TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Tba People on Aug 1, 2014

Journal Issue Date: Aug 2014

Journal Name: August 2014 - Vol. 50, No. 8

George T. “Buck” Lewis, receives the the Beacon of Justice Award on behalf  of his firm, Baker Donelson, from Jo-Ann Wallace, president and chief executive officer of the National Legal Aid &?Defender Association. Lewis, a past Tennessee Bar Association president, recently was appointed by the American Bar Association to its Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. Lewis has also served as chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission.

William F. Evans has joined the Knoxville office of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan where he will focus on general civil litigation. Evans graduated from the Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law in 2013. He worked for the Anderson County Circuit Court and clerked for Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee during law school.
The firm also recently announced that Robert E. Carden has joined its Chattanooga office where he will handle general civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Carden practiced at an insurance defense firm. He earned his law degree from the University of Memphis.

The Jackson Madison County Bar Association has elected new officers and board members for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year. TBA members among them are President Matthew R. West with Teel & Maroney, Vice President Jennifer Free with Byrd & Byrd, Secretary Anna Cash, and board members Joe Byrd with Byrd & Byrd, Nathan Shelby with Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell and Kathryn Tucker with West Tennessee Legal Services. All are in Jackson.

The Nashville law firm of Barrett Johnston has changed its name to Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison, added new partners and moved to the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Nashville. TBA members among the new partners are Dave Garrison, who handles complex employment litigation, and Scott Tift, who handles civil rights matters and wage and hour cases. The firm is now located at 414 Union St., Suite 900, Nashville 37219.

Florida-based Morgan & Morgan recently opened a Nashville office and named Kathryn Barnett as managing partner of the new office. Barnett, who was the former managing partner of Lieff Cabraser’s Nashville office, will continue to focus her practice on catastrophic injury, wrongful death and whistleblower cases. The move expands the firm’s presence in Tennessee, where it already had an office in Memphis. The new office is located at 810 Broadway, Suite 105, Nashville 37203 and can be reached at (615) 490-0944.

The Loudon County Bar Association has elected new officers for 2014-2015. TBA members among them are Secretary Travis McCroskey and Treasurer/Historian Robert G. Hinton, both of whom practice in Lenoir City.

George G. Hixson recently joined the Chattanooga law firm of Duncan, Hatcher, Hixson & Fleenor after working as counsel for several years with a local developer. He focuses his practice in the areas of real estate, development and construction, general business law and estate planning.

Nashville lawyer Barry J. Gammons will serve as president of the Commercial Law League during 2014-2015. Gammons, a graduate of the Nashville School of Law, practices in the area of creditor’s rights. He previously served on the TBA Creditors’ Section Executive Council.

The Bradley County Bar Association has elected new officers for the 2014-2015 bar year. TBA members among them are President Ashley L. Ownby and Vice President Jerry Hoffer, both of whom practice in Cleveland.

The Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) has announced that Court of Criminal Appeals Judge John Everett Williams has been appointed chair of the organization. His term will run through June 1, 2016. In addition the following have been reappointed to the TLAP governing board: Branch H. Henard III with Corley Henard Lyle Levy & Langford in Nashville; A. Randolph Sykes with Sykes & Wynn in Sevierville; Court of Criminal Appeals Judge D. Kelly Thomas Jr. of Knoxville; Mark Vorder-Bruegge with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs in Memphis; and Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Thomas T. Woodall of Dickson.

The Williamson County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division recently elected new officers for the 2014-2015 year. TBA members among them are President Katie Mathews Zipper with Rogers, Kamm & Shea in Nashville; Secretary/Treasurer Cort Bethmann with Independence Trust Company in Franklin; and Member at Large Ben Signer with Hamilton & Signer in Franklin.

Brad Morgan, the coordinator of access to justice and mentoring programs for the University of Tennessee College of Law, has been named “Pro Bono Attorney of the Year” by the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC). He was honored at a reception hosted by the group in June.

The Clarksville law firm of Patton & Pittman has hired attorney S. Allison Winters as an associate. She will handle civil litigation for the firm. Winters received her law degree from The University of Mississippi School of Law in 2013.

The Memphis law firm of Apperson Crump has hired Jonathan J. Ring as an associate attorney. He will handle elder law, litigation, trust and probate and estate planning. Ring earned his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2013.

The Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference has elected Donna Orr Hargrove as the Middle Tennessee Representative to its Executive Committee. She served in the same capacity in 2004-2005. Hargrove is the public defender in the 17th Judicial District — a position she has held since 1998. Prior to her election she served as an assistant public defender for five years.

The Nashville law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis has named Matthew Burnstein as its new chairman. He will succeed John Tishler effective Aug. 1. Tishler, who led the firm since 2008, will resume his bankruptcy and restructuring practice and assume the role of chairman emeritus. Burnstein’s practice focuses on corporate transaction, mostly in the health care industry.

The firm also recently announced that partner Katie Stenberg has been named to its board of directors. Stenberg serves in the Nashville office and leads the Finance and Restructuring Practice. She focuses on financial transactions, bankruptcy proceedings, corporate reorganizations and state and federal court litigation.

