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Class of 1993

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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.

Darrin L. Williams was recently appointed to the board of trustees of Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), a national nonprofit that exists to make​ a good home possible for the millions of families without one.

Ivanetta Davis Samuels has joined the Amedisys Board of Directors. Read more here. Posted 2.11.21

David Bissinger  Houston trial attorneys David Bissinger was named among top business litigators in state. Posted 1.15.21

David Bissinger Honored Among Best Lawyers in America. Posted 12.2.2020

James H. Tucker Jr. (MDV ’93) became the first African American Managing Partner in Manier & Herod’s 106 year history on June 1, 2020. Posted 9.29.20

Joel M. McCray has been elected as Chair of The Virginia Home Board of Trustees. Posted 4.3.20

Kristin Kristin Daniels Dukes has been named General Counsel at The University of South Alabama. As General Counsel, Dukes will oversee a legal team in the management of numerous and varied legal matters to provide advice and counsel to the University of South Alabama's board of trustees, president, administrators and departments, including USA Health, and University affiliates. Posted 12.19.19

  Jennifer Patton Grosvenor was appointed to the Executive Women’s Leadership Council with the Greater Houston Partnership.  This position is reserved for the most senior woman in an organization and there is an in depth application and interview process.  Here is a link to more information about the organization herePosted 11.6.19

David Bissinger has been selected for an 11th consecutive year to the Texas Super Lawyers list. Read more herePosted 10.9.19 



Seth Schimmel , Phelps Dunbar partner, was named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the Arbitration category for Tampa in the 2020 list of The Best Lawyers in America. Posted 9.10.19



David Quam has joined Dentons in Washington, D.C., where he will practice as counsel in the firm’s U.S. public policy practice.

Christine Lapps has been named deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Revenue. She previously worked in state and local taxation at Ernst & Young. She began her legal career as an assistant attorney general for the State of Tennessee and practiced as a hearing officer and senior tax counsel in the Tennessee Department of Revenue before joining Ernst & Young.  Posted on 5.3.19

Nirlaine Smartt , is currently running for Circuit Judge for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in Florida. Nirlaine served both as a Judge and an Assistant State Attorney with distinction and is eminently qualified for the position. As a public servant, she does not have the unlimited funds to sustain a campaign against her opposition, whom having practiced in the private sector, is well funded. Therefore, she must rely on those who know her character and qualifications to support her campaign.  Nirlaine has a reputation for being fair and honest and as a judge has been faithful to precedent set by the Courts of Florida as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.  Any help with her campaign will be much appreciated as we the Treasure Coast is in need of qualified candidates to preside over cases in the 19th Circuit. Contributions to Nirlaine’s campaign may be made at  Posted 9.12.18

 John Rose has received Tennessee Tech University’s Outstanding Philanthropy Award. John is the former commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, as well as Department of Wildlife Resources. Posted 4.24.18

Randi Thomas has received Miami University’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award. Randi serves as Director, Institutional Relations at Miami University. Posted 4.24.18

Art Brunson is now vice president of legal and corporate affairs for PowerSouth in Andalusia, Alabama. Art joined PowerSouth in 1999 and previously served as director of legal affairs and compliance. Posted 11.14.17

Mark E. Pardo of Washington D.C. died May 23. He was 51. Mark obtained his undergraduate degree from Duke University before earning his J.D. from Vanderbilt. He served his entire legal career at Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt, first as an associate attorney and then as co-managing partber of the firm’s Washington, DC office. Mark was an accomplished International Trade attorney and practiced regularly before the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, United States Court of International Trade, and United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, representing the interests of foreign clients in antidumping, countervailing duty and other trade-related actions. He is survived by his wife, Debbie and his son, Matthew. Posted 6.15.17

Gregory C. Hill has joined Hogan Lovells as partner in their Houston office. Previously, Greg was partner in Locke Lord’s Houston office where he chaired the firm’s corporate governance practice. Posted 2.21.17

Chief Judge Kevin Sharp will be leaving the bench effective April 15, 2017. After retiring from the federal judiciary Judge Sharp will set up a Nashville office for an unemployment and public interest law firm that has two offices on each coast. Posted 2.21.17

Michael Ira Oberlander received the first JProStl Partnership award that recognizes a board leader of JProStl who best exemplifies the lay–staff relationship through commitments to the Jewish community and St. Louis region, ethical leadership and acts of kindness. JProStl, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, is a professional association that provides training, resources and networking opportunities for staff at 50 not-for-profit Jewish organizations throughout St. Louis. Michael is the senior vice president, GC and corporate secretary for Caleres, a global footwear company headquartered outside St. Louis. Posted 12.4.15

Menah Pratt-Clarke (PHD’97), associate chancellor for strategic affairs and the associate provost for diversity at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named vice provost for inclusion and diversity and vice president for strategic affairs at Virginia Tech.  She will start her new position February 1, 2016. Posted 12.4.15

Nirlaine Tallendier Smartt Nirlaine Tallandier Smartt has been appointed as a judge for St. Lucie County, Florida by Governor Rick Scott. She is the first black judge at the county or circuit level in the 19th Circuit, which encompasses Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. Posted 8.28.15




Ben BratmanBenjamin E. Bratman is this year’s winner of the Eric W. Springer Professionalism Award, given annually to an attorney or judge of “sterling character” and “unquestioned integrity” who upholds the “highest standards of the legal profession,” according to the W. Edward Sell Inn of Court in Pittsburgh. Ben is an associate professor of legal writing at University of Pittsburgh Law School in Pittsburgh. Posted 6.25.15

