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When it comes to civil and criminal cases, Edward M. “Ed” Yarbrough is the attorney you want on your side. In 1973, Ed began his legal career serving as an assistant district attorney. Three years later, he began working in private practice. Ed has been a successful trial lawyer in Nashville for more than 40 years. Today, Ed focuses his practice on defending major criminal cases. He also helps clients with government investigations, personal injury, dispute resolution, and civil litigation for plaintiffs and defendants.

In 2007, Ed was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tn. He is well known for his time of service as a state and federal prosecutor. He believes some of, “The most satisfying experiences come from representing individuals whose lives and fortunes were on the line in court.”


Ed has tried more than 150 jury cases to verdict, including more than 40 homicide cases. He has served as both prosecuting attorney and defense attorney in matters involving white collar crime, wrongful death, personal injury, public corruption, and a variety of criminal charges at the state and local levels. Ed says, “Winning their cases is the greatest possible thrill in the legal profession. One of my heroes is Gen. George S. Patton, who said, ‘Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser.'”

Professional Recognition and Activities

With more than 40 years of experience, Ed is an award-winning lawyer and expert in his field. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2011, he received the first Criminal Justice Section Service Award from the Tennessee Bar Association. The Nashville Bar Association awarded him with the Jack C. Norman Sr. award for excellence in criminal law. Recently Ed was honored by the Nashville Bar Association with the CLE Excellence Award for his leadership and dedication to continuing legal education.


  • CLE Excellence Award, Nashville Bar Association, 2017
  • Nashville Criminal Defense: White Collar “Lawyer of the Year,” Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Nashville Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar “Lawyer of the Year,” Best Lawyers in America, 2012
  • Who’s Who in American Politics, 2012
  • Criminal Justice Section Service Award, Tennessee Bar Association, 2011
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2010
  • Jack C. Norman Sr. “Award for Excellence” for Criminal Law, Nashville Bar Association, 2010
  • In Charge List, Nashville Post, 2010-2013, 2016
  • "Best of the Bar," Nashville Business Journal, 2006
  • Best Lawyers in Nashville, Nashville Post, 2003
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, since 1987
  • AV© Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers


  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association: Fellow
  • Nashville Bar Association: Former President (1983), Former Board Member and Former Chair, Criminal Court Committee
  • Nashville Bar Foundation, Charter Fellow

Community Involvement

  • National Speleological Society: Fellow, Conservation Life Member; Board of Governors, 1976-1978; Trustee, National Speleological Foundation, 2011 – Present; Editor, Nashville Speleonews, 1963-1966, 1971-1986
  • National Speleological Foundation: Trustee
  • Nashville Kiwanis Club: Director, 1985-1986, 1999-2001, 2012 – Present; Secretary, 1988-1989; President: 1991-1992; Chaplain, 1998-1999; Legion of Honor
  • Forest Hills Baptist Church: Elder; Deacon, Chairman, 2003-2005; Co-Chair, Capital Campaign, 1998; Chair, Pastor Search Committee, 2006-2007; Sunday School Teacher, 1993 – Present
  • Belmont University: Trustee, 1993-1999
  • Lipscomb University: National Development Board, 1997
  • Cumberland Museum: Board of Directors, 1993-1995
  • United Way of Middle Tennessee: Board of Directors, 1985-1987

About Ed

While in college, Ed served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Sou’wester. As editor-in-chief, he learned law and politics were at the epicenter of American life and a career in the legal profession would keep him in the thick of the action. The desire to be on the front lines served him well as an infantry lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was a ceremonial platoon leader at Arlington National Cemetery and received the Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge for his service in Vietnam.

Ed graduated from Vanderbilt School of Law and Rhodes College. More than anything, he values his faith, family, and work and in that order. He and his wife, Cindy, have three children, Charles, Robert and Allison. Since the age of 15, Ed has explored caves across the United States, Mexico, and Honduras. He also enjoys taking photographs, particularly of his caving expeditions with his Nikon cameras. His photography collection consists of more than 17,000 Kodachrome slides and more than 6,000 negatives.

Ed Yarbrough in the News

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Loty 24669 Spec423 Ed18 Diamond S
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Edward M. Yarbrough
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