TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Tba People on Nov 1, 2012

Journal Issue Date: Nov 2012

Journal Name: November 2012 - Vol. 48, No. 11

Kevin Balkwill, disciplinary counsel in the Litigation Division of the Board of Professional Responsibility, is the new president of the Tennessee CASA Association. He replaces Meagan Frazier Grosvenor, who served in the position for two years. She will continue to serve as immediate past president.

The Adelman Law Firm of Memphis has announced it will merge with Wilkins Tipton PA, based in Jackson, Miss., effective Jan. 1, 2013. The Adelman firm was founded by Rebecca Adelman in 2001. It has focused on insurance defense, business litigation, professional liability services for the health care industry, risk reduction/risk management strategies, and crisis communications. The merger will allow the new firm to expand offices in Memphis and Nashville as well as in Jackson and Greenville, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Charlotte, N.C. The firm also has long-term plans to expand to Arkansas.

Evans Petree PC is pleased to announce that Ashby R. Scott has been named a shareholder of the firm, where she works in the real property practice group. Her practice is primarily focused in commercial real estate.

Julie Bhattacharya Peak, founder of the Law Offices of Julie Bhattacharya Peak, has been named resident attorney for Liberty Mutual Insurance Group Inc. As such, she will handle complex litigation on behalf of the company’s insureds and customers of its affiliated groups throughout Tennessee. She also will manage field legal operations in Tennessee. Prior to establishing her own firm, Peak was a partner at Ortale, Kelley, Herbert and Crawford in Nashville. She graduated from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2000. She is a member of the Staff Counsel Subcommittee of the TBA’s Tort and Insurance Practice Section and a 2004 graduate of the TBA’s Leadership Law program.

Memphis law firm Domico Kyle PLLC recently welcomed two new attorneys to the firm. They are R. H. “Chip” Chockley and Terrell L. Tooten. Chockley, a 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, will focus his practice on domestic and civil litigation matters, including medical malpractice and personal injury. Tooten, a 2009 graduate of Liberty University School of Law, will focus his practice on civil litigation matters, including personal injury and workers’ compensation, as well as criminal defense and domestic matters.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has named Lisa Perlen as the new administrator of the Board of Law Examiners. Perlen has been with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for 18 years, serving as chief deputy clerk. During her career, she has served on several national court committees to determine best practices for the federal court system.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee has inducted four new members into its Pro Bono Hall of Fame. The attorneys were chosen based on their commitment to pro bono, access to justice and the Legal Aid mission. This year’s honorees are Richard D. Crotteau with Miller & Martin; Sam Elliott with Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon; Joseph C. Simpson with Husch Blackwell; and Glenn C. Stophel with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel.

Jeffrey W. Melcher has joined the law firm of Gordon &  Rees LLP as a partner in the firm’s  Atlanta office. A native of  Augusta, Ga., Melcher has more than 20 years of litigation experience representing clients in matters regarding trucking and transportation, general liability, employment, commercial litigation, real estate, professional negligence, premises and casualty, insurance, appellate, and domestic litigation. He earned his law degree from Wake Forest University. He is admitted to practice in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Mark Chalos, a partner in the Nashville office of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, has co-authored the book Litigating International Torts in U.S. Courts, published by Thomson Reuters West. The book is a practical resource for lawyers and judges handling civil litigation involving international parties. It also provides roadmaps from both the plaintiff and defense perspectives for addressing issues that arise in such cases, along with a substantial number of litigation forms.

Dickinson Wright PLLC recently announced that Keith C. Dennen joined its Nashville office as a member. Dennen will continue to focus his practice in the areas of health care law, intellectual property law, estate and probate, employment law, corporate and transactional law and litigation. He earned his law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 1987.

J. Allen Roberts has joined the Nashville office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC as a shareholder. He will continue to focus his practice in general business law, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and debt offerings. A frequent lecturer on mergers and acquisitions and corporate issues, Roberts is a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law.

The Tennessee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) has named U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee Aleta Arthur Trauger as its 2012 Trial Judge of the Year. ABOTA is a national association dedicated to preserving the constitutional guarantee of a civil jury trial. Judge Trauger has served on the U. S. District Court in Nashville since 1998.

Two firms with Tennessee ties are expanding in Florida. Adams and Reese has opened a new office in Tallahassee, increasing its size to more than 50 attorneys in Florida, and more than 300 attorneys and advisors firm wide. In addition to offices in four other states and Washington, DC, Adams and Reese is also in Memphis and Nashville. Meanwhile, Burr & Forman LLP will combine with Tampa law firm Williams Schifino Mangione & Steady PA, marking the firm’s entrance into the Tampa market. With the addition of 23 attorneys from Williams Schifino, Burr & Forman now has  277 lawyers in nine offices in five Southeastern states, including Nashville.

