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Class of 1979

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Class Notes are posted in the order they are received, with the newest posts on top.

Do you have news you would like to share or just want to let everyone know what you are up to these days? Submit your class note online, email Class Notes or call 615-322-2606.

Greg Snowden, Former House Speaker Pro Tempore of Meridian will soon become director of the Administrative Office of Courts. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph said that the new director  is expected to assume his duties before the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, 2021. Posted 5.20.21

Theresa Ann Swafford, 72, answered her call to be with the Lord Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Ann was proud of her heritage and celebrated her Billingsley, Roberson, and Worthington ancestors as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Chief John Ross Chapter), and celebrated Guillaume Fouquet as a member in three societies. Read her full obituary here.  Posted 2.12.21

Richard A. Montague Jr. (BA’76) of Jackson, Mississippi, died May 18 during a swim in the Gulf of Mexico. After law school, Richard practiced bankruptcy law at Wells Moore Simmons and Hubbard and more recently at Phelps Dunbar. During his law career, he was chair of the Mississippi Bar Association Lawyers and Judges Assistance Committee, president of the Capital Area Bar Association and editor of the Hinds County Bar Association Newsletter. He was a member of the Mississippi Bankruptcy Conference and American Bankruptcy Institute. He is survived by his wife, Frances Naomi Ward Montague, and two daughters. Posted 12.3.19

Fred F. Manget  retired after twenty-six years in the Office of General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency  He spent sixteen of those years in the Senior Intelligence Service (SIS, CIA's equivalent of the federal government's Senior Executive Service).  His assignments included Deputy General Counsel, Acting Director of Congressional Affairs, counsel to the Directorate of Intelligence, and legal adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Counterterrorist, Counterintelligence, and Terrorist Threat Integration Centers.  He also taught intelligence-related courses as a visiting officer-in-residence at the University of Georgia's School of Public and International Affairs and Law School and the law school at Florida State.  He received the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award for support to the prosecutions for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.  He also retired as a Colonel after twenty-two years as an individual mobilization augmentee in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Army Reserve.  Posted 10.02.18

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Cornelia A. Clark (BA ’71) has been named the 2018 recipient of the Tennessee Bar Association’s prestigious Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award. The Justice Drowota Award is the TBA’s highest award for service to the judiciary and has been given annually for more than a decade. Justice Clark will accept the award on June 15 in Memphis at the Tennessee Bar Association’s annual convention. Posted 5.22.18

H. Naill Falls Jr. died peacefully at his home in Nashville Feb. 9, surrounded by his family, after an extended illness. He was 64. Known for his quiet demeanor, keen intellect and dry wit, Naill graduated Order of the Coif from Vanderbilt Law and served as managing editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. After law school, he clerked for Judge Harry Wellford of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, and then had a successful career practicing commercial and securities law in Nashville. Niall earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, where he was a member of the golf team. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Mary Elizabeth Beltz Falls ’90 (BA’87), and three children. Posted 2.16.18

Jere Robert Lee (BA'76) died December 14 after a courageous battle with ALS. He was 63. Jere practiced law in Tennessee until illness forced his retirement in 2015. In addition to his family, he loved traveling, gardening, hiking, fishing, backing and Vanderbilt sports. He is survived by his wife, Evon Batey Lee, three daughters and four granddaughters. Posted 1.15.18

Frank Garrison (BA ’76) is now serving as vice chairman of Island Global Yachting, in addition to his role as executive managing director and principal of Island Capital Group.  Island Global Yachting develops and manages luxury-yacht marinas and real estate properties. Posted 11.27.17

Mark Maloney has been selected to be the 2019-2020 Rotary International president. As president, Mark plans to support community Rotary clubs, preserve the service-oriented culture, and experiment with regional approaches to growth. He has been a Rotary member since 1980. Posted 10.25.17

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry appointed Leigh Walton as member of The Convention Center Authority. The Authority oversees the Music City Center facility. Leigh is a member of Bass, Berry Sims and focuses her practice on health care mergers, acquisitions, finance and corporate governance. Posted 4.21.17

Sabin R. Thompson died February 20. He was 64. Sabin grew up in Ardmore, Alabama and attended Middle Tennessee State University before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt. Sabin had a long career practicing law in Nashville, Tennessee as an associate and partner of Fred D. Thompson and at Williams & Prochaska. In 1997, Sabin was the recipient of the Nashville Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award. Sabin and his wife Vicki L. Thompson spent the last several years retired in their home in Sisal, Mexico. He is survived by his wife, four children and two grandchildren. Posted 3.22.17

