In The News

Stephen Zralek Quoted in the Tennessean on Importance of Protecting Foreign-Born Citizens from Discrimination in Election Policies

Today, the Davidson County Election Commission voted to rescind a decision to review the citizenship status of newly registered voters born outside the country, noting that doing so would violate the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Bone McAllester Norton attorney Stephen J. Zralek serves as a member of the steering committee of Nashville for All of Us and said, “We agree that only U.S. citizens should vote, but this proposal was an insult to U.S. citizens who weren’t born here.”

 

 

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 www.bonelaw.com.

Bone McAllester Norton Client Celebrates 5th Anniversary and $33 Million in Sales

Gigi’s Cupcakes, one of Bone McAllester Norton’s clients, is celebrating its 5th anniversary this week, on top of reporting $33 million in sales last year. Gina Butler, owner of the cupcake franchise that has more than 84 locations across the country, spoke with the Tennessean about how a plan to make it big in Music City went from singing and songwriting to baking.

Bone McAllester Norton Client Celebrates 5th Anniversary and $33 Million in Sales

Gigi’s Cupcakes, one of Bone McAllester Norton’s clients, is celebrating its 5th anniversary this week, on top of reporting $33 million in sales last year. Gina Butler, owner of the cupcake franchise that has more than 84 locations across the country, spoke with the Tennessean about how a plan to make it big in Music City went from singing and songwriting to baking.

James Mackler Quoted in The Tennessean Regarding 1860s Trial of Mary Surratt

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James Mackler served on a panel discussion that re-examined the 1860s trial of Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the federal government. The Tennessean covered that discussion and quoted James.

“We were in war,” he said. “Although this was a civilian, this was a civilian being tried for war crimes. She was a civilian acting on behalf of the enemy accused by the United States of war crimes. I’m not saying that Mary Surratt was tried fairly; she was certainly not.”

 

James Mackler Quoted in The Tennessean Regarding 1860s Trial of Mary Surratt

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James Mackler served on a panel discussion that re-examined the 1860s trial of Mary Surratt, the first woman executed by the federal government. The Tennessean covered that discussion and quoted James.

“We were in war,” he said. “Although this was a civilian, this was a civilian being tried for war crimes. She was a civilian acting on behalf of the enemy accused by the United States of war crimes. I’m not saying that Mary Surratt was tried fairly; she was certainly not.”

 

Rick Nickels Represents Seller in Employee Benefits Firm Transaction

By Randy McClain, The Tennessean

Willis of Tennessee, a unit of Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker, today announced the acquisition of Phillips-Diaz Benefits, Inc., a long-established specialist in the employee benefits market. Attorney Rick Nickels represented the seller in the transaction.

Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

The company said the move is part of Willis’ strategy to expand its presence in the employee benefits arena in Tennessee. Willis has offices in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville.

 

Attorney Tucker Herndon Speaks to the Tennessean About Commercial Park Auction

By Kevin Walters, Tennessean

FRANKLIN - A foreclosure auction of the Longview Commercial Park previously set for Friday on the steps of the Williamson County Judicial Building will be on hold until September.

Last month, Capital Bank officials foreclosed on 45.26 acres of the Longview property seeking money the bank says it is owed on the mortgage for the property.

Attorney Tucker Herndon said the bank and the Longview Franklin Partnership are presently in discussions about the foreclosure and the auction will be put off until September.

 

9% Vets must fight for fair compensation

By James Mackler


There is growing anger in this country as the “99 percent” continue to point out the widening gap between rich and poor. The “occupy” movement has spread from Wall Street to Nashville and beyond.


Lost among the discussion of high unemployment rates, bank bailouts and excessive corporate greed is the fact that there is a group much smaller than the 99 percent that bears the combined burden of economic inequality and “service inequality.” This “service inequality” is reflected in the fact that, at any given time, less than one-half of 1 percent of the adult population are serving in the active-duty military. Nine percent of the total adult population are military veterans. These are the “9 percent.”


The “9 percent” share the same economic challenges as the “99 percent,” but their burden is increased by the toll exacted from military service. The 9 percent make up 13 percent of the adults in homeless shelters. The 9 percent face an unemployment rate of 12.4 percent. The 9 percent account for 20 percent of all suicides in the U.S.


