In The News
Bone McAllester Norton attorneys Charles W Bone, Stephen Zralek and Raquel Bellamy recently attended "Cafecito: A Cup of Coffee for Conexión Américas” breakfast reception. The annual event was held at Music City Center and benefited the nonprofit organization’s mission to help Latino families realize their aspirations for social and economic advancement through their integration into the Middle Tennessee community.
Conexión Américas was founded in 2002 to address some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities created by recent demographic changes in the Greater Nashville region as an increasing number of Latino families move to Tennessee in search of a better life. Raquel Bellamy currently serves on the board for Conexión Américas, while Stephen Zralek is a former board president. Zralek served as chair of the Cafecito in 2011 and Charles W. Bone served as co-chair of Cafecito in 2010.
For more information about Conexión Américas, visit its website.
Bone McAllester Norton sponsored a hole and provided free bottles of water at the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce’s 23rd Annual Golf Classic at the Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club. The event included a great day of golf and networking, followed by an awards ceremony in the main ballroom of the clubhouse.
The Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce is Sumner County’s largest chamber, representing the interests of more than 800 member businesses and 8,730 member employees throughout the area. Bone McAllester Norton attorney Marty Cook will serve as board chair of the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce for 2019-20. Cook works in the firm’s Sumner County office and concentrates his practice in the area of small business law, commercial litigation, employment litigation and premises liability litigation. He represents clients in all aspects of litigation, arbitration and mediation.
For more information about Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce, visit its website.
At the annual NBA LAW Day luncheon on May 3, Bone McAllester Norton was honored to receive the 2019 Leadership Award from Nashville Bar Association (NBA)’s Diversity Committee, the bar’s highest level of recognition for contributions that bolster diversity and professional success.
Stephen Zralek, a Member of Bone McAllester Norton, recently led a team that obtained a unanimous jury verdict for a homebuilder when a competing homebuilder, its owner and a realtor infringed the copyright in our client's original architectural work known as the Brentwood II. At the conclusion of the four-day trial in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the jury returned a verdict in favor of our client, Singletary Construction, LLC, finding all three defendants liable for copyright infringement, and awarding all of their profits from the infringement to Singletary Construction.
When the contract between Singletary Construction and a homebuyer fell through on the purchase and sale of the Brentwood II, the buyer's realtor instructed a competing homebuilder to "build the same home" in the very same subdivision, and to even "match" photographs of the Brentwood II. She went so far as to put these instructions in the contract with the competing homebuilder. For its part, the competing homebuilder examined photographs of the Brentwood II, utilized the same cabinet designer to "match" the Brentwood II's layout, and copied both the overall layout and arrangement of rooms, even down to details as minute as the wainscoting, crown molding, and trim around return air vents. The realtor was held contributorily liable because she knowingly induced the infringement, and the owner of the competing homebuilder was held vicariously liable because he supervised the infringement and received a direct financial benefit from it.
To read the Judgment, click here.
Bone McAllester Norton attorney Stephen Zralek co-chaired the Sexual Assault Center’s inaugural 1-in-6 Breakfast, held on April 25, 2019 at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel to raise awareness and financial support for the 41-year old non-profit. Over 300 guests attended, helping raise over $100,000 in contributions. According to the Sexual Assault Center (SAC), one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday. SAC's mission is to provide healing for children, adults and families affected by sexual assault and to end sexual violence through counseling, education and advocacy. The event began with welcome remarks from Nashville Mayor David Briley, who used the opportunity to announce he is including $100,000 in direct appropriations funding for the SAC when he submits his budget to the Metro Council for the new fiscal year. NBA All-Star and childhood sexual assault survivor, Kenny Anderson, who now serves as the head basketball coach for the firm’s client Fisk University, delivered the keynote address. David Plazas, Opinion Editor at The Tennessean, served as the master of ceremonies. Father Ryan High School's award-winning drumline kicked off the event.
Bone McAllester Norton was honored to serve as one of the sponsors for the breakfast, and the host committee included the firm’s Founder and Chairman Charles W. Bone, President and CEO Charles Robert Bone and attorneys Sam Jackson, Andrea Perry and Ed Yarbrough, as well as many of the firm's clients and friends.
