In The News

Charles W. Bone Reads to First Grade Class at Robert Churchwell Magnet Elementary

Charles W Bone reads Dr. Seuss to Robert Churchwel Museum Magnet ElementaryCharles W. Bone reads Dr. Seuss to Robert Churchwel Museum Magnet Elementary

First grade teacher, Crystal Hicks, invited Bone McAllester Norton attorney, Charles W. Bone, to read to her class at Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Bone read to the class of 18 students Oh the Places You Will Go. The children were eager to meet their special guest today.

We applaud Ms. Hicks for coordinating over 100 community members and leaders to read to the children this week alone. Bone was grateful for the opportunity to join Ms. Hicks in her efforts to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Seuss.


Charles W. Bone Robert Certificate from Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary


Alex Little Named to Nashville Business Journal “40 Under 40”

Alex Little Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexWe are proud of Bone McAllester Norton attorney Alex Little named one of Nashville Business Journal’s 2018 40 under 40 winners. This list distinguishes Nashville’s thriving men and women that strive to keep Music City business community successful and flourishing, and they’re under the age of 40. This is the 10th year the Nashville Business Journal has hosted this program and we are honored to be a part of it.

You can review the full class of 2018 40 under 40 list here.

Bone McAllester Norton Adds Two High Profile Litigators

Two highly accomplished local attorneys with clients across Tennessee have joined the Nashville law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC.

Samuel L. Jackson and Emily Harper Mack have renowned reputations and extensive experience providing quality legal representation to public and private school boards, universities, and other employers.

Samuel L Jackson Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexSamuel L. JacksonThey routinely advise education clients on a wide variety of legal matters, including Title IX compliance, internal and agency investigations, administrative proceedings, special education and disability accommodations, personnel concerns, student rights and discipline, along with other legal matters that are unique to educational institutions.

Sam and Emily also regularly represent public and private employers in federal and state courts and in administrative proceedings before federal and state agencies on a variety of claims. Their experience includes wrongful discharge, retaliation, discrimination and harassment. With this litigation background, Sam and Emily are seasoned at counseling employers on matters involving employee discipline, workplace investigations, leaves of absence, and other labor and employment issues.

Emily Harper Mack Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexEmily Harper Mack“We are thrilled to have Sam and Emily join our firm. Given their high quality work, client satisfaction, and community involvement, they are an ideal fit for what we are doing in Middle Tennessee and across Tennessee,” said Charles Robert Bone, President and CEO of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC. Randy Frazier, the Director of Schools for the Weakley County Board of Education, a longtime client of Sam and Emily, said, “Our Board is excited that Sam Jackson and Emily Mack will continue to serve as our legal counsel with their new firm, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC.

During my 9-year tenure as Director of Schools, Sam and Emily have represented our board in legal matters. They have displayed an expertise in all areas of school law. Their performance and service to our Board has been outstanding.”

Jackson and Mack practiced law together at Lewis Thomason in Nashville before joining Bone McAllester Norton.

Bone McAllester Norton, an entrepreneurial law firm of 40 attorneys with offices in Nashville and Sumner and Williamson Counties, provides a wide range of legal services to its clients. Bone McAllester has a long history of representing clients in the education arena, creating an exceptional synergy with Sam Jackson and Emily Mack’s law practice. Over the years, attorneys at the Bone firm have accumulated significant experience in representing school systems, private universities and colleges throughout Tennessee. Bone McAllester Norton focuses on 18 distinct practice areas, including litigation, banking and commercial lending, corporate and securities transactions, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, labor and employment and environmental, along with a full breadth of legal services typically required by businesses and individuals.

