Congrats to Our New Officers & Board Members & the 2011 Award Recipients!

At the MBA Annual Meeting on Thursday, December 1st at The Hilton Hotel in East Memphis, Gary K. Smith of Apperson Crump & Maxwell, PLC, officially took reign as the 2012 MBA President.  Linda Warren Seely of Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc., and Kirk A. Caraway of Allen Summers Simpson Lillie & Gresham, PLLC, automatically succeeded to the positions of Vice President and Treasurer, respectively. Tommy Parker of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, was announced as the 2012 Secretary.

New members of the MBA Board of Directors include Lucie Brackin, The Landers Firm, PLLC; Don Donati, Donati Law Firm, LLP; Tim Hayes, The Hardison Law Firm, PC; Bobby Martin, Morgan & Morgan-Memphis, LLC; Andre Wharton, The Wharton Law Firm; Lang Wiseman, Wiseman Bray, PLLC; and Abby Webb, Shuttleworth Williams, PLLC, MBA Young Lawyers Division President.

Board members returning next year include Sam Blaiss, Esq.; Sherry Brooks, ServiceMaster; Lee Chase, Glankler Brown, PLLC; Elizabeth Collins, Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC; Michael Fletcher, The Law Office of Michael Fletcher; Charlotte Knight Griffin, Memphis Light Gas & Water; Odell Horton Jr., Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, LLP; Lisa LaVigne, Morgan Keegan; Herman Morris, City Attorney’s Office; Evan Nahmias, McDonald Kuhn, PLLC; and Van Turner, Brittenum Bruce, PLLC.

Elected Section Representatives to the MBA in 2012 will be Dean Decandia, Assistant District Attorney,and Bryan Smith, Morgan & Morgan-Memphis, LLC. Because of the bylaws change approved in 2010, there are now 6 section reps on the board—4 appointed and 2 elected. The appointed section reps are Rachel Hotze Wright of the Bankruptcy Section, Paul Tuberville of the Labor & Employment Section, and Scott Peatross of the Wills & Probate Section. The Family Law Section will also have a representitive in 2012 but he/she has not yet been appointed.

Also at the meeting, Kendra Armstrong was honored with the W.J. Michael Cody Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award by Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc., and MALS recognized MBA Executive Director Anne Fritz for her dedication to Access to Justice and local pro bono efforts.

Lucie Brackin of The Landers Firm, PLLC, was honored with the Sam A. Myar, Jr. Memorial Award as a young attorney who has rendered outstanding personal service to the Memphis & Shelby County legal profession and community. The award is presented annually at the Annual Meeting.

Elizabeth Collins of Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC, was honored with the Judge Jerome Turner Lawyer’s Lawyer Award. The award is presented annually to an MBA member who has practiced law for more than 15 years and who during that time, has exemplified the aims and aspirations embodied in the Guidelines for Professional Courtesy and Conduct. In 2000, the award was renamed in honor of Judge Jerome Turner, during whose presidency of the MBA the Guidelines were developed.

Additionally, it was announced that the proposed revisions to the MBA By-Laws were approved by an overwhelming majority of the MBA membership during the 2011 elections. The change reduces the officer track from 4 to 3 years by combining the positions of Secretary and Treasurer.

Pictured are the 2012 MBA Officers. From left to right: Tommy Parker, Kirk Caraway, Linda Warren Seely, Gary Smith and John Cannon. Look for all of the photos from the event to be posted on the MBA Facebook page this week.