The Justices Ray L. Brock Jr. Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court has awarded attorney Sam Elliott, member of the law firm of Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon, with its 2018 Civility Award. The award recognizes extraordinary civility among local lawyers and is conferred based on a vote of local state and federal judges.
“The collegiality of our bar is one of the primary reasons it is a pleasure to practice law in Hamilton County,” Elliott says. “It is a distinct honor to be awarded the Inn of Court’s Civility Award in a bar that can justly take pride in its overall civility, especially when one considers the distinguished previous winners of the award.”
A litigation attorney for 36 years, Elliott has tried jury cases involving products liability, personal injury, employment discrimination and eminent domain. He also represents the municipal governments of Soddy Daisy, Collegedale, Lakesite and Walden, making him experienced in such diverse matters as government land use regulation and civil rights litigation.
Elliott also advises clients on issues of employment law, environmental law, commercial disputes and professional liability, has served as an arbitrator and is a Rule 31 listed general civil mediator.
Elliott is listed in Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation, bet-the-company litigation, labor and employment litigation, land use and zoning litigation, municipal litigation and municipal law. He has been selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyer every year since 2006 and is AV Preeminent rated in Martindale-Hubbell.
In October, Legal Aid of East Tennessee presented Elliott with the Chief Justice William M. Barker Equal Access to Justice Award for 2018. The award recognizes an attorney who has made a significant contribution to advancing the cause of access to justice in Tennessee. Elliott has been a member of Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Hall of Fame since 2012.
Raised in Soddy Daisy, Elliott earned a degree in history from Sewanee: The University of the South and his Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville College of Law. Elliott began his law career in 1981 with a year of clerking for then U.S. Magistrate Roger Dickson. He joined Gearhiser in 1982 and has been with the firm ever since.
Elliott has remained a life-long student of history, which has inspired him to author and publish several books, including “John C. Brown of Tennessee: Rebel, Redeemer, and Railroader,” a full-scale biography of a little known but important individual in the American Civil War. The book won the 2017 Tennessee History Book Award, the second time one of Elliott’s books has been so honored.
Elliott is a past president of both the Tennessee Bar Association and the Chattanooga Bar Association. In 1994, in an appointed criminal case which he argued before the Tennessee Supreme Court, he and his co-counsel obtained post-conviction relief for a prisoner on death row.
Elliott has also appeared as co-counsel for the Chattanooga Bar Association in suits to enjoin the unauthorized practice of law, and he continues to volunteer in the pro bono program for Legal Aid.
Elliott and his wife, Karen, have two adult daughters and attend Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Source: Inn of Court