Term will focus on serving senior citizens, new lawyers and solo practioners; protecting the public from fraudulent legal providers; and increasing grassroots advocacy by lawyers
NASHVILLE, June 7, 2013 — Sevierville lawyer Cynthia Richardson Wyrick will take office as the 134th president of the Tennessee Bar Association at the group’s annual convention in Nashville next Friday. She will be sworn into office by Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary R. Wade at a luncheon ceremony. The event will begin at noon and take place in the Capitol Ballroom at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown, 623 Union St., Nashville, TN 37219.
Wyrick is only the second Sevier County resident to serve as TBA president. She follows John B. Waters Jr. of Sevierville, who held the position from 1983-1984.
Wyrick’s theme for the year is “Together We Make a Difference,” and her efforts will focus on service not only to the bar, but to the community as well. Under her leadership, the TBA will develop a free handbook for senior citizens to provide practical advice on issues faced by this exploding and underserved population base. The Senior Law Handbook also will be provided to Tennessee lawyers to help them advise clients on these important issues.
Wyrick also will focus on a number of issues of importance to the legal profession, including:
• Launching a new mentoring program for new lawyers;
• Providing new resources to help solo practioners successfully begin their practice;
• Ensuring timely access to the courts for families facing divorce litigation;
• Protecting the profession and the public from the unauthorized practice of law, especially from online legal providers; and
• Leading a new grassroots lobbying initiative to educate lawmakers about issues of critical importance to lawyers and the legal system.
Wyrick originally hails from Lake City, Tenn., and attended Campbell County High School until relocating to Bowling Green, Ky., where she graduated as valedictorian of Warren East High School. She attended Western Kentucky University before transferring to the University of Tennessee to complete her undergraduate degree.
Wyrick obtained her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1994. While a law student, she was elected vice president of the Graduate Student Association and received the Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Campus Leadership and Service. Wyrick also was one of only three law students from across the nation to be elected by the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division to represent the division in the ABA House of Delegates, the association’s governing body.
During law school, Wyrick clerked for Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Houston M. Goddard. After graduation, she clerked for then Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Gary R. Wade, now chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. In 1996, Wyrick joined the law firm of Ogle, Gass & Richardson PC and was named a member of the firm in 2000. She practices in the areas of wrongful death, personal injury, family law, business formation and litigation, wills and estates, and general civil litigation.
Wyrick has been active in bar association activities and in serving her community through the years. She has held numerous leadership positions in the Tennessee Bar Association, including being a long-standing member of the TBA Board of Governors and its Executive Committee. She also served as president of the TBA Young Lawyers Division from 2004-2005 and was a member of the 2006 Leadership Law Class.
Wyrick also is active in the American Bar Association, where she has served as a member of the House of Delegates representing Tennessee lawyers at the national level, as a member of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and as the chair and vice chair of various section committees. She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
In addition to the above, Wyrick serves the profession as a member of the Tennessee Justice Center Board, which she previously chaired; as a member of the Tennessee Bar Foundation Board of Trustees; and as a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation.
Wyrick has served her community in a variety of ways, including maintaining close ties to the University of Tennessee. She is a past chair of the University of Tennessee Library Friends Executive Committee and is an emeritus member of the group. Locally, Wyrick has served on the board of directors for the Cherish the Child Foundation, a nonprofit that provides therapeutic residential care for abused, neglected and other at risk youth. She also is an emeritus member of the organization. Finally, she is 2009 graduate of the Leadership Sevier Program.
Wyrick and her husband, Tim, reside in Sevierville. They are the proud parents of three children. Wyrick is the daughter of Wayne and Sandra Richardson of Lake City.
Taking office along with Wyrick will be President-Elect Jonathan O. Steen of Jackson and Vice President William L. Harbison of Nashville. Steen is a partner in the firm of Redding, Steen & Staton, where he practices general civil litigation, with a focus on medical malpractice, legal malpractice and products liability defense; commercial and business disputes; and appellate advocacy. Harbison is a member at Sherrard & Roe, where he practices in the areas of corporate law, trusts and estates.
The 2013 Tennessee Bar Association Annual Convention will be held in conjunction with five other legal organizations — the Tennessee Judicial Conference, Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers (TABL), Tennessee Association for Justice (TAJ), Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women (TLAW) and Tennessee Stonewall Bar Association. This joint meeting allows the groups to address common issues and concerns and offers opportunities for additional education, long-range planning, and recognition of attorneys who have performed outstanding legal work and community service.