Research and Writing
Background and Experience
I serve as counsel and consultant on a variety of matters—sometimes as counsel of record, often as a researcher and drafter. I’ve drafted successful Tennessee Supreme Court applications, appellate briefs, advisory memos, legal opinion letters, and Tennessee Supreme Court Commission reports. I am also called upon to edit or co-author a variety of law articles and other resources and to speak on a variety of topics related to legal research, writing, and law practice.
Examples of my work:
In re Estate of Smallman, 398 S.W.3d 134 (Tenn. 2013).
Successful Tennessee Supreme Court application for permission to appeal, securing new trial for widow regarding husband’s estate
Morrison v. Allen, 338 S.W.3d 314 (Tenn. 2011).
Securing $1.7 million in life insurance proceeds
Westmoreland v. Bacon,
(Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2013).
Successful Supreme Court action resulting in remand to Court of Appeals & preservation of medical malpractice claim
Selected Published Works
Appellate Advocacy: A Handbook on Appellate Practice in Tennessee (Assistant Editor since 2008)
Tennessee Tort Law Letter (Assistant Editor, 2008-2015)
Tennessee Practice Series (Assistant Editor, Vol. 15, Ch.11-12, 2008-2014)
“Sign Here: Life After Morrison and Allstate.” 49 Tenn. B.J. 14 (April 2013) (co-authored with Donald Capparella)
“Basic Tips for the ‘Curiouser’ World of Estate Planning,” Nashville B.J. (March 2016) (co-authored with Harlan Dodson).
“Judicial Selection in Tennessee: Deciding ‘The Decider,’” 1 Belmont Law Review 143 (co-authored with Margaret L. Behm)
Research & Drafting Staff
Tennessee Supreme Court Task Force on Indigent Representation, lead researcher and drafter for 204 page report: Liberty & Justice for All: Providing Right to Counsel Services in Tennessee.
Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, assistant editor and drafter for initial strategic plan of the then newly-formed commission.
Selected Recent Presentations
“First Things First: Preliminary Business Contract Negotiation, Necessities, Tips, and Tricks,”
Tennessee Business Law Conference May 3, 2018
“Best Practices in Legal Writing” Williamson County Bar Assoc.
November 3, 2017
“Contract Law for Family Lawyers”
10th Annual Family Law Conference for Tenn. Practitioners
December 2, 2016
“Rules You Don’t Know: Civil Procedure, Evidence, Court Rules, and Standards of Review”
9th Annual Law Conference for Tenn. Practitioners
November 12, 2015
“Anatomy of an Appeal—Appellate Practice for the Trial Lawyer” Nashville Bar Association (co-presenter with Hon. W. Neal McBrayer and John C. Hayworth)
April 16, 2015