Tell us where you are, what you’re doing, and what’s happening in your life – we want to share it with your fellow alumni.

Recent Alumni Notes

Joe L. Lackey, III has joined forces with his father, attorney Joe Lackey, Jr. in Nashville.

Nashville-based based law firm Rudy Winstead Turner has named Shelby Mathews as an attorney. Mathews joined the firm as a paralegal in September 2015 and continued law school while she worked at the firm. Mathews works on complex cases involving estate planning, commercial business and commercial real estate.

Andrew Nutt has taken an associate position with Lannom and Williams, a criminal defense firm in Lebanon.

Chad Phillips is an associate with Sutherland and Belk, a personal injury firm in Nashville.

Ryan Pratt is with Ortale Kelley, which has practices in multiple areas including real estate, professional malpractice, and general insurance defense.

Chris Ryckman was promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Steve Ward & Associates, Inc.  Ryckman previously has served as a Project Manager, Director of Project Management, as well as Vice President of Operations at the commercial casework company that that services clients in healthcare, education, and laboratory.

Micheal Jones is handling TBI public information communications for the western region of the state, based in the Jackson office and providing services to Judicial Districts 24 through 30, which comprise 21 counties in the West Tennessee region. Jones formerly served as the director of communications for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Lacey Buchanan has published Through the Eyes of Hope, which shares the story of her experiences over the past six years and raising a son who was born with severe birth defects.

Christian Cahill has been admitted and licensed to practice in the United States Court of International Trade. The designation was granted in November 2016.

Evan Newman has joined the law firm of Bacon, Jessee, Perkins, Carroll and Anderson, LLP of Morristown as an associate attorney. Previously Newman interned and practiced law under Bernie McEvoy and during law school clerked at the Nashville law firm of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert and Crawford.

James Vince Witty, principal of Metro Nashville Public Schools Virtual School, was named by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville as a finalist in the education category for the Nashville Emerging Leader Award.

Seannalyn Brandmeir  is a procurement and contracting manager with the State of Tennessee, Dept of Finance and Administration, Division of Benefits Administration.

Kimberly Faye has joined Bone McAllester Norton, working on alcoholic beverage, entrepreneurial and emerging business, and entertainment law cases.

Kelley L. Groover has been appointed Assistant Attorney General for the State of Tennessee. She will work in the office’s Public Interest Division, focusing primarily on false claims cases.

Chris Beauchamp recently argued before the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Jackson, his first oral argument before the appeals court.

MTR Family Law has added Sadie Ramsey Davis as an attorney. Davis previously was a paralegal at the firm. Founding manager of MTR Family Law is Marlene Eskind Moses, a 1980 graduate of the School.

Kimberly Faye was selected to Nashville’s Top 30 under 30.  She also published the cover story for the April/May issue of the Nashville Bar Journal entitled “Tennessee Women’s Suffrage.”

Jon Graves has joined the law firm of Batson Nolan PLC, which has offices in Clarksville and Springfield. He focuses on real estate and litigation.

Wayne Sutter is a litigation specialist in the Tobacco Enforcement Division of the Tennessee Attorney General and Reporter’s Office.

Tara Gess is In-House Counsel for Construction Enterprises, Inc. based in Franklin.  She recently spoke at the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel’s 2017 Spring conference in French Lick, In.

Brittany Stevens was voted Favorite Elected Official in the Daily News Journal’s Ruthies Awards for Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Stevens is the Smyrna Court Clerk.

John Wilks was selected for the Nashville Bar Association’s Nashville Bar Foundation Leadership Forum.

Amanda Gentry is co-chair on the legislative committee of the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Dalis D. Holliman has been promoted from associate to partner at the law firm of Farrar, Holliman and Butler in Lafayette. Holliman is also a member of Farrar, Holliman and Medley in McMinnville. The two law firms work in partnership. He is also of counsel to the Holliman Law Firm in Carthage, where he works with his mother, Debbie Holliman.

Christopher Savoie was named vice chairman of the ABA Big Data Committee. His company Kyulux recently was named a Red Herring Global 100 company.  His offices are in Boston.

Smyrna Town Court Clerk Brittany Stevens was recently presented with a portrait of George Washington by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Tenassee Chapter in Columbia, Tenn. Stevens is on the board of directors of the Sam Davis Home.

