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VOL. 45 | NO. 53 | Friday, December 31, 2021

Nashville attorneys named Super Lawyers, Rising Stars

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The 2021 edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers recently honored several attorneys in the Nashville area as Super Lawyers or Rising Stars.

Super Lawyers is a Thomson Reuters rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous process, including a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

Only 5% of the lawyers in each state or region are named to the Super Lawyers list, and no more than 2.5% are named to the Rising Stars list. “Rising Stars” are attorneys 40 or younger who have made exceptional contributions in a particular practice area for 10 years or less.

Nashville-area Super lawyers and Rising Stars include:

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

• Michael D. Brent, health care

• Ann Peldo Cargile, real estate

• George H. Cate III, business litigation

• J. Greer Cummings Jr., real estate

• Joseph W. Gibbs, tax

• William F. Goodman III, class action

• Lela Hollabaugh, energy and resources

• Samuel D. Lipshie, entertainment and sports

• Matthew C. Lonergan, employment and labor

• Chuck Mataya, employment and labor

• Russell B. Morgan, business litigation

• John E. Murdock III, mergers and acquisition

• Andrew J. Murray, health care

• William L. Norton III, bankruptcy business

• Robert S. Patterson, business litigation

• Todd Presnell, business litigation

• David K. Taylor, construction litigation

• J. Thomas Trent Jr., real estate

• Thor Y. Urness, business litigation

• Robert E. Wood, real estate

• Heather Howell Wright, business litigation

Rising Stars

• Caleb Barron, employee benefits

• Marc Bussone, employee benefits

• Kyle M. Doiron, construction litigation

• Christopher K. Freidman, banking

• Lauren B. Jacques, health care

• Scott Lenz Jr., Health Care

• Alex McFall, banking

• Benjamin W. Perry, banking

• Fritz Spainhour, personal injury – products: defense

• D. Bryan Thomas, construction litigation

Dickinson Wright

• Jeffrey M. Beemer, employment litigation: defense

• M. Reid Estes, Jr., employment & labor

Rising Stars

• Joshua Burgener, business litigation

• Colin Ferguson, real estate

Frost Brown Todd

• Payton M. Bradford, business litigation

• Nathan S. Harris, business corporate

• Benjamin Katz, bankruptcy business

MTR Family Law, PLLC

• Marlene Eskind Moses, family law

Stites & Harbison

• Rebecca McKelvey Castañeda, family law

• Gregory D. Smith, family law

• Alexandra MacKay, intellectual property

• John R. Wingo, business litigation

• Richard S. Myers, Jr., patents

Rising Stars:

• Ann Ralls Brown, family law

• B. Walker Entwistle, real estate, banking & finance

• Brenton H. Lankford, domestic relations

Wiseman Ashworth Law Group

• Gail Vaughn Ashworth, alternative dispute resolution.

• Tom Wiseman, medical malpractice.

• Anthony Bills, personal injury medical malpractice: defense.

Baker Donelson adds 3 Nashville associates

Baker Donelso has hired three associates for its Nashville office, Abby Parker Nix, Tyler Saenz and Keyne Villert.

Before joining Baker Donelson as an associate, Nix served as a pro bono fellow and summer associate for the firm. She is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Saenz helps public and private clients develop, protect and grow their businesses. He is experienced in drafting, reviewing and negotiating purchase, lease, nondisclosure, supply, service and consulting agreements, among other critical corporate contracts.

He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Villert has assisted a variety of publicly traded companies with leasing commercial properties throughout the United States. Before joining the firm, he worked for a law firm in New York City and served as counsel for a large title insurance underwriter.

He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Vanderbilt University Law School.

Stevens retiring from First Farmers Bank

First Farmers and Merchants Corporation, the holding company for First Farmers and Merchants Bank, has announced the planned retirement of T. Randy Stevens as chairman and chief executive officer of First Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Stevens will continue as chairman of the board and CEO of First Farmers and Merchants Corporation. Brian K. Williams, the Bank’s president, will succeed Stevens as chairman and CEO of the Bank. The changes are effective Jan. 1.

Stevens’ community service has spanned a wide range. He has either led or served on the boards of the Columbia State Foundation, Columbia Rotary Club, the Boys & Girls Club of Maury County, Maury Alliance, Leadership Maury, Maury County Red Cross, the Middle Tennessee Council and the Duck River District of the Boy Scouts of America, and Maury County Mental Health Association. Stevens founded the Youth Educational Foundation along with a board of community and business leaders.

VA nurse earns international award

La’Wanda Bowers, a licensed practical nurse at VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, has earned The DAISY Award for providing exceptional health care to a veteran in Cookeville.

The DAISY Award is an international award that recognizes licensed nurses who go above and beyond to provide extraordinary, compassionate care to patients.

On July 21, Bowers called her patient for an upcoming appointment when she noticed he was struggling to communicate.

Bowers, who was at the TVHS Murfreesboro campus, found a nearby hospital in Cookeville and called Cookeville’s 911 dispatch for assistance. However, the veteran was adamant about not going to the hospital.

The veteran explained to Bowers he didn’t want medical attention due to the possibility of medical bills and the need to care for his sister, who was sick, as well.

From the time first responders arrived at the veteran’s house to when he was admitted to the hospital, Bowers continuously contacted her patient and the local hospital staff to ensure he received the appropriate care.

Both were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The following day, Bowers called VA’s Community Care team to assist with any medical expenses. Community Care is a VA program that coordinates and can cover expenses for eligible veterans to receive health care from providers in the local area.

Although the veteran’s sister recovered, Bower’s patient died Aug. 2 from COVID-19.

Bowers was nominated for The DAISY Award by her co-worker, Melinda Perry, a registered nurse at TVHS.

To earn The DAISY Award, nurses are nominated by anyone – staff, patient, leadership, patients’ family members – who experiences or observes extraordinary compassionate care being provided by a nurse.

Travis recognized for excellence in service

Gov. Bill Lee is honoring Adam Travis, Ph.D., of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for exceptional service to the state and his fellow Tennesseans with the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award.

Travis is the administrator of the Technical Services Laboratory for TDA’s Consumer and Industry Services Division and the interim director of the C.E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory.

Travis was instrumental in the establishment of TDA’s new chronic wasting disease laboratory, as well as the Kord Lab’s assessment for international accreditation. Furthermore, he worked closely with Plant Certification staff to develop the laboratory side of Tennessee’s hemp production licensing program, which has seen exponential growth since its inception.

Travis began his tenure with the state in 2017. Originally from Woodlawn, he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a degree in chemistry and minor in biology. He earned his Ph.D. in bioanalytical chemistry at Vanderbilt University.

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