as its vice president). She previously served as vice president of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association Family Law Section, as president of the Lawyers Association for Women, as a vice president of the Nashville Bar Association, and as chair of the TBA Family Law Section. She also is a regular columnist for the Tennessee Bar Journal.

Frost Brown Todd LLC merged with Nashville law firm MGLAW PLLC as of June 1. MGLAW’s seven attorneys and staff have joined Frost Brown Todd’s 16-member Nashville office at the Pinnacle at Symphony Place. Mekesha Montgomery, member-in-charge of Frost Brown Todd’s Nashville office, said the move brings additional local expertise in the areas of business litigation, bankruptcy and planning to the firm.

Minton P. Mayer has joined the Memphis office of Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PLC as of counsel. He will focus on civil litigation matters, including medical malpractice, long-term health care, personal injury and professional negligence defense. Mayer, a 1996 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law, previously worked with the Adelman Law Firm PLLC; Spicer, Flynn & Rudstrom; and Wolff Ardis PC. Mayer is a member of the Memphis Bar Association ADR Committee and a frequent speaker on issues related to nursing home/assisted living facility malpractice litigation and Tennessee insurance law.


LAIRD FOSTER, 89, died in Concord, Mass., on Jan. 9. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., she served in World War II as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Following the war, she obtained a master’s degree in sociology and moved to Nashville. At the age of 58, she graduated from the Nashville YMCA Night Law School and spent 15 years practicing law – primarily helping Nashville’s poor access social security benefits. In the early 1960s, Foster participated in the sit-ins at the segregated lunch counters in downtown Nashville. She moved to Massachusetts in 2006 to be closer to her children and grandchildren. Donations may be made in her name to Brookmeade Congregational Church, 700 Bresslyn Rd., Nashville 37205, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Knoxville lawyer JAY ARTHUR GARRISON died April 24 at the age of 63. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1975 and practiced law for 35 years with the firms of Cheek, Taylor & Groover; Kennerly, Montgomery & Finley; and Holifield & Associates. Over the years, he focused his practice primarily in estate planning, elder law and probate proceedings. He was active in the United Methodist church, serving as a chancellor of the Holston Conference and a member of the Judicial Council. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Fountain City United Methodist Church, 212 Hotel Ave., Knoxville 37918; or the Garrison Family Endowed Band Scholarship, 120 Perkins Hall, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996.

Retired General Sessions Court Judge STARLAN RICHARD HOLCOMB JR. died April 22 at the age of 76. A native of Chattanooga, Holcomb earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1962. After graduation, he returned to Chattanooga to practice law. He began a long career of public service with his election to the Tennessee General Assembly in 1966, serving three terms, including one term as chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Also for one year, he served as judge for the city of East Ridge. After voluntarily leaving the legislature, Holcomb was elected to the State Election Commission, where he served from 1973 to 1982. He was elected General Sessions judge in 1982 and served there for 24 years until retiring. During that time, he also sat on the Court of the Judiciary for eight years. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

NANCY KAY KENLEY, 54, of Memphis died April 26 after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1990 and worked as senior counsel for legal regulatory affairs at Federal Express. Prior to that, she was a sixth-grade teacher and volleyball coach at Memphis Harding Academy. Memorial donations may be made to the Nancy K. Kenley Hope Fund, Independent Bank, 5050 Poplar Ave., Suite 112, Memphis 38157.

About People

Compiled by Linda Murphy and Stacey Shrader. TBA members may send information about job changes, awards and work-related news. Send it to PEOPLE, c/o The Journal at 221 Fourth Ave. N., Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219-2198, or email to lmurphy@tnbar.org. Submissions are subject to editing. Pictures are used on a space-available basis and cannot be returned. Electronic photos must be saved as a tiff or jpeg, minimum resolution 200 dpi, and at least 1"x1.5" or they will not be used.