Geoffrey Dover was sworn in as an assistant district attorney in the 4th Judicial District. Dover was a member of Cooper’s Inn Honor Society and won the School’s Moot Court Award. The District Attorney General in the 4th Judicial District is Jimmy Dunn, a 1986 graduate of the School. Dover previously was a law clerk for Tennessee Claims Commissioner William O. Shults.

Charlotte English has been promoted to vice president and trust officer at Cumberland Trust in Nashville.

George Spanos was selected for the Nashville Bar Association’s Nashville Bar Foundation Leadership Forum.

Diane Bradford has been named to an adjunct faculty position at Middle Tennessee State University. She will be working with the Human Services Department.

Catie Lane Bailey has joined Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis as a policy advisor and attorney. She was previously senior policy advisor and attorney at Miller & Martin.  A registered lobbyist, Bailey has experience advising and representing clients in particular on education and housing policy.

Keeda Haynes, an assistant public defender in Nashville, participated as a panelist at the Cato Institute’s program “The State of American Justice.”  Haynes’ panel focused on “The Human Toll of Incarceration.”

Ben Simpson has joined the Tennessee Medical Association as its associate director of government affairs He previously spent three years as legislative liaison and attorney for the Tennessee Department of Health and also worked as a claims examiner for the Tennessee Department of Treasury.

Daniel Shearon has started his own law practice in Nashville, focusing on criminal defense.

Jessica Simpson has joined Turner Law Offices in Nashville as a staff attorney.

Courtney Teasley practices in Nashville and specializes in Veterans Administrative Claims for veterans who have been injured in VA hospitals.

Michael Patrick Auffinger opened his own law practice in Murfreesboro, focusing on criminal defense.

Matt Barnes has joined the new Johnson Barnes Government Relations as partner. Barnes formerly was legislative director for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Jennifer Johnson is a partner in the law firm Long, Burnett & Johnson, PLLC.  She focuses her practice on consumer debtor work and has offices in Mount Juliet and Nashville.

Brandy Spurgin-Floyd has been appointed magistrate in Hamilton County.

Ryan J. Moore was named to Warren County’s Top 40 under 40 this year.  He also serves as a municipal judge for the Town of Morrison.

Loy Carney (2010)

Loy Carney has been named chief of broker services for Village Real Estate in Nashville. A real estate attorney, Carney previously worked at Rudy Title & Escrow.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan has named Heather Fleming as Chief of Staff for the City of Clarksville. Fleming joined Mayor McMillan’s administration in August 2016 as staff attorney. She practiced law in Nashville before working for the city.

Elizabeth Waites, a Nashville attorney, has been appointed by Mayor Megan Barry to be Nashville’s Metropolitan clerk. Waites had practiced at Cobb & Waites, where she was a partner for two years after being in private practice the previous five years.

Monika Ridley has opened a law office in Murfreesboro, focusing on family law.  She shares office space with Rebecca Lashbrook (2013).

Rachel Zamata has joined the board of the Young Patrons of the American Red Cross Greater New York Region.

Assistant District Attorney Philip A. Hatch (2009), second from right, receives an award for DUI Prosecutor of the Year. Joining him to receive the award is, second from left,13th Judicial District Attorney General Byrant C. Dunaway. Presenting the award are, left, Tom Kimball and, right, Jimmy Dunn, both of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference.

Philip A. Hatch was named the 2016 DUI Prosecutor of the Year by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference. Hatch is an assistant district attorney in the 13th Judicial District.

Ben Bennett, an attorney with Bennett & Scarlett in Murfreesboro, was selected as one of three finalists by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission for the Circuit Court Judge vacancy in the 16th Judicial District – Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

M. Wyatt Burk was selected as one of three finalists by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission for the Circuit Court Judge vacancy in the 17th Judicial District. Burk, of Shelbyville, is with Bobo, Hunt, White, and Burk.

Reen Baskin is communications director for Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration, a cabinet-level position on his senior staff. She was previously Deputy Director of Customer-focused government and director of alternative workplace solutions for the Tennessee Office of Customer- Focused Government. Baskin also was named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list for 2017.

Burr & Foreman LLP partner C. Tucker Herndon was named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list for 2017. The publication noted his work regarding implementing changes in alcohol sales laws in Tennessee.

Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Robert Taswell “Tas” Gardner of Paris as the Public Defender for the 24th Judicial District, which covers Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin and Henry counties.  Gardner has served as assistant public defender in the 24th District office in Camden since November 2008. He served as investigator in the office from 1992 to 2008.

Stephen Smith has been named chief of staff by Gov. Bill Haslam to oversee day-to-day operations of the governor’s office and serve as top advisor and strategist. Smith joined the governor’s office in August 2016 and most recently served as senior advisor to the governor.

Benjamin S. Burton, of Sevierville, has been selected to serve as an administrative law judge with the Social Security Administration. He will serve at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in St Louis, Missouri. Burton worked for the Social Security Administration prior to entering private practice and is one of only 61Board Certified Social Security Trial Specialists nationwide.

Jonathan Cooper

Jonathan B. Cooper was named to Nashville Business Journal‘s Best of the Bar – Corporate Counsel for 2018. He is the Director of Law for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville.

David Veile has been elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the 21st Judicial District Drug Court, an alternative sentencing program for Hickman, Lewis, Perry, and Williamson Counties.

Dominic Leonardo was one of three finalists selected by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission for the Criminal Court Judge vacancy in the 20th Judicial District – Davidson County. Leonardo practices with Kooperman, Mondelli & Leonardo and serves as a council member for Nashville Metropolitan Council’s District 1.

Robin Vance, who has her own law office, was recently profiled in the Wilson Post’s “Women of Wilson” feature.

The Tennessee Chiropractic Association has honored Dr. Mary Babian of Chattanooga, Tennessee with their highest recognition, 2017 Conference Honoree.

Sueann Bone, assistant executive director of the Tennessee District Public Defenders Office, of Lebanon was recently profiled in the Wilson Post’s “Women of Wilson” feature.

Circuit Court Judge for the 19th Judicial District in Montgomery and Robertson counties Ted A. Crozier was among four new judges who attended the Administrative Office of the Court’s Judicial Academy earlier this year.

Mike Hagar has been appointed by Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson to deputy chief for the newly created Executive Services Bureau. Hagar was captain over the Strategic Development Division and is a 27-year MNPD veteran. The Executive Services Bureau is composed of the Strategic Development, Accreditation, and Crime Analysis components.

Williamson County Schools named Dana Ausbrooks in January as the lawyer for the school system. Prior to her appointment, Ausbrooks worked as an assistant public defender for the 21st Judicial District, as a solo practitioner, and as an assistant district attorney general. She also is an adjunct professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at Columbia State Community College.

Circuit Court Judge Ted A. Crozier, who was elected in 2016 to the 19th Judicial District position in Montgomery and Robertson counties, attended the Administrative Office of the Court’s Judicial Academy in February.

Antoinette Regnier Welch is the Director of Investigations for Tennessee’s Department of Health. Her division has investigators from Memphis to Johnson City who investigate complaints made against health care providers and pain clinics.

Rocky McElhaney was named to Nashville Post’s In Charge – Legal honor roll.

John H. Richardson, Jr. was selected as one of three finalists by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission for the Circuit Court Judge vacancy in the 17th Judicial District. Richardson, of Fayetteville, is a sole practitioner with McCowan, Richardson and McCowan.

The Montgomery County Veterans Treatment Court, which is presided over by Judge Kenneth Goble, treated participants and their families to a picnic and celebration at Rotary Park in Clarksville. The event included mini games and painting for the kids, as well as a cornhole competition.

Judge Barry R. Tidwell, was selected as one of three finalists by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission for the Circuit Court Judge vacancy in the 16th Judicial District – Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Tidwell has been a general sessions judge in Rutherford County since 2014.

Sherie Edwards

Sherie Edwards was named to Nashville Business Journal‘s Best of the Bar – Corporate Counsel for 2018. She is the VP of Corporate and Legal for SVMIC.

Johnny Ellis prevailed before the Tennessee Supreme Court in his case, Darryl F. Bryant, Sr. v. Darryl F. Bryant, Jr., which addresses property rights concerning joint tenancy with an express right of survivorship.

David Gold presented an ethics CLE at a criminal law conference in April 2017.