R. Michael Moore (BA ’76) of Houston died November 17. He was 62. Mike earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt. After graduation, he moved to Houston and practiced law with the firm Fulbright & Jaworski. Mike was a partner at F&J and certified in employment and labor law. After 20 years he left F&J to continue that practice in his own firm. He is survived by his daughters Lindsey and Whitney Moore. Posted 1.19.17

Mary Frances Lyle died August 6th. She was 80. She entered Vanderbilt Law School at the age of 40 in 1976. In the late 70’s, Mary Frances was a law clerk to Nashville attorney Margaret Behm at the predecessor to what is now the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. Mary Frances and Margaret worked on a project about insurance products sold to those with low income which landed Mary Frances on “60 Minutes”. In 1981, Mary Frances was one of the several women lawyers who founded the Lawyer’s Association for Women. As a lobbyist with the Nashville Women’s Political Caucus, she spent 25 years fighting for legislation that benefited women in the workplace and in family law proceedings. In 2004, Mary Frances received Nashville’s prestigious ATHENA Award, which honors local women leaders. In 2016 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee. She is survived by her four children, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Posted 8.23.16

Beverly Fisher’s novella Grace Among the Leavings, moved from text to the stage of the Roxy Regional Theater’s “theotherspace” in Clarksville, Tennessee. First published in 2013, the original text follows the story of eleven-year-old Grace Meadows and her family’s heartbreaking struggle to survive in the midst of the Civil War. Posted 7.27.16

James D. Spratt Jr. (BA’76) was elected to the Board of Regents of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).  ACTEC is a nonprofit association of lawyers and law professors experienced in estate planning, estate administration, and charitable planning.  Its more than 2,700 Fellows practice throughout the United States, Canada, and other foreign countries.  Jim is a partner with The Bowden Spratt Law Firm in Atlanta where he focuses on wealth transfer planning, business succession and charitable giving. Posted 4.5.16

Joel BuckbergJoel R. Buckberg (MBA’80) , a shareholder in Baker Donelson’s Nashville office, is the first practice group leader for the firm’s newly formed commercial transactions and business counseling practice group. He is also the co-chair of the firm's hospitality industry service team, the practice group serving the franchise, distribution and hospitality markets. Posted 12.17.15



Oby Terrell Brewer, III died October 8, 2015. He was 61.  A native Atlantan, he earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt. He became a partner at Morris Manning and Martin where he stayed for thirty years.  He later moved to be a partner at James Bates Brannen and Groover. Oby is survived by his wife, children, grandchild and sister. Posted 12.3.15

Tom Trent J. Thomas Trent Jr. was named a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL). The members of ACREL are elected to fellowship based on their legal ability, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of real estate law. Tom is a partner in the Nashville, Tennessee office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings where he is a member of the real estate team and is the current chairman of the firm’s economic development practice group. Posted 7.8.15

Jack Barbour John Alexander Barbour was recently named by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security. He will serve a three-year term through March 2018. Jack is the CEO for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, where he also serves as the managing director and chairman of the Board. He focuses his practice on real estate development and financing as well as complex commercial transactions. Posted 6.25.15


Beverly Delores Fisher is the author of a Civil War novella  Grace Among the Leavings (Thorncraft Publishing 2013).  Over 570 people saw the performance of a play based on the book on May 22-24, 2015, at Theatre in the Park in Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site in Illinois. Posted 6.22.15

Leigh Walton was included on the 2015 “Best of the Bar” awards list by the Nashville Business Journal. Leigh is a member in the Nashville, Tennessee office of Bass Berry Sims where she focuses her practice in the areas of corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions and securities offerings. Posted 5.15.15

Kenneth P. Ezell, Jr. was included on the 2015 “Best of the Bar” awards list by the Nashville Business Journal. Pete is a shareholder in the Nashville, Tennessee office of Baker Donelson where he focuses his practice in commercial real estate. Posted 5.15.15

J. Chase Cole  was included on the 2015 “Best of the Bar” awards list by the Nashville Business Journal. Chase is a partner with the Nashville, Tennessee office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. Posted 5.15.15

Kenneth L. Stewart  will become global executive chair for Norton Rose Fulbright effective May 1, 2015. A Dallas based corporate partner with over 30 years of experience, Ken will focus on fostering the global practice's cross-border collaboration and growing client relationships. The global chair position is an ambassadorial leadership role with a one-year term.