To learn more about SAC or contribute to its important work, please visit its website.
Bone McAllester Norton attorney I’Ashea Myles-Dihigo co-presented a workshop on critical insurance issues during the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Annual Forum on Construction Law held April 24-27 in Hollywood, Florida.
Titled “A Closer Look at Insurance Issues Following a Natural Disaster,” the workshop covered topics such as builder’s risk insurance, business interruption losses and alternate insurance plans that can aid clients in the event of a natural disaster.
Members of ABA’s Forum on Construction Law represent all segments of the construction industry: owners, design professionals, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, suppliers, insurers and sureties. The Forum’s mission is to serve the construction industry through education and leadership while aiding in the professional development of construction attorneys.
I’Ashea Myles-Dihigo focuses her practice on construction law, real estate law, employment law and commercial business law, with an emphasis on dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, jury and bench trials in both federal and state court.
For more information on ABA’s Forum on Construction Law, visit its website.
Bone McAllester Norton is honored to be the recipient of Lipscomb University’s 2019 Mary Morris Award for Exemplary Service for its legal and philanthropic efforts in greater Nashville. The firm was specifically recognized for our work on behalf of the Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) program students Cyntoia Brown and Michelle Martin. This award is given each year to a member of the Lipscomb community who exhibits an exemplary spirit of public service in honor of Mary Morris, a Lipscomb College of Education faculty member who lost her battle with cancer in 2005.
On April 18, the firm was recognized during an award reception with the Morris family and past award recipients at Lipscomb University’s Ezell Chapel. The award includes a $1,000 honorarium which the firm donated to the LIFE program. The LIFE program allows for inmates at the Tennessee Prison for Women to take college classes through Lipscomb University. Traditional undergraduate students join the women in class; both groups of students work towards an Associates Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or a Master’s Degree.
“From your work with Cyntoia and Michelle to the MLK Day Breakfast to the countless ways your firm has created and sustained a culture of service to our community, your work is exactly the kind of work this award is meant to honor,” said Randy Spivey, academic director of the Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice and Society at Lipscomb University.
For more information about Lipscomb University’s LIFE Program, visit their website.
Bone McAllester Norton attorney I’Ashea Myles-Dihigo is a featured guest columnist in the Tennessee Department of Transportation Civil Rights Division’s recent newsletter for its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. In her article titled “Be Careful Who You Lien: A Change in the Law,” Myles-Dihigo offers legal advice and pointers on a new state law that covers liens involving general contractors, sub-contractors and laborers.
Myles-Dihigo focuses her practice on construction law, real estate law, employment law and commercial business law, with an emphasis on dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, jury and bench trials in both federal and state court.
To download a PDF of the “DBE Access” newsletter, click here.
On April 6, Charles W. Bone was honored at the 2019 “Seed to Harvest” Spring Celebration for the Salvus Center, Inc. a faith-based primary care health center in Gallatin, Tennessee. Salvus seeks to reclaim the Biblical and historical commitment to care for poor and underprivileged patients so they can experience wholeness, wellness and healing. Joined by more than 300 guests, the annual event celebrated the volunteers and donors who have supported the center since its opening in 2006. All proceeds benefitted the center’s programs and future patients. Tennessee State Representative and Bone McAllester Norton attorney Johnny Garrett and his wife Kara Garrett served as event chairs.
In 2004, Bone was among the group of community leaders who founded Salvus Center to address the health care concerns for people who work and support their families but cannot afford health care and do not qualify for TennCare. After much planning and meeting, the Salvus Center started seeing patients in 2006 with the vision that every citizen in Sumner County would have access to affordable health care. Over the years, the center has served more than 62,000 patients.
Bone was introduced as the Honored Guest of the 2019 Spring Celebration Dinner by his daughter, Baylor Bone Swindell, who shared how her grandparents Nokes and Billy Bone established the family’s tradition of giving back to others in Sumner County.
For more information about Salvus Center, visit their website.
Each year during Women’s History Month, Nashville joins more than 500 communities around the world to honor exceptional women leaders through the ATHENA Awards Program. The 29th Annual ATHENA Award & Scholarship Program, powered by Nashville Cable, one of Tennessee’s largest networks of professional women, was held at the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum on March 28. Bone McAllester Norton attorney Andrea P. Perry chaired this year's event. Andrea P. Perry beautifully opened the program saying, “Tonight is very special as we are here to recognize, honor, elevate and celebrate some amazing women. We recognize these women because as Martha Mertz said, ‘if women’s strengths and contributions as leaders are publicly [recognized], they can no longer be dismissed. We honor these women for their excellence and their sacrifices. We elevate these women so that other women will be drawn to their light, will be inspired by their stories and will know that this level of achievement is possible for them. And last, we celebrate these women for their example, their service and their inspiring acts”
The Nashville ATHENA Award Program is a unique community-supported program, organized and sponsored through the collaborative efforts of local women’s organizations in partnership with local businesses and individual sponsors. The 2019 reception honored Mendy Mazzo with the traditional ATHENA award for demonstration of excellence, creativity and initiative in her profession, her contribution to the community and mentorship to other women. The evening also recognized Brenda Gadd with the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, an award created in 2011 to highlight emerging female leaders between the ages of 25 to 40 who demonstrate excellence in their profession, improve the quality of life for others in the community and serving as role models for young women, both personally and professionally.
From Bone McAllester Norton’s beginning, the firm’s leaders have valued creating a culture founded upon making a difference for good. We are proud of the various ways the firm’s attorneys choose to serve the Nashville community.
For more information about the ATHENA awards, visit Nashville Cable’s website.
Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is proud to welcome R. Colten Jones in the firm’s Sumner County office. Jones counsels clients in numerous aspects of civil matters, including general civil litigation, estate planning, and intellectual property issues, and will work closely with attorney Marty Cook in other areas of commercial and employment litigation.
Jones was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 2016 and admitted to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in 2018. Prior to joining Bone McAllester Norton, Jones handled all aspects of civil litigation with a focus on insurance defense as an associate attorney at Nashville law firm Brewer, Krause, Brooks & Chastain, LLP. His previous experience also includes performing extensive legal research and writing draft orders, opinions and legal memos as a staff attorney at Warren Circuit Court in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
“We are thrilled to welcome Colten to the Bone McAllester Norton family,” said Charles Robert Bone, president and CEO of Bone McAllester Norton. “His unique skill set, diverse work experiences and enthusiasm for law will be extremely valuable as we expand our presence in Sumner County. Colten has a bright future, and we look forward to his continued growth and success as a member of our team.”
Jones earned his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky. While attending law school, he served as a legal intern for Fayette County Attorney’s Office in Lexington, Kentucky as well as the office of U.S. Senator Rand Paul in Washington, D.C.
A former tennis professional and NCAA Division 1 student athlete, Jones enjoys playing and coaching tennis. He is also a member of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and has participated in various volunteer activities with Lipscomb University and Nashville-area churches, including joint initiatives with Special Olympics Tennessee as well as disaster relief efforts.
Bone McAllester Norton Founder and Chairman Charles W. Bone was featured on the “Good Guys Panel Discussion: Making the Business Case for Diversity” at the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women (TLAW) fourth annual Empowerment Conference on March 28. Moderated by Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby. Bone was joined by fellow “Good Guys” panelists Jeffery B. Jones, office managing shareholder of Florida-based Littler Mendelson, P.C. and David Billions, managing director of litigation at FedEx in Memphis.
Founded in 1989, TLAW is a statewide women’s bar association credited with significantly increasing the number of women on the bench and in other legal positions in Tennessee. TLAW’s two-day Empowerment Conference offers invaluable legal education, career development and networking opportunities, and was recognized by the National Conference of Women’s Bar Association (NCWBA) as the recipient of the NCWBA’s 2018 Outstanding Member Program Award for its groundbreaking work.
For more information about TLAW, visit its website.
On March 20,Bone McAllester Norton hosted the 2019 Women’s Executive Roundtable (WERT) with the Interdenominational Services Organization of America (ISOA). The informal luncheon experience provided 35 local college students and young professionals an opportunity to meet with successful female business leaders. The event was led by four speakers and six ISOA board members, including Bone McAllester Norton attorney and Board Chair, Stacey Garrett Koju.