Although veterans are facing unemployment, homelessness and suicide in disproportionate numbers, a recent poll by the Pew Research Center indicates 70 percent of the general public admit that they have little or no understanding of the problems faced by those in the military. Even veterans themselves do not seem to recognize the negative impact of service on their civilian life. Rather, the vast majority of those who have served say that their military experience has helped them to get ahead in life. Eight in 10 would advise a young person close to them to join the military.


How can it be that the 9 percent have so little self-awareness at the same time that the 99 percent are becoming increasingly aware of their own economic disparity? The answer probably is deeply rooted in military culture. Warriors are trained to endure, even to embrace hardship. Self-sufficiency is a coveted trait. Asking for help can be a sign of weakness. The soldier’s mantra during hard times is to simply “suck it up.”


These are admirable traits in battle. They are counterproductive at home when jobs are scarce and Congress eyes veterans benefits as entitlements that can be cut in the name of balancing the budget. The time has come for veterans to refocus the energy that brought them home from the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan. Veterans need to recognize that neither the 99 percent nor the 1 percent are going to advocate for them. It is time for veterans to mobilize on our own behalf.


We need to show employers that we have skills and experience that are unmatched in the civilian world. We need to show politicians that health care and retirement and a social safety net are fair compensation for our sacrifice — not entitlements. And if it comes down to it, after multiple deployments to some of the most inhospitable places on Earth, occupying Wall Street or Pennsylvania Avenue will be easy.


 

Bonelaw Works Closely With Legal Counsel in Hotel Indigo Deal

Hotel Indigo in downtown Nashville, a $30 million investment that went sour during the recession, was sold for $14 million in a bankruptcy sale recorded in county documents on Friday.

According to the documents, Winston Hospitality, Inc., a hotel management company based in Raleigh, NC, purchased the boutique hotel located on Union Street in downtown.

Bone McAllester Norton worked closely with legal counsel closing the Hotel Indigo deal to ensure there was no interruption in service with both beer and liquor.

Bonelaw Works Closely With Legal Counsel in Hotel Indigo Deal

Hotel Indigo in downtown Nashville, a $30 million investment that went sour during the recession, was sold for $14 million in a bankruptcy sale recorded in county documents on Friday.

According to the documents, Winston Hospitality, Inc., a hotel management company based in Raleigh, NC, purchased the boutique hotel located on Union Street in downtown.

Bone McAllester Norton worked closely with legal counsel closing the Hotel Indigo deal to ensure there was no interruption in service with both beer and liquor.

Volunteerism instills passion in daily life

By James A. Crumlin Jr.
The volunteering in America report recently released by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which showed an increase in the number of Nashville volunteers, also reported important data on the volunteer life cycle, defined as the arc of civic involvement that tends to increase as citizens feel a deeper connection to their communities.




As board chairman of the Young Leaders Council, I am particularly intrigued by the research showing that the national volunteer rate tends to increase with age until mid-life. I have seen this trend firsthand in the young professionals establishing themselves in their careers who have expressed a desire to take their volunteerism to the next level by applying to the Young Leaders Council board training program.

Founded in 1985, YLC was developed to address the need to broaden and strengthen Nashville’s volunteer leadership base by training men and women ages 25-40 to effectively serve on the board of directors of nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee. To date, more than 1,800 graduates have served on the boards of 150 local nonprofit agencies.

I have found what Laurel Creech, chief service officer for the Mayor’s office and a graduate of YLC Class 38, said to be true: “There is growing national and local interest in weaving service into our daily lives and selecting passions that are important to us that we can dig into and make a difference. With the growing needs of low-capacity nonprofits and the budgetary constraints of local government, the opportunities to engage are vast.”

Since first participating in the program in 2003 as a member of Class 41, I have been inspired to serve on more than 15 boards, including serving as immediate past president of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee and as the current board chair of Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center Inc.

In addition to my involvement in the community, my board training has given me the tools needed to benefit my professional career. I have had the honor of participating in a number of leadership roles within my industry, the most exciting of which was when former Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed me to serve as a commissioner on the Tennessee Civil Service Commission through 2014.

