Susan Gruber, Rick Taylor and Kirsten Jacobson accepted awards at the TBA’s annual Public Service Luncheon, Jan. 14. Read more about each of them in this month's News.

The Tennessee Bar Association has named Assistant Executive Director Barry Kolar as its interim executive director. The move follows last month’s announcement that long-time executive director Allan F. Ramsaur would step back from day-to-day responsibilities for administration of the association  and assume the role of executive director emeritus.

Chris W. McCarty of Lewis Thomason has been approved as an arbitrator by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). He may now arbitrate employment-related disputes, including discrimination claims, harassment allegations, retaliation arguments and non-compete issues.

Kaitlyn M. Holland has joined the firm of Riley Warnock & Jacobson. Holland graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2016, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif, the Order of Barristers, a Thomas D. Dunlap Scholar and a Tennessee Law Scholar. Prior to entering law school, Holland taught Latin at public schools in Massachusetts and New Jersey. She will focus her practice on commercial litigation.

Carr Allison recently announced the addition of two new associates in its Chattanooga office. Jordan K. Carpenter is a Vermont Law School graduate who spent six years as a psychological operations specialist in the U.S. Army prior to becoming an attorney. His practice areas include premises liability, insurance, professional liability and construction. Erin Gomez is a graduate of Emory University School of Law. While in school she interned with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Labor and The Coca-Cola Company. She will focus her practice on commercial transportation, premises  liability, professional liability, and labor and employment litigation.

The Nashville School of Law has named Nashville businessman John T. Rochford III as a new member of its board. Rochford is the president and founder of Rochford Realty and Construction Company, which builds custom homes, multi-family housing, residential developments and retirement communities, as well as commercial projects. He was a 1974 graduate of the school himself, and credits his experience at NSL with helping to build his business.

William R. “Bill” Hannah has joined the Chattanooga law firm of Evans Harrison Hackett as a member. He is a former president of and master of the bench with the Brock-Cooper Chapter of the American Inns of Court. He is licensed to practice law in Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi, and is a 2008 graduate of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law program. A 1994 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, he represents parties in state and federal trial and appellate courts in connection with disputes involving commercial, business and creditors’ rights, product liability, personal injury and more.

The Memphis-based law firm of McNabb, Bragorgos & Burgess recently named Richard E. Sorin a member of the firm and subsequently changed its name to McNabb, Bragorgos, Burgess & Sorin. Sorin has been with the firm since its inception in 2002.

The firm is comprised of 15 attorneys who provide legal services in various practice areas in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi.

New officers and board members have been named at the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society. Linda Knight takes over as president, John Chambers is president-elect and Emily Shouse is secretary. All practice law in Nashville.

New directors are Amy Amundsen, Memphis; Ben Cantrell, Nashville; Waverly Crenshaw, Nashville; Frank Drowota, Nashville; Marlene Moses, Nashville; and Bob Stivers of Knoxville. Directors who have been reappointed to another term are John Chambers, Nashville; Sam Elliott, Chattanooga; Tom Greenholtz, Chattanooga; Hal Hardin, Nashville; Nick McCall, Knoxville; Jimmie Carpenter Miller, Kingsport; Rachel Thomas, Nashville. The society was created in 1995 to preserve the records and history of the Tennessee Supreme Court and other courts of Tennessee, to keep records accessible for all Tennesseans, and to educate the public about the rule of law.

Casey Summar, executive director of the Arts & Business Council, was elected to a three-year term on the private sector council of Americans for the Arts. Summar will serve as an advisory member and will work with other arts leaders and local arts agencies to develop and implement private-sector advocacy programs. She also oversees the Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts program, which she founded in 2006 and merged with the Arts & Business Council in 2009. In related news, attorneys Thallen Brassel, Matthew Noggle and Andrea Sinclair were named to the Arts & Business Council’s 2016 Arts Board Matching Class.

The law firm of Snider & Horner has acquired the Kustoff Law Firm and the Law Firm of Bernie M. Kustoff following David F. Kustoff’s election to the U.S. House of Representatives and the retirement of Bernie M. Kustoff. Snider & Horner will add two attorneys from the Kustoff firm to its ranks through the acquisition, including Joshua B. Bradley.

Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton announced that John Paul Nefflen, a commercial litigator, will join the firm as a partner in the Nashville office. Nefflen comes to the firm from Burr & Forman. He is a 1997 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Memphis-based Baker Donelson and Baltimore-based Ober/Kaler have completed their previously announced merger. The move creates one of the 50 largest law firms in the nation with more than 1,600 employees in 25 offices across 10 states. The combined firms will retain the name Baker Donelson and Ben C. Adams, Baker Donelson’s chairman and CEO, and Jennifer P. Keller, its president and chief operating officer, will retain their positions. The firms’ combined health practice will now be known as Baker Ober Health Law with a strong presence in Baltimore, Nashville and Washington, D.C.

Chattanooga lawyer Jerry Summers and the law firm he founded, Summers, Rufolo & Rogers, donated $100,000 to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to fund scholarships for students in the criminal justice program. Student awards will be made annually and will alternate each year between students interested in becoming prosecutors and those interested in becoming defense attorneys. Summers earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee and has worked as assistant district attorney, criminal defense attorney, personal injury lawyer and labor lawyer.

Cordell & Cordell, a domestic litigation firm focusing on representing men in family law cases, has opened a Chattanooga office. The law firm has more than 200 attorneys working in more than 100 offices across the United States and the United Kingdom. The new office is at 200 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Suite 100, Chattanooga 37402. Associate attorney Rachel Hodges will head the office.

Fentress County attorney James “Jim” Romer announced his retirement from the practice of law after 37 years. Romer joined the firm of Neal & Craven in 1978 following his graduation from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Today the firm exists as Romer, Lane & Howard. Romer reports that he will continue to be involved in community projects and in local and state bar activities.

Memphis lawyer James E. “Jeb” Bailey III has been named a fellow with the American College of Bankruptcy. He will be inducted during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 10. Bailey leads the Finance, Real Estate & Restructuring Group at Butler Snow. In his own practice, he focuses on business reorganizations, litigation, workouts and bankruptcy proceedings.

The Nashville Business Journal has announced its 2017 Women of Influence honorees. Among the 32 women are four attorneys: Julie Boswell, Baker Donelson; Angela Humphreys, Bass, Berry & Sims; Ann Jarvis Pruitt, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services; and Jen Robinson, Littler Mendelson. All honorees will be recognized at an awards lunch on Feb. 8.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) recently hosted its Annual Celebrate Pro Bono evening in Knoxville. The event, “Forging Justice,” celebrated local attorneys who donated civil legal services during the past year. Knox County Assistant Public Defender David Gall received the Pro Bono Advocacy Award; Douglas A. Blaze was inducted into the Donald F. Paine Memorial Pro Bono Hall of Fame; and Hodges, Doughty & Carson was named Law Firm of the Year. At a separate event to celebrate National Philanthropy Day, the group recognized Knoxville lawyers Betsy Beck and Tom Hale for their service to the community and LAET.

The group also held a pro bono event in Johnson City. Access to Justice Awards were given to Curt Collins, Mike Forrester and Tony Seaton. Outstanding Service Awards went to Art Fowler III, Adam Kneisley, Rachel Mancl, Dave Robbins, Bart Rowlett, Mark Skelton and Aleania Smith. Karen Boyd was recognized with a special Above & Beyond Award for her work with pro se divorce clinics in the Tri-Cities.

Nashville attorney Alé Dalton has been chosen to serve on the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 2016-2017 Latina Commission, which studies and recommends remedies for barriers to advancement faced by Latina lawyers. She is one of only nine delegates nationwide. Dalton serves on the health care team at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

Nancy Stallard Harr recently was sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Harr had been serving as interim U.S. attorney since the retirement of William C. Killian in 2015. Harr is a former prosecutor with the Second Judicial District Attorney’s office in Blountville. She joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1995 in Knoxville and was named supervisor of the Greeneville branch office in 2001.

Compiled by Linda Murphy, Stacey Shrader Joslin and Katharine Heriges. 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

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