Tennessee’s Best 101 | BusinessTN

Tennessee’s Best 101 Lawyers 2004

January 2004

How do you find a good lawyer? For most people, recommendations from business associates point the way.

How do you find a good lawyer? For most people, recommendations from business associates point the way. CPAs and bankers also are known to proffer good advice to clients in need of legal counsel, as are judges, company directors and other lawyers themselves.

To save you all this trouble, Business Tennessee has spoken with many of the above from all regions of the state to assemble a list of Tennessee’s best lawyers. We found an abundance—well more than the 101 we identify in the following pages—of lawyers who have earned the trust and confidence of those who know their work the best.

To be sure, not all are household names, as we placed far greater weight on ability than celebrity, though many enjoy national reputations. And all are actively practicing in the private sector and available for hire.

While there are few objective indicators of excellence in the legal profession, at least one other effort to assess quality is worth noting. Nearly all the lawyers on our list sport an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the legal industry directory’s highest rating of legal ability and adherence to professional standards of ethics. Martindale-Hubbell, like us, informs itself through the confidential opinions of members of the bar and judiciary.

The result is the Business Tennessee Best Lawyers List for 2004. We salute the able men and women recognized below and congratulate them for the high regard in which they are held by their peers and clients.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Robert Brandt
Trauger, Ney & Tuke

A Norris, Tenn., native and former Nashville chancery court judge. Joined Trauger Ney following 20 years on the bench presiding over business disputes and state government cases. “Very well respected.” As mediator, has resolved disputes for a plethora of high-profile companies, including General Motors, HCA, Coca Cola, Shoney’s, Warner Brothers, UPS and Xerox. Adjunct professor at Vandy Law since 1976. Recognized for vast expertise in dispute resolution. A hiking enthusiast and author of two Tennessee hiking guides.

Mike Cody
Burch, Porter & Johnson

Former attorney general of Tennessee. Preeminent government regulation lawyer in Memphis. Mediated some of the largest cases in the country. Senior partner in a firm selected as co-counsel to the Tennessee Lottery Corp. “Sets the ethical standards for other lawyers.” Has served on numerous law commissions in the state and authored books on topics spanning white collar crime to privatization of prisons. Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers. Avid runner, member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Tom Harris
Sole Practice

“First one who comes to mind statewide” in the field of dispute resolution. Pioneer of the field after it became popular in mid-1980s. “Does an outstanding, solid job.” The fact that many lawyers in need of a mediator agree on Harris speaks volumes about his reputation. “A well-respected mediator.”

Howard Vogel
O’Neil, Parker & Williamson

“One of the best in the state in this area.” Paris, Tenn., native is known for his work in resolving complex medical malpractice cases. Selected by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and HCA to mediate their contract dispute, which went unresolved. “Best for sophisticated cases.” Former president of the Tennessee Bar Association. Was president of the Barrister’s Club in Knoxville.

Banking Steve Eisen
Baker, Donelson, Bearman
Caldwell & Berkowitz

Represents more than 100 community banks in Tennessee and surrounding states, which makes his banking practice largest in the state. “Country banks are more at ease with him.” Specializes in de novo banks. Does a lot of lending work, helps private banks raise money to meet growth needs. Has been busy during the past year on the Counsel for Tennessee Consumer Finance Association dealing with proposal to adopt a predatory lending statute in Tennessee. Negotiated with regulators on behalf of 18 “problem” banks to resolve their regulatory issues. Author of numerous banking articles. Active in the Tennessee Bankers Association and on the national Banking Law Committee.

Bob Thompson
Bass, Berry & Sims

“Many people think he’s the smartest lawyer in Nashville.” Represented First American Bank before it was sold to AmSouth. Currently represents Nashville Bank & Trust. “Knows more about banking than anybody in Tennessee” due to his enormous track record of deals. Practicing at Bass since 1975 graduation from Harvard Law. Instrumental in drafting the 1980 Tennessee Securities Act, as well as Tennessee Regional Reciprocal Banking Acts of 1985 and 1990. “A Wall Street kind of lawyer.” In tandem with Eisen, assisted in sales of charters to out-of-state banks attempting to get established in Tennessee.