17th Annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast

Nashville, Tenn. (January 15, 2018) – Nashville law firm Bone McAllester Norton PLLC hosted its 17th Annual Fellowship Breakfast on Monday, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event was held at the historic Woolworth on 5th, one of several lunch counters desegregated in 1960 by a group of Nashville students. Nearly 600 gathered to hear from guest artists, speakers, and community leaders on the history of Woolworth, Nashville’s role in the fight for social justice in 1960, and the call for justice today. 
Stacey Garrett Koju and Charles W. Bone, co-founders of the law firm, welcomed the guests and laid the groundwork for the morning’s program, entitled Woolworth Speaks – Nashville: On the Frontlines for Social Justice, Then and Now. They compared today’s environment surrounding social justice to the challenges of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.
Stacey Garrett Koju and Charles W BoneStacey Garrett Koju & Charles W. Bone 17th Annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast 201817th Annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast 2018 Woolworth on 5th in Nashville TennesseeWoolworth on 5th in Nashville Tennessee
The event began with the Negro spirituals, “Lean On Me” and “A Change is Gonna Come,” sung by Charles “Wigg” Walker. The songs reminded the audience of how time has passed, but hope persists in the waiting: “It’s been a long, a long time coming / But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.”
Following Mr. Walker, Charles Robert Bone introduced Mayor Megan Barry, who has been a guest speaker at each MLK Fellowship Breakfast since her election in 2015. In her address, Mayor Barry reminded the audience that the future of Nashville and the future of our Nation rest in the hands of the children, teenagers, and young adults – just as many of the leaders of the civil rights movement were college-age students. She challenged the guests to take advantage of opportunities to mentor and invest in the young adults and children in their lives.
The first keynote speaker, Dr. Reavis L. Mitchell Jr., a history professor at Fisk University, addressed the history of Nashville’s place on the frontline for social justice. Dr. Mitchell drew to light the relevancy and existence of racism today. He said, “Racism has an ugly side, a continuing side that is still a part of the human tradition.” Dr. Mitchell’s comment begs the question, “What are our lunch counters today?” Dr. King’s legacy only continues through those who are willing to take a stand for justice.
Tom MoralesTom Morales Charles Robert Bone Roxanne Bethune Dwanna Hughes Barry ScottCharles Robert Bone - Roxanne Bethune - Dwanna Hughes - Barry Scott Charles W BoneCharles W. Bone
Tom Morales, developer of Woolworth on 5th, then introduced his childhood friend, actor, writer, and motivational speaker Barry Scott. Mr. Scott performed a modern interpretation of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” Mr. Scott’s powerful interpretation drew on the heartfelt emotions of the civil rights movement. He charged the audience to remember the purpose of the movement. He repeatedly said, “All reality hinges on moral foundation,” which left the audience asking the questions, “What do I believe? And what reality are my beliefs creating?”
Following Barry Scott, Reverend Becca Stevens, author, speaker, and founder of Thistle Farms, reminded the audience of the call placed upon every individual life. She quoted Micah 6:8, “…what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Rev. Stevens shared that justice is unattainable without the willingness to say, “Here I am, God, use me.” In order to continue the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., one must remember the call to love the marginalized, see beyond what the world sees, and say “yes” to the uncomfortable lifestyle justice demands.
Barry ScottBarry Scott Frankie Henry - Dr Mitchell - King Hollands - Stacey Garrett Koju and Rip PattonFrankie Henry - Dr Mitchell - King Hollands - Stacey Garrett Koju and Rip Patton Charles Robert BoneCharles Robert Bone
The final keynote speaker was Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton. Dr. Patton was one of the many students who participated in the lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Riders, and other protests of segregation. He honored sit-in participants who were present at the event - Frankie Henry, King and Mary Ellen Hollands, and others in the crowd who stood to signify their participation. Dr. Patton spoke of the bravery of the participants, who were willing to sacrifice their lives for this beloved cause. He talked about the methods and intentionality of the sit-ins, which required hard work. Everyone who participated in the movement had a different role, but of equal importance. Today when celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights movement leaders, it is often forgotten that the glory of the ‘60s was marked by blood, humility, and unwavering determination. It was only because of the unified conviction for a better life that the lunch counters became desegregated. Every day was filled with collaboration, sacrifice, and hard work. Dr. Patton urged the crowd to remember that a better tomorrow begins with a better today: “The time is always right to do what is right” (Martin Luther King Jr.).
Dr. Patton closed the program with a moving benediction and song that was often sung in the ‘60s by participants in the civil rights movement, “I Woke Up This Morning with My Mind Stayed on Freedom.”
View additional coverage of this event below:

Yarbrough Receives 2017 Nashville Bar Association CLE Excellence Award


Edward M Yarbrough Attorney at Bone McAllester NortonEdward M. Yarbrough During the Nashville Bar Association’s 2017 annual celebration, Bonelaw’s Ed Yarbrough was honored with the prestigious CLE Excellence Award. The CLE Excellence Award identifies a Nashville Bar member who has demonstrated commitment to the NBA's mission. The Nashville Bar Association is dedicated to the continuation of quality legal education. Ed Yarbrough’s exceptional service to the NBA has paved the way for historical breakthrough for attorneys, community leaders, and civilians.

