TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Tba People on Mar 1, 2014

Journal Issue Date: Mar 2014

Journal Name: March 2014 - Vol. 50, No. 3

Davidson County General Sessions Judge Daniel B. Eisenstein recently was honored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at its inaugural Tennessee Vision of Hope Gala. Eisenstein was recognized for 10 years of service as judge of the county’s Mental Health Court with NAMI’s Vision of Hope Award. Eisenstein has presided over the court since 2004 as part of his duties as General Sessions judge. He recently announced he will retire Sept. 1.

At the Knoxville Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in December, Wade V. Davies assumed the presidency and new officers were named. TBA members among them are President-Elect Tasha C. Blakney, Secretary Amanda M. Busby and Treasurer Wayne R. Kramer. New board members elected were Wynne Caffey Knight and Sharon Dawn Coppock. Also at the meeting, James P. Moneyhun Jr. took over as president of the Knoxville Barristers, the association’s young lawyer group. The association presented the Governor’s Award, the group’s highest award, to John T. O’Connor II.

The Knoxville law firm of Kramer Rayson has acquired The Shields Law Firm, including Shields lawyers Leslie Shields and Nate McMurry. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Shields now represents taxpayers and return preparers in civil and criminal controversies. McMurry graduated from the Charleston School of Law in 2012. He previously clerked for the Charleston Family Court and Charleston Probate Court and now focuses his practice on tax controversies and estate planning. The firm also announced that it has hired Camille H. Sanders as an associate. She earned her law degree from UT in 2013, completing two clerkships with the firm while in school.

At the Memphis Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in December, Kirk Caraway took office as president, while Tommy Parker assumed the post of vice president and Shea Wellford was named secretary/treasurer. New board members also were announced. TBA members among them are: Betsy Chance, Asia Diggs, Maureen Holland, Carrie Kerley and Andre Mathis. Allen Malone was awarded the W. J. Michael Cody Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award and Stacie Winkler was presented the Sam A. Myar Jr. Memorial Award.

Charles K. Grant took office as president of the Nashville Bar Association during the group’s annual meeting in December. He is the first African American to serve in the role. Other officers elected were President-elect Edward D. Lanquist Jr.; First Vice President C. Dewey Branstetter Jr.; Second Vice President John C. McLemore; and Secretary Stacey Billingsley Cason. New board members named included Circuit Court Judge Joe P. Binkley Jr., Irwin Kuhn, Claudia Levy, Sara Reynolds, Nathan Ridley and Bernadette Welch.

The association also presented its annual awards. TBA members who were recognized include Byron Trauger, who was honored with the John C. Tune Public Service Award; Stephen A. Cobb, who received the Joseph G. Cummings Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award; and Bart Pickett, who received the Nashville Bar Journal’s Contributor of the Year Award. In addition, outgoing President Thomas J. Sherrard III presented the 2013 President’s Award to outgoing YLD President Robb Bigelow and Federal Court Committee Chair Ken Bryant. Finally, the law firm of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford was given the association’s Pro Bono Leadership Award.

The Putnam County Bar Association recently elected the following officers for 2014: President Shawn Fry, Vice President Jason F. Hicks, Secretary Kelsy Austin Miller, Treasurer Dale Bohannon and Immediate Past President Rachel Moses. All practice law in Cookeville.

Janet Mynatt is the new managing attorney of the Legal Aid Society’s Oak Ridge office. She replaces Neil McBride, who retired in December after 35 years of service. Mynatt has served at Legal Aid since 2001 and has been active in the medical and benefits community, editing Legal Aid’s Sixth Circuit Social Security Manual, helping form a medical-legal partnership at a rural health center in Jellico and serving as chair the TBA’s Disability Law Section. She earned her law degree in 1993 from the University of Virginia.

Registered patent attorney Paul Ney has been named a shareholder at the intellectual property law firm Waddey Patterson. Ney previously was of counsel at the Nashville firm. Before joining the firm, Ney served as director of the Nashville Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development and as acting general counsel for the U.S. Navy. Ney is a 1984 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School. He currently serves as TBA general counsel.

Memphis lawyer Kelly Rayne has left her post as Shelby County Attorney to join the Greater Memphis Chamber as vice president of public policy. Before joining the county attorney’s office in 2010, Rayne served as legislative adviser and special counsel to former Shelby County mayors Jim Rout and A. C. Wharton Jr. Rayne began her legal career in the public defender’s office in 1994. She earned her law degree from the Mississippi School of Law in 1994.