Wanda Young Wilson, executive vice president and general counsel of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, has been named the recipient of the first annual “Individual Star Diversity Award of Excellence” by the Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC). The counsel is the nation’s premier organization for women attorneys of color who serve in corporate capacities with large companies, government entities and nonprofit organizations. The award recognizes and honors outstanding individuals who “make a tremendous impact in promoting diversity in the legal profession, on their jobs and/or in the communities they serve and support.” At the lottery, Wilson has led development and implementation of diversity initiatives in the areas of employment outreach and recruitment, procurement, internal advancement and summer internships.

Memphis lawyer Larry Pivnick has published a revised 2012 edition of Pivnick, General Sessions Court Practice: Bringing and Defending Civil Lawsuits. The book is available for purchase directly from the author at 5169 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38117. Pivnick is emeritus professor of law at the University of Memphis School of Law.

Knoxville lawyer Robert A. Crawford was presented with an Exceptional Performance Citation by the Defense Research Institute at its recent meeting in Nashville. He was honored for having supported and improved the standards and education of the defense bar, and for having contributed to the improvement of the administration of justice in the public interest. Crawford is an attorney with Kramer Rayson LLP.

Nashville lawyer Tracy L. Childress has joined the firm of Reno & Cavanaugh PLLC as an associate. She earned her law degree in 2012 from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

James H. Drescher has established a new office in the Cool Springs area of Brentwood. Drescher, a retired Marine Corps judge advocate, is a family law practitioner and a Rule 31 Family Law Mediator. He earned his law degree in 1982 from the University of Missouri School of Law.

Heather G. Anderson has joined the newly named Knoxville law firm of Reeves, Herbert & Anderson PA. She will continue to practice in the areas of real estate, employment law, construction, entertainment law and commercial litigation.  Prior to joining the firm, she was with Howard & Howard PC. She received her law degree from the University of Memphis in 1998.


Former Lewisburg city attorney and judge ROBERT O. “BOB” BINKLEY died Sept. 9 at his home. He was 80. Binkley graduated from Vanderbilt University and the YMCA Law School (now known as the Nashville School of Law) before moving to Lewisburg to practice law. He first joined with Knox Bigham to form Bigham & Binkley, which later changed to Bigham, Binkley and Jones. In 1973, Binkley launched a solo practice and continued as a sole practioner until his death. In 1976, he was appointed Marshall County General Sessions and Juvenile Judge – a position he held for two years. He also served as attorney for the City of Lewisburg from 1978 until 1999, as city attorney for the Town of Chapel Hill and Town of Cornersville, as ounsel for the Marshall County Industrial Development Board, and as president of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce. Contributions in his honor may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society or Boy Scouts of America.

Chattanooga lawyer PAUL CAMPBELL JR. died Oct. 5. He was 96. A graduate of George Washington University Law School, Mr. Campbell was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1940, was a special agent for the FBI and also served in the United States Navy Reserve. He joined his father in law practice in 1951 in the firm the elder Mr. Campbell founded in 1908, which continues today as Campbell & Campbell. He was the father of former Tennessee Bar Association President Paul Campbell III. Memorials may be made to any charity, but the family notes its collective appreciation for hospice services as well as to First Centenary United Methodist Church in Chattanooga.

Longtime Nashville lawyer MARK A. ELLMORE JR. died Sept. 21 at the age of 54. A native of Covington, Ind., Ellmore attended David Lipscomb University and Pepperdine University School of Law (1985). He returned to Nashville and operated his own law practice in the city for more than 25 years. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105; the Lawrence Gardner Benevolent Fund at Highland Heights Church of Christ, 785 South Lowry St., Smyrna, TN 37167; or the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief, 410 Allied Dr., Nashville, TN 37211.

Nashville lawyer ROBERT PECK ZIEGLER died Sept. 17 at the age of 77. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp who served in the Korean conflict, Ziegler returned to the states after his tour of duty to attend Vanderbilt University Law School. Following graduation, he practiced law in Nashville and was associated with the law firm of Loewenstein Ziegler & Buffaloe. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to the Belmont United Methodist Church Benevolent Fund, 2007 Acklen Avenue / P.O. Box 120098, Nashville, TN 37212 or the Nashville Humane Society, 213 Oceola Ave., Nashville, TN 37209.

Compiled by Linda Murphy and Stacey Shrader. Tennessee Bar Association 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 (with no compression), minimum resolution 200 dpi, and at least 1"x1.5" or they will not be used.