In The News

Bone McAllester Norton Attorneys Named 2019 Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Charles Robert Bone President CEO Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexPresident and CEO, Charles Robert BoneBone McAllester Norton PLLC is pleased to announce that seven of the firm’s attorneys have been named 2019 Mid-South Super Lawyers and two have been named Rising Stars.

 “We are honored to receive this recognition from Super Lawyers,” said President and CEO, Charles Robert Bone. “Our firm is rooted in the commitment and expertise our attorneys bring to their work every day. We know that our colleagues are passionate about their clients and the greater Nashville community, and it’s really special when they are also recognized by such a prestigious organization for their hard work.”

Super Lawyers is a rating service that for more than 25 years has selected the nation’s premier attorneys from more than 70 practice areas. The comprehensive multiphase selection process involves statewide surveys, independent research, peer evaluations and independent research. Only 5% of attorneys from each state are recognized on the Super Lawyers list and only 2.5% of attorneys from each state are recognized on the Rising Stars list.

 

This year’s super lawyers include:

Charles Robert Bone, the firm’s president and CEO who is known for providing his clients with good judgment, strategic counsel and practical advice. He also serves as general counsel for the Convention Center Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Sam J. McAllester III is the founder and vice chairman of the firm and has represented banks, financial institutions and other lenders for over 40 years. He has been listed in Super Lawyers since 2008.

John P. Branham is a civil trial lawyer whose practice areas include business litigation and personal injury litigation. His trial practice also includes legal malpractice defense.

David M. Anthony is a skilled attorney who represents banks, businesses, and individuals in the areas of commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, and lien litigation.

Sharon O. Jacobs is an experienced environmental lawyer and litigator who represents companies, local governments, and not-for-profit organizations in administrative, regulatory, environmental, zoning, land use and municipal law. She has been listed in Super Lawyers since 2008.

Edward M. Yarbrough former U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee has provided quality legal representation and counsel to clients in the Middle Tennessee area for over 45 years. His experience includes government investigations, dispute resolution and civil and criminal litigation. He has been listed in Super Lawyers since 2008.

Stephen J. Zralek is a commercial litigator who focuses on intellectual property, business and entertainment disputes. Stephen has spent over two decades helping clients resolve complex legal disputes.

This year’s rising stars include:

Raquel L. Bellamy is a dedicated advocate who has defended and advanced immigrant rights for individuals from over 60 countries. She has a wide range of experience in civil and criminal litigation and advises clients concerning business, entertainment, and employment disputes.

I’Ashea Myles-Dihigo is a practiced attorney who regularly handles matters related to the construction and development of both commercial and residential property. She is committed to building a better future for her community through advocacy and the promotion of equal justice.

Bone McAllester Norton Attorney Raquel Bellamy Attends Equal Chance for Education’s Annual Salsa for Scholarships

Raquel L Bellamy Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexOn July 1, Bone McAllester Norton attorney Raquel Bellamy joined nearly 400 supporters, scholars and allies of Equal Chance for Education (ECE) for the nonprofit’s Salsa for Scholarships reception. The third annual event was held at the Plaza Mariachi and awarded college scholarships to 86 students who are not eligible for student loans or financial aid because of their legal status.  

ECE was founded in 2014 to enable opportunities for higher education for without regard for race, religion, or nationality. The nonprofit has since supported more than 300 Tennessee students at 15 colleges and universities, including 34 graduates. Next fall, ECE will enroll students at Trevecca, Cumberland, University of Memphis, Middle Tennessee State University, Milligan, Maryville, East Tennessee State University, and Carson Newman. Bellamy currently serves on ECE’s Board of Directors.

For more information about Equal Chance for Education, visit its website.

Bone McAllester Norton Attorneys Attend Conexión Américas’ Annual Cafecito Breakfast

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.

Raquel L Bellamy Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexRaquel L Bellamy Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton

Bellamy Named 2018 Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Winner

Raquel L Bellamy Attorney at Bone McAllester NortonRaquel L. Bellamy AttorneyBone McAllester Norton attorney, Raquel L. Bellamy, was selected by the Tennessee Bar Association as the 2018 recipient of the Larry Dean Wilks Leadership Award. The award honors former TBA President Larry D. Wilks, by recognizing Tennessee Bar Association Leader Law (TBALL) class member with exceptional leadership qualities. 

Raquel is a dedicated advocate with a wide range of experience in civil and criminal litigation. She advises clients concerning business, entertainment, and employment disputes. Raquel also advises individuals and corporations concerning immigration and nationality law. She has defended and advanced immigrant rights for individuals from over 50 countries.

Currently Raquel serves on the boards of Conexión Americas and Equal Chance for Education, LLC. She lends her experience to future attorneys through mentorship and teaching. Raquel mentors students through the Nashville Bar Association’s diversity high school intern program and Equal Chance for Education, LLC. She is also an adjunct faculty
member at Vanderbilt University Law School.

Our firm is proud of Raquel’s many accomplishments! Congratulations on being named the seventh recipient of TBA’s Wilks Award.

Bone McAllester Norton was a proud sponsor of the 2018 Conexión Américas’ Cafecito

Bone McAllester Norton was a proud sponsor of the 2018 Conexión Américas’ Cafecito on April 13. Community members and leaders gathered together at the Music City Center to share a meal and hear about Conexión Américas’ victories, challenges, and dreams for our local Latino community. At Cafecito this year, Renata Soto, co-founder, highlighted one of the many questions they receive: where is the playground? On May 18, Casa Azafrán will be hosting the opening celebration of the new park, located off Nolensville Road in Nashville.