Thomas Norris, Jr. recently presented two CLEs with University of Tennessee Business Law Professor Joan MacLeod Heminway on Drafting and Negotiating Indemnification Provisions at the Business Law Forum 2017.

Trisha L. Henegar was selected as one of three finalists by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission for the Circuit Court Judge vacancy in the 17th Judicial District. Henegar, of Shelbyville, is self-employed with Wilson and Henegar.

Steven Bourne of Hopkinsville, Ky., has been named Director of Planning and Development for Walton County, Ky.

Chancellor Douglas T. Jenkins was elected a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, an association of 841 attorneys across the state. Jenkins serves as Chancellor for the Third Judicial District, which serves Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, and Hawkins counties.

Julie-Karel Elkin

Julie-Karel Elkin has returned to Spicer Rudstrom in Nashville as a partner and leader of the new health data practice group. Elkin worked at the firm for more than a until 2007. Elkin also will serve as the firm’s health data and privacy officer.

Lannie J. Cates is pursuing an LL.M at the University of Alabama School of Law.

Judge Charles Smith won his fifth term as Clarksville city judge with in November. Judge Smith has held the office for 16 years.

The Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference has elected Donna Orr Hargrove to serve as the president of the Conference for 2017-2018. Hargrove is the district public defender for the 17th Judicial District, which includes Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties. She was elected to the position in 1998, 2006 and 2014. Prior to this, she was an assistant public defender for five years. She has previously served as secretary/treasurer and vice president for the Conference, as well as a representative for the Middle District on the Conference’s executive committee.

Roger Horner has taken a position as a Senior Legal Editor with Practical Law, an online legal resource of Thomson Reuters. Horner starts the new role in January after his retirement as city attorney for Brentwood, where he served 33 years.

Mark McGee was named executive director of United Way of Bedford County. McGee also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Anne L. Russell of Adams and Reese’s Nashville office was named to the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Her work in litigation and controversy – tax was cited. Russell has also taught Wills at the School.

Katie Edge, a member at Butler Snow was named to Nashville Business Journal’s 2017 Power 100: Dealmakers for her work in the banking industry. Edge has also been an instructor at the School.

Tom Humphrey, retired Nashville bureau chief for the Knoxville News Sentinel and contributing editor for the Tennessee Journal was inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. Humphrey wrote a popular blog and weekly column for the News Sentinel and covered Capitol Hill politics for almost 40 years, originally for United Press International.

Marlene Moses

Marlene Eskin Moses was named to Nashville Business Journal‘s Best of the Bar – Family Law for 2018. She is founding partner of MTR Family Law in Nashville.


Tom Lawless was named to Nashville Post’s In Charge – Legal honor roll. Lawless serves as an Oak Hill city judge and on the Tennessee Registry for Election Finance Commission and the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct.

Retired Chancellor Tom Gray, of Sumner County, with his wife, Janice, at the unveiling of his portrait earlier this year.

A portrait of former Sumner County Chancellor Tom E. Gray was unveiled in January at the Sumner County Courthouse. Gray was elected to General Sessions Court Division II where he oversaw juvenile court. He was later elected as chancellor for the 18th Judicial District in 1986, and served until his retirement in 2014.

The National Board of Trial Advocacy has recertified Marlene Eskind Moses, founding manager of MTR Family Law, PLLC, as a family trial advocate.

David E. High of High Law Office in Nashville has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs

Judge Allegra Walker has appointed attorney Renard Hirsch, Sr. to serve as the referee for the Nashville General Sessions Environmental Court. The court oversees enforcement of Metro Code violations, including regulation of short-term rentals, trash and pets. Hirsch has been an attorney for more than 30 years, including currently at Smith & Hirsch. He previously served as an instructor at the School.

Judge Mark Fishburn was appointed to the Tennessee Private Probation Services Council. The Council regulates and oversees the conduct of private probation services in the state.

Stan Reynolds has been appointed to preside over the recently recreated Dickson Municipal Court. The Dickson City Council unanimously approved Mayor Don L. Weiss Jr.’s recommendation.

Assistant District Public Defender Collier Goodlett was awarded the Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference 2016 President’s Award for the Middle Tennessee region by District Public Defender and Past President Jeffery Harmon. Goodlett is an assistant district public defender in the 19th Judicial District, which serves Montgomery and Robertson counties.