TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Sharon Ballinger and Stacey Shrader on Mar 20, 2010

Journal Issue Date: Apr 2010

Journal Name: April 2010 - Vol. 46, No. 4

General Sessions Court Judge Dan Eisenstein, who presides over the Davidson County Mental Health Court, recently recognized and thanked representatives of Subway Development of Tennessee for the company's donation of Subway restaurant gift cards to the Mental Health Court's probation treatment program. The gift cards are used as rewards for those who excel in the program. From left: Former court officer and Nashville School of Law student Barry Gearon; Tana Artussee, field consultant with Subway Development; Judge Eisenstein; and Tom Nolen, development agent for Subway Development.

Nashville lawyer William L. "Chip" Campbell Jr. has been named a member of the law firm of Riley Warnock & Jacobson PLC. Campbell focuses his practice on commercial litigation and employment law. He graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2001. Prior to attending law school, he served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis PLLC has named five new partners in its Nashville office. Rebekah Ellen Fisher practices real estate law with experience in shopping center leasing and commercial lending. Prior to joining the firm, she was an associate with the Cincinnati law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl and an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Fisher earned her law degree in 2002 from the University of Cincinnati. Jessica Green Gichner practices in the areas of commercial lending, mergers and acquisitions and securities. She also serves on the firm's Diversity Committee and is a member of Leadership Health Care. She received her law degree from Vanderbilt University in 2002. Shannon Leigh Goff practices tax law, including ERISA, employee benefits, incentive plans, ESOPs and executive compensation. She is also a member of the firm's Women's Initiative Committee. Goff earned an international master of business administration and a law degree from the University of South Carolina in 2002, and a master of laws in taxation in 2003 from New York University.

J. Kevin Kidd practices in the areas of financial services, electronic payment transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and financial institution regulation. He also is a member of the Electronic Transaction Association where he serves on the Government Relations Committee. He earned his law degree in 2002 from the University of Kentucky. Katie Grainer Stenberg practices in the areas of corporate restructuring, creditors' rights, commercial transactions and commercial litigation for clients in the health care, aviation and real estate industries. Previously, she was counsel for commercial operations at GE-Aviation in Cincinnati. Stenberg graduated with a law degree in 2002 from the University of Cincinnati.

The Montgomery County Bar Association recently elected officers for 2010. TBA members among them are President Sheri Sensing Phillips with the Law Office of Olson & Phillips and Vice President Julia North with Rassas North & Associates. Both are from Clarksville.

The Rochester, N.Y., law firm of Harter Secrest & Emery LLP has announced that John Mueller has joined the firm's litigation practice as an associate attorney. Mueller will focus on commercial litigation, bankruptcy and creditors' rights. His areas of experience include preference actions, commercial loan transactions, lien rights, and sureties and bonds. He also has experience with construction-based alternative dispute resolution. Mueller previously worked at Smythe Puryear & Robertson in Nashville but now resides in Buffalo, N.Y. He earned his law degree in 2003 from DePaul University.

Nashville attorney John L. Farringer IV has been named a member of the law firm Sherrard & Roe PLC. He joined the firm's Litigation Practice Group in 2008 and has focused his practice on business, commercial and tort litigation. Prior to joining the firm he served as law clerk to Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Wiseman Jr. in the Middle District of Tennessee. Farringer received his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2002.

The Arkansas-based firm of Wilson & Associates PLLC has announced two new partners: Joel W. Giddens and J. Skipper Ray. Giddens, a native of Shreveport, La., is the firm's bankruptcy attorney in Memphis. He also is chair of the Memphis Bar Association Bankruptcy Section. Giddens earned a master's degree in 1991 and law degree in 1994 from the University of Memphis. Ray, a native of North Little Rock, Ark., practices in the areas of foreclosure, eviction and title law. He is the supervising attorney for the firm's Closing Commitment & Curative, Title Policy, and Eviction departments. He earned his law degree in 2000 from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Wilson & Associates PLLC serves clients in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville as well as three locations in Arkansas.

The Chattanooga Bar Association has elected new officers and board members. The new president is John Tate Rice with law firm of John T. Rice PC, a general litigation practice with an emphasis on civil defense. Rice is a Rule 31 certified mediator and a 1974 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Other officers are President-elect Ira M. Long Jr. with Weill & Long PLLC; Secretary/Treasurer Robin L. Miller with Gearhiser, Peters, Cavett, Elliott & Cannon PLLC; and Immediate Past President Barry A. Steelman, Division 1 Criminal Court judge. Members of the Board of Governors are: Rosemarie Bryan with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel PC; H. Dean Clements with Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams PC; B. Paul Hatcher with Duncan Hatcher & Hixson PC; Timothy L. Mickel with Husch, Blackwell & Sanders LLP; M. Craig Smith with Miller & Martin PLLC; and YLD President Jason Demastus with Kennedy, Koontz & Fairnash.      

The law firm of Miller & Martin PLLC recently announced the naming of new partners in Chattanooga, the addition of three new associates and the presentation of an award to the firm chairman.

In the Chattanooga office, two attorneys " Matt Bell and Alison Martin " have been named to member status. Bell focuses his practice in business law with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and procurement. He received his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2002. Martin works in the area of civil litigation with an emphasis on health care issues, including risk management, liability defense, credentialing and peer review. She also represents clients in contract and business dissolution disputes, personal injury defense and railroad litigation. She graduated from Washington & Lee School of Law in 2002.

In the Nashville office Andrew D. Oldham and Kyle A. Young recently joined the firm as associate attorneys. Oldham graduated in 2009 from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he was articles editor for the Tennessee Law Review and a student editor for Transactions: Tennessee Journal of Business Law. He will practice in the corporate department, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, securities and general corporate law. Young, a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law, joins the firm's Labor & Employment Department. In law school, he was articles and notes editor of the North Carolina Banking Institute Journal and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council. Rebecca Bumgarner Rojas, who spent two summers clerking for the firm, has joined its Chattanooga office. She will focus on health care, immigration, business transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. Rojas earned her law degree in 2009 from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she worked as a research assistant and volunteered with the university's immigration clinic.

Finally, the firm announced that firm Chairman Melvin J. Malone was awarded the J.C. Napier Trailblazer Award for Commitment to Excellence by the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation. The award is given annually to a member of the association who exemplifies courage and fortitude in the practice of law while "blazing a trail" of excellence for the larger legal community. Malone was named chairman of the firm in November 2009 after serving as managing member of the Nashville office.

Elizabeth Washko has been named managing shareholder of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart's Nashville office. She takes over from Tom Davis, who, after five years in the position, has been named leader of the firm's Traditional Labor Practice Group. In her new role, Washko will be responsible for the leadership, growth and day-to-day operation of the office. Washko's practice has focused on litigation of employment issues including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, wrongful termination, breach of contract and covenant not to compete. She also conducts training on employment issues, drafts and reviews employment policies and agreements, and conducts harassment investigations for employers. She earned her law degree in 1993 from Rutgers University.

Nashville lawyers Joshua Lindsey and Christy Sawyer recently established the law firm of Lindsey & Sawyer PLLC. Prior to launching the new firm, Lindsey practiced at Bass, Berry & Sims PLC and Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis LLP. He earned his law degree in 1997 from the Tulane University School of Law. Sawyer previously practiced with Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis LLP and served as in-house counsel for Comdata Corporation and Affinion Benefits Group. She earned her law degree in 1998 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. The firm is located in Suite 1850 of the Nashville City Center, 511 Union Street, Nashville, TN 37219.

Patrick D. Witherington has been named a member in the Nashville law firm of Howell & Fisher PLLC, where he practices in the area of civil litigation. Witherington joined the firm in 2003. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2002.

The Paris-Henry County Bar Association recently elected Beth F. Belew as its new president. Belew works at the Paris firm of Ainley, Hoover, Clark & Hoover PLLC where she handles workers' compensation, personal injury, family, juvenile and Social Security disability cases. She earned her law degree from the Nashville School of Law.

Brentwood attorney and architect Andrew Collignon recently announced the opening of Starting Point Health Facility Planning LLC, where he will provide facility planning, design and certificate-of-need consulting services for health care organizations in Tennessee and across the country. He earned his architecture degree from the University of Kentucky in 1993 and his law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 2001. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and is LEED accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Lawrence "Larry" Magdovitz II recently was elected to a three-year term on the Mississippi Bar Board of Commissioners " the governing body of the bar. He will serve as commissioner for the 11th Circuit District.

Cheyanne K. Mahoney has joined the Nashville law firm of MGLAW PLLC as an associate. She will practice in the areas of business litigation and business law. She is a 2009 graduate of the Vanderbilt University Law School.


SUSAN KATE COLLINS of Memphis died on Feb. 2. She was 62. A 1982 graduate of the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, Collins practiced law in Illinois and Ohio and was licensed to practice in Tennessee in 2003. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

EMMETT JAMES HOUSE died on Dec. 7, 2009. He was 73 years old. House graduated from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 1967 and worked for Union Planters Corporation in Memphis.

MELVIN FLEISCHER of Memphis died Jan. 21 after an extended illness. He was 79. He graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1959. He practiced law for 40 years. He handled a variety of civil matters during his practice. Charitable donations can be made to charity of the donor's choice.