Raquel L Bellamy Attorney at Bone McAllester NortonRaquel L. Bellamy

Stephen J Zralek Attorney at Bone McAllester NortonStephen J. Zralek 

 

Charles W Bone Attorney at Bone McAllester NortonCharles W. Bone

Bonelaw attorney Raquel L. Bellamy serves on Conexión’s board of directors. Stephen Zralek serves on the Board of Ambassadors and Charles W. Bone is a former Cafecito chair from 2010.

Conexión’s mission is, “to build a welcoming community and create opportunities where Latino families can belong, contribute and succeed.” Through Conexión over 8,000 individuals and families every year learn English, succeed in school, go to college, pay taxes, buy a home, start a business, protect our families, advocate, and so much more. We are honored to support the work of our neighbors at Casa Azafrán.

Top 5 Immigration Tips for Employers

Raquel L. Bellamy, Immigration and Naturalization AttorneyRaquel L. Bellamy, Immigration and Naturalization Attorney

Unauthorized immigration is a hot topic these days. No matter what side of the debate you embrace, the fact remains that undocumented immigrants make up about five percent (5%) of the U.S. civilian labor force as reported by the Pew Research Center: Size of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrant Workforce Stable After the Great Recession.

Many employers receive falsified identity documents from unauthorized immigrants unable to qualify for work authorization, and thus unknowingly employ undocumented workers. Other employers intentionally hire undocumented immigrants to gain a competitive advantage by offering lower pay and fewer protections. In the most egregious scenarios, employers falsify records and participate in labor trafficking by recruiting and smuggling workers from abroad (a big no no!).

Regardless of the scenario, U.S. employers are scrambling to assess the consequences of heightened immigration enforcement priorities. Will employees leave en masse? What are employers' rights and responsibilities in the event of a workplace raid? These and other questions are plaguing employers across the U.S.

The latest immigration executive order has deputized state and local law enforcement authorities as ICE agents. We saw a similar frenzy about a decade ago when officers relied on "287(g) agreements" which permitted coordinated efforts between police and ICE officials. To put it mildly, the result was a complete mess.

As history is the best instructor, I have taken the lessons of the past to create the top five immigration tips for employers:

1. Anticipate increased auditing of records to verify I-9 compliance. Locate and organize your records to avoid costly delays. You should have a completed I-9 for each employee.

2. Prepare for the inevitable by conducting an internal audit, which will help you identify any I-9 compliance issues.

3. Consult a competent employment attorney regarding any potential liability for violations of I-9 regulations.

4. Train front office staff (receptionists, hostesses, etc.) on how to approach law enforcement officials who enter the premises to inquire about immigration violations. Know your rights to limit access of law enforcement officers.

5. Avoid discrimination based on national origin against potential employees. During the interview phase, limit your inquiry to whether the applicant is authorized to work in the United States and whether the applicant will require sponsorship to obtain work authorization. If an applicant or a current employee is confused about work authorization, you should encourage him/her to seek independent counsel.

6. I know I said 5, but who doesn't love a bonus? Show compassion for workers who are experiencing personal trauma as a result of the changes in immigration enforcement priorities. Even U.S. citizens may experience a high level of anxiety over the potential impact to their family members and friends. Be mindful of negative interactions between employees. Some of my clients have reported workplace harassment. In one instance, a worker was blackmailed by a co-worker who threatened to call ICE. Employers should be aware of any workplace intimidation and maintain a policy against bullying. Again, regardless of your position on the debate, we are all less safe when pockets of our population are particularly vulnerable.

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Raquel Bellamy Lends Her Immigration Law Experience to Nashville Bar Program

Raquel L. Bellamy, Immigration and Naturalization AttorneyRaquel L. Bellamy, Immigration and Naturalization Attorney

BoneLaw’s Raquel Bellamy is taking a lead role in producing, “What Immigration Attorneys Are Telling Their Terrified Clients”, a seminar hosted by the Nashville Bar Association on Wednesday, March 1st. Presenter Tricia Herzfeld, partner at Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC, will be discussing how to help educate those in the Nashville community about what to do when immigrants are encountered by law enforcement. This lunchtime meeting will include know your rights information, how to identify the need for an immigration lawyer, and how to assist immigrants you know with safety planning—because the best defense is a good offense.

When: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 – 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Where: Nashville Bar Association, 150 4th Avenue, North, Suite 1050

For more information on the seminar please click here

Learn more about Bone McAllester Norton legal services here:

 

Women's Equality Day

President Barack Obama designated an historic home of the U.S. women's Suffrage movement as a national monument.  He said he looks forward to a time when girls are astonished that a female had never occupied the Oval Office.  AP (April 12)

All American women vote because 48 states ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Today a group of Bone McAllester Norton attorneys went to Centennial Park to celebrate "Women's Equality Day."  A monument to the suffragists' victory was unveiled in Centennial Park this morning.  It was sculpted by Nashville's own Alan LeQuire and features women who were actually in Nashville at the time the bill was effecting this monumental change.

The event was attended by several dignitaries including the mayors from Nashville, Knoxville, Clarksville and Memphis.

L to R: Andrea Perry, Mandy Floyd, Susan Neal Williams, Anne Sumpter Arney, Anne Martin, Sheri Jacobs and Raquel BellamyL to R: Andrea Perry, Mandy Floyd, Susan Neal Williams, Anne Sumpter Arney, Anne Martin, Sheri Jacobs and Raquel Bellamy