TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Journal News on Aug 28, 2019

Journal Issue Date: Sep 2019

Journal Name: Vol 55 No 9

The Tennessee Bar Association honored Franklin attorney Howard Wall during the American Bar Association Annual Conference in San Francisco. Wall is a past chair of the ABA’s Health Law Section and currently serves on the ABA Board of Governors. The reception in his honor drew a large crowd of Tennessee attorneys, friends and supporters to the annual event.

 With him are, from left, Jamie Thompson, Joycelyn Stevenson, Wall and former TBA President Lucian Pera.


Baker Donelson has selected Samuel T. Bowman to serve as the firm’s next pro bono shareholder. Bowman has served for more than 10 years as the chair of the Nashville office’s Pro Bono Committee, where he coordinated pro bono matters, assisted with local legal aid organizations and handled individual pro bono cases. In his new role, Bowman will be responsible for overseeing the continued development, growth and administration of pro bono programs across the firm’s 21 offices. He is also a member of the TBA’s Access to Justice Committee.

Miranda Christy has joined the Nashville law firm of Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella as a shareholder. Her practice will include finance, business transactions and real estate matters, in addition to working with nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Christy was in-house counsel at UBS Investment Bank. She previously practiced with Stites & Harbison.

Thomas W. “Trea” Southerland III, an attorney with FedEx Express, has been elected to the board of directors of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). He will serve a three-year term. Previously, Southerland served as chair of IADC’s Corporate Counsel Committee. At FedEx Express, Southerland serves as lead counsel for compliance, investigations and government litigation.

The Williamson County Bar Association recently announced the election of new officers. TBA members among the group are President David Veile with Schell & Oglesby; Treasurer Whitney Harrington with Harrington Law; and Secretary Eric Larsen with Larsen Law. Katie Zipper with Zipper Law completed her term as president and now assumes the position of immediate past president. All practice in Franklin.

Nashville lawyer Steve Groom has joined Franklin Synergy Bank as general counsel and executive vice president. He previously worked at Neal & Harwell and in executive and general counsel roles with two large public companies. He will serve as the bank’s first general counsel. Groom joins chief legal counsel Julian Bibb, who oversaw the hiring process for the new position.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings lawyer Stephanie Hoffmann has been selected for the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) Leadership Development Program. She will participate in the “Hospitals and Health Systems Practice Group” segment of the program, which is designed to cultivate future leaders of the association. Based in Bradley’s Nashville office, Hoffmann serves clients in the health care industry on a range of regulatory, operational and transactional matters. She previously worked at a commercial health insurance company and an international women’s health organization.
   In other news from Bradley, the firm recently announced that it has launched a Cannabis Industry Practice with a multidisciplinary group of attorneys dedicated to meeting the specific needs of cannabis and hemp industry clients.
   Finally, the firm announced that its attorneys were instrumental in U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act or “HAVEN Act.” Over the last two years, firm attorneys have worked pro bono to change U.S. bankruptcy laws to better protect disabled veterans in financial distress. The legislation is designed to treat disability benefits the same as Social Security disability benefits, which are not included in the calculation of disposable income in bankruptcy proceedings. The bill is now pending before the U.S. Senate.

Personal injury firm Cory Watson Attorneys recently opened a new office in Memphis, marking the firm’s second location in Tennessee (the firm previously opened offices in Nashville). Working out of the Memphis office are TBA members Hamilton Jordan and Tiffany L. Webber. Jordan, a graduate of Cumberland School of Law, previously worked for a plaintiff’s firm representing personal injury litigation clients. He also has experience with products liability, employment, sexual harassment and insurance litigation. Webber, a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, began her legal career at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, representing clients in complex personal injury and class action litigation. The new office is located in the Clark Tower at 5100 Poplar Ave., Suite 2700, Memphis 38137 and can be reached at 901-402-2000 or www.corywatson.com.

Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Jennifer Smith has officially been named presiding judge of the Davidson County Drug Court. She replaces former judge Seth Norman who retired in 2018. The drug court, founded in 1997, was one of the first residential drug court programs in the country and remains one of two such programs in the state. Smith was appointed to fill Norman’s seat on the 20th Judicial District Criminal Court last year.

Nashville attorney Wade B. Cowan has been elected president of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), the largest professional membership organization in the country dedicated to promoting the interests of employees and lawyers who represent them. Cowan is a founding member and past president of NELA’s Tennessee affiliate, the Tennessee Employment Lawyers Association. He is a 1981 graduate of the Vanderbilt School of Law and a solo practitioner focusing on representing employees in employment discrimination, retaliation and civil rights cases.

Jones Wilson “J.W.” Luna has joined Butler Snow’s Nashville office. He will practice in the firm’s regulatory and government groups. Luna has vast expertise in government relations, environmental law, health care, administrative law and other regulatory areas. In previous positions, he managed the liquidation of a significant medical malpractice insurance company and worked for a major natural gas distribution company. He also served for eight years in the cabinet of former Gov. Ned. R. McWherter.

