TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Sharon Ballinger and Stacey Shrader on Oct 27, 2010

Journal Issue Date: Nov 2010

Journal Name: November 2010 - Vol. 46, No. 11

David N. Shearon, the first and only executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization, resigned effective Oct. 31. He held the position since the commission's inception in 1987. He leaves to pursue his work in positive psychology, which over the past five years he has pursued through education and experience. This work has included helping the Army develop resilience trainers, and training lawyers, judges and others in the legal system in the skills of resilience and thriving.
The commission has appointed its current assistant executive director, Andrea Curl, as acting director. Learn more about Shearon's tenure and plans at tba.org/journal_links

Nashville lawyer R. Dale Grimes, a member of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC, has been appointed chair-elect of the Lex Mundi Antitrust, Competition and Trade Group. Lex Mundi is an association of independent law firms with 160 member firms in more than 100 countries. He will take over as chair of the group in 2012. Grimes focuses his own practice in the areas of antitrust, consumer fraud, complex litigation, class actions, telecommunications, energy and water. He also leads the Bass, Berry & Sims' Antitrust and Trade Practices Group.

Robin Bicket White has joined the Nashville office of Frost Brown Todd as of counsel and will practice in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Department. White focuses on Chapter 11 debtor and restructuring cases. She previously worked at MGLaw, a litigation, insolvency and employment firm in Nashville.

The Tennessee Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association has elected Meagan Frazier Grosvenor as president of its 2010-2011 board of directors. Grosvenor is a 2007 graduate of the Nashville School of Law and works as a lobbyist at Smith Harris & Carr in Nashville. Tennessee CASA also has elected Kevin Balkwill to its board. Balkwill, a 1999 graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, works as a disciplinary counsel for investigations at the Board of Professional Responsibility. He serves on the TBA's Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Committee and on the Nashville Bar Association's Ethics and Professionalism Committee.

The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has elected officers for the 2010-2011 year. TBA members among them are: President-elect Stephen R. Johnson with Ritchie, Dillard & Davies in Knoxville; Treasurer J. Robin McKinney Jr. with Jackson, Kweller, McKinney, Warden & Hayes in Nashville; and Past President Jerry P. Black with the University of Tennessee Law Clinic in Knoxville.

The Kingsport Bar Association has elected new officers for the 2010-2011 bar year. They are: President Steven Curtis (Curt) Rose with West & Rose; Vice President Matthew Wimberley with Hunter Smith & Davis; Secretary Andrew Wampler with Wilson Worley Moore & Gamble; and Treasurer Casey S. Anders, a solo practioner. All are from Kingsport.

Nashville lawyer Margaret M. Huff was elected to serve a three-year term on the council of the American Bar Association's Section of Dispute Resolution at the ABA annual meeting in August. She already was serving as co-chair of the section's Ethics Committee and as a liaison to the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission. Huff owns and operates the Nashville-based dispute resolution firm Margaret Huff Mediation, which offers arbitration, mediation and workplace conflict management training.

Rebecca C. Blair has announced the opening of the Blair Law Firm in Brentwood, serving     clients in a range of civil litigation matters with a focus on personal injury, probate litigation and mediation. Blair is president of the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women and parliamentarian of the Tennessee Association for Justice. She earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1996. Prior to opening her new office, Blair was a shareholder of Day & Blair PC in Brentwood.

The Jackson law firm of Gilbert Russell McWherter PLC has hired Chad Naffziger as an associate in its Civil Litigation Group. He will focus on insurance claims, constriction disputes and complex litigation. Naffziger is a 2008 graduate of the John Marshall Law School.


Nashville attorney ALFRED E. ABBEY died Sept. 26 at the age of 81. A member in the law firm of Miller & Martin, Abbey was a 1957 graduate of the Vanderbilt University Law School, where he served as managing editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. After graduation, he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. and later for the Life & Casualty Insurance Company of Tennessee and the law firm then known as Trabue, Minick, Sturdivant & Harbison. Abbey practiced at that firm and its successors for the next 40 years, and was engaged in the active practice of law until the sudden onset of his final illness. The family suggests that memorial contributions be made in his name to the St. Cecilia Academy Kathleen Dyer Abbey Endowed Scholarship Fund (4210 Harding Pike, Nashville 37205) or the Father Ryan Alfred E. Abbey Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund (700 Norwood Dr., Nashville 37203).

Jamestown attorney JOHN EDWARD APPMAN died Sept. 1 at the age of 76. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to cover funeral expenses. Gifts may be sent to the Jennings Funeral Home, P.O. Box 765, Jamestown 38556. A solo practioner, Appman graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1961.

Elizabethton lawyer and former U.S. Attorney JOHN LEONARD BOWERS JR. died Sept. 23 at the age of 86. Bowers was senior partner in the law firm of Allen, Nelson and Bowers for nearly 18 years. He also served eight and a half years as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and as mayor of Elizabethton. Bowers was president of the Tennessee Bar Association's Junior Division and the Carter County Bar Association. He graduated from the Vanderbilt University Law School in 1951. Memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Elizabethton, 212 East F Street, Elizabethton 37643.

Nashville lawyer DAVID RAYMOND COLE died Aug. 23 at the age of 82. Cole earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in 1951 and graduated first in his class. He spent his career working in the property and casualty insurance industry, and in 1964, was awarded the coveted Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation. Cole lived in both Clarksville and Nashville. He was admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court and in the states of Illinois, Nebraska and Tennessee. He volunteered extensively in the Nashville community and through international mission work in Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru and Russia. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the missions program of First Presbyterian Church, 4815 Franklin Rd., Nashville 37220 or to a charity of one's choice.

Memphis attorney and solo practioner CHARLES RONALD "RONNIE" CURBO died Sept. 10 at age 55. Curbo practiced law in Memphis for 30 years, making a name for himself with his creative arguments in court. He graduated from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 1978.

Retired 21st Judicial District Judge JAMES "JIM" WEATHERFORD, 79, died Sept. 10 at his home in Lawrenceburg after a long illness. Weatherford graduated from the Cumberland School of Law in 1957 and began his legal career in Lawrenceburg as an assistant district attorney. He then joined the firm of Harwell & Boston, which later was named Boston & Weatherford. In 1978, he ran for and was elected 11th (now 22nd) Judicial District Circuit Court judge. In 1998, he was appointed to senior judge status and in 2000 was selected by his peers as Judge of the Year. He retired in 2006.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to Lawrenceburg First United Methodist Church (212 Waterloo Street, Lawrenceburg 38464), the Judge James L. Weatherford Memorial Scholarship, in care of the Lawrence County Education Foundation (P.O. Box 357, Lawrenceburg 38464) or Vanderbilt University Children's Hospital.