In The News

Bone McAllester Norton Spotlights Attorney Marshall T. (Marty) Cook

Marshall T Cook Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional IndexFor all things litigation, dispute resolution, real estate development and construction law, Marshall T. “Marty” Cook has the answer.

Marty is an attorney with Bone McAllester Norton’s Sumner County office and handles all aspects of litigation, arbitration and mediation for his clients. His background spans a wide range of industries and cases, including a mixed-use project development, a class action wage case and the sale of a multimillion-dollar international company.

Outside of the office, Marty is an active member of his Sumner County community. He is a board member and former president of the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce, is the founding board member of nonprofit COMPASS, and has served on the boards of several nonprofits, like the Sumner Teen Center and United Way of Sumner County, among others.

Read more to learn what sets Marty apart by clicking here.

Bone Law Criminal Defense Attorney Henry Leventis Featured in Association of Corporate Counsel on Heightened Risk of Federal Investigations Amid COVID-19 White Collar Crime

Henry C Leventis Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexThe U.S. government has spent an unprecedented amount of money fighting COVID-19’s economic impact with initiatives like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This act provides billions of dollars in relief funds for businesses across a wide range of industries who have been impacted by the pandemic. What these companies may not realize, however, is that, where there’s money, there’s enforcement. Bone McAllester Norton Criminal Defense Attorney Henry Leventis and Envision Healthcare chief litigation counsel Marc Bonora have penned a piece for the Association of Corporate Counsel, detailing the heightened risk of federal investigations for companies in the wake of COVID-19 and what they can do to be prepared.

An experienced litigator and the former White-Collar Chief and Director of Litigation for the United States Attorney’s Office in Nashville, Henry Leventis focuses his practice on helping businesses and individuals with criminal and federal investigations. Henry’s diverse background enables him to provide valuable perspective on a number of issues, including trial and litigation, regulatory and compliance matters, internal investigations and white-collar crime.

Click here to read the full article. 

Bone Law Attorney Courtney Lutz Highlights the Nuances of Co-Parenting During COVID-19 Restrictions

Courtney Lutz Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional index

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout Nashville, divorced parents are concerned with how to properly follow their court-ordered parenting plans while adhering to “Safer-at-Home” orders. These restrictions have created complications in transporting children between homes, especially when one or both parents are required to continue working in environments where they are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. Bone McAllester Norton attorney Courtney Lutz shared her insight into the orders along with guidance that district judges have provided for divorced parents during this time. Read the full article below to learn more.

 

 

AMID COVID-19 OUTBREAK, NASHVILLE-AREA JUDGES PROVIDING GUIDANCE ON COURT-ORDERED PARENTING PLANS

As the number of COVID-19 cases has grown in the Greater Nashville area, so too has concern from divorced parents, not only about how to protect their children from this novel virus, but also how to properly follow their court-ordered parenting plans.

Many parents have struggled to find a way to balance the health and safety of their children with the need to facilitate a continuous relationship with both parents, especially when families have been asked to self-quarantine and “Safer at Home” orders remain in effect. Parents’ concerns become more complicated when one parent is required to continue to work in environments where he or she is at a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, or if a parent is defined as an “essential worker” and must continue to work in the general public.

Fortunately, judges in some districts have provided orders or guidance on how parents are to follow parenting plans during this unique time, which is the first thing parents must consider in determining how to navigate their co-parenting relationships. It is important for parents to review the order from the district in which their last custody order was entered for proper guidance, because judges in each district may be handling this issue differently.

Additionally, parents must follow the order from the court in which their parenting plan was ordered, because in some districts, juvenile courts differ from circuit and chancery courts in how they are handling the COVID-19 issue.

In the 19th Judicial District (Montgomery and Robertson counties), for example, the circuit court judges have set forth an order that parenting plans should continue to be followed unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • If a parent’s city or state is under a government-mandated lockdown and that child is with that parent at the time the lockdown goes into effect, visitation is suspended until the end of the lockdown;
  • Or if the child, parent, or an in-home sibling or family member is diagnosed with COVID-19 while the child is in the home, visitation is suspended for 14 days following the diagnosis and proof of the medical diagnosis is sent to the other parent.