The Chattanooga law firm of Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams has elevated three of its associates to shareholder status. They are Anna-Marie Davenport, who handles commercial litigation and real estate matters; Leslie Townsend Foster, who handles medical malpractice professional liability and insurance defense; and Drew H. Reynolds, who handles medical malpractice and insurance defense. In addition, the firm has hired John B. Curtis Jr. to serve as of counsel with a focus on nursing home litigation and medical malpractice defense, and new associate Joseph Alan Jackson II. Jackson earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and previously worked as a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson in the Northern District of Georgia.

The Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals honored 23rd Judicial District Assistant Public Defender Richard Taylor Jr. with the Christy Vernon Spirit Award at its annual conference in Murfreesboro. Taylor, who works in Ashland City, has served the group as president, vice president, secretary and board member.

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently named new members to a variety of commissions and boards. TBA members among those appointed include: Franklin lawyer Virginia Story was appointed to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. She replaces Edward Silva, also of Franklin. Glenna Ramer of Chattanooga also completed her term.
Memphis attorney Rhynette Hurd and Greeneville attorney Jeffrey Ward were appointed to the Board of Law Examiners. They replace Jimmie Carpenter Miller of Kingsport and Memphis lawyer Ricky Wilkins.

Chattanooga lawyer Cynthia Hall was appointed to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. She replaces Thomas Clifton Greenholtz of Chattanooga. Manchester lawyer John Stanley Rogers also completed his term. The court named Ed Lancaster of Columbia as chair of the commission.

Memphis lawyer Odell Horton was appointed to the Board of Professional Responsibility. He replaces Clarence Halmon of Memphis. The court also named Columbia lawyer Russell Parkes as chair and Huntingdon lawyer Michael King as vice chair of the board.

Jonathan Guthrie of Chattanooga was appointed to the Tennessee Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection. He replaces Kingsport lawyer Katherine Wilson Singleton. Huntingdon lawyer Laura Keeton also completed her term. In addition, the court named officers for the fund, including Nashville Public Defender Dawn Deaner as chair and Kim Helper, district attorney general in Franklin, as secretary/treasurer.

Nashville attorney Gail Vaughn Ashworth was appointed to the Tennessee Access to Justice Commission. She replaces former Tennessee Solicitor Bill Young, who stepped down from the commission when he took over as director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Tennessee Sen. Douglas Overbey was appointed to the Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure. He replaces Chancellor Douglas Jenkins of Rogersville. In addition, six members have been reappointed. They include Suzanne Cook of Johnson City; Brentwood lawyer John Day; Charles Grant of Nashville; Ronald Krelstein of Germantown; and David Wade of Memphis. The court reappointed Nashville lawyer James Doran as chair of the commission.

The Nashville entertainment law firm of Ansel L. Davis & Associates has become Davis Dirickson PLLC after firm attorney Landon Dirickson was named partner. Dirickson, a native of Tulsa and a graduate of the University of Tulsa Law School, has been with the firm since 2005. He will continue to represent existing clients and handle business development. The firm focuses on negotiating agreements for artists, producers, songwriters and executives. Its address and phone number will remain the same.

Cameron Hoffmeyer has joined the Lawrenceburg law firm of Boston, Holt, Sockwell & Durham where he will practice general litigation. A Loretto native, Hoffmeyer earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2013.

Nashville lawyer Darlene T. Marsh has joined the firm of Dickinson Wright as a member. She will focus on commercial real estate with an emphasis on finance and environmental compliance. Marsh earned her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1988. She previously worked at Burr & Forman.

The Chattanooga law firm of Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison recently announced that Cody M. Roebuck joined the firm as an associate. Roebuck earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2013. He will focus in the areas of litigation, dispute resolution and employment law.

Andrea Barach has joined the Nashville office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz as a shareholder and a member of the Business Department. She previously was with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings. Barach will handle a range of business transactions including acquisitions, dispositions and financing for the health care and real estate industries. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1983.

Tyler D. Smith has been named a member in the Knoxville office of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan. He has worked there since 2005, practicing in the areas of civil litigation, liability, workers’ compensation and subrogation. He earned his law degree at the University of Memphis School of Law. Prior to joining the firm, he was a judicial extern for Judge Bernice B. Donald during her tenure on the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Tennessee.

