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Class of 1985

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Class Notes are posted in the order they were 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.

Brad Wahl of Atlanta, passed away on July 21, 2020, after a six-year battle with cancer. Brad was born in Bay Shore, New York on March 8, 1960. He spent most of his professional career at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where he became a leader in the commercial finance group, excelling in his work, while building close relationships with both colleagues and clients Please find his obituary here. Posted 10.16.20.

Greg Smith

Greg Smith was named to the Super Lawyers list of Mid-South Super Lawyers. He was also named to the Top 50 Nashville and Top 100 Tennessee lawyer lists. Posted 1.29.20




Jack Case Wilson of Nashville died Oct. 24, 2018. He was 63. A native of Greenville, Mississippi, Jack received his master’s degree in classical archaeology from the University of Mississippi, which he used to go to England on digs, finding period artifacts, including skulls and coins. After earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, Jack built a thriving real estate practice, practicing law for more than 25 years. His passions included history, genealogy and storytelling. He is the published author of Faulkner's Fortunes and Flames, a highly regarded book on the history of Oxford, Mississippi. Jack is survived by his wife, Anne, and their two children.  Posted 5.2.19

J. Robert Paulson, Jr. is now serving as President and CEO at VentureMed Group and a member of the company's board of directors.   Read more:  Posted 2.12.19

Gregory Smith

Gregory Smith was named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list, Top 50 Nashville and Top 100 Tennessee lawyer lists.  Posted 11.13.18





Sara J. Finely has been added to the board of directors for Tivity Health. She is principal of Threshold Corporate Consulting, a consulting services firm that she founded in 2015. Sara formerly served as senior vice president and general counsel of CVS Caremark Corporation. Posted 6.28.2018

Greg Smith , was honored by the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” award. Stuart is a member of Stites & Harbison. Posted 5.9.18

Reber “Mitch” Boult has been elected to the executive committee of regional law firm Adams and Reese. This is Mitch’s second stint on the six-member executive committee; his first was from 2014 through 2016. Posted 1.15.18

Val Ellsworth Winter was named chief assistant state attorney for the Office of the State Attorney, Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, Monroe County, Florida. Posted 11.14.17

The Centre College Board of Trustees elected Jennie P. Carlson as a member. She will be sworn in at the January 2018 meeting in Louisville. Jennie is the executive vice president and director of human resources at U.S. Bancorp in Minneapolis. Posted 11.14.17

Sara Finely has been appointed to the board of directors for the Oak Paper Products Company, Inc. Posted 3.22.17

Lucian Pera , partner at Adams and Reese in Memphis, was elected president of the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents at its 2016 annual meeting. Lucian will serve as the Tennessee Bar Association president during the 2017-2018 bar year. Posted 11.28.16

Jonathan Mackhas joined the Minneapolis firm of Hellmuth & Johnson as a partner in the Complex Litigation Group. Posted 7.27.16

Lucian T. Pera will serve as president-elect of the Tennessee Bar Association during the 2016-2017 bar year, supporting TBA president Jason H. Long of the law firm of Lowe Yeager & Brown in Knoxville, Tennessee. Lucian is partner at Adams and Reese in Memphis, Tennessee. Posted 7.25.16

Peter McCorkle Goodloe is of counsel with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Washington, D.C. where he focuses on health-related public policy issues. Before entering private practice in 2009, Peter was an attorney for the U.S. House of Representatives, first with the House Office of Legislative Counsel for many years, and later with the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Posted 2.25.16

John Bailie Scherling was appointed to a judgeship on the San Diego Superior Court bench by California governor Jerry Brown. John was partner at Sughrue, Mion since 2008 and served as an Assisant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California 1990 to 2005. Posted 1.29.16

G. Wilson Horde III (BA’82) is a partner in the Atlanta office of Burr & Forman. Rocky joins the real estate practice group where he represents clients in commercial real estate matters for a range of properties, including hotels, multifamily developments, resorts, golf courses, country clubs, stadiums and marinas. Posted 12.4.15

