Rep. Raumesh Akbari

Was elected to the Tennessee state senate in fall of 2018 after serving as a state representative for five years. Akbari is a member of several senate committees; including the commerce and labor committee, the senate energy, agriculture and natural resources committee, the senate ethics committee and serves as second vice-chair of the senate education committee. She is the recipient of several honors and awards from the council of state governments and its affiliated southern leadership conference; the national council of state legislatures; the state legislative leaders foundation; NBCSL; NOBEL.; the national juvenile justice network; and governing magazine’s governing institute for outstanding appointed or elected women officials. Akbari continues to introduce legislation affecting education and educational policy, criminal justice reform, job growth incentives, and other areas that affect her constituents as well as Tennesseans from all walks of life.

Yanika Smith-Bartley

Is the Chief Diversity & Talent Strategy Officer at Asurion, where she built the first diversity and inclusion business function. Smith-Bartley is responsible for embedding the company’s global diversity and inclusion strategy into its strategies for attracting, engaging and developing talent. Under her leadership, Asurion has been recognized both nationally and locally for its diversity and inclusion program and was most recently named Forbes 2020 Best Employer for Diversity and received a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. She holds degrees from Fisk University and the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Mark Baugh

Is a Shareholder at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C., where he also serves as chair of the Firm's Diversity Committee. Baugh concentrates his practice in litigation and representing employers in employment-related issues. He has significant experience litigating both jury and bench race, age, gender, religion and disability discrimination lawsuits, wage and hour class and collective actions and retaliation claims. Mr. Baugh's extensive trial experience provides him with the experience to work closely with clients in resolving employment disputes in the manner most beneficial to the client. He holds degrees from Tennessee State University and the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Rep. Bill Beck

Raised in Madison and Whites Creek, Bill served in the Tennessee Air National Guard after graduating from Belmont University. He went on to start two businesses in home building and real estate before attending Nashville School of Law. He has practiced law for many years with his law partner, his mother, Martha Lu Cone Beck, who recently retired. Working together runs in the family actually. Their law practice is housed in the same Tutor style home in Inglewood as his father's and brother's real estate businesses. Having met in law school, Bill has been married to his wife Pam for XX years. Pam works at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. They have one daughter, Meredith, who recently graduated from Belmont University. They have 2 beloved dogs who are of course treated as members of the family! After Rep. Mike Turner retired in 2014, Bill ran successfully in the Democrat Primary that August. He is currently serving his second term and will run for re-election again in 2018. During his freshman term, he was elected the co-chair of the bi-partisan freshman caucus. He also passed the most legislation that year for a freshman. He serves on the full and sub committee of Civil Justice Committee and the Insurance and Banking Committee. He previously served on the Transportation Committee. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Davidson County Delegation.

Margaret Behm

Is a Partner at Dodson Parker Behm & Capparella, PC, where her practice concentrates on business law, employment, municipal law, land use, estate planning, bankruptcy and commercial litigation. She is General Counsel for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, where she also serves as Board Secretary. Behm was previously appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court for a three-year term as chair of the newly-created Access to Justice Commission to help address the growing civil legal needs crisis in Tennessee.
In addition to her service to the legal profession and matters involving access to justice, she taught courses including Legal Writing, Professionalism and Practice and Trial Advocacy at Vanderbilt University Law School for more than thirty years. Behm holds degrees from The University of Tennessee and The University of Tennessee College of Law.

Rep. Mike Carter

Is a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing District 29 —  a position he has maintained since 2013. Prior to joining the Tennessee House, Rep. Carter was a General Sessions Court judge in Hamilton County. He holds degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

Lisa Cole

Is president and managing shareholder of Lewis Thomason and the managing partner of the firm’s Nashville office. She is also an ex-officio member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Shareholder Compensation Committee. Cole is a Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator, and she practices in the areas of employment law, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and general casualty defense litigation. Cole has achieved successful results through defense jury verdicts, summary judgment, mediation, and arbitration in each of her practice areas. Her current clients are national, regional and local employers; regional and local health care facilities; and insurance companies.

Sherie Edwards

Is the Vice President of Corporate and Legal for State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company (SVMIC) where she is responsible for the areas of regulatory and corporate compliance, government relations, and corporate/facility services. Prior to joining SVMIC, she was the Director of Risk Management for Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin. In addition to being the TBA Vice President, Edwards has held many leadership roles in the organization; including Membership Chair of the TBA Board of Governors, TBA Treasurer and served as a District 5 TBA Governor. She is a Fellow of the Nashville, Tennessee, and American Bar Foundations and of the TBA YLD. Edwards holds degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University, Vanderbilt University and the Nashville School of Law.

Bill Haltom

Is the author of six books and has been a newspaper and magazine humor columnist for over 25 years. He has served as chair of the editorial boards for four magazines; including the ABA Journal, the flagship publication of the American Bar Association. Haltom is a Past President of the Tennessee Bar Association, but he is better known by Tennessee lawyers as a columnist for the Tennessee Bar Journal and an author. He has written 8 books including his latest, “Why Can’t Mother Vote: Joseph Hanover and the Unfinished Business of Democracy”.