The Tennessee Association for Justice recently elected Nashville lawyer Jon Peeler as its 2014-2015 president. Peeler, a graduate of the Nashville School of Law and solo practioner, handles personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, products liability and workers’ compensation cases. Eric Buchanan of Chattanooga advanced to the post of president-elect.

Butler Snow has added two attorneys to the Business Services Group in its Memphis office. Jennifer S. Kiesewetter joins the firm after serving as founder and managing member of Kiesewetter Law Firm, an employee benefits, health care regulatory compliance and corporate law practice. She has practiced law in Memphis since 2000. Marianne R. Clendenen, who had been an associate at Kiesewetter’s firm since last spring, also joined the firm. She will focus on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions and employee benefits.

Miller & Martin has added a new member to its Nashville office. Douglas Berry, formerly of Berry & Harris, will continue to represent cities in zoning, eminent domain and utility matters. He previously served as the city attorney for Franklin from 1989 to 2007.

Brittany Thomas, an attorney with the Chattanooga firm of Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison, was recently honored as a “Pro Bono Hero” by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was one of only four lawyers chosen for the honor. Thomas was recognized for organizing the 2014 Chattanooga Alternative Spring Break Project for University of Tennessee College of Law students, providing pro bono services to local nonprofits and mentoring others doing immigration-related pro bono work.

The National Judicial College presented an “Advancement of Justice Award” to Tennessee Senior Judge Don R. Ash during a recent event in Nashville. A former 16th Judicial District circuit court judge, Ash took senior status in 2012. He was honored for his dedication to improving justice.

The Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association has named new members to its board of directors. TBA members among them are President Andre “AJ” Bahou, Prism Technologies, Brentwood; Vice President Rebecca Barnett, Stites & Harbison, Memphis; Treasurer Peter Brewer, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, Knoxville; Secretary Kevin Hartley, Stites & Harbison, Nashville; and at-large members Anita Modak-Truran, Butler Snow, Nashville; and Phillip E. Walker, Waddey & Patterson, Nashville.

Sumner County lawyer Susan R. High McAuley took office as the new city attorney of Gallatin on June 30. High McAuley has worked in the Hendersonville office of Bone McAllester Norton, handling business and healthcare litigation. She succeeds Joe H. Thompson, who was elected Sumner County Circuit Court judge in the May primary. He was installed in office early by Gov. Bill Haslam, as he had no challengers in the general election.

The Nashville law firm of Bone McAllester Norton has hired Mandy Strickland Floyd as an associate. She will handle labor and employment and intellectual property matters. Prior to joining the firm, Floyd was senior judicial law clerk to Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Richard H. Dinkins. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis in 2012. While in law school, she participated in the TBA Young Lawyers Division’s diversity leadership program.

More than 120 friends, family and colleagues joined newly appointed Court of Appeals Judge Neal McBrayer for his formal investiture May 29 in the old Supreme Court chamber of the State Capitol. The oath of office was administered by Gov. Bill Haslam, who appointed McBrayer to fill the seat vacated by Judge Patsy Cottrell. TBA Vice-President Bill Harbison presented a gavel to the new judge.

Franklin lawyer Debora Carroll has been promoted to assistant vice president for compliance at ProAssurance/PICA. She previously served as director of regulatory compliance. In her new role, Carroll oversees a group that performs duties related to the company’s professional liability insurance programs.

The law firm of Gullett Sanford Robinson & Martin has added Joshua R. Denton as a member in the firm. He will handle business torts, breach of contract, real estate, land use planning, zoning and intellectual property litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Denton was a member at Bass, Berry & Sims. The firm also recently announced that Dan Haskell has been named general counsel on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Business Roundtable. He focuses his practice on labor and employment law. Both serve in the firm’s Nashville office.

Frost Brown Todd has added two new lawyers to its Nashville office. Howard W. Herndon joins the firm as a member and will lead a new Electronic Payments Industry Team. Herndon has spent his career handling mergers and acquisitions, operations, compliance and technology for clients in the electronic payments industry. He will be joined by Joshua S. Rosenblatt, who will serve on the new team as well as practice in the firm’s corporate and health law groups. Both previously were with Waller.


Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, White House Chief of Staff, Ambassador to Japan and Tennessee lawyer Howard H. Baker Jr. died June 26 at his home in Huntsville. He was 88. Baker, who served 18 years in the U.S. Senate, was the first Republican to be popularly elected to the Senate from Tennessee. He achieved national recognition as the ranking member on the Senate Watergate Committee and as both Senate minority leader and majority leader. Baker later served as a chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan and as U.S. Ambassador to Japan. In 1984, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Baker also was a lawyer with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, the firm his grandfather founded. In 2003, the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy was established at the University of Tennessee. Baker’s body lay in repose at the center prior to being laid to rest with full military honors. The Baker family requests that any contributions be made to the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, 1640 Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996, or the Howard H. Baker Medical Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 600, Huntsville, TN 37756.

Read more about Sen. Baker in Bill Haltom's column.

Compiled by Linda Murphy and Stacey Shrader Joslin. Tennessee Bar Association members may send information about job changes, awards and work-related news. Send it to SUCCESS! c/o The Journal at 221 Fourth Ave. N., Suite 400, Nashville, TN 37219-2198, or email to lmurphy@tnbar.org.

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