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

Lucian Thaddeus Pera has been appointed to chair the governing body of the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Responsibility, the umbrella group that is home to the ABA’s legal ethics and lawyer discipline work. Lucian will chair the Center’s Coordinating Council, which oversees and directs the policies and programs of the Center and facilitates in-depth strategic discussions on legal and judicial ethics and regulation issues that come before the ABA’s policymaking body, the ABA House of Delegates, and on other important national initiatives. He is a partner in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Adams and Reese, where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation, legal ethics work and media law. Posted 9.17.15

Joseph Anthony Di Julio died July 30. He was 56. Joe was a resident of Virginia Beach, Virginia.  After earning his undergraduate degree from Indiana University, he earned his JD from Vanderbilt Law School where he served as an associate editor of the Journal of Transnational Law. Joe was a member of the Virginia State Bar and a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth "Betsy" DiJulio (MA’91). Posted 8.28.15

Lucian Thaddeus Pera is vice president of the Tennessee Bar Association. After serving a year as vice president, Pera will ascend to president-elect in 2016-2017 and then lead the association as president in 2017-2018. Lucian is a partner in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Adams and Reese where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation, legal ethics work and media law. Posted 7.8.15

Jennie P. Carlson has been elected to the board of directors for the YMCA of the USA, the national office for the 2,700 Ys across the country. Jennie is the executive vice president of human resources for U.S. Bancorp and is responsible for the corporation's employee benefits design and administration, employee relations, payroll and all other human resources-related activities. Posted 6.25.15

Robb S. Harvey (BS'85) was included on the 2015 “Best of the Bar” awards list by the Nashville Business Journal. Robb is a partner with the Nashville, Tennessee office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis where he focuses his practice on complex intellectual property, entertainment, media, commercial and franchise litigation involving substantial damage claims in federal and state courts across the country. Posted 5.15.15

Reber Mitchell Boult was included on the 2015 “Best of the Bar” awards list by the Nashville Business Journal. Mitch is a partner in the Nashville, Tennessee office of Adams and Reese and a member of the Adams and Reese Executive Committee. His practice focuses in intellectual property matters. Posted 5.15.15

Gregory Dye Smith has been named executive member for Stites & Harbison’s Nashville, Tennessee office. Greg has been a partner with the firm since 1998. He will continue to serve as a member of the firm’s family law service group. He was also included on the 2015 “Best of the Bar” awards list by the Nashville Business JournalPosted 5.15.15

Charles McKnight Charles K. McKnight Jr. has recently joined Taylor English Duma's Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group. Charles brings with him more than 25 years of experience in representing Fortune 500 companies, privately-held companies and individuals in business disputes and litigation, including domestic and international arbitration and mediation. He was previously with Nations, Toman & McKnight. Charles is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. He is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. He received his undergraduate degree from Emory University and his law degree from Vanderbilt. Following law school, Charles clerked on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Posted 8.12.2014


Palmer Leon Whisenant 54, of Moore, South Carolina, died April 11. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt after earning his undergraduate degree from Duke University. He was an attorney at Cryovac for 20 years. Palmer is survived by his wife, Pennie Jean Vandever; a son; and a daughter. Posted 6.12.14

Mark Phariss and Greg Abbott ('84) have been in the news as friends on opposing sides of the Texas case for same-sex marriage. A recent LA Times article discusses their friendship. Documents related to the case are available for download here. Posted 3.10.14

Jerome M. Organ, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, has been named to National Jurist's 2013 list of the most influential people in legal education for his continued work in making law school retention rates more transparent. More about Jerry's achievement can be found here. Posted 1.28.14

John Talbot Sant Jr. has joined Affinity Law Group in St. Louis, Missouri, where he is business transaction and finance attorney and litigator. Posted 1.14.14