Mark H. Woerner has been elected Judge of County Court at Law No. 4, Nueces County, Corpus Christi, Texas. His term will begin January 1, 2015. Posted 12.9.14

Douglas Berry has joined the Nashville, Tennessee, office of Miller & Martin, where he will concentrate his practice on municipal law, state regulatory and administrative law, land-use, eminent domain, commercial, insurance subrogation and employment litigation. Prior to joining Miller & Martin, Doug was a partner at Berry & Harris. Posted 5-27-14

Richard A. Montague Jr. (BA'76) has joined Phelps Dunbar's Jackson office as counsel. Richard focuses his practice in the areas of bankruptcy law and commercial litigation, representing creditors, debtors and trustees in his bankruptcy practice. He also has experience in business, real estate and fiduciary litigation. Posted 11.25.13

Steven M. Morgan was recently named Waste Management's chief compliance officer, overseeing nationwide compliance activity for the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America, headquartered in Houston, Texas. These duties will be in addition to his role as vice president and assistant general counsel, a position he has held since 2000. Posted 10.10.13

James (Jim) Bryan Prince has co-founded eDocBid, a website created to meet the needs of companies and firms involved in e-discovery, document review, and document management. eDocBid provides a secure and confidential competitive bidding platform for users to post or bid on e-discovery and document review projects. For document providers in need of e-discovery or document review solutions, eDocBid offers cost advantages through competitive bidding and industry-cost comparisons for negotiating with current review providers. By providing competitive bids via eDocBid, compliance with corporate procurement policies is maintained. The site also provides a confidential method for locating new document review companies and obtaining industry information. In addition, provides real time industry news and updates and is a source for locating vendors in the document review and document management industry. Company offices are located in Charleston, South Carolina. Posted 8.19.13

Alan W. Duncan was installed as the 118th president of the North Carolina Bar Association on June 16. The ceremony took place at the NCBA Annual Meeting in Asheville and Justice Robert Edmunds of the N.C. Supreme Court administered the oath of office. Alan Duncan also recently formed Van Laningham Duncan/ Turning Point Litigation. He served on the NCBA Board of Governors from 2004-07 and is a past chair of the litigation section and the trial practice curriculum committee. He is a past president of the N.C. Association of Defense Attorneys and was elected to the Guilford County Board of Education in 2000 and has served since 2002 as its chair. Posted 7.15.13

Harold Lynn Downing has departed from Winderweedle Haines Ward & Woodman and has opened his own solo law practice in Winter Park, Florida. Posted 6.11.13

Judith Miller Janssen, age 70, of Evanston passed away on October 15, 2012 after a lengthy illness. Judy was born in Milbank, South Dakota where she began her schooling in a one room rural school. She went on to receive degrees at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a master's degree from Indiana University, a doctorate at the University of Kentucky, and a law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. She worked as an English professor at Louisiana Tech and as an attorney with the State of Illinois; Mayer, Brown, and Platt in Chicago and Exxon/Mobil in New York and Fairfax Virginia. Posted 2.13.13

John Alexander Barbour, chief executive officer, managing director, and board chair of the Pittsburgh-based law and government relations firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has been appointed a Commonwealth Trustee on the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. Jack succeeds Pennsylvania 23rd Legislative District Representative Dan B. Frankel, who joined the Pitt Board in January 2004.Posted 11.16.12

Judge Reginald Brantley earned his master's of divinity at New York Theological Seminary and received the President's Award, is “presented annually to a graduating Master of Divinity Student who has distinguished himself/herself in ministry that most embodies the spirit of New York Theological Seminary,” at the commencement ceremony in May. Judge Brantley has served as an administrative law judge for New York State since 1988, before which he worked as an attorney in New York City and on Long Island. In addition to his service as a judge in the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Judge Brantley serves on the ministerial team of the Congregational Church of South Hempstead, United Church of Christ, on Long Island, New York. Posted 9.27.12

Manget, Fred '79 Fred F. Manget , who recently retired from the Central Intelligence Agency after 25 years of service and is the past recipient of the attorney general's distinguished service award, will be joining Florida State University College of Law as a visiting professor. He will begin teaching a course on Intelligence Law this fall. Posted 6.14.12



