Posted by: TBA News on Apr 24, 2020

Journal Issue Date: May 2020

Journal Name: Vol. 56 No. 5

McAngus Goudelock & Courie, a regional insurance defense firm, has hired Emily Bragg for its Memphis office. A graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law, Bragg focuses her practice on premises liability and workers’ compensation. She also is certified in health law. 

A retirement ceremony held in late February honored Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Charles D. Susano Jr. for 25 years of service on the bench. Friends, colleagues and family gathered to share their thoughts about the state’s longest serving appellate judge. Representatives from state government and the courts, as well as former law partners, praised Susano’s well-written opinions and indomitable spirit.

Stites & Harbison recently elected Nashville lawyer Erika Barnes to its Management Committee. She will serve a two-year term and be responsible for all matters relating to management of the firm. Barnes is a member of the firm in the Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy and Business Litigation Service groups, and represents creditors and franchisors in bankruptcy cases, creditors’ committees and Chapter 11 trustees. She also handles complex commercial litigation, commercial foreclosures and mortgage litigation as a certified specialist in Business Bankruptcy. She is a past chair of the TBA Bankruptcy Section. 

Fisher Phillips recently added associate attorney Ariel Kelly to its Nashville office. Kelly has advised and defended employers in a wide range of labor and employment issues. She also counsels employers in negotiating, drafting, reviewing and enforcing employment-related policies. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, she previously worked with Dickinson Wright.

Blake Garner has joined the Murfreesboro law firm of Parkerson | Santel as a partner. Garner practices in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance defense, personal injury and business transactions. 


The Mid-South Commercial Law Institute recently announced the election of new officers and board members. TBA members among the group are Assistant Treasurer Stephen D. Barham with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel in Chattanooga and Gulam R. Zade with LOGICFORCE in Nashville, who completes his term as president and will serve one year as immediate past president. TBA members among the new board members are Cara J. Alday with Patrick, Beard, Schulman & Jacoway in Chattanooga; David M. Anthony with Bone, McAllester, Norton in Nashville; Stephen Barham; Erika R. Barnes with Stites & Harbison in Nashville; and Jerome C. Teel Jr. with Teel & Maroney in Jackson.

Lewis Thomason recently announced the addition of three new associate attorneys in its Nashville office. Davidson Lentz and Kaitlin White serve in the Transportation Practice Group. They both earned their law degrees from Belmont University College of Law. George S. Scoville III practices in the firm’s Product Liability Group. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Sheryl H. Lipman on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. He earned his law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law. 

The Nashville Arts & Business Council has announced the addition of Kara Sheridan as the legal consultant and program coordinator for Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts. She will oversee the pro bono program and manage recruitment and coordination of other volunteer efforts for the organization. A recent graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Sheridan also practices law at an immigration firm in Franklin.

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings recently announced it was named the 2020 Tennessee Litigation Firm of the Year by Benchmark Litigation. The firm was honored at an awards dinner in New York. It also was a finalist for Alabama Litigation Firm of the Year and Mississippi Litigation Firm of the Year. Awards are determined through peer reviews and case examinations.

    The firm also announced it secured a favorable settlement agreement for its hospice provider client AseraCare with the U.S. Department of Justice over a Qui Tam lawsuit that began in 2008. Under the terms of the agreement, AseraCare will pay $1 million to the Justice Department, which had sought more than $200 million worth of claims under the False Claims Act.

Knoxville lawyer Rob Frost is featured in the American Bar Association Journal winter edition with an interview titled “A League of His Own.” Frost is the minority owner of the Forest City Owls baseball team in the Coastal Plain League. He talks about his law practice, baseball team ownership and involvement with the team. Read it at Frost practices general civil law with Arnett Draper & Hagood. 

Rachel Schaffer Lawson, founder of the Nashville-based Schaffer Law Firm, has announced the firm is now fully focused on hospitality and food and beverage industry legal work. The firm previously focused on a general practice involving various businesses and nonprofit organizations. It now will help hospitality industry clients with corporate formation, owner contracts, trademarks, permits and alcohol licenses.


Former Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge HERSCHEL P. FRANKS, whose 42-year tenure on the bench was one of the longest in state history, died March 19 at 89. Franks received his law degree in 1957 from the University of Tennessee and in 1959 joined the law firm of Harris, Moon, Meacham & Franks in Chattanooga. He became active in the local bar and ultimately served as president of the Chattanooga Bar Association. He was appointed to the 11th Judicial District Chancery Court in 1970. In 1978, he was appointed to the state Court of Appeals. He later was elected chief judge and served in that position until he retired. During his career, Franks earned numerous awards and accolades, including the Chattanooga Bar Association’s Foundations of Freedom Award and the TBA’s Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Chattanooga or the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

Memphis lawyer and TBA Senior Counselor MORRIS JACOB KRIGER died Feb. 25 at 82. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Kriger was a founding partner of the firm that became Kriger Harkavy Shainberg & Kosten. He later served as in-house counsel for Fogelman Properties and executive vice president of acquisitions at Storage USA. After retiring in 1998, he continued to work in commercial real estate and financing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Morris J. Kriger Memorial Fund of the Kosten Pancreatic Research Foundation, Baron Hirsch Synagogue or charity of the donor’s choice.

Longtime Chattanooga lawyer and former Chattanooga Bar Association president GREGG MICHAEL “MIKE” LUHOWIAK died March 5 at 73. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Luhowiak practiced law in Chattanooga with Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams. He was a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, and recipient of the Brock-Cooper American Inns of Court Civility Award. He also received the Chattanooga Bar’s John M. Higgason Courage Award and Harry Weill Zealous Practice of Law Award, and was named a Chattanooga Bar Foundation Fellow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Signal Mountain.

Dyersburg lawyer and TBA Senior Counselor JOHN PALMER died March 24 at the West Tennessee Veterans’ Home in Humboldt. He was 83 years old. Palmer was a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee College of Law. He practiced law with the Palmer Law Firm in Dyersburg. He also served as Dyersburg’s city judge and as a member of the Tennessee state legislature.

Former TBA President and Hohenwald attorney WILLIAM LANDIS TURNER died March 17 following a brief illness. He was 79. From 1967 until his retirement in 2007, Turner practiced law with the Hohenwald firm founded by William C. Keaton. For 40 years, he also was city attorney for Hohenwald and county attorney for Lewis County. He also served as the attorney for South Central Tennessee Railroad Authority, the city of Lobelville and Lewis County School System. He held many positions with the TBA, including speaker of the House of Delegates, president in 1988-1989 and a Senior Counselor. In 2019, he was interviewed for the “Spark” article published in the January issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. Turner earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the University of the South at Sewanee or St. Peter’s Church in Columbia.

Former federal judge and lawmaker THOMAS A. WISEMAN JR. died March 18 at age 89. Originally from Tullahoma, Wiseman earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University and a master of law from the University of Virginia. He served two years in the U.S. Army and began practicing law in Tullahoma in 1956. In 1965, he was elected to represent Coffee, Franklin and Grundy counties in the Tennessee House of Representatives and served there until 1969. In 1971, he was elected as state treasurer and served until 1974 when he stepped down to run in the Democratic primary for governor. After losing that race, he returned to the practice of law, forming the firm of Chambers & Wiseman. In 1978, Wiseman was appointed to U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and served as chief judge for seven years. He took senior status in 1995. His judicial legacy includes presiding over the desegregation of Nashville schools and the state’s higher education desegregation case, and serving as a founding member of the Federal Judges Association.