In The News

U.S News - Best Lawyers Names Bone McAllester Norton Among the Best in Over 20 Practice Areas

Bone McAllester Norton continues to earn top recognition in the 2018 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firm” rankings—a comprehensive survey of America’s top law firms—with 22 overall practice rankings. Bonelaw added new rankings including Commercial Litigation and Litigation – Intellectual Property. The survey also resulted in 16 individual rankings for Bonelaw attorneys, 11 of those ranked in more than one practice area.

Practice rankings include: 

  • Administrative / Regulatory Law
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Copyright Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Criminal Defense: General Practice
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • DUI/DWI Defense
  • Employment Law – Individuals
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Environmental Law
  • Health Care Law
  • Litigation – Intellectual Property
  • Litigation - Labor & Employment
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law
  • Non-Profit/Charities Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Real Estate Law
  • Securitization and Structured Finance Law
  • Trademark Law

The U.S.News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

Bone McAllester Norton is also pleased to announce Anne C. Martin was named Best Lawyers© “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation – Labor and Employment. Anne Martin has been a member of Best Lawyers since 2007 and a “Lawyer of the Year” since 2013. Only one attorney in the Nashville area is named “Lawyer of the Year” for Labor and Employment. Anne advocates for employees wrongly treated by employers and also advises employers how to comply with complex federal and state employment laws.

“We are pleased to have so many of our attorneys named to Best Lawyers in their areas of practice” said Charles W. Bone, Chairman, Bone McAllester Norton.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. The attorneys included in the 2018 The Best Lawyers in America list are:

Anne Sumpter Arney
  • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) 
  • Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law
  • Health Care Law
Trace Blankenship
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Non-Profit / Charities Law
Charles Robert Bone
  • Administrative / Regulatory Law
  • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Charles W. Bone
  • Administrative / Regulatory Law
John P. Branham
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
William T. Cheek III
  • Food and Beverage Law
  • Non-Profit / Charities Law
Glen A. Civitts
  • Corporate Law
  • Healthcare Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Securitization and Structured Finance Law
William J. Haynes III
  • Employment Law - Individuals
Sharon O. Jacobs
  • Environmental Law
Paul W. Kruse
  • Copyright Law
  • Trademark Law
Anne C. Martin
Best Lawyers© Lawyer of the Year 2018
  • Employment Law – Individuals
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Litigation – Labor and Employment
Sam J. McAllester III
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
Christopher Raybeck
  • Banking and Finance Law
Jack F. Stringham II
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Real Estate Law
Edward M. Yarbrough
  • Criminal Defense: General Practice
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • DUI/DWI Defense
Stephen J. Zralek
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Copyright Law
  • Litigation – Intellectual Property

Best-Lawyers-Logo

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Over 83,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and we have received more than 13 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, 7.3 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

"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.

Bonelaw President and CEO Charles Robert Bone Discusses Nashville Growth

Bone McAllester Norton President and CEO Charles Robert Bone spoke with NewsChannel 5 on Nashville being named by Forbes as the city with the highest job growth among the 70 largest labor markets in the United States.

Charles Robert Bone - Bonelaw President and CEOCharles Robert Bone - Bone McAllester Norton President and CEOBone noted the firm has benefited from being in the "it city" with lawyers wanting to work in Nashville, and they’ve had no problem finding people thanks to the great education provided at area universities such as Vanderbilt, and in addition to that, they say the city supports any idea that ushers in economic growth. "You go to the city with an idea or something that needs to be done, generally the answer is yes, let's try to figure out a way to make it happen" Bone explained. Bone went on to say "Nashville's been on an unbelievable run, and we've been honored and thrilled to kind of play a part of that and kind of rise with that same trajectory."

To watch the full interview Click Here

Bonelaw Congratulates 19 Clients on the New Tennessee Whiskey Trail

Tennessee is the home of numerous world renowned distilleries and many of them turn to Bone McAllester Norton for legal guidance.