Verna Celeste Anderson (MBA'84), of Nashville, died July 3. Celeste was a graduate of Fisk University and earned her Juris Doctorate at Vanderbilt Law School. She worked for AIG in Nashville for over fifteen years. She was a member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church where she served as clerk of session numerous times, was a member of the choir and led the youth activities. Celeste is survived by her father, Rev. Dr. Grady L. Anderson; son; and her brother. Posted 7.16.13

Kevin M. Doherty has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Kevin joins the firm as a partner and practices in the area of insurance regulatory law, with particular emphasis on captives, risk retention groups, self-insurance funds and other alternative insurance vehicles. Formerly a partner in the Nashville office of Burr & Forman, Kevin also represents recording artists, publishers, songwriters and music-related companies in industry agreements and transactions. Posted 6.11.13

Greta Wilson Schnetzler, a well-respected attorney with extensive experience in higher education, has been appointed chief campus counsel at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Greta was jointly appointed by UCSF and the UC Office of the General Counsel. She has served UCSF as deputy campus counsel since 2005. Prior to that, she was a partner at Gordon & Rees, where she specialized in representing universities in all aspects of employment, civil rights and education law. Posted 4.8.13

Lucian Pera Lucian Pera , partner at Adams and Reese in the firm's Memphis office, was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Law Practice Management, which was formed in 1994 to honor and recognize distinguished law practice management professionals, to set standards of achievement for others in the profession, and to fund and assist projects that enhance the highest quality of law practice management. Lucian was inducted at the 2012 Futures Conference and Annual Meeting, held October 26-27 in Washington, DC, as 18 new fellows were inducted as the Class of 2012. Fellowship in the College is the highest honor bestowed upon individuals involved in law practice management. Lucian is also the treasurer of the American Bar Association, taking office in 2011 and serving through August 2014. His tenure also includes service on the ABA Board of Governors and the Executive Committee. Posted 1.31.13

Amy W. Templeton has been named CEO of McWane Science Center. Amy, who previously worked at Birmingham Museum of Art for 13 years, most recently as the museum's chief operating officer, was selected after a national search that began in April for McWane, the nonprofit hands-on science museum in downtown Birmingham. Amy also previously worked at Vanderbilt University as director of planned giving, where she and her team raised $400 million in outright gifts, pledges and trusts, and $100 million in planned bequests. Posted 1.29.13

Laurel C. Williams has been named to the board of trustees at Christian Brothers University. Laurel is a member of the firm Burch Porter & Johnson. Posted 4.3.12

Stephen Alexander Bernheim was recently recognized for his service as an Edmonds City councilman. Steve was elected to position No. 6 on the council in 2007. He and his family moved to Seattle, where he worked with the law firm of Bogle & Gates and taught at UPS Law School after teaching English with his wife, Susan Bauer, in Wuhan, China, Steve moved his law office to Edmonds in 1998, where he practices commercial litigation and immigration law. Berheim has lived in Edmonds since 2003. Posted 1.10.12

Jonathan Mack joined Kurtzman Carson Consultants. Jon has more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of complex litigation matters, and he will support the company's growth initiatives as a member of the class action business development team. Most recently, Jon was Of Counsel with Zelle Hoffman Voelbel & Mason in Minneapolis. Posted 11.9.11

Jerry N. Smith has joined Jones Day as a tax practice partner in the firm's Atlanta office. Jerry, whose practice extends to international, federal, and state taxation of corporations and partnerships, previously practiced at another law firm in Atlanta and spent over 20 years with one of the largest professional services firms in the world. Posted 3.10.11

Patricia Robertson Patricia Q. Robertson is an associate professor of business law in the College of Business of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark. Her research interests include tax, real estate and employment law. Prior to joining the academy in 2005, she practiced as a member of the law firm Yost and Robertson in Franklin, Tennessee.




Kevin Jacobs
has been named Deputy Commissioner in District 3 Oklahoma County. Kevin has served as president of Oklahoma Christian University and maintained a private law practice, where he focused on business planning, real estate and estate planning. He lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with his wife and their four children. Read more.