In The News

Bonelaw Board Chair, Stacey A. Garrett Goes Extreme

By Stacey A. Garrett


When the Special Olympics of Tennessee announced it was bringing its “Over the Edge” fundraiser to the Nashville City Center for anyone brave enough to rappel down the side of the 27-story downtown high rise, Bone McAllester Norton attorney and Board Chair Stacey Garrett said, “Sign me up!”  But, WHY?  Read her story.


Yes, I did!  I rappelled our 27-story building.


It all started after reading an email announcing a fundraiser for the Special Olympics of Tennessee to sponsor a year round sports training and athletic competition for more than 16,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Those raising at least $1,000 to support the cause would be among the persons selected to rappel from the downtown Nashville City Center, which is 27 stories and over 400 feet.


Truth is, I never gave it a second thought and signed up within 5 minutes of receiving the email.  It seemed like the experience of a lifetime and a great challenge to advocate for a special organization.


So, the answer to my most frequently asked question, “But WHY!?” is -- it was a natural response from a very adventurous spirit.  And, the answer to the next question, “Are you crazy?” -- definitely not.


The fundraising challenge became an incredible source of fun as I worked to develop, promote and manage my own fundraising webpage and spread the word about the campaign.  Learning about the Special Olympics of Tennessee was a wonderful experience.  The best advocate is a believer in his or her cause, and throughout this process, I learned more and more about the truly special cause this organization supports.  It was amazing to see the event participants become vocal and active advocates of the Special Olympics of Tennessee.


With the fundraising goal met, I was assigned to rappel on Friday, September 10 at 3:00 p.m.  An exciting idea was about to become a reality.


The day was met with persistent and heavy rain.  Driving up to the Nashville City Center (where I work) and watching the rappellers even in the hard rain, I wasn’t sure how I felt. Was it fear? Would I actually go through with it?  In reality, I had no idea how I would react when the time came, because the experience was unknown and it was the fear of the unknown that was most distressing.


I was watching the weather radar nonstop and praying suddenly it wouldn’t rain (or at least not so hard) when 3 pm arrived and, amazingly, the sun came out.  My worried parents camped out with family, friends and our entire office to watch.


Stepping off the elevator on the 27th floor, I thought about turning around.  Standing there was one of the Special Olympics participants to cheer and thank us, and I couldn’t walk away.  The volunteers there to help us at the top were from different places.  Some worked in power plants and hung in ropes for a living.  Each and every one of them was an incredible source of support.


I will never forget climbing out onto the ledge on my knees. In that moment, feeling nothing around me, I realized there was no turning back.  Taking a deep breath, I slowly sat back but was unable to move downward due to the weight of the rope. After several seconds in a completely horizontal position and not moving, I quickly jumped back on the ledge.


With the encouragement of the volunteers, I tried once more. I remember being told: “Stacey, girl, you are already over the edge. It is that easy. You did it. Now keep going.”


Things went okay for the first six stories, but then my foot slipped off a wet window and I began swinging and couldn’t get traction for my foot. I admit I panicked a bit. But, I vividly recall that in the next second, I heard the Bone McAllester Norton team cheering me on loud and clear and, in that instant, realized my surroundings. Those cheers were enough to allow me to thoughtfully find a place to put my feet for traction and to keep going down.  Watching the video, it is clear to me when all this occurred. It is a very brief time on tape, but at the moment, it seemed an eternity.


Although the trek down seemed an eternity, when my feet touched the ground at the end, a smile was on my face.  It wasn’t relief to be on the ground, but rather the realization that I had conquered fears I never knew I had. I had tested and can now attest to the fact that all you need to accomplish your goals is within you.  I met incredible people and had a great time learning about and supporting the Special Olympics of Tennessee.  And, in the end, it was a true adventure.







 

Will Cheek to Serve on the NCSLA 2011 Annual Conference Planning Committee

Will Cheek has been selected by the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators to serve on the NCSLA 2011 Annual Conference Planning Committee.


  The organization held its first meeting at Spring Creek Ranch, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming earlier this month.  The Committee will plan the business and social agendas for the 2011 conference, which is projected to be attended by hundreds of liquor regulators and industry members from across the United States.  This month's meeting centered on planning the program for the conference, which will cover developing legal and business issues for the liquor industry.  The eleven person committee serves as the host for the 2011 conference, to be held at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas in June 2011.


