TBA Law Blog

Posted by: TBA News on Jul 1, 2017

Journal Issue Date: Jul 2017

Journal Name: July 2017 - Vol. 53, No. 7

The Tennessee Bar Association has named Nashville lawyer Joycelyn Stevenson as its new executive director. Stevenson fills the position held by Allan F. Ramsaur for 19 years. He continues as the TBA’s executive director emeritus. (Look for a more in-depth story about each of them in an upcoming issue of the Journal.)

A shareholder with Littler Mendelson PC with a practice focused on labor and employment law, Stevenson has been a leader in the Tennessee legal community, serving as president of both the Nashville Bar Association and the Lawyers’ Association for Women - Marion Griffin Chapter. She is the first African-American woman to lead both organizations and will be the first African-American woman to direct the TBA.

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has announced the addition of Tiffany Tant-Shafer. Before joining LAS, Tant-Shafer opened her own firm and worked as an independent attorney advocating for children as a court-appointed guardian ad litem. She will focus on family, health and benefits and juvenile law in the Legal Aid Society’s Tullahoma office.

The Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) has hired Kinika Young as director of children’s health. The newly created position was made possible after the organization was awarded a $200,000 grant from the prestigious David & Lucile Packard Foundation for its “Insuring America’s Children Reaching the Finish Line Project.” Young will lead TJC’s efforts to protect and improve public health insurance programs that serve more than 600,000 Tennessee children.

Franklin attorney Keith Jordan has been appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to fill the balance of an unexpired term as a commissioner with the Tennessee Public Utility Commission (TPUC). He will serve on the TPUC until June 30, 2018. Jordan, a former state senator, comes to the TPUC with 41 years of legal experience as a litigator. A Vanderbilt Law graduate, he was also a member of the Tennessee Bicentennial Commission and has prior executive state service as a former executive director of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Planning Agency.

F. Dulin Kelly, of the Kelly Law Firm in Hendersonville, was installed as national president of the American Board of Trial Advocates at the organization’s National Board Meeting at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. ABOTA is an invitation-only national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to civil jury trials. Kelly is the first person from Tennessee to serve as president of the organization.

The Chattanooga law firm Cavett and Abbott announced that as of May 1, the firm was renamed Cavett, Abbott and Weiss PLLC, to include Joshua P. Weiss as a named partner. Weiss joined as a partner to expand the firm’s criminal defense and civil litigation practices in Tennessee and Georgia, in both state and federal courts. Weiss joined the firm as of counsel in 2013. In addition to his criminal defense practice, he supported and grew the firm’s real estate and construction litigation practice significantly. The firm’s new website is https://www.cawpllc.com.

Paige I. Bernick has joined the law firm of Cornelius and Collins LLP as an associate. Bernick will practice in the area of civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor in the Office of the Solicitor, and clerked for the Hon. Arnold Goldin in Memphis. She received her law degree from University of Tennessee College of Law, where she was an active member of the National Mock Trial Team, Moot Court Board and Advocacy Clinic.

Staff attorney with Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) Zachary W. Arnold will participate in the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Legal Services Corporation Grantee Lawyers (LSCO) Program. He is among 32 legal services attorneys from across the country who will attend this training. Arnold serves clients from LAET’s Maryville office, focusing on family, consumer and housing law. He is a 2015 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Baker Donelson has elected new shareholders. TBA?members among them are Kacie McRee of the firm’s Knoxville office, Julia M. Kavanagh and Matthew S. Mulqueen of the Memphis office, and three attorneys in its Nashville office: Caldwell Collins, Joy Boyd Longnecker and Joshua Mullen.

McRee, a member of the firm’s Corporate Finance and Securities Group, has a broad range of corporate experience, including representing clients in formations, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance disputes, partnership formations and corporate dissolutions.

Kavanagh is a member of the Health Care Litigation Group and regularly represents hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health care providers in professional negligence lawsuits in federal and state court. Mulqueen, a member of the firm’s Financial Services Litigation Group, represents financial institutions, health care providers, businesses, public entities and individuals in various matters involving contract disputes, commercial torts, employment disputes, securities claims, antitrust actions, fraud actions and lender liability issues. Collins is a member of the Advocacy Department and concentrates her practice on health care litigation, products liability litigation and business litigation. Longnecker, a member of the Government Enforcement and Investigations Group, concentrates her practice on government enforcement, internal investigations and commercial litigation. Mullen is a member of the Advocacy Department and Business Litigation Group where he focuses his practice on government contracts and complex commercial and business litigation.

