September 2014 Law@Vanderbilt Class Notes Highlights

Aug 26, 2014


Deborah Hill Biggers ’78 was elected district court judge of Macon County, Alabama. She is the first female state court judge in the Fifth Judicial Circuit of Alabama.

Sheila Calloway ’94 was elected juvenile court judge in Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee. She had previously served as a juvenile court magistrate. She will be sworn in on August 28.

Milen Saev ’01 and Rose Hernandez ’07 have announced the opening of Saev Hernandez Immigration Practice. The two partners previously practiced at Rose Immigration Law Firm. They focus on employment, family and humanitarian immigration law.



Howard L. Nations was honored by the American Association for Justice with its highest accolade, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Howard has been inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame and a nationally recognized author and speaker. He is past president of the National Trial Lawyers, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Southern Trial Lawyers Association, the Melvin M. Belli Society, the Aletheia Institute and The Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. His firm, the Nations Law Firm, specializes in pharmaceutical litigation, catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.


Paul C. Ney Jr. (MBA ’84) is one of three recent inductees to the Tennessee Bar Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Paul, who is a shareholder at Waddey Patterson in Nashville, is a registered patent attorney. His career accomplishments include leadership roles with the military and local government. He will serve the board as treasurer from 2014 to 2017.


Charles K. McKnight Jr. joined Taylor English Duma’s litigation and dispute resolution practice group. He previously practiced with Nations Toman & McKnight and King & Spalding.


Davis Turner (MBA ’85) was appointed vice president and associate general counsel of Capella Healthcare. Previously, Davis was vice president and assistant general counsel for Vanguard Health Systems.


Catherine Hogewood was promoted to general counsel of Books-A-Million. Catherine has been a member of Books-A-Million’s legal staff since 2007, most recently serving as associate counsel.


Gordon D. Woolbert II joined Day Ketterer as a member in its litigation and business law practice groups. He represents businesses and their owners in contract actions, bankruptcy proceedings, shareholder disputes, trade secret cases, contested zoning matters and other complex business litigation.


Robert W. Wilson has joined the University of Central Florida as an associate general counsel focused on corporate transactions and technology transfer issues.


Joseph P. Chase was named to the board of directors of the YMCA of the Palm Beaches for a three-year term, beginning in 2015. Joseph is an associate with Gunster where he handles complex business transactions and corporate law issues.


Betsy Philpott has joined the Washington Nationals Baseball Club as the legal affairs specialist. She is part of a three-attorney team handling legal matters for the team, the stadium, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.



R. Wilson Loftis III and his wife, Holly, welcomed their first child, Franklin, on July 3.  The family lives in Charlotte, where Wilson is an associate at Moore & Van Allen.



Fred P. Wilson Sr. died August 31 at 91. Fred was born in 1922 in Amory, Mississippi, and was also graduate of Memphis State College. His education was interrupted by World War II. After graduating from midshipmen’s school at Columbia University, he served as a naval officer in the Pacific Theater. Fred practiced law in Memphis for 54 years before retiring as senior partner at Wilson McRae Ivy Sevier McTyier and Strain. Fred was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Jean Carter Wilson, and is survived by two sons.


Fred Bryan Simpson died August 5 at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. At 16, he lied about his age to join the Air Force, serving mostly in Japan until he was 21. After the war, he worked nights as a police officer while attending classes at Howard College (now Samford University), graduating in 1961. Fred then married Peggy Ann Hollawaym and they moved to Nashville when he entered Vanderbilt Law School. In 1964, the couple moved to Huntsville. Fred worked as an investigator for the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal, and later practiced law at Morring Giles and Watson. In 1969, he was appointed district attorney of Madison County. He won two elections, serving as DA until 1981, and also served as president of the Alabama District Attorneys Association. He was instrumental in getting the first state laws written against drunk driving and against child abuse. Fred then opened his own criminal law practice. He won acquittals for clients in two different capital murder cases, after which he was recognized by the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association for outstanding legal representation in a criminal case. Fred published three books: The Sins of Madison County, Murder in the Heart of Dixie, and A Walk through Downtown Huntsville-Then and Now. Fred was also an accomplished artist. One of his paintings of downtown Huntsville was recognized by the Huntsville Museum of Art. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, and four children.


William S. Jeremiah II died July 17 of complications from frontotemporal degeneration. Bill moved to Westfield, New Jersey, and entered private practice after graduating from Lafayette College and Vanderbilt Law School. He became a named partner in 1977 at Buttermore Mullen Jeremiah and Phillips. Bill focused his practice on education law, representing many boards of education, as well as other areas of civil law. He achieved his ultimate career goal in January 2002 when he became an administrative law judge but fell ill a year later and retired. Bill was active in the Westfield community, serving as president of the YMCA of Westfield and the Westfield Rotary Club and on various other boards and executive committees. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and four children.