Yarbrough’s experience on the murder case of Marcia Trimble in 1975 played a key role in producing some of the 2017 CLE seminars. In addition, Mr. Yarbrough’s expertise heavily influenced the development of past programs regarding Baker v. Carr, HOFFA!, and Blanton. These seminars not only provide attorneys with the needed resources to enhance their legal practice and professionalism, but also educate our community on important historical legal events in Tennessee. The seminars are available for the public online.

“We are very thankful of the ways Mr. Yarbrough has supported and strengthened our CLE program at the Nashville Bar Association,” said Monica Mackie, Executive Director of the NBA.

For more than 40 years, Yarbrough has successfully led a trial law practice in Nashville. He is well known for his past experience as U.S. Attorney and as a state and federal prosecutor. Yarbrough now focuses his practice on criminal defense and government investigations, and handles civil litigation for plaintiffs and defendants.

Bonelaw Client Lane College Hosts Tennessee Supreme Court

Bonelaw Client Lane College Hosts Tennessee Supreme CourtLeft to right - Peter C. Woolfolk, President & CEO of Communication Strategies Dr. Logan C. Hampton, President of Lane College James A. Crumlin, Jr., Bone McAllester NortonThe Tennessee Supreme Court met on November 30 at longtime Bone McAllester Norton client Lane College to hear oral arguments in two criminal cases.  The court presided at the Jackson, Tennessee college as part of the SCALES (Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students) project.  The project, which has been operational for over twenty years, has allowed hundreds of students to gain first-hand knowledge of the Tennessee legal system and the function of the appellate courts.  James A. Crumlin, Jr., who leads the Bonelaw team representing Lane College, attended the reception sponsored by Bone McAllester Norton that followed the day’s events.  More than 100 connected to the state-wide program appeared at the event, including Tennessee Supreme Court Justices and many state and local dignitaries.  Lane College is the first Historically Black College or University to host the event.

Additional information about the day as well as about the SCALES project can be found at these links:

Lane College hosts high court cases, The Jackson Sun

The SCALES Project

The two cases included:

  • Tommy Nunley v. State of Tennessee - This case reaches the Court after both the trial court and Court of Criminal Appeals denied the petitioner’s request to reopen his case based on alleged newly discovered evidence.  The Court will consider whether the trial court correctly treated the petition for writ of error coram nobis as a petition for DNA testing and whether the petitioner is entitled to coram nobis relief on the ground that the State withheld exculpatory evidence.  In addition to these two issues raised by petitioner, the Court requested the parties address whether the Court of Criminal Appeals should have affirmed the trial court’s summary dismissal of the petitioner’s coram nobis petition as barred by the statute of limitations.
  • Tiffinne Wendalyn Gail Runions, Individually and on behalf of her minor child, Laileean Wendalee Scott v. Jackson-Madison County General Hospital District, et al. - This case comes to the Court by way of an interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court granted review of this case in order to determine whether the trial court correctly granted the plaintiff’s motion to amend her complaint in order to substitute as a party defendant Jackson-Madison County General Hospital District in place of Bolivar General Hospital, Inc.

Super Lawyers Honors 15 Bone McAllester Norton Attorneys

The 2017 Mid-South Super Lawyers recently release its list of outstanding lawyers, and 15 Bone McAllester Norton attorneys were included. Ten were named as Mid-South Super Lawyers, while five were included as Mid-South Rising Stars.

In addition to the overall Mid-South recognition, Anne C. Martin was also named to the Nashville Top 50, Top 50 Women and Top 100 Lawyers in Tennessee.

“Our attorneys pride themselves on a thorough understanding of our client’s objectives and then focus on coming to creative, strategic solutions,” said Charles W. Bone, founder and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC. “I believe that’s why our peers have chosen more than a dozen of our attorneys for awards like this. We are grateful to them for observing the expertise and passion behind what we do.”

Mid-South Super Lawyers are selected through a multi-phased process, which includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The list is produced by Super Lawyers, a national rating service that includes more than 70 practice areas.

Super Lawyers also selects attorneys to be included in its Rising Stars list, which is compiled using the same requirements and selection process as the Super Lawyers list. However, to be eligible for inclusion in Rising Stars, a candidate must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for no more than 10 years.

The 10 Mid-South Super Lawyers are: 

The five Mid-South Rising Stars are:

For more information about these awards, visit the SuperLawyers website.