Phillip Hampton

Is the president and founder of LogicForce Consulting, LLC, a legal technology consulting firm based in Nashville. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of information technology and has consulted with numerous law firms and government agencies in the areas of practice management systems, technical litigation support, computer forensics, electronic data discovery and trial presentation technologies. Hampton on numerous occasions has testified in state and federal court as an expert witness in computer forensics. He holds degrees from Lambuth College and Vanderbilt University.

Chris Javillonar

Is General Counsel for Permobil, Business Region Americas. Permobil is a world leader in complex rehabilitation mobility solutions and operates in more than 70 countries around the world. Javillonar oversees the legal affairs of Permobil and its subsidiaries throughout North America, and South America. Prior to joining Permobil, Javillonar was a Partner with the international law firm, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where he practiced commercial litigation in the areas of complex business litigation, white collar and securities litigation, class action defense, officer and director liabilities, trademark enforcement and healthcare litigation. Javillonar earned his juris doctor degree from Washington University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree from Rockhurst University. While attending law school, he was awarded the Judge John W. Calhoun Trial Practice Award for demonstrating exceptional talent and enthusiasm for trial practice.

Lawrence Krieger

Is a professor at the Florida State University College of Law where he co-directs the Externship Program and supervises criminal justice externships. Krieger’s teaching focuses on litigation skills and the sources of lawyer professionalism. He is internationally recognized for his research on the well-being, satisfaction, values and motivations of law students and lawyers. His publications on law student well-being and career planning have been used at more than half of the law schools in the United States, Canad and Australia. Krieger has served on numerous boards and committees of the American Bar Association and The Florida Bar; and is founding Chair of the Section on Balance in Legal Education, Association of American Law Schools.

Brad Lampley

Serves as legislative counsel to businesses and trade associations with interests before the Tennessee General Assembly and Tennessee state government. He has particular experience advising clients in the energy, environmental, health care, insurance, legal services, public utilities and transportation industries; and he brings years of experience as a corporate litigator to the advice he provides to government relations clients. Lampley also has extensive experience advising national and multinational companies on economic development matters, negotiating state and local incentive packages for companies that wish to relocate their businesses to Tennessee. Lampley was appointed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to serve on the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, which is the governing body of the University of Tennessee and its five campuses across the state. He has also served on the board of directors of the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl for over 15 years, during which time the bowl has grown dramatically.

Sean Martin

Began his undergraduate career at Yale University and finished up at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Martin began his legal career working for Judge Marietta Shipley, where he worked on both her family and tort dockets. He went from there to Cornelius & Collins, LLP and after a few years started his own firm with Kevin Sharp and Jay Drescher, among others. For the last fourteen years, Martin's practice has been split evenly between family law and personal injury. In explaining why he practices in two totally separate areas, he states that he enjoys the variety and the legal challenges posed by each.

Lindsey O'Connell

Is a Clinical Supervisor with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program, a position she has held since 2018. O'Connell is a Licensed Masters Social Worker with a Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Tennessee. Prior to coming to TLAP, she worked in clinical settings spanning the entire continuum of care for behavioral health including acute psychiatric hospitalization, residential treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, community mental health, and outpatient counseling. Her clinical specialties include somatic and attachment focused EMDR, trauma and addiction treatment, and mindfulness-based therapies. O'Connell came to the mental health field with extensive experience in advocacy and government relations, which informs her current work in educating legal communities about mental health.

Erin Page

Is senior law librarian and reference attorney with Fastcase, a legal research service used by lawyers, law firms and bar associations across the country. Prior to working with Fastcase, Page worked for 8 years as an attorney with Convergent in Insurance Mediation and as company trainer/ CLE coordinator. She holds degrees from from St John's College, Catholic University and the William and Mary Marshall Wythe School of Law.

Julie Bhattacharya Peak

Is the Resident Attorney of Tennessee’s Field Legal offices in Brentwood, Tennessee. Ms. Peak is a 1997 graduate of Rhodes College and 2000 graduate of The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law, where she was selected Managing Editor of The University of Memphis Law Review. Following law school, Ms. Peak served as the judicial law clerk to the Honorable William C. Koch at the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Ms. Peak was an equity partner of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford where she practiced in the areas of complex insurance defense and coverage litigation including, but not limited to, construction and premises defect, products liability, medical and professional liability, trucking and automobile litigation, and employment discrimination. Throughout her tenure in private practice and now in an in-house capacity, Ms. Peak excels at strategic litigation to aggressively press matters to resolution, whether through courtroom litigation or boardroom negotiations. Ms. Peak has successfully defended high exposure commercial and personal liability claims from inception through jury trials and appeal throughout the State of Tennessee.

Bill Ramsey

Is a Member at the firm Neal & Harwell where his practice focuses on complex civil and criminal litigation. Ramsey has represented a wide variety of defendants in federal white collar prosecutions and investigations, and has extensive civil jury trial experience in a wide variety of cases; including personal injury, business torts, computer and technology litigation and complex commercial transactions. He holds degrees from The Georgia Institute of Technology and The University of Tennessee College of Law.

