TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Sep 27, 2018

Journal Issue Date: Oct 2018

Journal Name: Vol 54 No. 10

Former Tennessee Bar Association president and Nashville lawyer John R. Tarpley gave testimony in September in the confirmation hearing of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Speaking on behalf of the American Bar Association, Tarpley explained how the judge earned a unanimous “well-qualified rating.” Tarpley is the lead evaluator on the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

Spicer Rudstrom PLLC has announced Clint J. Woodfin has been elected to serve as managing partner. He succeeds Marc O. Dedman, who served as managing partner since 2013. Woodfin joined Spicer in 1999 and acts as the managing member of the Knoxville office, a member on the firm’s board of directors, and chair of the Trucking and Transportation practice group. He is a 1993 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. His areas of practice include alternative dispute resolution, automobile liability, business and commercial litigation, employment practices litigation, insurance, premises liability, products liability, real estate and construction litigation and workers’ compensation.

The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has named Charles K. Grant as its new board president. Grant succeeds Bob Martineau Jr., who served as president since 2016. Grant, a Nashville litigator with Baker Donelson, was first vice president of the Legal Aid board. His term as president lasts through 2020. A graduate of The Citadel and Washington & Lee School of Law, Grant is a member of Baker Donelson’s board of directors. His practice focuses on complex employment litigation, including FLSA collective actions, general business litigation and representation of licensed professionals before licensing boards.

Jessica Van Dyke, with Parker, Lawrence, Cantrell & Smith, has been honored with the 2018 Robert W. Ritchie Award from the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. First awarded in 1992, the recognition is given for outstanding services to TACDL. The association provides education, training and support to criminal defense attorneys, in addition to advocating for fair and effective criminal justice in the courts and government.

Amanda Fisher Jowers has joined Charles Anthony Maness to form the Union City law firm of Maness & Jowers PLC, formerly known as the Law Office of Charles Anthony Maness. The firm practices primarily in insurance defense and civil litigation.

Arnett Draper & Hagood LLP has announced that Devin P. Lyon has joined the firm as an associate attorney. He will focus his practice on health care liability and civil litigation defense. Lyon previously worked as an attorney in the City of Knoxville Law Department. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. While in law school, Lyon earned his MBA simultaneously from the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business.

Knoxville attorneys Jason Fisher and Adam Russell recently announced the opening of their new firm, Fisher Russell PLLC. The firm will focus on litigation, business advising and estate planning. Based on an experienced and diverse practice history, the firm handles numerous complex matters including wrongful termination, partnership disputes and wrongful death claims. Prior to forming Fisher Russell PLLC, both Fisher and Russell worked at Kramer Rayson LLP in Knoxville.

Jennifer Wilson-Harvey recently announced the formation of Wilson + Miller PLLC, an estate and elder law firm that will ultimately provide services nationwide in a retail environment. The business support operations will be headquartered in Little Rock and will, over time, utilize the six office locations of Wilson & Associates (W&A) in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi, as well as other locations. Wilson-Harvey has been involved in the real estate and mortgage banking industries through W&A and other related companies for 25 years and has been the managing partner and majority shareholder of W&A since 2012.

L. Gino Marchetti Jr., managing partner at Taylor, Pigue, Marchetti and Blair PLLC (tpmbLaw), has been installed as the 2018-2019 president of the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE). Marchetti was installed during the NFJE Fourteenth Annual Judicial Symposium, held on July 20-21at the Loews Chicago Hotel. Marchetti has been a partner at tpmbLaw since 1977, with primary areas of practice in commercial and business litigation, employment law, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, and tax-exempt entities. The NFJE was founded in 2004 and provides appellate judges with educational programs and other tools to enhance the rule of law and the administration of justice.

Priority Ambulance announced that it has hired Tony Dalton as general counsel to head the company’s in-house legal department in its corporate headquarters in Knoxville. Dalton has more than 27 years of legal experience, including significant experience in the emergency medical services industry. Dalton will advise senior management on company strategies and implementation and lead these corporate initiatives. As a partner in the law firm Woolf McClane Bright Allen & Carpenter PLLC, Dalton has served as outside counsel for Priority Ambulance for several years. Dalton has advised the company on a variety of legal issues during its recent growth.

The American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section honored John R. Tarpley with its James K. Carroll Leadership Award, which recognizes an attorney or judge who has demonstrated leadership qualities in service to the section. Tarpley is a shareholder in Lewis Thomason’s Nashville office and has been involved in complex litigation in the areas of tort, transportation, product liability, professional liability, commercial law, casualty defense and a wide range of insurance-related matters in both state and federal courts. Certified as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 mediator, he is regularly hired to mediate civil matters. He is a former president of the Tennessee Bar Association.

Landry Butler has left the Tennessee Bar Association after 14 years as publications and advertising coordinator. In addition to interfacing with the magazine’s contracted advertising sales company, Butler was responsible for graphic design and related duties for TBA publications, including the Tennessee Bar Journal (168 issues!). He is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University. Former TBA?employee Stacey Shrader Joslin will take over the advertising portion of the job, in addition to helping with various editorial responsibilities. Joslin was the TBA’s media relations and YLD?director from 2004 to 2015. Abigail A. Phillips leaves the TBA after nearly two years as CLE?coordinator.

Tennessee Bar Journal editor Suzanne Craig Robertson has been elected to serve on the governing council for the National Association of Bar Executives’ Communications Section.


WALTER CARROLL DRAKE of Cookeville died Aug. 1 at the age of 89. Drake received his law degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1957. He practiced law for several years in Jackson before being named a U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee. He was elected as city judge in Jackson and served for 17 years. In 1996, he moved back home to Cookeville and practiced law alongside his daughter until his retirement in 2003. Memorial contributions may be made to Happy Haven Children's Home, 2311 Wakefield Drive, Cookeville 38501, or West Tennessee Children's Home, 170 Frank Lathem Rd, Pinson, TN 38366.

HOWELL PEOPLES, who served as Hamilton County chancellor for 32 years, died Aug. 10. He was 75. Reared in Clinton, Peoples graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1966 before serving in the U.S. Army. Following his service, he became a senior staff attorney at the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic, supervising law students and providing legal services to indigent clients. In 1972, he became executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Chattanooga. He was appointed chancellor of Chancery Court Part II in 1978, where he served for 32 years. He was inducted into the Pro Bono Hall of Fame in 2016.