"Should I Register My Trademark?"

The U.S. Supreme Court opens the door to the continued federal registration of REDSKINS as well as other marks thought to disparage others.

Paul Kruse Copyright Trademark AttorneyPaul Kruse Copyright Trademark AttorneyUp until recently, marks that disparaged others did not qualify for federal registration under § 2(a) of the Trademark Act. However, the Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam recently concluded that the prohibition against the registration of such marks amounts to viewpoint discrimination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and, under the strict scrutiny review appropriate for government regulation of message or viewpoint, concluded that the disparagement proscription set forth in § 2(a) of the Trademark Act is unconstitutional. This conclusion was premised in part on the fact that the Trademark Act confers important legal rights and benefits on trademark owners who register their marks with the USPTO.

So, Should I Federally Register My Trademark? 

Yes, although federal registration of a trademark is not required. Rights to a trademark in the United States are granted on a first come, first served basis. One obtains trademark rights by being the first in a given market either to use the mark or to file and successfully obtain a registration. Once it obtains such rights, the trademark owner is entitled to stop newcomers from using similar marks in ways that are likely to cause confusion.

You can establish rights in a mark based on use of the mark in commerce, without a registration. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several advantages, the most important being that federally registered trademarks are national in scope, regardless of the actual geographic use made of the mark. This national scope contrasts greatly with the limited geographic range of common law trademarks. Additional advantages of federal registration include:

  • The right to use the ® symbol in connection with the mark, which may deter potential infringers;

  • Increased ease of discovery by those doing trademark searches, which helps to prevent the adoption of confusingly similar marks by third parties;

  • A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration, which makes it easier to prove an allegation of trademark infringement; and

  • The ability to recover profits, damages and costs for infringement, including the possibility of receiving treble damages in certain circumstances. 

  • Filing for federal registration provides numerous benefits to a trademark owner at a reasonable expense. As a result, applications for federal registration are almost always recommended for marks that qualify.

Learn more about Paul Kruse...

Learn more about Bone Law's Intellectual Property: Copyrights, Trademarks and Related Claims...

Bonelaw’s CEO Featured in Nashville Business Journal

Charles Robert Bone, President and CEO of Bonelaw, was the featured leader in the Nashville Business Journal’s “The Boss” series. Click The Boss to read the full interview.

Bone Law Attorneys Selected to Nashville’s Best of the Bar list

We are honored to share that three of our attorneys have been selected to Nashville’s Best of the Bar list, published by the Nashville Business Journal.

The publication took nominations from the public for two months. Eligible nominees then participated in private voting, allowing the nominees to vote on each other. This process is designed to find out which nominees truly are the best of the bar, according to their peers. Our own Best of the Bar lawyers are:

Trace Blankenship Attorney At Law - Bone McAllester NortonTrace Blankenship Attorney, Bone Law

Will Cheek Attorney, Bone LawWill Cheek Attorney, Bone Law

Anne Martin Attorney, Bone LawAnne Martin Attorney, Bone Law
Learn more about Bone McAllester Norton legal services here:


Tennessee’s Business Court is Back in Business

Many of our clients will be happy to know that Tennessee’s Business Court is back in business as of May 1, 2017, after the Tennessee Supreme Court lifted an embargo on the filing of new cases. Clients with sophisticated business disputes and intellectual property disputes based in Tennessee can once again avail themselves of a forum whose primary function is dedicated to resolving complex cases.

Officially, the Tennessee Business Court is just a “Pilot Project,” but most attorneys and clients hope it is here to stay. (Tennessee is one of 28 states with a dedicated Business Court). Phase 1 was established by the Tennessee Supreme Court in March 2015 and was set to expire in December 2017, but it was so popular that an embargo had to be imposed earlier than that to give the presiding judge, Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle, some relief. Over 90 business cases were transferred to the Business Court prior to the embargo.

Phase 1 of the Business Court was celebrated by attorneys (and judges) across the state as a huge success. It unclogged the dockets of other courts in the state. And while many courts in Tennessee function at a high caliber, Phase 1 of the Business Court gave clients access to a tribunal where judicial involvement was specifically tailored to the demands of each case, and where the presiding judge operated at the highest levels of competence, flexibility and efficiency.