Founded in 1990 by Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, the Dean of the College of Business at Tennessee State University, ISOA is a community-based, volunteer-driven, 501(c)(3), economic development organization whosemission is to empower women, youth and aspiring professionals for business and entrepreneurial success on the global economic platform. ISOA’s programs and operations are overseen by a dynamic board of directors composed of accomplished professionals from all walks of life who volunteer their time and share their expertise and experiences to empower others.
To learn more about ISOA, visit theirwebsite.
Bone McAllester Norton is proud to share four attorneys are named to Nashville Post’s “In Charge 2019,” the 10th annual compendium of Middle Tennessee’s top businesses, political and civic leaders.
The firm’s founder and chairman Charles W. Bone, founding member Stacey Garrett Koju and attorney Ed Yarborough are included on the “In Charge – Legal” list, and President and CEO Charles Robert Bone is included on the “In Charge — Development” list.
The firm is honored to be recognized alongside the diverse and inspiring individuals who help our city thrive.
For the full list, visit Nashville Post’s website.
Bone McAllester Norton attorneyJames Crumlin, Jr.is a featured guest columnist in this week’s Nashville Business Journal. In his article titled “Is your March Madness office pool illegal? A Nashville attorney tries to keep you out of trouble,” Crumlin highlights basic steps employers can take before gambling in the workplace throughout March’s NCAA basketball tournament to stay on the safe side.
Crumlin concentrates his practice in the area of labor and employment law, where he counsels management on issues arising from the employment relationship. He helps clients including Tennessee-based businesses, entrepreneurs and start-up ventures to navigate the corporate legal landscape and avoid costly mistakes. His experience includes business formation and strategy, funding and investor relations, contracts, employment compliance issues, risk management, litigation and dispute resolution. He also serves as outside general counsel for several small and midsize businesses.
To read the column, visit the Nashville Business Journal’s website.
On March 5, 2019, Bone McAllester Norton welcomed Habitat for Humanity affiliate leaders, board members and supporters from across Tennessee at the firm’s Nashville office to celebrate more than 40 years of building strength, stability and self-reliance in our state. The legislative reception was hosted by Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, Speaker Glen Casada, Senator Jeff Yarbo, Representative Karen Camper, Representative William Lamberth, Representative Ryan Williams, and Representative and Bone McAllester Norton attorney Johnny Garrett.
From the firm’s beginning, the leaders at Bone McAllester Norton have valued creating a culture founded upon making a positive change. Bone McAllester Norton’s attorneys partner with more than 130 local organizations, including Habitat for Humanity. Sam McAllester, a founder and vice chairman of the law firm, has been a member of the Finance Committee for Habitat since 2012 and currently serves as a member of Habitat’s Board of Directors in Nashville.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee, visit their website.
On March 6, 2019, Bone McAllester Norton hosted the Young Bankers Division of the Tennessee Bankers Association (TBA) for lunch and a panel discussion, led by Bone Law attorney Trace Blankenship, as part of their annual “Day on the Hill” at the Tennessee State Capitol.
Each March, the Young Bankers Division organizes this unique outing in conjunction with TBA’s government relations team. “Day on the Hill” encourages engagement in the political and regulatory process by providing an opportunity for bankers under the age of 40 to observe the General Assembly in session and meet with key legislators and staffers. Participants learn about the procedures of the state’s governing body, tour the Capitol and also attend committee sessions.
The Young Bankers Division was established in 1960 to nurture the professional development of the state’s bank officers, and prepare them to become the industry’s next generation of leaders through professional development, advocacy and community involvement opportunities.
Trace Blankenship's practice is concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital/capital-raising transactions, securities regulation, and corporate governance/board strategy. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America every year since 2014 and was selected in 2017 and again in 2018 for the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar.” He’s a longtime member of the Tennessee Bankers Association’s Bank Lawyers Committee and was a contributing author of Director’s Handbook: A Field Guide to 101 Situations Commonly Encountered in the Boardroom, published by the American Bar Association in 2017. Trace serves as general counsel and as a board member of the law firm.
To learn more about the Tennessee Bankers Association, visit their website.
