Prominent Assignments

Successfully defended an industrial machine manufacturer in a wrongful death product liability action seeking $10M in damages.
Successfully defended a software corporation in a breach of contract action brought by former owner seeking damages under theories of successor corporation liability. Suit was dismissed on Motion for Summary Judgment.
Successfully defended a building materials supplier in a residential construction case where supplier was accused of negligently drafting plans and specifications which, when implemented by a general contractor, resulted in defective construction. Cause of action against supplier was dismissed on a Motion for Summary Judgment.
Represented a class of physical therapy students against a university on theories of breach of contract, willful and negligent misrepresentations and violation of the Consumer Protection Act. The university failed to obtain certification of its physical therapy program which resulted in damages to the students. The case was tried to a jury and Judge, resulting in a judgment in favor of the students in excess of $1.3M.
Represented a former employee of a printing company in an age discrimination case against that entity. The case was tried to a Judge and jury and resulted in a judgment in favor of the employee in excess of $500K.
Have tried hundreds of lawsuits in both jury and bench trials in state and federal courts.
Represented various insurance companies in direct actions, bad faith claims, coverage disputes, and have represented insurance carriers' insured's in civil litigation matters, including motor vehicle accidents, construction disputes, violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, medical malpractice claims, products liability claims, and premises liability actions.
Successfully defended national fast food chains in suits alleging food borne illnesses and food contamination by foreign object. Have tried such suits to defense verdicts in both state and federal courts.
Successfully defended national trucking carriers in catastrophic injury and death cases arising from motor vehicle accidents.
Successfully defended a national health care provider and various physicians in medical malpractice suits.

Successfully defended real estate mortgage lending institutions in numerous suits attacking lending practices.

Have handled over 1,000 workers' compensation cases in the State of Tennessee, inclusive of Department of Labor mandated mediations, court of record trials, appeals through the Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel and the full Supreme Court.
Bar Admissions
Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky
University of North Carolina, B.A., 1976
Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1980
Honors & Awards
Who's Who Professional of the Year in Law/Workers' Compensation, 2007
Who's Who Professional of the Year in Law/Workers' Compensation, 2009
Martindale Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated for ethical standards and legal ability
Professional Associations & Memberships
Rule 31 Mediator, Tennessee Supreme Court, ADR, 2001
Nashville Bar Association, Member
Tennessee Bar Association, Member
State Bar of Georgia, Member
Kentucky Bar Association, Member
American Bar Association, Member
Federal Bar Association, Member
Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, Member
International Association of Defense Counsel
 - Employment Law Committee Chairman, 1983-1985
 - Member of Medical Malpractice Committee
 - Member of Products Liability, Drug Device, and Biotechnology Committee
The Defense Research and Trial Lawyers Association, Member
Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, Founding Member
American College of Equine Attorneys. Founding Member
Transportation Lawyers Association, Member
Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee (Executive Committee Member) of the Volunteer State Horseman's Foundation, a 501(c)(3) entity benefiting the Monroe Carell Jr. Vanderbilt Children's Hospital
Served on Board of Saddle Up! a 501(c)(3) corporation providing a riding program for physically and mentally challenged children. (Served as Co-Chair of the Capital Campaign that successfully raised funds to secure the organization a permanent facility and retire the mortgage on same)
Have participated in numerous seminars as a presenter and author of seminar materials in areas of:
- Americans with Disability Act
- Workers' Compensation
- Employer Liability
- Uninsured Motorist Law
- Comparative Fault
- Retaliatory Discharge
- Non-profit Issues for Equine Trade Breed Associations
- Examination of the Medical Expert
- American Medical Association Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (4th edition)
- American Medical Association Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (6th edition)

Contributing author of Independent Contractor Status, State by State Legal Guide, Employment Law Library from Wiley Law Publications.

Faculty Member, Defense Lawyers Trial Academy


Stephen K. Heard

Of Counsel / Rule 31 Mediator


Nashville City Center | Suite 1500
P.O. Box 190695
511 Union Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37219

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Commercial & Business Litigation
Non Profit Business Organization
Workers' Compensation
Equine Law
Transportation Litigation
Real Estate Litigation

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