Recently opened by The Tennessee Distillers Guild, a membership organization consisting of Tennessee distilleries, the Tennessee Whisky Trail consists of a 25-stop distillery tour across the state of Tennessee. Of those 25 stops, 19 turn to Bone McAllester Norton’s alcohol beverage team for their legal needs and advice.

Bonelaw’s premier team of Will Cheek, Rob Pinson and Tayo Atanda lead the industry in all areas of alcohol beverage law in Tennessee.

To read more about how to map your visits across the Tennessee Whiskey Trail follow this link - http://www.tnwhiskeytrail.com.

Anne C. Martin Named Among Top Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2017 Chambers USA

Congratulations to BoneLaw’s Anne C. Martin for being ranked in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, published by Chambers & Partners.

Anne Martin Attorney, Bone LawAnne Martin Attorney, Bone LawAnne was recognized for her work in the area of labor and employment law. Noted by Chambers as a “highly respected employment lawyer in Tennessee," Anne has been widely published in the areas of employment law as it relates to matters including discharge, disability leave, discrimination, harassment and non-compete agreements.

Each year, Chambers USA ranks law firms and individual lawyers based on different qualities most valued by clients, including technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, and commitment. Chambers' research team conducts thousands of interviews with lawyers and clients throughout the year to create a basis for their ranks. More information is available on the Chambers website.

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:

 

BoneLaw’s Stephen Zralek to speak on Recent United States Supreme Court Trademark and Copyright Cases

On May 19th BoneLaw attorney, Stephen Zralek, will participate in the Tennessee Bar Association’s 2017 Entertainment & Sports Forum. Zralek is among a distinguished group of speakers for an afternoon discussion of some of the most cutting edge legal issues in the music and entertainment industry today.

Stephen Zralek; Bone McAllester NortonStephen Zralek; Bone McAllester NortonZralek will take a fresh look at two active cases pending before the United States Supreme Court, Lee v. Tam, the trademark case involving the constitutionality of the disparagement clause under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, and Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., the copyright infringement case involving whether certain designs on cheerleading uniforms are eligible for copyright protection, and discuss the far-reaching implications that the Court’s holding in both cases could have on the entertainment industry.

This panel will also briefly explore the constantly-shifting topic of copyright fair use and whether, and to what extent, Supreme Court review might provide much-needed guidance on this murky area of the law. This panel will highlight the recent Sixth and Ninth Circuit split involving sound recording sampling and discuss the likelihood of Supreme Court review and potential outcomes in light of the current state and composition of the Court.

To find out more on the event and to register to attend, please click this link.

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 Attorneys to Represent Assault Victim vs Titan Players

Alex Little Attorney - Bone McAllester NortonAlex Little Attorney - Bone McAllester Norton

Bone McAllester Norton attorneys Alex Little and James A. Crumlin have filed suit in federal court in Nashville today on behalf of a crime victim as part of the firm’s victims’ representation practice. As reflected in the complaint linked below, the firm’s client was the victim of a brutal assault that involved two current members of the Tennessee Titans football team, Tajae Sharpe and Sebastian Tretola. As the complaint details, the victim was viciously assaulted and left unconscious in an alley; a bystander found him and called for medical help. The assault occurred on the evening of the First Round of the 2017 NFL Draft, after the Titans selected a wide receiver, and stemmed from Sharpe’s violent reaction to the victim’s suggestion that he would lose playing time. After the beating, the victim was transported to a nearby hospital, where he remained unconscious from more than 12 James A. Crumlin, Jr. Attorney - Bone McAllester NortonJames A. Crumlin, Jr. Attorney - Bone McAllester Nortonhours. He suffered extensive injuries including, but not limited to, broken bones in his face, massive facial bruising, and a perforated eardrum. The suit seeks to collect damages for medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as current and potential future lost wages. A copy of the complaint and photos of some of the victim’s injuries can be found at this link.

Alex Little stated, “This case is not about the Tennessee Titans or the NFL. It’s about two individuals who, for no good reason, seriously injuring an innocent victim. We are seeking to hold them accountable for the harm they have caused.”