 

Will Cheek Produces Program on Belmont University’s Law School

Bone McAllester Norton attorney Will Cheek produced a program about Belmont University's new law school for the September meeting of Lawyer's Association for Women.


  The program featured Dean Chris Guthrie of Vanderbilt Law School and Dean Jeff Kinsler of the new Belmont College of Law.  The program was moderated by Federal Court of Appeals Judge, Honorable Martha Craig ("Cissy") Daughtery.  Belmont is Tennessee's first new law school in over 100 years.


Will has produced programs for LAW for a number of years and has been active in the organization since he graduated from law school in 1991.

 

Bone McAllester Norton Ranked 2010 Best Law Firms By U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have released the 2010 Best Law Firms rankings, marking the inaugural publication of this highly-anticipated annual analysis.


 The rankings, including 30,322 rankings of 8,782 law firms in 81 practice areas, are posted online at www.usnews.com/bestlawfirms; the national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, which will go on sale September 27.


Bone McAllester Norton received first tier rankings in the Metropolitan Rankings category for Employment Law – Individuals and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.


These inaugural rankings, which are presented in tiers both nationally and by metropolitan area or by state, showcase 8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of  81 major practice areas. Full data is available online for the law firms that received rankings, from the largest firms in the country to hundreds of one-person and two-person law firms, providing a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that is unprecedented both in the range of firms represented and in the range of qualitative and quantitative data used to develop the rankings.


The mission of Best Law Firms from the start has been to help guide referring lawyers and clients – from the country’s largest companies needing corporate legal advice to individuals needing to get a divorce or write a will, along with referring lawyers everywhere, who need an especially high level of legal work because of the particularly difficult legal issues presented, or else legal issues of a particular magnitude – issues that have a bet-the-company implication for a corporation or a potentially life-changing result for an individual.


"U.S. News has more than two decades of experience in providing the public with the most accurate and in-depth rankings of a wide range of institutions, including our Best Law Schools rankings," says Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report. "This experience, coupled with our growing reputation as a leading career information resource, makes these law firm rankings a logical next step.”


“U.S. News is the world’s leading publisher of institutional rankings based on both objective data and peer evaluations,” says Steven Naifeh, President of Best Lawyers. “We are combining this expertise with Best Lawyers’ experience of providing rankings of individual lawyers based on peer reviews for almost three decades. By combining hard data with peer reviews, and client assessments, we believe that we are providing users with the most thorough, accurate, and helpful rankings of law firms ever developed.”


We were very pleased with the level of response to national surveys, in which major clients and leading lawyers were asked to rate the law firms they consider best in their practice area. In the end, 9,514 clients – including every Fortune 100 company and 587 of the Fortune 1000 companies – provided 194,370 firm practice-area evaluations; 6,190 clients provided 11,181 comments about law firm practice areas and individual lawyers; and 8,842 lawyers provided 594,012 firm practice-area evaluations.


These reputational survey responses were combined with more than 3.1 million evaluations of individual lawyers in these firms in the most recent Best Lawyers survey of leading lawyers.  Hard numbers were also used to develop the practice area rankings — data about numbers of lawyers and their previous experience, numbers of clients within different billing ranges, numbers of transactions and litigation matters at different dollar levels; pro-bono commitment, diversity, and other objective data.


Achieving a high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise.


About the U.S. News Media Group
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, www.usnews.com, and www.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group’s signature franchises include its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its “America’s Best” series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans, and more.


About Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. For over a quarter century, the company has helped lawyers and clients find legal counsel in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. The 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes 41,385 lawyers covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is based on more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. At www.BestLawyers.com, Best Lawyers also publishes peer-reviewed listings of lawyers in most of the world’s major legal markets. Best Lawyers lists are excerpted in a wide range of general interest, business and legal publications worldwide, reaching an audience of more than 17 million readers.


 

Bone McAllester Norton Ranked 2010 Best Law Firms By U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have released the 2010 Best Law Firms rankings, marking the inaugural publication of this highly-anticipated annual analysis.

