Association's youngest president to lead group for the next year
NASHVILLE, July 14, 2011 — Memphis lawyer Daniel W. Van Horn took office as president of the Tennessee Bar Association at the association's annual convention in Chattanooga. He is the youngest member of the TBA to hold that office.
Van Horn practices law at the Memphis firm of Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC, where he focuses on commercial litigation, including business torts, unfair competition, insurance disputes and product liability. He also leads the firm's Commercial Litigation Group. Van Horn earned his law degree in 1997 from Vanderbilt University Law School and returned to Memphis to work for Armstrong Allen PLLC. He joined Butler Snow in 2005.
Van Horn has been extremely active in the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA). He served in the TBA Young Lawyers Division for many years and was elected president of the group in 2005. Following that assignment, he joined the TBA Board of Governors as the District 9 Representative. For two years, he chaired the association's Continuing Legal Education Committee, which plans legal education seminars for lawyers around the state. He is also a graduate of the TBA's Leadership Law program.
Van Horn also has been active in the American Bar Association, serving as a member of the Standing Committee on Membership, a member of the House of Delegates and YLD Assembly speaker, the second highest national YLD officer. In addition, he is a member of the Memphis and Mississippi bar associations.
Among his many accomplishments, Van Horn has distinguished himself in the field of pro bono service. He launched an effort to raise funds and attorney involvement in free clinics for HIV-positive patients in Memphis, and is the co-founder of the Atticus Finch Referral Network. Named for the lawyer who took on an unpopular case in the book To Kill a Mockingbird, the network links attorneys willing to provide free legal advice with needy Memphians. He also served on the Memphis Bar Association Access to Justice Committee and received Memphis Area Legal Services' Pro Bono Service Award in 2006. In the last few years, Van Horn has been instrumental in passage of new Supreme Court rules that provide greater funding for legal aid agencies in the state.
In the community, Van Horn has been active in the Phoenix Club, the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, serving on boards and in other positions of leadership.
In remarks made at his swearing in ceremony, Van Horn unveiled a four-point plan to guide his year in office. His "All-Access Campaign" will focus on access to justice -- providing for those who cannot afford legal services; access to opportunity -- increasing diversity in the profession for women and others traditionally underrepresented groups; access to professional development -- empowering lawyers to reach their career goals; and access to civics education -- increasing public understanding of America's government and justice system.
In commenting on his historic status as the youngest member of the TBA to lead the association, Van Horn says, "My election and service mark a symbolic passing of a torch from one generation to the next, however, the change in generations will not change the values and core principles important to Tennessee lawyers. Rather, my presidency will mark the beginning of two generations walking and working side by side on causes we care about."
Taking office along with Van Horn was President-Elect Jacqueline B. Dixon of Nashville and Vice President Cynthia Richardson Wyrick of Sevierville. Dixon is a partner in the firm of Weatherly McNally & Dixon PLC, where she focuses on personal injury and wrongful death, domestic relations, and probate cases. Wyrick is a member in the firm of Ogle, Gass & Richardson PC. She practices in the areas of wrongful death, workers' compensation, personal injury, medical malpractice, wills and estates, and adoption, custody and child support.
The 2011 Tennessee Bar Association Annual Convention was held in conjunction with four other legal organizations -- the Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers (TABL), the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women (TLAW), the Tennessee Association for Justice (TAJ) and the Tennessee Judicial Conference. This joint meeting structure allows the groups to address common issues and concerns. It also offers opportunities for additional education, long-range planning, and recognition of attorneys who have performed outstanding legal work and community service.