Thomas H. Dickenson
Hodges, Doughty & Carson

Maintains an extensive practice in bankruptcy and commercial law, as well as creditors’ rights and transactional matters. Also concentrates on leases and land acquisition for commercial development. Does work as a trustee. “Has long been respected in the bankruptcy field.” Held offices in both Tennessee and Knoxville Bar Associations. Served as assistant examiner for the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners.

Paul Jennings
Bass, Berry & Sims

Represents creditors in corporate bankruptcies, as well as major corporate debtors. “Right to the point, and very efficient.” Co-counsel for Capital One in bankruptcy class action litigation. Co-counsel for Regal Cinemas and Service Merchandise in their Chapter 11 bankruptcies. Has represented official unsecured committees of creditors. Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute. Former president of TBA’s section of commercial, bankruptcy and banking law. “An excellent bankruptcy lawyer.”

Jim Kelley
Neal & Harwell
Active representing creditors, usually banks, led by Bank of America. Contributing editor for Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice. Author of Corporations-Formation, The Law in Tennessee. Frequent speaker at bankruptcy and commercial law seminars throughout the country. Local counsel for a group of banks in American HomePatient bankruptcy. Fellow at American College of Bankruptcy. Masters degree in Tax.

Jack Marlow
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs
Handled the largest bankruptcy case ever in Shelby County in late 1980s representing Julien Company, then the world’s largest cotton merchant. Julien had $600 million in debt and $400 million in assets. Joined Wyatt in 2002. Represents secured lenders, handling bankruptcy cases in high digits. Former member of the ABA Subcommittee on Agriculture and Agri Business Finance, as well as ABA’s Business Law Section. Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Bill Norton
Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry
“Not only is he a good lawyer, but he can read and write, too.” Managing editor of Norton Bankruptcy Law & Practice (2d), West Group’s 12-volume treatise on bankruptcy law first edited by Judge William Norton Jr. In past year has represented secured creditors of Pen Holdings ($70 million of debt) and of James River Coal ($260 million of debt), and GE Capital in American HomePatient case. Special counsel to Holcomb Healthcare Services in litigation with Vanderbilt, Amway and Ernst & Young. President-elect of American Board of Certification, which certifies bankruptcy attorneys.

Shelley Rucker
Miller & Martin

Has represented manufacturers in preference defenses, worked with unsecured creditor committees, and has worked with lessors and property managers in several retail bankruptcies. Former president of Mid-South Commercial Law Institute. Member of the American College of Bankruptcy Lawyers. “Excellent bankruptcy practitioner.” Handles significant bankruptcy cases almost exclusively representing creditors.

John Ryder
Harris, Shelton, Dunlap, Cobb & Ryder
“Knows all the bankruptcy powers that be.” Does a lot of Chapter 11 work, concentrating on bigger cases. “A nationwide player.” Handles both debtor and creditor work. Participated in bankruptcies of Julien Cos., Microwave Products, Wexner & Jacobson, XpertTune, and Braniff. Co-author of Protection of Creditors’ Rights in Bankruptcy. Former director of Mid-South Commercial Law Institute. Involved in redistricting battles on the Republican side in Memphis. Former Shelby County Delinquent Tax Attorney.

Business Litigation
T. Maxfield Bahner
Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel

“A truly outstanding and well-respected trial lawyer.” Has handled numerous significant cases over the years. “Top of the line.” “The work he has done puts him in the Jim Cheek category.” At 70, respected in the field across the state. “Not only knowledgeable in the law, but an accomplished problem solver.” Past president of Chattanooga Bar Association. Past governor of the American Bar Association.

Leo Bearman
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz

“Epitomy of an attorney.” The go-to lawyer when clients seek new representation. On numerous law-related commissions in the state. “When a judge gets in trouble, invariably Leo is the judge’s lawyer.” Makes scholarly comparisons of classic literature and legal work. Former president of the Memphis & Shelby County Bar Association, recipient of the Sam A. Myar Jr. memorial award. “Probably the most widely respected litigator on the Memphis Bar.” Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers. Teaches at The University of Memphis School of Law. Sons, David and Edward, also are also prominent lawyers in Memphis.