The Nashville Bar Association honored members of the legal community who have made an impact at its annual Law Day Luncheon on May 5. Metro Public Defender Dawn Deaner received the Jack Norman Sr. Award, given to an attorney who demonstrates respect for the rights of all individuals in the criminal justice system. Deaner was the first woman to receive the honor.

The Liberty Bell Award, which honors someone who has encouraged greater respect for law and contributes to good government, was presented to recently retired U.S. District Court Judge Todd Campbell.

Jon T. Graves has joined Batson Nolan, of Clarksville, as an associate in the real estate practice area. Graves graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2009 and earned his juris doctor from the Nashville School of Law in 2015.

Attorney Tommy Santel, of Parkerson Santel PLLC in Murfreesboro, has been listed as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator. Santel has a background litigating cases involving insurance defense, personal injury, civil rights claims, governmental tort liability claims, real estate and property disputes, contractual disputes, and claims involving municipalities. He is a 2004 graduate of the Nashville School of Law.

The Other Guy May Be Right: The Civility of Howard Baker Jr., is now available from TBA Press. By Memphis lawyer and former TBA President William H. Haltom Jr., this second edition is hardback and completely redesigned. Order from Amazon or at tba.org/categories/books-and-cle-materials. All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Tennessee Legal Community Foundation.

Chattanooga Law firm Grant, Konvalinka and Harrison PC has added two new associates to its practice: Hollie Floberg and Patrick Morrison. Floberg is a native of Riceville and a 2016 graduate of Washington and Lee University, cum laude, where she was the recipient of the W.H. Steward Tax Law Award for excellence in the study of taxation. Floberg’s practice areas are business and corporate law, financial and estate planning, financial services and transactions, litigation and dispute resolution, and taxation.

Morrison, a Chattanooga native, received his law degree with a concentration in advocacy from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2016. In law school, he served as a member of UT Pro Bono; the Student Bar Association, Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law;  and UT Law Ambassadors. He also served as the school’s photographer and videographer.

Nashville attorney Franklin Graves has been recognized with an “Award for Outstanding Leadership Contribution” from the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law at the 32nd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference in Washington, D.C. He also received the award in 2014 for his work with the section as a law student.

Brad Morgan has been selected to lead the Bettye B. Lewis Career Center in the University of Tennessee College of Law. Morgan, who earned his JD and MBA degrees at the University of Tennessee, served as the center’s interim director since May 2016. He joined the College of Law in 2010 as the mentoring and access to justice coordinator. In that role he worked to design and develop the college’s mentoring program and oversaw UT Pro Bono. He worked with legal service providers to grow the program that, under his leadership, saw a 40-percent increase of student body participation.

Heritage Law Group PLLC, has added attorney Chris Johnson to its team. He brings years of legal and military experience and is dedicated to helping veterans and their families. A Michigan native and Naval Academy graduate, after completing his first tour of duty serving as a platoon commander, company executive officer and company commander, with two deployments, he was one of eight selected for the Marine Corps Law Education Program. Johnson also served as the deputy chief advisor for the Afghan National Army/Ministry of Defense Legal Advisor Team for one year at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan. He retired from the Marine Corps as a major and relocated to Nashville.

Joseph C. Johnsen has joined the firm of Smith & Tomkins in Nashville. He is a 2006 graduate of Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, and is admitted to practice in all state courts in Tennessee and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Johnsen will concentrate his practice in the area of premises liability defense, automobile liability defense, products liability defense and construction defect defense.

Wil Hammond has joined the Tennessee Bar Association as a new sections and committees coordinator. He will work with a number of the TBA’s 32 sections and 16 committees, facilitating meetings, assisting with newsletters, and ensuring they operate smoothly. Prior to joining the TBA staff, he served as communications director for the Tennessee AFL-CIO, a grant manager in the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and on a number of state and local political campaigns. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in political communications.

Compiled by Linda Murphy and Katharine Heriges.

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