Bone McAllester Norton attorney Trace Blankenship was recently invited by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), to participate in a candid, roundtable discussion about streamlining the regulatory path to promote more de novo community banks, such as Nashville’s Studio Bank. Bone McAllester’s attorneys have been allies and advocates for financial institutions across Tennessee and the southeast for over 40 years.
The new chairman of the FDIC, Jelena McWilliams, herself recently noted in the American Banker magazine that de novo bank formation “has screeched to a historic halt” over the past decade. She has made it a priority to promote new bank formation across the country and has specifically said “the FDIC needs to do its part to make that happen.” To that end, the FDIC invited a select group of CEOs of newly-formed banks, their legal counsel, industry consultants, and state banking officials to attend a handful of small group roundtable discussions in Washington, D.C. and their six regional offices, including Dallas. The Dallas roundtable featured lively and collegial feedback from CEOs of three de novo banks that have opened in the past year in Nashville, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio, along with their advisors and a handful of state banking regulators. Discussion centered on key changes the FDIC can make in its processes to promote the formations of new community banks in the U.S., while still protecting the safety and soundness of the banking system. Trace participated in the roundtable with Studio Bank CEO and founder, Aaron Dorn, who founded Studio Bank with a talented team of directors, executives, and entrepreneurs after raising some $50 million in capital. Bone McAllester Norton has been honored to serve from the beginning as corporate counsel to Studio Bank, which was Tennessee’s first pure de novo bank approved to open since 2008.
According to the FDIC, there has been a dramatic drop in the past 25 years in the number of banks serving communities across the country: In 1990, there were about 15,160 chartered banking and thrift institutions, which had dropped to about 5,670 by the end of 2017, and the share of industry assets held by the top 10 banks rose from 19% in 1990 to 51% at the end of 2017.
Trace frequently interacts with the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, and the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions as he regularly counsels the boards and senior executives of banks, trust companies, and mortgage companies on major transactions. In addition to representing Studio Bank, he has represented financial institutions in merging and acquiring other bank holding companies and trust companies, acquiring new branches, raising additional capital, undertaking ESOP transactions, and working through tough governance and investor-related problems. The Nashville Business Journal has said, “If one of Trace Blankenship’s clients has a big decision to make, you can bet he has a seat at the table.” His practice is concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital/capital-raising transactions, securities regulation, and corporate governance/board strategy. Trace has been named to Best Lawyers in America every year since 2014 and was selected in 2017 and again in 2018 for the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar.” He’s a longtime member of the Tennessee Bankers Association’s Bank Lawyers Committee and was a contributing author of Director’s Handbook: A Field Guide to 101 Situations Commonly Encountered in the Boardroom, published by the American Bar Association in 2017. Trace serves as general counsel and as a board member of the law firm.
Studio Bank was founded as a boutique bank to provide organizations, families, and individuals in the community with sophisticated financial services through a multi-channel delivery model that allows clients to conveniently bank anywhere, anytime. Studio Bank’s veteran banking team offers industry-specific expertise to clients in commercial banking, music and entertainment, healthcare, not-for-profit, commercial real estate, private client, mortgage banking and small business, in addition to serving the broad and diverse community across Nashville. For more information about Studio Bank, visit their website.
Bone McAllester Norton is proud to announce that its international alliance, TAGLaw, has again been recognized by Chambers & Partners as “Elite”—the highest ranking awarded to legal networks and alliances. This is the sixth time TAGLaw has received the distinguished “Elite” designation since Chambers & Partners began ranking legal networks and alliances in 2013. TAGLaw is a global alliance of more than 160 leading independent law firms providing trusted legal services to companies including the Fortune 5000, leading small to medium companies, and high net worth individuals in more than 90 countries. With expertise in dozens of practice areas and countless industry sectors, TAGLaw offers significant capabilities to its members’ clients. When Bone McAllester clients need legal advice outside of Tennessee or the United States, they can quickly draw on the vast network and experience of other TAGLaw law firms, which are of a similar caliber. Our experience in working with other TAGLaw firms has been seamless and phenomenal. They routinely treat our clients as their own and provide the same level of service as we would, ourselves. Through TAGLaw, Bone McAllester Norton is ready to serve clients with local experts, regardless of where their business goals and legal challenges may take them. Learn more at www.TAGAlliances.com.