Bernie Bernstein
Bernstein, Stair & McAdams

Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Represents Clayton Homes, and Goody’s, a clothing company, in a stockholder lawsuit. “Outstanding lawyer.” Handles a lot of real estate matters and cases involving shopping centers in Knoxville. Also represents Proffitt’s department stores. Among civil commercial litigators, “one of the best in Knoxville.” Known for his work on an industrial espionage case with Combustion Engineering Co.

Steve Riley
Bowen, Riley, Warnock & Jacobson

Aggressive litigator. Counsel to HCA in Medicare investigation and shareholder lawsuits. Settled the derivative portion of the suit and currently in the process of settling the securities class action. “Hell of a business litigator.” Counsel to Bridgestone in tire-related lawsuits. Involved in the J.C. Bradford class action matter. Represented renal care giant Fresenius in non-compete cases. Handles UNUM Provident work in Nashville and Chattanooga.

Bob Walker
Walker, Bryant, Tipps & Malone

Instrumental in most significant corporate lawsuits in Nashville during the past three decades. Represents Predators against Gaylord. Involved in class action suits with CCA, Sirrom and HCA. Has a reputation as one of the preeminent trial lawyers in the state. “His firm carries a lot of weight.” Represented Vanderbilt in multiple complex cases. “One of the better trial lawyers in the state,” able to sway juries by getting down to the common man’s level. “Very bright and easy to get along with.”

Civil Rights
John Eldridge
Eldridge, Irvine & Gaines

Has handled numerous cases representing Knox County inmates. Also represented prisons in civil rights cases. Past president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Has represented citizens accused of crimes in most of the counties of East Tennessee. Practice includes federal and state court criminal trial work, such as murder, Internet/computer crimes, theft, sex offenses, and drug conspiracy. On the board of trustees of Emory & Henry College. Former president of the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Knoxville.

Bruce Kramer
Borod & Kramer

A well-known civil liberties attorney. Represented Harry Reems, adult film star in Deep Throat, in the 1976 pornography case charging dozens of people. Not afraid to take unpopular stands. “Excellent lawyer, but a lot of people have problems with him.” Closely involved with the ACLU. A list of well-known cases includes ERGON/ Amoco v. Phillips Petroleum, Rural West Tennessee African-American Affairs Council Inc., et al. v. Ned McWherter, and Pepsico v. Coca-Cola. Sues other lawyers. “A lightning rod around here.” Recently appointed as receiver for a company in a $250 million securities case. First recipient of Bruce S. Kramer Cooperating Attorney Award by the ACLU of Tennessee.


John Cheadle
Cheadle & Cheadle

The master of collections in the Midstate and an aviation enthusiast. Flies his twin Commander turbo prop plane across the country churning out collections, largely on behalf of banks. Maintains an office in Knoxville. Client roster includes Bank of America, Union Planters and SunTrust. Also handles collections matters on behalf of companies, such as Robert Orr Sysco and Ed’s Supply. Concentrates on retail, commercial cases and insurance law (representing Allstate). Also covers foreclosure and deficiency. Covers 80,000 “sky miles” a year on his plane, routinely taking other attorneys and paralegals for a ride.

Jim Blumstein
Vanderbilt faculty

Involved in five successful U.S. Supreme Court cases, two of which he argued. Challenged the length-of-residency requirement for voter registration, which was struck down. Was behind Brentwood Academy in its 2000 dispute with TSSAA, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled was a “state actor” and “bound to obey the First Amendment.” The case had implications on outsourcing of government matters to private contractors. Directs the Health Policy Center at the Vanderbilt Institute of Public Policy Studies. Well-known for his expertise in health care. Turned down Emory deanship to remain at Vanderbilt.

Jef Feibelman
Burch, Porter & Johnson

“One of the most incisive thinkers and effective commercial lawyers I have ever worked with,” according to a former colleague. Represented new charter schools in Memphis resolving statutory issues with Attorney General’s office. Successfully defended municipal tax in Memphis against several hotel and motel owners. Possesses a keen expertise in errors and omissions claims, as well as insurance. Represents judges statewide. Taught courses at Rhodes College and University of Memphis Law. Represented pro-bono Metro Inter-Faith Association and the Better Business Bureau. Joined Tennessee Judicial Selection Committee in 2002.