Even in these challenging economic times, corporations realize the value of nonprofit leadership training because young leaders bring back to the workplace those skills they have learned through their volunteer experiences. Serving on the boards of area nonprofits introduces young leaders to a network of valuable contacts, in addition to providing an invaluable service to the community.

Today, more than ever, nonprofits benefit from the skills and passion that young leaders provide. I applaud all volunteers for their giving spirit during times of great need, and especially their continued desire to volunteer after things have improved.

James A. Crumlin Jr. is a member of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC law firm and was named the 2010 Young Leader of the Year by the Young Leaders Council.

Stephen Zralek speaks on the American Dream and is featured in the Tennessean.

American Dream Continues To Draw People Here


When I think of the immigrants joining our community in Middle Tennessee, I think of my own ancestors. I think of the dream they had for their families, and the sacrifices they made so that my life could be better than their own.


My mother’s family came to the United States in the 1700s. Their stories begin long ago and are harder for me to access. My father’s paternal grandparents came to Chicago in the late 1800s, looking for a new life for their family. My great-grandfather worked in the stockyards in Chicago. The father of seven children, he was killed when a meat-hook ripped through his back. His wife, who spoke hardly any English, was offered a mere $100 to settle any claims she may have against the company. She had no one to advocate on her behalf. She needed whatever money she could get.


My grandfather, himself still a boy, had to grow up quickly. As a child, he got a job to help care for the family. He had five children, saw all of them go to college, find meaningful careers and start families of their own. One of them was my father, who moved to Nashville in the 1950s.


This story of arrival is the same story for almost all of us. Our ancestors’ countries of origin and the dates of their arrival may be different, but they all decided to come to this country because of its promise of opportunity — because of the American dream. They all sacrificed so that we could have better lives, and so we could reap the benefits of their hard work.  Today, our great country continues to welcome new arrivals from all parts of the globe. People continue to leave behind everything they know in hope that they can give their children a better life. Some people literally risk their life in order to enter our country.


Once they come here, they start over from square one — with nothing, taking the lowest paying jobs and working some of the hardest jobs. Their economic, social and cultural contributions to our community are immeasurable.


This Thursday, we will honor the contributions of three Latino small-business owners, whose businesses have persevered in the middle of the Great Recession. All three graduated from Conexión Américas’ small-business program, and they contribute to the prosperity of both their families and our entire community. You can join us as we "Change the Conversation" to focus on the contributions made by Latino immigrants on May 26 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel at 7:30 a.m.


For more information, visit ConexionAmericas.org.


 

“Safety of Patrons Is Real Question”

Will Cheek’s article was published in the Tennessean on Aug. 8, 2010.


Handgun-carry laws in Tennessee are not hard for experienced gun owners to understand. With a permit, you can carry your handgun. You cannot carry your shotgun or assault rifle, for example.


You cannot bring your gun into restaurants and bars with “no gun” signs on the door. You cannot carry a gun into a park if the city has voted to prevent guns. Park laws vary from city to city, but if you are not sure, you can ask a police officer or look at the list on the NRA website.


It is pretty simple.


Those that choose to be licensed to carry a gun should understand the law and know what they can legally carry into public places, and what they cannot carry. The gentleman that carried an AK-47 assault pistol into Radnor Lake certainly knows the difference, but he pushes the bounds of common sense. Why carry a handgun that looks like an assault rifle, even if it is legal? He may be trying to prove a point about the right to bear arms, but his effort is misguided.


Permit holders minimally trained


As I see it, the big question is not whether Tennessee’s gun-carry laws are vague and unconstitutional (as this gentleman’s lawsuit claims), but rather do they make sense?


Personally, I support the right to own a gun. I fondly remember learning how to shoot cans with my stepfather at my great-grandmother’s house in Opelika, Ala., when I was 6. The pistol was exciting, but the 12-gauge shotgun nearly knocked me down.


As a U.S. citizen, we have a fundamental right to own a gun to defend our home and nation. The Second Amendment right to bear arms makes perfect sense when you think about the time it was adopted — after battling the English Redcoats for freedom and confronting natives that were hostile to settlers.