Christian Barker has joined the Nashville office of Lewis Thomason as special counsel to launch the firm’s Entertainment Law Practice. Barker worked for nearly eight years as a solo entertainment attorney with a focus on the music industry. He also has represented clients in the TV/film, fine arts and public relations/digital media realms. Barker began his career as an artist manager and continues to work as an artists & repertoire consultant providing talent scouting, song- plugging and career advising services to songwriters, artists, labels and publishers.
The firm also announced that Michael Holder and Kaycee Weeter have joined the Nashville office as associates. Holder, a recent graduate of the Belmont University College of Law, has interned at the U.S, Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office for Davidson County. Weeter joins the firm’s Healthcare Practice Group where she will focus on malpractice defense. She previously worked at a boutique litigation firm where she handled health care liability actions.

Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan has added four new associates to its Tennessee offices. Jamie Leaver joins the Nashville office and will practice in the areas of family law and insurance law. Nelson T. Rainey joins the Memphis office and will practice in construction and real estate law. Jennifer Dobbins Franklyn joins the Knoxville office and will practice in family law and insurance law. William M. Leech joins the Chattanooga office and will handle transportation cases and appellate work.




Former Tennessee State Senate Majority Leader and Milan attorney WILLIAM “JERRY” FLIPPIN died on Aug. 3. He was 91. A founding partner of Flippin, Collins & Hill in Milan, he was a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School and had been an active member of the Tennessee Bar Association and other professional groups, serving for many years in the TBA House of Delegates and as chair of the Legal Section of the American Public Power Association. In a 2004 Tennessee Bar Foundation interview, Flippin talked about his life and his career in the law.(See it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ_MGm5BmvY.) Memorials can be sent to The Mustard Seed, 2027 S. 2nd Street, Milan  38358, Samaritan’s Purse, P. O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607, or the donor’s choice.

Dunlap lawyer STEPHEN THOMAS GREER died on Aug. 6 at the age of 70. Greer attended the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review, and graduated in 1973. He then returned to Dunlap, where he practiced for 46 years. He was a member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and served as its president from 2006 to 2007. Greer was also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and American College of Trial Lawyers. Contributions in Greer’s memory may be made to the Sequatchie County Library Foundation, 227 Cherry Street, Dunlap.

Germantown lawyer BERNIE M. KUSTOFF died July 19 at the age of 81. A native of Arkansas, Kustoff earned his law degree from the University of Arkansas and later moved to Memphis. He practiced law for 55 years and was active in the Tennessee and Memphis bar associations. He was named a TBA Senior Counselor in 2014. At the time of his death he was practicing as a solo lawyer at the Law Firm of Bernie M. Kustoff.

Clarksville lawyer JAMES E. “ED” MAURER died July 15 at the age 74. A graduate of Ohio Northern University Petit College of Law, Maurer served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He then worked in private practice in Bolivar as well as an attorney for the Western Mental Health Institute before moving to Middle Tennessee. Maurer joined the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as general counsel and served there until retiring in 2002. Following retirement, he founded the Special Needs Law Center of Maurer & Gardner with attorney Cynthia Ellen Gardner, who will continue to operate the firm.

Livingston attorney BRUCE EDWARD MYERS died on Aug. 6. He was 76. Myers graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1966 with a degree in accounting; then after his service in the U.S. Army, he received his law degree at UT.

Memphis lawyer LANCELOT LONGSTREET MINOR III died July 16 at the age of 70. A native of Memphis, Minor earned his law degree from Memphis State University Law School and began practicing in  1977. He later was named a partner with Bourland, Heflin, Alvarez, Minor & Matthews firm where he continued to serve until earlier this year. Minor was a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation and a member of the Downtown Memphis Rotary Club, University Club of Memphis and Christian Legal Society. Memorial donations may be given to Christ Community Church, 715 St. Paul Ave., Memphis 38126 or to First Evangelical Church, 735 Ridgelake Blvd., Memphis 38120.

Livingston attorney JOHN ROBERT OFFICER died on Aug. 6, at the age of 76. He was born in Overton County and graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1966. He practiced law in Livingston for 53 years until his death. He also served as Overton County General Sessions judge from 1998 through 2014 and was recognized for his work with the Genesis House, an organization for victims of domestic violence, with Child Advocacy Services, and with child abuse prevention and awareness in Overton County. Memorial donations may be made to the Genesis House or Child Advocacy Services CASA.

Memphis lawyer JOHN DANIEL “DANNY” RICHARDSON died April 11 at the age of 66. A 1978 graduate of Memphis State School of Law, Richardson started practicing as a trial lawyer and over the course of a 40-year career handled hundreds of jury trials. He was a Rule 31 Mediator and a member of the American Association for Advancement of Science, American Bar Association, Association of Certified E- Discovery Specialists, Association for Psychological Science, Defense Research Institute Inc., International Association of Privacy Professionals, Memphis Bar Association, Neuroethics Society, New York Academy of Sciences, Sedona Conference and Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association. Richardson was also active in the Tennessee Bar Association, serving as a member of the executive committee for the Law Practice Technology Section. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Community Legal Center, 910 Vance Ave., Memphis 38126 or to The Dorothy Day House, 1429 Poplar Ave., Memphis 38104.

Crossville attorney and former county commissioner HARRY D. SABINE died July 31. He was 78. A University of Tennessee College of Law graduate, Sabine practiced law in Crossville for 51 years and was a long-time member of the TBA’s Estate Planning and Probate Section. He also served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and a JAG officer during his deployment to Vietnam in 1967. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Sabine’s memory to the Art Circle Public Library in Crossville or the Cumberland County Chess Club.