Terrence O. Reed

Is the Managing Director of Employment Litigation for Federal Express Corporation and has been litigating for 20 years.  He manages a team of employment litigation attorneys who represent FedEx in state and federal courts and administrative tribunals throughout the country and in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  Terrence has tried several jury trials in various jurisdictions including Memphis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Rafael, Manhattan, Long Island, Newport News, and Norfolk.  In addition to employment litigation, Terrence specializes in class action litigation.  Prior to joining FedEx’s legal team, Terrence was in private practice at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis in Nashville, Tennessee where he specialized in complex commercial civil litigation. Terrence is a faculty member of the International Association of Defense Counsel’s Trial Academy, conducted on Stanford Law School’s campus, and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis law school teaching Fair Employment Practices.  Terrence also serves as the President for the Memphis chapter of the American Inns of Court.  And, he is on the Board of Directors of the Memphis Bar Association.  He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Memphis law school, where he served as the Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board and an articles editor on the Law Review Board.  Terrence earned his undergraduate degree from Tennessee State University, graduating summa cum laude.

Julie Sandine

Is an experienced educational and legal professional with a passion for utilizing creativity, innovation and leadership skills to provide knowledge, insights and skills to others to enhance their self-esteem, confidence, and well-being. Sandine served at Vanderbilt Law School from 1995-2015 as the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, provided mentoring, support and direct assistance to law students in need, including short-term counseling, crisis intervention, and referrals for psychological and medical assistance. She also provided student well-being and academic success programming, remedial academic support for students in need, bar examination and essay writing preparation, implemented accommodations for disabled students, and handled complications experienced during the exam administration process. Sandine has held many leadership roles over the years, including in the Lawyers’ Association for Women, Nashville Pro Bono Program, Association of American Law Schools, Section on Balance in Legal Education, the Tennessee Bar Association, Lawyer Well-Being Committee, and the American Bar Association.

Berkley Schwarz

Is the Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs for the Tennessee Bar Association. Prior to joining TBA, Schwarz practiced as a litigator in Jackson, Mississippi, then made her way to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a legislative assistant and later at the U.S. Department of Justice as attorney advisor in the Office of Legislative Affairs. She holds degrees from Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Sarah Sheppeard

Is a shareholder and Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator with Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg and Waldrop, PC, practicing in the in the firm’s Knoxville office. Sheppead is the 2019-20 Tennessee Bar Association President and has served the organization in various roles; including the TBA Board of Governors, a committee chair and member, president of the YLD Fellows and was active in the TBA Young Lawyers Division. She is also a past president of the Knoxville Bar Association, and received the Knoxville Bar Association Governors' Award, which is that organization's highest honor. Sheppeard holds degrees from The University of Tennessee and The University of Tennessee College of Law.

Sen. John Stevens

Is a Republican member of the Tennessee State Senate, representing District 24, a position he has maintained since 2013. Prior to joining the Tennessee Senate, Sen. Stevens was a practicing lawyer in Huntingdon. He holds degress from The University of Tennessee at Martin and The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

Joycelyn Stevenson

Is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Bar Association and is responsible for managing the and enabling the TBA Board of Governors, House of Delegates, committees and sections to develop and implement policy. Prior to joining the TBA, Stevenson spent 12 years at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings before becoming a shareholder at the world’s largest labor and employment firm, Littler Mendelson PC. She is a graduate of Howard University and Vanderbilt University Law School and has served as president of the Nashville Bar Association, the Lawyers’ Association for Women in Nashville and the Council on Aging of Greater Nashville.

R. Dale Thomas

Serves as President of Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, P.L.C., and has been associated with the Firm since receiving his Doctor of Jurisprudence, with honors, in 1988 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. In law school, Mr. Thomas was the author of “Prejudgment Interest in Personal Injury Actions in Tennessee,” 15 Tennessee Judicial Newsletter, No. 1, 1988. Mr. Thomas was also the Articles Editor of the Tennessee Law Review.

Mr. Thomas has experience in the areas of workers’ compensation, employment law, insurance coverage, trucking law, and education law. Mr. Thomas is counsel for the local board of education, and has been retained by other boards of education for representation in specific cases.

Elaine Weiss

Is a Baltimore-based journalist and author, whose feature writing has been recognized with prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists, and her byline has appeared in many national publications, as well as in reports for National Public Radio. Her long-form writing garnered a Pushcart Prize "Editor's Choice" award, and she is a proud MacDowell Colony Fellow. Weiss' most recent book, The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote (Viking/Penguin) has won critical acclaim from the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and The New Yorker, hailed as a "riveting, nail-biting political thriller" with powerful parallels to today's political environment. The Woman's Hour was a GoodReads Readers' Choice Award winner, short-listed for the 2019 Chautauqua Prize, and received the American Bar Association's highest honor, the 2019 Silver Gavel Award.