Ben Adams
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz

At 47, “clearly the best general corporate lawyer in the state.” Represents a ton of companies, big and small. Most notable clients include Hunter Fan Co., Buckeye Technologies, UTMG, and J.R. Hyde. “Was a star student at Vandy Law, winning numerous awards.” Sought after by numerous firms following graduation, including those on Wall Street. Instead of going to New Nork, joined Heiskell Donelson in Memphis, co-founded by his father, which later merged with Baker Donelson. “Excellent leader, very personable.” Effective communicator.

Howard Lamar
Bass, Berry & Sims

At 42 years of age, regarded by his older peers as a gifted securities lawyer. Represented Dollar General Corp. Well-known for his involvement in venture capital financings. Consults early-stage growth companies. Represents Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Focuses on handling complex transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions for public and private companies and public offerings on behalf of issuers and investment banking firms. Prior to getting his law degree from Vanderbilt, was a bank loan officer.

William Solmson
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs

Concentrating in mergers and acquisitions and financial transactions. Board member of the Memphis Food Bank and multiple civic organizations. The go-to business acquisition lawyer in Memphis. “A deal maker’s dream of a lawyer who possesses both the technical and practical skills to achieve results and close transactions for his clients.” Taught business law at the University of Memphis. Instrumental in developing universal legal opinion accord for Tennessee while on TBA committee.

Defense Litigation
James A.H. Bell
Sole Practice

Known for “commanding presence in the courtroom.” With his “take no prisoners” approach, won the respect of district attorney’s office and of his peers. “If you’re charged with murder and looking at serious time, he’d be at the top of the list.” Last year’s recipient of the twenty-third Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “Time and again Jim has won what other lawyers turned down as an impossible case.” Former president of Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Kemper Durand
Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson & Mitchell

Born in Wisconsin and raised in Knoxville, where he returned to go to law school after graduating from Yale. Former assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Concentrates on federal criminal defense cases, as well as civil litigation and immigration. Represents Shelby County mayor’s aide Tom Jones in criminal embezzlement and official misconduct case. Represented Clark McMillan, who was freed from jail after being convicted for rape and robbery 22 years ago and being sentenced for 119 years in prison. “A very fine defense lawyer with great reputation.”

Herb Moncier
Sole Practice

Former state prosecutor with 25 years of experience in criminal defense. Well-known as an effective trial lawyer with a no-stone-unturned approach, “would wear the fonts off the tennis ball.” Knoxville press darling. Notorious for frequently suing public officials. Last year filed a $2 million suit against a Blount County church on behalf of a girl who allegedly suffered injuries during “a cult-like event.” Defended the accused Knoxville serial killer Thomas “Zoo Man” Huskey. Speaker at an anti-capital punishment rally.

Bob Ritchie
Ritchie, Fels & Dillard

Forty years of experience in criminal defense. “One of the first ones who come to mind in the field statewide.” Past president of the Knoxville Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and founding president of Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “An accomplished problem solver.” Along with partner Tom Dillard recognized nationally as a “star” in criminal defense. “One of the top few with Jim Neal.” Also handles bankruptcy cases, representing a number of banks and businesses.

Jimmy Sanders
Neal & Harwell

Nashville’s best criminal defense attorney. Has worked with legendary name partner Jim Neal, 74, since 1978. Tries cases nationwide. Defended director John Landis in the Twilight Zone film case and Exxon in Valdez spill. Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Was counsel to Bridgestone-Firestone in tire litigation. Represents Ingram Industries, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Qwest Communications. Active in civil litigation. Vanderbilt Law graduate.

Lloyd R. Tatum
Tatum & Weinman

Referred to as “young Lloyd” in the community where his father, F. Lloyd Tatum, is a retired criminal appeals judge. Represented numerous clients in first-degree murder cases in West Tennessee. “Lloyd is usually retained in some of the more serious cases over there.” Has an excellent reputation for his honesty, integrity and being a fine trial lawyer. Represented Derrick Maness in the 2002 murder case, State v. Derrick Maness, where the defendant was found not guilty.

