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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, June 15, 2018

New fellows of the Tennessee Bar Foundation




The Tennessee Bar Foundation has honored five local judges and attorneys by electing them to be fellows of the organization.

The Tennessee Bar Foundation is an association of 855 attorneys across the state. Invitations to membership were extended to 32 attorneys this year by the Board of Trustees. The introduction of new Fellows took place in May at the annual Fellows’ Dinner in Nashville.

Members of the local bar who are now TBF fellows include Chancellor Pamela Fleenor, Sheri Fox, Judge Travis McDonough, Gary Napolitan and Judge Barry Steelman.

Chancellor Fleenor was elected chancellor for Part 1 of the 11th Judicial District of Tennessee in 2014. She is a member of the executive committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference and the executive committee of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association.

Before taking the bench, Chancellor Fleenor was a trial lawyer with Duncan, Hatcher, Hixson & Fleenor.

She also taught various law courses at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and at Chattanooga State Community College.

Chancellor Fleenor is a Chattanooga native. She earned her undergraduate degree from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Chancellor Fleenor is also a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga and a member of the Justices Ray L. Brock Jr. Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court.

She is also a member of numerous civic organizations and of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church. Chancellor Fleenor is married to Phil Fleenor, with whom she has two adult children.

Fox is the executive director of Legal Aid of East Tennessee. Prior to joining LAET, Fox was a shareholder in the Chattanooga office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.

During her 14 years at Baker Donelson, Fox practiced in state and federal courts, focusing her practice on health care, long-term care, products liability, complex commercial litigation, construction litigation and probate litigation.

Fox earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1983. She then earned a Masters of Science in mental health counseling from Nova University in Florida in 1995. Fox received her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2001.

Fox is a 2008 graduate of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law class. She also is a past president of the Southeast Tennessee Association of Women Lawyers and a monitor for the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program.

Judge McDonough was born in Chattanooga and grew up in Marion County, where he attended public schools.

He is a 1993 Truman Scholar and, in 1994, earned a degree in economics from Sewanee: The University of the South. As part of his undergraduate studies, he worked for the 98th Tennessee General Assembly.

In 1997, Judge McDonough graduated from Vanderbilt Law School and entered private practice with Miller & Martin as an associate. He became a member of the firm in 2005 and was named chairman of its litigation department in 2012.

In 2013, Judge McDonough began service as chief of staff and counselor to Chattanooga’s mayor, where he led the effort to reform the pension and pay plans for the city’s firefighters and police officers.

In November 2014, President Obama nominated him to the Eastern District of Tennessee. The United States Senate confirmed him in December 2015.

Sworn in later that month, Judge McDonough has the distinction of public service at the federal, state and local levels and in all three branches of government.

Napolitan is a member of the firm of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan. He’s been practicing law in Chattanooga for over 35 years. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Judge Steelman is a graduate of Carson Newman University and The University of Tennessee College of Law. He practiced law in Chattanooga for 17 years and since 2006 has served as judge of Division I Criminal Court.

The TBF’s purpose is two-fold: to honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the profession and community and to administer a grant-making program.

That project, known as IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts), has awarded grants in excess of $21 million to law-related, public interest projects throughout Tennessee.

Sources: Tennessee Bar Foundation, Chancellor Fleenor, Judge McDonough, Leitner Williams and Judge Steelman