Nashville lawyer Carolyn Schott has joined Sherrard & Roe as a member. She previously was a shareholder at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, where she worked for 11 years. Schott earned her law degree and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Kansas. She also holds a master’s degree in taxation from Grand Valley State University. Schott practices in the areas of taxation and estate planning.

The Nashville law firm of Cornelius & Collins has named Pele I. Godkin and Jason K. Murrie as partners in the firm. Godkin, a graduate of the Seattle University School of Law, handles civil litigation with an emphasis on workers’ compensation law. She also is certified as a civil mediator. Murrie handles general civil litigation, including personal injury, employment and commercial disputes. He earned his law degree from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.

Knoxville-based Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop and Memphis-based Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell merged in January to form Lewis Thomason. The new firm has 91 attorneys in four offices: Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville and Sevierville. Lisa Ramsay Cole was named Lewis Thomason’s president and managing shareholder of the Nashville office. She held the same position for Lewis King. Michael E. Keeney was named managing shareholder of the Memphis office. He previously was managing partner at Thomason, Hendrix.

The Knoxville office of Woolf McClane welcomes Malia Kim and Ashley Morgan as new associates. Kim will focus her practice on civil and commercial litigation. She previously served as an extern in the Knoxville district attorney’s office. Morgan will focus on taxation, estate planning and corporate law. She also is pursuing a master of laws in taxation from the University of Alabama School of Law. Both graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2013.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings has elevated two Nashville attorneys to partner status: Joel D. Eckert and Edmund S. Sauer. Eckert is a member of the firm’s litigation group, where he handles commercial, construction and land use disputes. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2006. Sauer is a member of appellate group, where he handles appeals for a range of legal issues including torts, contracts, bankruptcy, fraud, antitrust, intellectual property and constitutional issues. He holds a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law (2004) and a master’s degree from Queen’s University.

The Law Offices of John Day has named Laura Baker a shareholder in the firm. Baker focuses her practice on personal injury, wrongful death and domestic relations matters. She joined the Brentwood firm in 2006 after earning her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Baker is president-elect of the Lawyers’ Association for Women, Marion Griffin Chapter. She also is a 2013 graduate of the TBA Leadership Law program.

The Memphis law firm of McNabb, Bragorgos & Burgess has hired Andrew J. Droke as a new associate. He graduated from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2013. During law school, he was a member of the Editorial Board of the University of Memphis Law Review and worked as a legal extern for Judge Bernice B. Donald on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The Nashville law firm of Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella has elevated Tracy Dry Kane to shareholder status and has hired Elizabeth Sitgreaves as a new associate. Kane joined the firm in 2010 after serving a two-year clerkship with Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dinkins. Her practice focuses on helping businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs develop, operate and grow. She earned her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2008. Sitgreaves will focus her practice on litigation, municipal law and general business matters. She previously served for four years as clerk to Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Frank G. Clement Jr., and has clerked in the state attorney general’s office. Sitgreaves graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

The Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus has appointed Nashville lawyer Thomas W. Lawless to the state Registry of Election Finance. A former chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party, Lawless was a founding member of the Nashville Chapter of the Federalist Society and served as its first president. He is chair of Tennessee’s Judicial Nominating Commission. In his new role, he will oversee enforcement of campaign finance laws. He graduated from the Nashville School of Law in 1981 and operates the law firm of Lawless & Associates.


Memphis attorney LYMAN CHRISTIAN “CHRIS” HARRELL III died Jan. 14 at the age of 76. Harrell, a prominent real estate lawyer, graduated from Washington & Lee School of Law in 1961. He served in the U.S. Navy before entering the private practice of law, first in Virginia and then in Tennessee. At the time of his death, Harrell was a Tennessee Bar Association senior counselor.

Retired Knox County Chancellor FREDERICK D. MCDONALD died Jan. 25 at the age of 85. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, McDonald served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the Pentagon and later in the 3rd Infantry Division in Korea. He moved to Knoxville in 1968 to practice law and was first appointed to the Knox County Chancery Court in 1973 by former Gov. Winfield Dunn. During his 25-year tenure, McDonald presided over several high profile cases and served as president of the Tennessee State Judicial Conference.

Compiled by Linda Murphy and Stacey Shrader Joslin 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. For information on paid Professional Announcements, contact Debbie Taylor at 800-647-1511.