Defense Litigation
(White Collar)
Phil Fleissner
Sole Practice

“Very bright, creative trial lawyer.” For many years handled both straightforward and complex defense matters. “Knows everybody down there.” Handled the 2000 Tennga school bus case. Defended Bowater Paper Co. following the I-75 fog disaster that was settled in 1994. Active in the Georgia crematory case. Was one of the lawyers seeking class action status for the case, which was granted. Concentrates on employment law, environmental law, ERISA and disability insurance. Author of articles on insurance and invasion of privacy. Assists wife Cathy in advocating against family violence in Chattanooga. Captain, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

David Raybin
Hollins, Wagster & Yarbrough

“Truly a scholar of white collar litigation. Particularly good at appeals work.” Member of various Supreme Court advisory boards. Often quoted by the local media. Former assistant attorney general. Served on the state sentencing commission. Represented Christopher Flake, former criminal justice student with mental problems who was convicted of killing two people. Preparing for the Tennessee Supreme Court insanity defense, Raybin said, ‘’there are extreme cases where a jury verdict is wrong and it should be changed by the appellate courts.”

Jim Martin
Stites & Harbison

First choice among males, though he represents both men and women. Member of the Domestic Relations Code Commission. Represented Nashville Banner publisher Irby Simpkins in his 2000 divorce from Peaches Simpkins. Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Began focusing on domestic relations, including divorce, child custody and child support, in 1990. Has lectured on taxation, discovery procedure and drafting settlement agreements among other topics.

Dorothy Pounders
Pounders & Coleman

Former vice president of Association of Women Attorneys. Was Tennessee commissioner for National Conference on Uniform State Laws. Always on the short list to be chosen for highly visible and big money domestic relations litigation. Chairs alternative dispute resolution section at Memphis Bar. Recipient of the Lawyer’s Lawyer award by the Memphis Bar Association. “Top-notch.” Husband is renowned Memphis architect Louis Pounders.

Sarah Sheppeard
Sheppeard & Swanson

Teaches seminars on divorce matters. “Recognized statewide.” “Enjoys excellent reputation in the field of family law.” Handles mostly larger cases involving substantial assets. Past president of the Knoxville Bar Association. Civil trial specialist and Rule 31 mediator listed by the Tennessee Supreme Court. Adjunct professor at the UT College of Law. Former member of the Tennessee Law Review. Also an expert on the law of evidence.

Roger May
Willis & Knight

Represents Titans quarterback Steve McNair following his 2003 DUI arrest. Other clients include Marty Stewart, Terry Clark, Jennifer O’Neal, and hockey star Denis Arkhipov. “Clearly the best.” One of the leading DUI lawyers in the state for years; also practices civil litigation. Former assistant district attorney. Was assistant U.S. attorney prior to joining private practice in 1981. Started his own firm in 1985, which merged into Willis & Knight in 2000. Has tried cases in Memphis, Chattanooga and Clarksville. Member of both national and Tennessee associations of criminal defense lawyers. College quarterback in his earlier days.

Steve Oberman
Daniel & Oberman
“Godfather statewide in the area of DUI.” With his treatise on DUI in Tennessee, which debuted in 1991 and has appeared annually since then, stays at the forefront of drunk driving defense in the state. Represents high-profile clients in Knoxville and across the eastern part of the country. “Brilliant lawyer, great teacher.” Well-regarded trial attorney with “professorial” demeanor. Adjunct professor at UT Law. Lectured to FBI trainees in Virginia. Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. DUI College member. Co-author of Drunk Driving Defense, a one-volume treatise.

Ken Kraus
Loeb & Loeb

A Los Angeles transplant who represents all the big country music stars in Nashville. Maintains offices in New York and Los Angeles, where the firm is based. Represents Elvis Presley estate, as well as the Wallflowers, Clint Black, Kid Rock, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman and Nickel Creek. Often mentioned with his colleague Robert Sullivan.