John George Morris (BA'90), currently the interim athletic director at Colorado State University, is leaving to become the athletic director at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. John worked as an attorney in private practice in Orlando, Florida, before getting involved in intercollegiate athletics as a compliance assistant at Vanderbilt for the 1997-98 academic years. Posted 3.24.15

Christen Civiletto MorrisChristen Civiletto Morris, adjunct law school professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and the University at Buffalo and practicing attorney, has authored Green City Savior – a suspense novel set in Niagara Falls. The novel debuts on February 20, and is a result of Christen’s research into the environmental history of her hometown, Niagara Falls. Christen’s research also spurred the recent filing of a series of toxic injury lawsuits stemming from the historic Love Canal disaster. Posted 2.18.15


Michael Thomas Doyle is now head of the recently opened Immigration Advocacy & Support Center in New London, Connecticut. Michael will maintain his own private practice. Posted 1.2.15

Michael Sawyer Smith has been elected the managing partner of Baker & McKenzie's Chicago, Illinois, office. Michael concentrates his practice on finance, real estate and infrastructure matters, as well as leading the firm's North American real estate group and serving on the global real estate steering committee. Michael has been with Baker & McKenzie since 2005.  Posted 9.26.14

Catherine Hogewood has recently been promoted to General Counsel of Books-A-Million. In her new role, Hogewood will provide guidance to Books-A-Million and will assume this post in managing the company's legal matters. Catherine has been a member of Books-A-Million's legal staff since 2007, most recently serving as associate counsel. She joined the company following a successful tenure as associate counsel for the Lloyd, Gray, Whitehead and Monroe Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama. Hogewood and her husband, Mark Hogewood (JD '93), have called Birmingham home for more than 20 years, have three children, and a black lab. Posted 8.12.2014 

Trotter, Kenneth '93Ken Trotter has joined the Arlington Regional office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage where he concentrates on helping clients buy and sell residential real estate in the Washington, DC metro area, including the communities of McLean, Arlington, and Falls Church.  Prior to joining Coldwell Banker as a Realtor®, Ken was a litigation attorney from 1999 to August of 2013 with Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, DC.  Ken will continue to maintain his law licenses in DC, Florida, and Alabama and continues to reside in Falls Church, Virginia. Posted 12.5.13



Warren Taylor Readnour has been appointed general counsel at the University of Central Arkansas. Warren was previously employed at the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General for 17 years, the last six of which he has served as senior assistant attorney general for the civil department. He will assume his new position at UCA on October 28.  Posted 10.10.13

Fred Wood, formerly a co-owner and founder of Cornerstone Business Advisors of Little Rock, has joined DD&F Consulting Group, also of Little Rock, as a principal and general counsel. Fred began his legal career with Wright Lindsey & Jennings and has also worked for Alltel and co-founded Boomerang Carwash. Posted 10.10.13

Darrin Lavell Williams will be the featured alumnus at an event hosted by the Vanderbilt Law School Black Law Students Association (BLSA) on October 28, "A Conversation with Representative Darrin Williams." Darrin, a principal at the law firm of Carney Williams Bates Pulliam and Bowman and a current member of the Arkansas General Assembly, was named CEO of Southern Bancorp, a family of a community development bank (the fifth largest in the United States) and a nonprofit affiliate that work in concert to revitalize underserved communities in the mid-South earlier this year.

Troy A. Fuhrman (BA'90), a shareholder at Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa, Florida, has been elected to the board of Business Counsel Inc., a network of law firms. Troy focuses on products liability litigation. Posted 4.8.13

Lisa Lynn Collins was honored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), as a 2012 Angel in Adoption at an awards ceremony on September 11th and at a gala event in Washington, D.C., on September 12. Lisa was congratulated by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) at the ceremony. The Angels in Adoption program is CCAI's signature public awareness campaign and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of children and orphans in the United States and abroad. Lisa was the 2011-2012 Vice-President of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. AAAA is a not-for-profit fellowship of more than three hundred attorneys, judges and law professors throughout the United States and Canada committed to improving the lives of children. Lisa is a solo practitioner devoting 100% of her practice to adoption law and law regarding assisted reproductive technology.Posted 10.09.12

Steven Trent Steven Howard Trent has been named managing shareholder for the Tri-Cities office of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz. While serving as office managing shareholder, Steven will maintain his practice in labor and employment law. Posted 4.16.12





John Hayworth
has been named Managing Partner of Walker Tipps & Malone, where he has practiced since the firm's inception in 2000. Posted 5.5.11

Kevin Sharp, whose nomination to be a federal judge was announced by President Obama in November 2010, breezed through his confirmation hearing March 2 before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was featured in an article in The Tennessean. Kevin was confirmed on May 3. Posted 5.5.11

Lawrence D. Rosenthal is currently a Professor and the Associate Dean for Academics at Northern Kentucky University's Salmon P. Chase College of Law. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Cincinnati area. Lorraine's first novel, Other Words for Love, will be published by Random House/Delacorte on January 11, 2011. Posted 1.5.11

John Williams Rose and Chelsea Brooke Doss were married on Jan. 8, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Cookeville, Tennessee. John lives on and operates a working family farm in Smith and DeKalb counties of Tennessee that has been in operation since 1790. In addition to farming, John is a principal of Smith Fork Ventures, Inc., an investment firm with interests in the media and information technology learning markets. He is president of Boson Software, an information technology training software company based in Nashville, with offices in Tampa, Florida. In 2010, John helped to form the Tennessee State Fair Association, an organization dedicated to preserving the 104-year-old tradition of the Tennessee State Fair. He currently serves as chairman of the board. Posted 1.3.11