 The rankings, including 30,322 rankings of 8,782 law firms in 81 practice areas, are posted online at www.usnews.com/bestlawfirms; the national first-tier rankings will be featured in the October print issue of U.S.News & World Report, which will go on sale September 27.

Bone McAllester Norton received first tier rankings in the Metropolitan Rankings category for Employment Law – Individuals and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

These inaugural rankings, which are presented in tiers both nationally and by metropolitan area or by state, showcase 8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of  81 major practice areas. Full data is available online for the law firms that received rankings, from the largest firms in the country to hundreds of one-person and two-person law firms, providing a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that is unprecedented both in the range of firms represented and in the range of qualitative and quantitative data used to develop the rankings.

The mission of Best Law Firms from the start has been to help guide referring lawyers and clients – from the country’s largest companies needing corporate legal advice to individuals needing to get a divorce or write a will, along with referring lawyers everywhere, who need an especially high level of legal work because of the particularly difficult legal issues presented, or else legal issues of a particular magnitude – issues that have a bet-the-company implication for a corporation or a potentially life-changing result for an individual.

"U.S. News has more than two decades of experience in providing the public with the most accurate and in-depth rankings of a wide range of institutions, including our Best Law Schools rankings," says Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report. "This experience, coupled with our growing reputation as a leading career information resource, makes these law firm rankings a logical next step.”

“U.S. News is the world’s leading publisher of institutional rankings based on both objective data and peer evaluations,” says Steven Naifeh, President of Best Lawyers. “We are combining this expertise with Best Lawyers’ experience of providing rankings of individual lawyers based on peer reviews for almost three decades. By combining hard data with peer reviews, and client assessments, we believe that we are providing users with the most thorough, accurate, and helpful rankings of law firms ever developed.”

We were very pleased with the level of response to national surveys, in which major clients and leading lawyers were asked to rate the law firms they consider best in their practice area. In the end, 9,514 clients – including every Fortune 100 company and 587 of the Fortune 1000 companies – provided 194,370 firm practice-area evaluations; 6,190 clients provided 11,181 comments about law firm practice areas and individual lawyers; and 8,842 lawyers provided 594,012 firm practice-area evaluations.

These reputational survey responses were combined with more than 3.1 million evaluations of individual lawyers in these firms in the most recent Best Lawyers survey of leading lawyers.  Hard numbers were also used to develop the practice area rankings — data about numbers of lawyers and their previous experience, numbers of clients within different billing ranges, numbers of transactions and litigation matters at different dollar levels; pro-bono commitment, diversity, and other objective data.

Achieving a high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise.

About the U.S. News Media Group
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, www.usnews.com, and www.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group’s signature franchises include its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its “America’s Best” series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans, and more.

About Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. For over a quarter century, the company has helped lawyers and clients find legal counsel in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. The 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America includes 41,385 lawyers covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is based on more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. At www.BestLawyers.com, Best Lawyers also publishes peer-reviewed listings of lawyers in most of the world’s major legal markets. Best Lawyers lists are excerpted in a wide range of general interest, business and legal publications worldwide, reaching an audience of more than 17 million readers.

 

Stephen Zralek's Watercooler Networking Event to Feature "The Art of Collecting Fine Art"

The next Watercooler networking event will be held on Monday, September 13, 2010, at 5:30 PM at the Stanford Fine Art Gallery in Belle Meade, at 6608 Highway 100, just past the Hwy 100/70 split.


  We have relocated this upcoming WaterCooler to allow our future host, Fish & Co, to complete its renovations.  There is no charge for attending this WaterCooler and complementary wine will be available.  What better reward for making the trek to the backwoods of Belle Meade than this informal networking and learning opportunity?  (Networking from 5:30 to 6:00; Ed begins his presentation around 6:00.)


"The Art of Collecting Fine Art"
with Ed Nash of Oxford Fine Arts


Please RSVP to Kristi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can give an accurate headcount.  Feel free to invite your friends, and let us know of anyone else who should be on our list.