In public today, it is a completely different matter. It is one thing to fire shots at cans or a paper target — it is completely different to fire a gun at a person in a crowded restaurant or bar.


Ask any police officer about the required training to carry a handgun as a police officer. They are trained to know how to use their guns in a crowd — most importantly, how to avoid shooting innocent bystanders. Compare this to the very basic training required by citizens to carry a handgun.


I welcome trained officers with guns in our bars, restaurants and parks. Vigilantes are glorified in the movies, but in real life, do you really want someone that has never trained to open fire in a crowded public place in a well-intentioned but misguided effort to help?


Then there is the issue of drinking. We are all aware of the drinking and driving problem. Despite decades of public campaigns and stepped-up law enforcement, people still drink and drive. Why should we expect gun permit holders to be the exception? We have to assume that there will be permit holders who will bring their guns into restaurants and bars and have more than a few drinks.


I work with hundreds of restaurants, bars and hotels across the state. There is a reason you see so many “no gun” signs on their doors. The owners know that guns and alcohol do not mix.


Trained law enforcement officers are always welcome. But it is simply too dangerous to allow untrained permit holders to carry handguns in crowded places like bars, restaurants and parks.


 

Will Cheek Quoted in the Tennessean on Guns-In-Bars Law

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Will Cheek is quoted in an article by reporter Chad Sisk highlighting voter opposition to Tennessee’s controversial guns-in-bars law.


  The article was published by The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis) and the Knoxville News Sentinel on July 28.


According to the article, seven in ten voters oppose the gun law and supporters of the gun law say it will make the state safer.


From the article:


"You would think (legislators) would vote the way their constituents want," said Will Cheek, a Nashville attorney with Bone McAllester Norton who led a successful legal challenge to the first of the two gun laws. "I think the legislators are out of touch with the people."


Click here to read more.


 

David Anthony Settlements Involving Former Titans Player Albert Haynesworth Covered in Tennessean

Bone McAllester Norton attorney David Anthony recently represented Nashville civil engineering firm Dale & Associates in two small-claims lawsuits against Washington Redskins defensive tackle and former Titans player Albert Haynesworth in disputes involving $50,000 in unpaid surveying and engineering expenses for a proposed townhome development and mixed-use residential and retail project that were never built.


Anthony’s settlement of the two cases in Davidson County Circuit court was covered in the Tennessean on July 27, 2010 in an article titled “Nashville Real Estate Briefs: Real estate disputes leads to settlement.”


 

David Anthony Settlements Involving Former Titans Player Albert Haynesworth Covered in Tennessean

Bone McAllester Norton attorney David Anthony recently represented Nashville civil engineering firm Dale & Associates in two small-claims lawsuits against Washington Redskins defensive tackle and former Titans player Albert Haynesworth in disputes involving $50,000 in unpaid surveying and engineering expenses for a proposed townhome development and mixed-use residential and retail project that were never built.

Anthony’s settlement of the two cases in Davidson County Circuit court was covered in the Tennessean on July 27, 2010 in an article titled “Nashville Real Estate Briefs: Real estate disputes leads to settlement.”

 

Anne Martin Comments on Supreme Court’s Public Employee Privacy Ruling

Bone McAllester Norton employment attorney Anne Martin is quoted in the Tennessean on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court allowing employers the right to read a public employee’s text messages if the supervisor expects work rules are being violated.


  The article entitled “Ruling lets bosses read public employees’ texts” was reported in the Tribune Washington Bureau by David G. Savage and in the Tennessean with contributions from G. Chambers Williams III on June 18, 2010.


From the article:


"It's a reminder of what everybody has been telling clients: that employees realistically should have no expectation of privacy when using workplace computers," said Anne Martin with the Nashville law firm Bone McAllester Norton, who practices employment law.


"The reality is that we spend most of our days at work, and use our work computers for business and personal communications," she said. "People should use good judgment, because what they send from a work computer reflects on that company. And once something happens on an employer's system, the employer has to take responsibility for it. But it is unrealistic to say that employees can't conduct personal business on work computers."