The circuit and chancery court judges in the 20th Judicial District (Davidson County) have also ordered for parenting plans to remain in effect, but set forth three exceptions to the general rule:

  • If a child, parent, or in-home sibling or family member is diagnosed with COVID-19 while the child is in the home, visitation is suspended for 14 days following the diagnosis upon presentation of a doctor’s note to the other parent confirming the diagnosis;
  • In the event of a local, state, or federal lockdown or shelter-in-place order, the primary residential parent designated in the parenting plan must take possession of the child within four hours of the activation of the lockdown or shelter-in-place order, and the child is to remain with the primary residential parent until the order is removed;
  • The parents may agree to an alternate residential schedule, but the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.

Further, judges in some districts have set forth orders specifically for children in the physical and legal custody of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS). For example, in Wilson County, which is located in the 15th Judicial District, the court has ordered that all in-person visitation between children in the physical and legal custody of DCS and their parents be suspended pending further orders of the court.

To date, some judges have not issued an order on how parenting plans should be followed during COVID-19 or whether they will be recognizing certain exceptions based on the virus. Without such an order, parents should assume that parenting plans should continue to be followed as normal. If parents are concerned regarding their children’s exposure to COVID-19, it is best for them to attempt to work together to determine a solution that is best to protect their children.

In the event that they are unable to do so, however, or if a parent has potentially been exposed to COVID-19 and insists on exercising his or her parenting time despite this, the other parent may want to consider filing a temporary restraining order or pursuing another available remedy in order to protect his or her children. A temporary restraining order is considered an extraordinary remedy under the laws of Tennessee. Therefore, whether a temporary restraining order would be awarded is based on each person’s specific set of circumstances and is not guaranteed.

Anyone concerned about balancing parental rights under their parenting plans while taking precautions to protect their children from COVID-19 should consult with an experienced family law attorney, who will be able to assist in determining the most appropriate next steps based on the facts of their cases.

Bone Law Attorneys Stephen Zralek and Maria Campbell Discuss How COVID-19 Could Change Business Litigation in Recent Law360 Article

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost every court in the U.S. to cancel in-person hearings and postpone trials, lawyers are still actively representing business clients in court and arbitration.  Law360 recently published an article by attorneys Stephen Zralek and Maria Campbell where they predict how the pandemic will change business litigation long after the stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Stephen has dedicated his career as a commercial litigator to helping clients resolve complex disputes involving class actions, copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, trade secrets, non-compete violations, defamation, domain disputes, and disputes in the business and entertainment arenas. He routinely appears in federal court, chancery court and the Tennessee Business Court, at both the trial and appellate levels.

Maria’s practice focuses on business litigation and labor employment law representing companies and individuals. She has extensive experience in matters concerning race discrimination, gender and pregnancy discrimination, FMLA violations, retaliatory discharge, FLSA noncompetition disputes, employment discrimination, and alternative dispute resolutions.

To read the full article on Law360 click here

Maria Q Campbell Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexMaria Campbell

Stephen J Zralek Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexStephen Zralek

Attorney Mandy Strickland Floyd Writes Column for Nashville Business Journal

Mandy Strickland Floyd Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexIn March, Congress passed legislation providing paid sick and family leave as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bone McAllester Norton attorney Mandy Strickland Floyd wrote a primer to answer common questions about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect on April 2. In her piece, Mandy answers a variety of questions including which businesses are impacted and how these businesses can afford paying wages under this act.

Mandy Strickland Floyd is a passionate advocate with a wide range of experience in civil litigation, dispute resolution and appellate practice. Mandy concentrates her practice in the areas of labor and employment law, constitutional and civil rights, education law, and general business litigation. In addition to her active litigation work, Mandy advises clients concerning business and employment disputes.

To read the full article on the Nashville Business Journal’s website: click here.

Avoid Healthcare Fraud: Bone McAllester Criminal Defense Attorney Henry Leventis Offers Tips as Telemedicine Skyrockets

Henry C Leventis Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexTelemedicine use has skyrocketed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With health care providers adapting to the new norms to serve their patients, they can open themselves up to unexpected and unwanted attention from government regulators. In an article for Nashville Medical News, Bone McAllester Norton Criminal Defense Attorney and former Director of Litigation for the United States Attorney’s Office Henry Leventis provides simple, essential guidance for providers to minimize their risk of being audited or investigated. Click the link to read the full article and learn how to sidestep the potential legal pitfalls of the coronavirus telehealth surge.

https://nashvillemedicalnews.blog/2020/04/10/hold-that-call-telemedicine-regulatory-compliance-issues-every-provider-should-know-about/

Bone McAllester Norton Attorney David Anthony Elected to Mid-South Commercial Law Institute Board of Directors

David M Anthony Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexBone McAllester Norton attorney David Anthony was recently elected to the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute’s board of directors. David was among four other attorneys elected to the 25-member board, each serving five-year terms.

Attorneys selected to serve as directors of the MSCLI are those who exemplify the highest commitment to the practice of bankruptcy and commercial law in the mid-south, as shown by the MSCLI’s highly regarded educational programs and overall efforts to maintain and elevate the standards of the bankruptcy bar.

A yearly highlight for the nonprofit institute is an advanced two-day CLE seminar on commercial and bankruptcy law in Nashville, Tenn. The seminars are presented by panels of nationally renowned scholars, judges and attorneys and are designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of practices.

David is a veteran attorney with experience representing banks, businesses and individuals in the areas of commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and lien litigation. He routinely appears in state, federal and bankruptcy courts throughout Tennessee. In addition to his litigation practice, he has significant experience in the review, analysis and preparation of commercial contracts, including leases, loan documents and other commercial contracts.

To learn more, visit the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute’s website.

Attorney David Anthony Quoted in the Tennessean on Bankruptcy Concerns as Coronavirus Crisis Intensifies

David M Anthony Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexBone McAllester Norton attorney David Anthony was recently featured in the Tennessean sharing tips on how to avoid bankruptcy as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the economy.

He expressed the need to be proactive and for those who are out of work or actively losing income to not wait until they are completely out of money to take action.

“If they feel like they’re in the pinch now, reach out to the landlord, reach out to the bank now,” he said in the article.

Anthony is a veteran attorney with experience representing banks, businesses and individuals in the areas of commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and lien litigation. He routinely appears in state, federal and bankruptcy courts throughout Tennessee. In addition to his litigation practice, he has significant experience in the review, analysis and preparation of commercial contracts, including leases, loan documents and other commercial contracts.

To read the article, visit The Tennessean’s website.

Bone McAllester Norton Attorneys Address College Athlete Compensation for Use of their Right of Publicity in Tennessean Op-Ed

Bone McAllester Norton attorneys Stephen Zralek and William "Paz" Haynes, III recently wrote an Op-Ed for The Tennessean discussing how college athletes are wrongly blocked from compensation for their use of their right of publicity. The article explores two bills that have been proposed in the state legislature that address this issue.

“One bill is a step in the right direction, one may inadvertently limit student-athletes’ rights, and neither goes far enough,” they said in the article.  They explain how this legislation “could help attract elite student athletes to Tennessee, which would benefit our state as a whole.”  Strengthening the right of publicity for college athletes would indirectly also strengthen it for musicians and other celebrities who live and work in Tennessee.

Zralek has more than 20 years of experience as a commercial litigator and focuses his practice on intellectual property, business and entertainment disputes. Zralek is a frequent speaker and author on issues in intellectual property litigation, including the right of publicity, and litigating before the Tennessee Business Court

Haynes is a veteran attorney with experience in labor and employment law, administrative law, health care law, and commercial and civil litigation. In 2017, Haynes was appointed to the board of the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance, and he currently serves as board chairman.

To read the article, visit The Tennessean’s website

Stephen J Zralek Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexStephen Zralek

William J Haynes Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexWilliam "Paz" Haynes, III

Bone McAllester Norton Welcomes David Briley Back to the Firm’s Nashville Office

C David Briley Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexFormer Nashville Mayor David Briley will relaunch his law practice at Bone McAllester Norton beginning on Nov. 1.

“David Briley brings not only his skills as a lawyer with a strong professional track record, but also his deep understanding of our city, and the issues and the challenges we face in the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” said Bone McAllester Norton CEO Charles Robert Bone. “Our firm is deeply involved in the civic fabric of Nashville, and he will be an invaluable resource for all of our attorneys. We could not be happier about David’s return to our firm.”

Briley practiced law from 2007-2018 at Bone McAllester Norton, where he was engaged primarily in civil, commercial and class-action litigation. He represented his clients in a variety of matters in state and federal court in both Tennessee and California, including wage and hour claims asserted by employees, securities class-action litigation, and civil litigation. He will continue to concentrate in those areas and will also advise clients on administrative and regulatory issues throughout the state upon his return to the firm.

Briley is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and previously served on the board of directors for the Housing Fund and Sister Cities of Nashville. Briley earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctorate at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Bone McAllester Norton Welcomes Two Attorneys to Nashville Office

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC has welcomed attorneys Mandy Strickland Floyd and Jack Spencer to the firm’s Nashville office.  

“We are thrilled that Mandy has decided to return to Bone McAllester. She and Jack are great additions to our practice,” said Charles Robert Bone, president and CEO of Bone McAllester Norton. “The expertise and passion they bring to their roles will help us continue to provide our clients with strategic solutions and optimal service.” 

Mandy Strickland Floyd Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional indexFloyd returns to Bone McAllester Norton following two years of service with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nashville (ACLU-TN), where she worked as a staff attorney focused on constitutional and civil rights issues. Prior to her position at ACLU-TN, she worked at Bone McAllester Norton and as a law clerk to the Hon. Richard H. Dinkins of the Tennessee Court of Appeals. In her career, Floyd has represented clients in appeals before the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Tennessee Supreme Court, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. She will concentrate her Bone McAllester Norton practice in litigation and dispute resolution, education law, labor and employment law, and appellate practice. In addition to her litigation work, Floyd is actively involved in the industry through memberships with the Nashville Bar Association, Lawyers’ Association for Women, Tennessee Bar Association, Harry Phillips American Inn of Court and Napier Looby Bar Association. She also has been recognized as a recipient of the Tennessee Supreme Court Pro Bono Attorney for Justice Award and nominee for the ATHENA Nashville Young Professional Leadership Award. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis in 2012.

John M Jack Spencer Attorney at Bone McAllester Norton Professional index

Spencer joins Bone McAllester Norton after clerking for the Hon. William R. Sawyer at the Federal Bankruptcy Court Middle District in Alabama. In his new role, Spencer will be concentrating his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, litigation and dispute resolution. A recent graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law, Spencer previously served as an intern in the civil rights and claims division of the Tennessee State Attorney General’s Office. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, Nashville Bar Association, Alabama Bar Association and American Bankruptcy Institute.

Anne C. Martin Named Among Top Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2017 Chambers USA

Congratulations to BoneLaw’s Anne C. Martin for being ranked in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, published by Chambers & Partners.

Anne Martin Attorney, Bone LawAnne Martin Attorney, Bone LawAnne was recognized for her work in the area of labor and employment law. Noted by Chambers as a “highly respected employment lawyer in Tennessee," Anne has been widely published in the areas of employment law as it relates to matters including discharge, disability leave, discrimination, harassment and non-compete agreements.

Each year, Chambers USA ranks law firms and individual lawyers based on different qualities most valued by clients, including technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, and commitment. Chambers' research team conducts thousands of interviews with lawyers and clients throughout the year to create a basis for their ranks. More information is available on the Chambers website.

How Litigation in Nashville is Different than in Bigger Cities

I get asked a lot to serve as local counsel on cases for lawyers from LA, New York, Chicago and DC.  (I also end up hiring lawyers in those cities.)  Sometimes we’re asked to play a minor role – some call this “elbow counsel,” where we’re really just on the case in name only.  Generally, though, lead counsel sees that we can offer valuable insight into not just the substantive law but also the local landscape.  And I assure you the landscape here in Nashville is much different than it is in larger cities.

Given the sheer size of bigger cities, lawyers there often never appear more than once in front of the same judge and often never interact with the same opposing counsel.  With the virtual anonymity that comes with the territory in those jurisdictions, lawyers have every reason to practice scorched-earth litigation.  They can be as ruthless as they want – no one knows who they are and, very likely, no one will ever see them again.

Practice here in Nashville is completely different.  Although our city is booming, we have only four active U.S. District Judges and only four chancellors at the state court level.  In this big small town, everyone knows everyone. And how you conduct yourself in a single case can be remembered for the rest of your career.  Although we advocate zealously, we refuse to stab each other in the back.   And we know how easy it is to be short-sighted.  Given the close-knit relationships here, we still litigate with a Southern gentility, or what the profession calls “civility.”  I hope it always stays this way, even as we grow and welcome newcomers from other jurisdictions.

Bone McAllester Norton Adds Experienced Litigator to Its Labor and Employment and Litigation Practices

Susan Neal Williams Brings Background in eDiscovery and Litigation Management


Nashville, Tenn.—(August 10, 2015) Nashville-based law firm Bone McAllester Norton PLLC has added a skilled litigator to its Labor and Employment Law and Litigation and Dispute Resolution practices. The firm announced today the addition of Susan Neal Williams, who brings knowledge in electronic discovery and litigation management.

“Susan Neal is a fourth-generation attorney with experience in detailed, complex litigation matters,” said Charles W. Bone, founder and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton. “She comes to us with a background of working with some of the best plaintiff’s lawyers in Nashville, and the firm looks forward to having her expertise as an added benefit to our clients.”

Williams honed her litigation skills in product liability, insurance coverage, automobile wrecks, medical malpractice, gas explosions, roadway design and engineering cases. She graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court and the Lawyers Association for Women. She was previously with Leader, Bulso, & Nolan, PLC in Nashville.

The addition of Williams brings Bonelaw’s Labor and Employment practice to five attorneys and the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice to 19 attorneys.

For more information on Bone McAllester Norton and its attorneys, visit www.bonelaw.com.

 
ABOUT BONE MCALLESTER NORTON PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 39 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

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Media Contact:
Ann Dee McClane, (615) 742-6889

Lessons Businesses & Public Figures Can Learn from NCAA Football Players

Businesses who use celebrities to endorse their products should pay attention to two recent decisions, as should celebrities and other public figures.

In two recent cases, former college football players filed suit against Electronic Arts, Inc., better known as EA, the maker of video game "NCAA Football."  The two primary plaintiffs were Ryan Hart, who played quarterback for Rutgers in the early 2000s, and Samuel Keller, who was QB at Arizona State in the mid 2000s.

ncaa-football-13

Although EA never used the players' names, it honed in on real-life details of each player, including jersey number, jersey color, type of helmet and facemask, player height and weight, physical appearance, and throwing and interception stats.  The players sued on behalf of themselves and other players.  The heart of each suit was that EA had violated their right of publicity.

The right of publicity is a creature of state law and, although they have a lot in common, all 50 states treat the right of publicity differently.  Typically a plaintiff must show the a defendant used an individual's name, photograph or likeness to advertise goods or services without the plaintiff's prior consent.  The right typically covers any form of an individual's likeness or persona.  For example, Bette Midler sued when Ford used someone who sounded like her to promote a car in a song, and Vanna White sued Samsung for using a robot dressed in a wig, gown and jewelry to turn letters on a game resembling Wheel of Fortune.  The right also typically covers any medium, from photographs to films to video games.

In these two most recent cases, EA argued that it had a First Amendment right to use these college players' likenesses in its video games.  The Third Circuit and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals acknowledged that a First Amendment right of expression extends to video games but held that the players' right of publicity trumped EA's First Amendment right.  The courts both employed the "Transformative Use" balancing test and concluded that EA's video game failed to transform the players' likenesses.  The dissenting judges in both cases disagreed, finding that the video games were highly transformative, given that gamers have the ability to change the avatars' appearances and to never encounter Hart or Keller if they so choose.

Businesses who utilize the images and personas of public figures and celebrities should always obtain consent prior to using the image.  Celebrities often give consent to have their songs recorded and published (a right governed by copyright), but that consent often does not encompass the right of publicity.  Celebrities should always check to see to what extent they have consented to having their right of publicity used.  The right of publicity continues to be one of the most rapidly changing and evolving areas of intellectual property law.