WaterCooler Presents
Ed Nash
"The Art of Collecting Fine Art"
Monday, 13 September, 2010
5:30- 7:00 PM
Stanford Fine Art Gallery
6608 Highway 100
Renata, Stephen, and Wade


WaterCooler is an informal networking group for young entrepreneurs in their 20s, 30s and 40s that meets the second Monday of every month from 5:30-7pm for cocktails, networking and the chance to hear vibrant speakers on a variety of topics.  There is no official membership and no dues -- just come when the speaker interests you.

WaterCooler began in September 2009 and has featured the following speakers/topics:

September 2009: Kimberly Pace (Owen School): "Personal Marketing"
October 2009: Clint Smith (Emma): "The Art of Everyday Innovation"
November 2009: Chris Ferrell (SouthComm): "The Changing Delivery of Information"
December 2009: Becca Stevens (Magdalene/Thistle Farms): "Walking in Gratitude"
January 2010: Freddie O'Connell (SearchViz): "Search Engine Optimization"
February 2010: Bob Bernstein (Bongo Java)/Jose Gonzalez (Belmont): "Entrepreneurship with Heart"
March 2010: Sid Chambless (Nashville Capital Network): "Investment Capital for Young Entrepreneurs"
April 2010: Networking for WaterCooler attendees
June 2010: Laura Creekmore (Creekmore Consulting): "Using Social Media as a Young Entrepreneur"
July 2010: Alan Young (Armor Concepts LLC): "Secrets of Starting a Successful Company"


 

Bone McAllester Norton Attorneys John Branham, Paul Kruse, Anne Martin & Will Cheek Named to The Best Lawyers in America®

Bone McAllester Norton is pleased to announce that four of its attorneys, John Branham, Paul Kruse, Anne Martin and Will Cheek, were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2011.


For a quarter of a century, Best Lawyers® has been regarded – by both the profession and the public – as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States.  Selection to Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 3.1 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys in the country.  Because no fee or purchase is required, being listed in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.


The Bone McAllester Norton attorneys named in the forthcoming edition of The Best Lawyers in America include:


John P. Branham for Personal Injury Litigation
Paul W. Kruse for Intellectual Property Law
Anne C. Martin for Labor and Employment Law
William T. Cheek III for Food and Beverage Law


 

Bone McAllester Norton Attorneys John Branham, Paul Kruse, Anne Martin & Will Cheek Named to The Best Lawyers in America®

Bone McAllester Norton is pleased to announce that four of its attorneys, John Branham, Paul Kruse, Anne Martin and Will Cheek, were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2011.

For a quarter of a century, Best Lawyers® has been regarded – by both the profession and the public – as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States.  Selection to Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 3.1 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys in the country.  Because no fee or purchase is required, being listed in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

The Bone McAllester Norton attorneys named in the forthcoming edition of The Best Lawyers in America include:

John P. Branham for Personal Injury Litigation
Paul W. Kruse for Intellectual Property Law
Anne C. Martin for Labor and Employment Law
William T. Cheek III for Food and Beverage Law

 

“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.


 

Guns in Licensed Establishments

The 2010 Legislative session saw passage of a revised gun bill that is designed to survive a court challenge.  The Legislature legalized bringing firearms by licensed handgun carriers into any place that sells beer or alcoholic beverages, unless the place opts out.

In a surprisingly friendly move to the alcoholic beverage industry, the legislature now allows places to opt out by posting the international circle-slash no gun sign.  Although the sign needs to be large enough to be plainly visible to patrons entering the business, the international no gun sign is considerably preferable to the alternative sign, which was the only mechanism to opt out under the 2009 gun law.  The alternative sign must contain language “substantially similar” to the following:

AS AUTHORIZED BY T.C.A. § 39-17-1359, POSSESSION OF A WEAPON ON POSTED PROPERTY OR IN A POSTED BUILDING IS PROHIBITED AND IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

The 2009 gun law allowed licensed handgun carriers to bring firearms into restaurants, but not bars.  At the time, the liquor laws did not distinguish between restaurants and bars, and a court threw out the gun law as being unconstitutionally vague.

The new law has taken effect.  Licensed establishments that desire to opt out are advised to post the international no gun sign at every entrance.

Because the law requires the posting to be plainly visible, we suggest that establishments use signs that are at least three inches or larger.  “Plainly visible” has not been defined, but larger signs are probably better than smaller signs.