Although Phase 2 of the Business Court is still in its infancy, here are five takeaways from what we know already:

1. To qualify now, a party must seek at least $250,000 in damages, compared with $50,000 under Phase 1. (If the case seeks primarily injunctive or declaratory relief, it may still qualify even if it doesn’t seek damages of that amount.)

2. If your case involves any of the following claims, it no longer automatically qualifies for transfer unless your lawyer can persuade Chancellor Lyle and the Chief Justice how those claims present “sufficiently complex commercial issues that would have significant implications for the larger business community”: breach of contract; fraud; misrepresentation; shareholder derivative actions; real property disputes; claims between business entities/owners as to their business or relationship; construction disputes; and violations of non-compete, non-solicitation or confidentiality agreements.

3. Unlike previously, cases involving trademark law now are explicitly included as qualifying for transfer, assuming the other criteria are met.

4. Where you previously had 60 days from service of the complaint to seek a transfer, you now have only 30 days.

5. Finally, as our firm has learned through experience, even if your case otherwise qualifies for transfer to the Business Court, the Supreme Court will refuse to transfer it if the complaint was filed prior to May 1, 2017. This means, unfortunately, that some clients will miss out on the opportunity for specialized resolution of their dispute in Tennessee’s Business Court.

Bonus! To read the Court’s “Guide to the Business Court” or examine past Business Court decisions, click here. If you believe your case could use a proactive approach from a hands-on judge who sets meaningful deadlines and who adapts procedures to meet the needs of your case for a customized outcome, we would be happy to discuss your case with you and see if it might qualify.

BoneLaw Counsel in Deal Worth $20 Million

Congratulations to Bonelaw client Zycron, an information technology service firm, on its recent sale to Texas based BG Staffing Inc. The inclusion of the Zycron offices headquartered in Nashville with branches in Memphis and Chattanooga, gives BG Staffing which is based in Plano, TX 56 offices covering 25 states. Zycron began with one-employee in 1991 and grew to $38 million in revenues in 2016. The Bonelaw team of James Crumlin, Charles Robert Bone and Andrea Perry were an integral part of the completion of the deal.

Read more about the sale and the entrepreneurial success story of Zycron.

James Crumlin 

Charles Robert BoneCharles Robert Bone 

Andrea Perry Attorney Bone McAllester NortonAndrea Perry Attorney Bone McAllester Norton

Learn more about Bone McAllester Norton legal services here:


Stephen Zralek celebrates victory with Stand For Children

Stephen ZralekStephen ZralekBone McAllester lawyer Stephen Zralek celebrated a victory with his client Stand for Children on December 8, 2016 after persuading the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance to unanimously dismiss a complaint that had been filed against the organization. After a thorough and detailed examination of the evidence, the Registry concluded that the complaint was based on incorrect assumptions and that the concrete evidence showed no campaign finance violations. This victory allows our client, a non-profit with deep roots going back almost 20 years in Nashville, to get back to its mission of ensuring every child in this city receives a great public education.

To read more about the victory, please visit one of these numerous media outlets:

  • Tennessean - Stand for Children Cleared of illegal campaign coordination allegations - Read
  • Nashville Scene - State Board Dimisses Election Finance Claims Against Stand for Children - Read
  • WPLN - Tennessee Election Watchdogs Drop Fines Against Stand For Children Campaign - Listen
  • News Channel 5 - Registry Clears Stand For Children and School Board Candidates - Watch
  • WSMV News Channel 4 - Stand for Children, 4 ex-candidates, cleared of wrongdoing by campaign finance officials - Watch

For services details please visit:

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Non-Profits & Tax-Exemption

Changing the Law for the George Jones Museum & More

Bone McAllester Norton has important updates and announcements to share with you, our valued clients and friends, in our latest newsletter. Click here to read how one attorney helped change the law to open the George Jones Museum, accolades that our attorneys have received and the smack down on criminal attempts by minors to purchase alcohol.


Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit

Anne Martin Takes Home High Award in Nashville Business Journal’s Best of the Bar Awards

Congratulations to Bone McAllester Norton labor and employment attorney Anne C. Martin, who received special recognition in last night’s Nashville Business Journal Best of the Bar awards. Anne garnered the third most number of votes in the Medium Firms category. The awards, celebrating Middle Tennessee’s top lawyers and corporate counsel, were held at the Nashville City Club.

Other Bonelaw attorneys who were named to the Best of the Bar were Andrea P. Perry and Stephen J. Zralek.


Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 33 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 16 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters.   Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit