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Class of 1980

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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.

Mike Coury

Michael P. Coury has been named to the 2020 Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers list. Posted 10.16.20. Read more here.

Michael P. Coury , a member of Glankler Brown,  has been appointed to the independent panel of Chapter 11, Subchapter V bankruptcy trustees (a “SBRA Trustee”) by the United States Department of Justice. Posted 9.25.20

 Michael J. Davis joined Lyda Law Firm as Of Counsel. Davis brings with him over 30 years of legal experience and a wealth of knowledge related to business law, commercial litigation, and debt resolution. Posted 4.2.20

Dudley West joined Miller & Martin as an attorney in the Nashville office. Posted 7.26.19

Mike Coury was listed as a leader in litigation in the Chambers USA 2019 guide. Posted 6.19.19 

Laurence Papel

Larry Papel has been named community campaign chair for Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands’ 2019 Campaign for Equal Justice fundraising campaign.  Posted 4.9.2019




Michael P. Coury has been named Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation. He concentrates his practice in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights law, business reorganizations, workouts, and business and commercial litigation.  Posted 11.28.2018

Cliff R. Ennico, the author of The Crowdfunding Handbook: Raise Money for Your Small Business or Start-Up with Equity Funding Portals, advises small businesses and early stage companies on the benefits and risks of launching a crowdfunded offering of securities and explains the Jumpstart Our Business Startup (JOBS) Act of 2012. Cliff writes the nationally syndicated “Succeeding in Your Business” column as well as a legal Q&A column for Entrepreneur. He currently practices small business law in his own practice in Fairfield, CT.   Read more:  Posted 8.28.18

Keith W. Heard has joined Lennon, Murphy & Phillips in the firm’s Westport, CT office.  Posted 8.20.18

Dorothy Kathryn Campbell of Nashville died April 3 after a courageous struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 62. Dorothy earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University before earning her law degree from Vanderbilt. Residing in Nashville for more than the next quarter-century, she dedicated her intellect and skills in both the legal profession and humanitarian concerns. Dorothy was among the pioneer professional women in Nashville taking leadership roles in business. Her work concentrated on entertainment law, intellectual property and arbitration. She had also been Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Tennessee, teaching Entertainment Law. Dorothy was active in a vast array of community service pursuits. Her contributions in the Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red cross are particularly notable. In 1990, she received the Red Cross Clara Barton Honor Award and a Volunteer Service Commendation from President George Bush. Posted 4.24.18

CouryMichael Coury has been appointed regent for the Sixth Circuit of the American College of Bankruptcy. The Sixth Circuit covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Michael is a member of Glankler Brown in Memphis. Posted 3.27.18


Gary Brown (BA ’77) has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in Nashville as a partner after the New Year. Gary has spent the last six years as chief executive officer of the financial services company CMG Life Services, which specializes in the life settlement industry. Before that, he was a shareholder at Baker Donelson. Gary has also served two stints assisting the U.S. Senate on financial services investigations: as special counsel for the minority to the U.S. Senate's Governmental Affairs Committee during the investigation of the collapse of the Enron Corporation, and assisting the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations with their inquiry into the role of Goldman Sachs in the 2008 financial crisis. During that time, he provided advice on parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Posted 12.15.17 

Maureen Demarest Murray has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation 2017 and 2018as a “Local Litigation Star”. Maureen is partner at Smith Moore Leatherwood in Greensboro, North Carolina. Posted 10.25.17

Robert Crawford joined Butler Snow in the firm’s Memphis office. Robert joined the firm’s commercial litigation group. Posted 4.21.17

Michael Patrick Courymember of Glankler Brown in Memphis, Tennessee, was recognized as a leader in litigation in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA. Posted 7.27.16

Maureen Demarest Murray was recognized as one of Super Lawyers’ “Top 50 Women” in North Carolina. Maureen is a partner in the Greensboro, North Carolina office of Smith Moore Leatherwood where she is a leader of the health care practice group. Posted 5.23.16

J. Robert Paulson Jr. has been appointed to the board of directors for Sun BioPharma, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for pancreatic diseases. Bob currently serves as president and CEO of NxThera, a Maple Grove, Minnesota based medical device company pioneering the application of its convective water vapor energy (WAVE(TM)) platform technology to treat endourological conditions. Posted 11.3.15

Judge Dax Eric Lopez (BA'98)

Judge Dax Eric López (BA’98) has been nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by President Barack Obama. Judge López’s nomination to the federal bench was one of seven announced by President Obama July 30. At 34, he became the youngest judge on the county’s state court bench and only the second Latino judge in the state. Before that, he practiced at Foltz Martin (now dissolved) in Atlanta from 2008-10. He worked with the Atlanta offices of two other law firms–Ashe Rafuse & Hill (now Polsinelli) from 2005-08 and with Holland & Knight from 2002-05. See the full news article herePosted 8.28.15


James KalerJames L. Kaler Jr. died June 6. He was 63. Raised in Bethesda, Maryland, James earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia before getting his JD from Vanderbilt Law. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he focused his practice on communications and criminal law. He worked with two firms before becoming a sole practitioner. He advised clients on compliance with FFC rules and statues including transactional work on mergers, transfers and licenses. James is survived by his two daughters, Kelly and Lindsey. Posted 6.25.15

Maureen Demarest Murray was awarded a Band 1 ranking, the highest available, in healthcare law in the 2015 Chambers USA Guide. Maureen is a partner in the Greensboro, North Carolina office of Smith Moore Leatherwood where she focuses her practice in healthcare. Posted 6.25.15

Joel R. Buckberg (MBA'80) has been named a “Legal Eagle” for the ninth consecutive year by Franchise Times. Joel is a shareholder with Baker Donelson in the firm’s Nashville, Tennessee office where he is a member of the corporate/mergers & acquisitions group. He also serves as a leader of the commercial transactions & business counseling practice group and is the co-chair of the firm's hospitality industry service team. Posted 4.26.15

Kenneth Ray Jones Jr. died March 1. Ken was executive editor of the Law Review during his time at Vanderbilt Law School and practiced law at Bass Berry & Sims and Sherrard & Roe before forming the law firm of Jones Hawkins & Farmer. He is survived by his parents; wife; and three sons. Posted 3.24.15

Timothy Louis Takacs has been inducted into president’s cabinet of the Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee. Posted 12.9.14

Michael Patrick Coury has been named president of the Tennessee Chapter of Turnaround Management Association, effective January 1, 2015. Mike now concentrates his practice in bankruptcy and creditors’ rights law, business reorganizations, workouts, and business and commercial litigation. Posted 12.9.14

Joel R. Buckberg (MBA'80) has been named partner at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz. Joel is based in the firm's Nashville, Tennessee, office, where he is a member of the corporate/mergers & acquisitions group. Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Joel was executive vice president and general counsel at Cendant Corporation. Posted 5-27-14

David HerzogDavid Kerr Herzog, a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels, has been named to the American College of Trial Lawyers. Posted 3-25-14




Peter Francis Clark passed away on Wednesday, January 1, after a 14 month battle with cancer. Peter was an accomplished lawyer, most recently serving as executive vice president and general counsel for Continental Energy Systems in Port Huron, Michigan, with operations in Michigan, Alaska and New Mexico. . He was a member of the Rotary Club in Wilmington and on the legal committee for the American Gas Association. Peter is remembered for his love of history, his intellect, sharp wit, infectious laugh, and unwavering devotion to his extended family and friends. He lived in Wilmington, Delaware from 1985-2002 and contributed to many local organizations. He is survived by his mother and two sisters. Posted 1-13-14

Michael CouryMichael P. Coury has joined Glankler Brown as a member attorney. Mike concentrates his practice in bankruptcy and creditors' rights law, business reorganizations, workouts, and business and commercial litigation. Posted 3-29-13 




Carol Crossman Honigberg has been announced the new managing partner of Reed Smith's Falls Church office. Carol has a broad commercial real estate and business transactions practice. She has particular experience in aviation-related projects. She represents lenders, investors and developers in real estate finance transactions of all types, as well as landlords and tenants in lease negotiations, including office, retail and industrial lease matters. Posted 2-5-13

Roy Brasfield Herron (MDiv'80), Tennessee Senator, recently finished three endurance events. In 2010, he was the Democratic nominee in Tennessee's Eighth Congressional District. In August 2012, he completed his fourth 140 mile Ironman triathlon, swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running a marathon (26.2 miles). In November, he finished 26 years of service in the Tennessee General Assembly. Herron now is practicing law and working with a non-profit he started with the late Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter to help children and young people, particularly through education and job opportunities. Posted 11-7-12

Tony George Miller, 59, of Birmingham, died October 9. He attended Auburn University and received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama in 1976 before he earned his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School, where he was a Patrick Wilson Scholar and was awarded the Founder's Medalist for graduating first in his class. Tony was a founding member and shareholder of the law firm of Maynard Cooper & Gale, where he served as a litigator for over 25 years. He was a member of the firm's executive committee, and chairman of its legal ethics committee. He received an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell, and repeated designations as an Alabama Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America. Tony was a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Alabama State Bar Association where he served as Chairman of the Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation Committee, the American Bar Association and the Birmingham Bar Association. A tireless community supporter, Tony served as a Board Member of both the Big Oak Ranch and Nearness Ministry. He attended Mountain Brook Community Church and the Church of the Highlands. Tony is survived by his wife of 32 years, Abbie and their four children. Click here to read his obituary . Posted 10-15-12

Laurence Mitchell Papel has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, managing the South Carolina-based firm's new Nashville office. Formerly a partner at Baker Donelson, Larry concentrates his practice primarily in the areas of corporate transactions and real estate. Posted 4-23-12

Gary Brown has been named CEO of CMG Life Services in Naples, Florida, a company that manages investments for pension plans and other large institutions. He will oversee the company's next stage of expansion, which includes a possible initial public offering of stock and other efforts to raise capital. Posted 5-23-11

Mark Lowes lost his wife of 31 years, Sara McClenaghan (Sally) Lowes, on August 5, 2007. Sally was competing in the Alcatraz Challenge swim in San Francisco at the time of her death. She was a CPA in private practice in Houston, where Mark is Vice President, Litigation for KBR Inc.