John Conners ’48, founding partner of Boult Cummings Conners and Berry, dies

Sep 10, 2009

John T. Conners, who graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1948 and was a founding partner in Boult Cummings Conners and Berry, died peacefully at home on September 8.

Conners, who was born in Nashville in 1920, graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1941 and then served as a First Lieutenant in the Army Air Forces, where he was an aerial observer instructor at Brooks Field in San Antonio, Texas, and a photo intelligence officer with the 15th Air Force in Italy.

He was a partner in the law firm of Boult, Cummings, Conners and Berry for more than 50 years. He also served on the Associate Board of Directors of Saint Thomas Hospital, as an auxiliary member of the Daughters of Charity, and as the first President of the Middle Tennessee Medical Center. He was active in the Nashville Bar Association’s Medico-Legal Committee, the Circuit Court Committee, the Federal Disciplinary Board, and the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. He was a member of the Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations, and the Association of Trial Lawyers. He was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Tennessee Bar Foundation.

Current and former law partners of Conners described him as a man of understated kindness and peerless capabilities. He was the last survivor among the four founding attorneys who gave their names to old-line Nashville law firm Boult Cummings Conners & Berry, which merged at the beginning of this year with an Alabama firm to become Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

Litigator Bill Leader ’81, formerly of Boult and now of Leader Bulso Nolan & Burnstein, called Conners "a great mentor, a great role model and a great man." Conners, he recalled, "lived the life that he preached. His priorities were his God, his family and his profession, in that order. He wasn’t a prude, but he lived a very moral life and treated people the way he’d want to be treated."

Leader remembered his mentor as a "meticulous and conscientious" practitioner of the legal craft.

Conners was also a founding member of Saint Henry’s Church in Nashville. He is survived by his nine children, 29 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

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