Mike Milom
Bass, Berry & Sims
One of the top entertainment lawyers not just in the state, but in the country. Biggest name in entertainment law in Music City. Among his clients are Hank Williams Jr., Brooks & Dunn, Trick Pony and Alabama. Founding director of the Copyright Society of the South. On ABA’s copyright office committee of intellectual property.

Drew Goddard
Bass, Berry & Sims

Duke Law graduate with a degree in engineering from Vanderbilt. “Understands factories better than factory owners.” Represents big-name firms across the state, such as Eastman Chemical in Kingsport. Successfully negotiated many enforcement consent orders with U.S. EPA, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and other agencies. Lobbied for changes in environmental regulations and Title V air permit legislation. Defended proposed superfund listings by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Former chair of TBA’s environmental section.

Charlie Newman
Burch, Porter & Johnson

One of the principal lawyers in the Overton Park dispute, a 30-year-old case still on the minds of many. “High-profile, knows how to resolve a pollution situation.” Knows the ins and outs of government regulations. “Smart as hell.” Also practices college and university law, information technology, insurance defense and intellectual property litigation. Educated in Bonn, Germany, and at Yale Law. On boards of numerous civic organizations, including National Civil Rights Museum Foundation and LeMoyne-Owen College.

Lou Woolf
Woolf, McClane, Bright, Allen & Carpenter

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., represents numerous major petroleum and chemical companies in toxic material matters. Has tried cases in 37 states. “Has handled a number of cases from the civil side.” The firm is known for taking on property and personal injury lawsuits arising from air and water pollution, hazardous and non-hazardous waste, underground and aboveground storage tank releases, and superfund litigation. Co-author of online CLE topics of expert testimony and scientific evidence in Tennessee.

Family Law
Dawn Coppock
Strawberry Plains
Sole Practitioner

Represents birth parents or adoptive parents in state, international, and relative adoptions, among others. Also handles adoption record searches, contested adoptions and appeals on behalf of her clients. Prior to opening sole practice in 1993, practiced with Knoxville law firm Rainwater, Humble & Vowell for five years. Member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. On family law sections at ABA and TBA. Legislative coordinator for the Counsel on Adoptable Children. Author of Coppock on Tennessee Adoption Law with Forms and Statutes.

Bob Tuke
Trauger, Ney & Tuke

Foremost adoption lawyer in the state. “Basically wrote Tennessee adoption laws.” Considered a leading thinker in his field, having participated in drafting a 1996 revision of state adoption laws. Represented hundreds of parents, in addition to corporate practice. On the board of Nashville’s Family and Children’s Services. Marine veteran of Vietnam, holds Cross of Gallantry award in combat. President of American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

First Amendment
Russell Headrick

Hale, Headrick, Dewey, Wolf, Golwen, Thornton & Chance

“Very good media lawyer for the defendant’s side.” Represents Memphis Flyer, the city’s alternative newsweekly. Of the opinion that TV coverage of courts has not been helpful and has been “more about entertainment than information.” Also known for his work in life insurance defense, ERISA cases, as well as disability and antitrust matters. Former member of Tennessee Law Review’s editorial board. UT Law graduate.

Rick Hollow
Watson & Hollow

Represents Knoxville News Sentinel, Tennessee Press Association and WBIR. Co-author of Tennessee Sunshine: The People’s Business Goes Public. Often sues to obtain records on behalf of the Sentinel. “Has been successful every time.” Helped determine in 1999 that a temporary restraining order against the Sentinel was “transparently invalid” and unconstitutional, allowing the paper to print leaked records of the capital murder trial of accused serial killer Thomas “Zoo Man” Huskey. “Outstanding in defamation and libel.” Helped Rome County attorney general with defamation issues prior to his successful election. “Does a good job in medical malpractice as well.”

Al Knight
Willis & Knight

Veteran First Amendment attorney for The Tennessean. Buffalo, N.Y., native argued for media access to NES customer information. Challenged sealing of settlement between Lebanon and a private citizen. Was lead attorney in the Tennessean’s efforts to open files on Kirby Pines Estates in the 1996 Sundquist campaign controversy. Well-known for suing to enforce Tennessee Public Records Act. Defended against inmate’s defamation charge where court found lifetime incarceration “renders any reputation he may have had virtually valueless.”