Hackleman, Bob '79

Robert Stewart Hackleman, a shareholder at Gunster in the firm's FortLauderdale office, was recognized in Super Lawyers as a 2012 Florida super lawyer in the business litigation practice area. Bob focuses his practice on the prosecution and defense of substantial lawsuits in federal and state court, including commercial and corporate disputes, securities, unfair competition, intellectual property and other diverse matters. Posted 6.11.12




Stewart, Ken '79Kenneth L. Stewart has been elected the new chair of the executive committee for international law firm, Fulbright & Jaworski. Ken will begin serving in his new position January 1, 2013. Partner-in-Charge of Fulbright's Dallas office since 2004, Ken will become the seventh chair in Fulbright's 93-year history. The 351 partners of the 851-lawyer firm elected Ken to oversee Fulbright's daily operations and set its strategic vision. With more than 30 years of legal practice, Ken's experience encompasses almost every aspect of corporate law. A certified public accountant as well as a seasoned counselor, he offers his clients solid negotiation skills and a deep understanding of the law as it relates to corporate business transactions. Ken presently provides leadership as a member of Fulbright's Policy Committee and Partners Committee. Posted 5.24.12


Elton Gregory Snowden has been elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the Mississippi House of Representatives, the second-highest ranking officer of that body. Snowden, a practicing attorney and four-term Republican from Meridian, was elected by acclamation at the beginning of the 2012 Regular Session of the Legislature on January 3. Posted 1.10.12

Jesse Markham is the Marshall P. Madison Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco Law School. He previously was partner at Morrison & Foerster where he served as Chair of the firm's global Antitrust Law Department. Posted 3.17.11

James Graves Ramsey was promoted from senior vice president to principal at the Nashville office of regional wealth management firm Diversified Trust. James joined Diversified Trust in 2010 after spending 10 years with UBS Financial Services. There, he was the senior risk officer responsible for operational risk control in UBS' U.S. branches. He also was regional counsel for UBS's Southeast Region and an associate general counsel at J.C. Bradford & Co. Posted 3.10.11

The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed Judy Bond-McKissack as executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Specialization. Judy, who assumed the post on January 4, 2011, replaces David Shearon, who is stepping down after 23 years of service. She previously served as a Board of Review hearing officer with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. She also has held various positions in the Secretary of State's office including director of business services and chief legal counsel. Prior to joining state government, Judy served as managing attorney for the Clarksville office of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. Posted 1.5.11

Edward J. Walinsky died of lung cancer on February 28, 2010. Ed was a partner at the law firm Shoun Bach Walinsky and Curran in Fairfax County, where he specialized in family law. He was an expert in adoption law who was in private practice before joining what is now Shoun Bach Walinsky and Curran 18 years ago. He served the Circuit Court of Fairfax County as a neutral case evaluator and as a conciliator. He had been recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a top area lawyer in family law. He served in the Army Reserve assigned to the Judge Advocate General's Corps and retired in 1992 at the rank of major. He was active in the Virginia and Fairfax bar associations and lectured widely. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Frances Ferguson Walinsky of Annandale, Virginia, and their three children, and his parents, Edward and Louise Walinsky of Falls Church. 

Donald Finley Daugherty died October 6, 2008, at home, after battling cancer. He is survived by wife, Floy Oliver Daugherty, and son, Donald Jr.. Born September 2, 1953 in Mobile, Alabama, Don grew up in Springfield, Missouri, graduated from Vanderbilt University before earning his J.D. at Vanderbilt Law School, and practiced law in Atlanta and at Delta Air Lines. He was a private pilot and a voracious reader who loved golf and baseball. A board member of Druid Hills Golf Club, co-chairman of the Dogwood Invitational Golf Tournament, co-captain of the American team of the Quigg Cup Golf Competition, he cherished his relationships with the British Quigg Team.

Gary Greer Love passed away on February 14, 2008, following a seventeen-month battle with cancer. Gary practiced commercial real estate litigation in Grand Rapids, MI, for more than twenty-five years. He was an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, a Lay Minister in his local church, and an avid music enthusiast before succumbing to his illness.

Gary Irvin Christian passed away November 20, 2005, of cancer. Gary was an associate of the law firm of Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones & Gay in Jacksonville from 1979 to 1983, and of the law firm of Foley & Lardner from 1983 to 1986. He was a founding partner of the firm of Christian, Prom, Korn & Zehmer from 1986 to 1992, when he joined Rumph, Stoddard & Christian.