Health Care
Dan Elrod
Miller & Martin

Represented the Tennessee Hospital Association on exclusive physician contracting. Active in certificate of need (CON) disputes. Represented The Blakeford at Green Hills in state regulatory matter. Important lobbyist on behalf of hospitals and insurers in the Tennessee General Assembly. Client roster includes 40 health care institutions statewide, including Nashville’s Baptist and St. Thomas hospitals. Administrator of the Tennessee Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association, which has paid more than $70 million in claims to date.

Charles Key
Bogatin Law Firm

“Probably the leading health care lawyer in Memphis.” Concentrates on regulatory issues, representing health care providers and physician groups. Active in anti-kickback regulation, self-referral (Stark), reimbursement, and HIPAA-related matters. Focuses heavily on nonprofit organizations, which he counsels on choosing a business form, antitrust and employment matters. Former general counsel to 650-physician IPA in St. Louis, Mo. Also knowledgeable in medical peer review and licensing matters.

Max Shelton
Harris, Shelton, Dunlap, Cobb & Ryder

Represents Baptist Healthcare System and other health care organizations. Adjunct professor at UT-Memphis. Expert in nonprofit healthcare policies and procedures, hospital litigation and Medicare/ Medicaid reimbursement. Past president of the Memphis Bar Association and former chairman of Health Law Section there. Member of American Health Lawyers Associ- ation and Tennessee Academy of Hospital Attorneys.

Health Care

George Bishop Nashville Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis Key player in Nashville’s health care industry since its inception. Founder of TBA’s health law section. First lawyer on the board of the Nashville Health Care Council. Instrumental in several trade missions to Europe, including last year’s trip. Expert on securities and offerings, with focus on syndications of health care facilities and venture capital financings. Knowledgeable in antitrust matters, as well as acquisition and disposition of health care facilities. Prior to receiving his UT Law degree with highest honors, spent several years at Oxford.

Dick Cowart Nashville Baker, Donelson, Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz National player with more than 25 years in practice. “The best health care lawyer in Tennessee.” Brings a lot of business to the firm after merging his Jackson, Miss., practice with Baker Donelson. President of the Southern Institute of Health Law. Author of numerous health law articles. Columnist for Mississippi Medical News. “Takes only business he can handle, doesn’t hoard everything himself.”

Mark Manner Nashville Harwell, Howard, Hyne, Gabbert & Manner Big in corporate health care transactions and capital formation. One of few Nashville lawyers covering the biotechnology niche. Helped raise capital for BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals. Board member of Tennessee Bio technology Association and Tennessee Technology Development Corp. Former antitrust attorney for U.S. Dept. of Justice. Clients include private and public companies located throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized for his experience in structuring and negotiating complex mergers and acquisitions and advising boards of directors of public companies.


Linda Rose Nashville Rose Immigration Law Firm A Hawaii transplant, spent 13 years in immigration practice in Tennessee. Most clients are in automotive and music industries. Also represents universities and small businesses. Last year won the case against U.S. government over delaying citizenship papers for a family of Vanderbilt professors. On board of American Immigration Lawyers Association. Adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Law. Author of numerous articles on immigration in business, including national interest waivers, prevailing wages and labor certification. Masters degrees in public health and anthropology.

Greg Siskind Memphis Siskind & Susser One of the leading immigration lawyers in the nation. Made the cover of the ABA Journal in November. Was among the first few in the field to pioneer the use of Internet. Writes a technology column for Immigration Law Today. Commutes regularly to Nashville maintaining large practice with health care companies. Recently landed accounts with International Paper, Cirque du Soleil and St. Jude Children’s Hospital to handle their immigration matters. Firm expanded to 21 attorneys between head office in Memphis and branches in nine other cities, including Toronto and Beijing. Former partners Charla Haas and Marilyn Devine split off last summer to form their own immigration practice in Nashville.

Intellectual Property

Roy Berkenstock Memphis Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs Has grown IP practice in the Memphis office in a very short time. “Does a lot of patent applications, has a name in that area.” Degree in electrical engineering. Admitted to practice in Tennessee, Massachusetts and registered with U.S. and Canadian patent offices. Extensive practic

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