Areas of Practice


    The litigation section of the firm devotes a substantial amount of its time to the defense of workers' compensation claims throughout the State of Tennessee. Further counseling of corporate clients is provided in connection with the handling of potential claims and statutory compliance for the purpose of cost containment and prevention of unnecessary litigation.

    Members of the firm have served as speakers at numerous seminars on this subject held for both other attorneys and for laymen. C. Hayes Cooney, Steven D. Parman, David J. Pflaum and Samuel P. Helmbrecht have been responsible for most of the firm's workers' compensation practice in recent years.


    As a subcomponent of the corporate section’s services, the firm has extensive experience in drafting, negotiating, and litigating commercial leases. In addition to commercial leases, the firm has experience in drafting and litigating residential leases in addition to advising landlords on best practices regarding tenant matters with the goal of reducing the cost of evictions and litigation. The firm believes that its commercial and residential clients are best served by establishing clear lease provisions prior to entering into a landlord – tenant agreement.

    The firm’s landlord – tenant practice is primarily handled by John L. Van Cleave, W. Warner McNeilly, III, Erik Thorngren, and Samuel P. Helmbrecht.

  • Healthcare Law

    Our clients come from a variety of sectors of the healthcare industry. We advise individual practitioners, professional practice groups, medical clinics, pharmacies, hospital systems, and management service organizations. Our attorneys provide cost-effective legal services to assist healthcare providers in managing a broad spectrum of circumstances including, organizational and governance, transactional, regulatory, operational, insurance, licensure, credentialing, privileging, and risk mitigation/liability.

    Frank J. Scanlon started the firm’s healthcare practice over thirty years ago based upon providing healthcare providers excellent and responsive advice in an ever-changing environment. After Ms. Scanlon’s passing in 2017, Sam Helmbrecht used his 13 years of experience working side-by-side with Mr. Scanlon to carry on the firm’s dedication to providing excellent legal services to the healthcare industry.


    The firm's Business Section devotes a considerable portion of its practice to estate planning and probate administration. This includes the analysis of clients' estate tax exposure, planning to minimize such taxes, preparation of complex Wills, formation of revocable and irrevocable trusts and creation of family limited partnerships and other tax efficient techniques for the transfer of wealth among family members. The firm engages extensively in business succession planning for family owned or closely held businesses. The firm also assists clients in the administration of probate estates and the preparation of federal and state gift and death tax returns.

    John L. Van Cleave, W. Warner McNeilly, IIIErik Thorngren and Katlin Ryan each practice extensively in the estate planning and probate fields.


    The firm has substantial experience in representing individuals, governmental bodies and major corporations with respect to environmental matters in various capacities and in a variety of forums. This includes participation in the drafting and negotiation of air pollution control, NPDES, RCRA and landfill permits with the EPA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). The firm appears before the Air Pollution Control Board, Solid Waste Disposal Control Board and Water Quality Control Board. In these appearances, the firm has argued and opposed proposed changes to state regulations and defended clients when faced with civil penalty assessments and orders for corrective actions from the TDEC.

    The firm has been involved in extensive federal and state court litigation at both the trial and appellate court level involving environmental issues.

    The firm routinely gives advice to its clients regarding their day-to-day compliance with environmental regulations and environmental implications in mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions and estate planning.

    The firm believes its clients are best served by having a strong environmental compliance program with emphasis on long range planning and prevention. With respect to all environmental matters, the firm is firmly committed to early and ongoing coordination between management, technical resources and legal counsel to produce beneficial and cost effective results.

    The firm's environmental practice is handled primarily by Frank J. Scanlon and Samuel P. Helmbrecht. Mr. Scanlon was Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Environmental Enforcement Division of the Tennessee Attorney General's Office from October of 1983 until July of 1988 when he joined the firm.


    The firm provides continuous services to its corporate clients in the area of employment law, including preparation of employment related agreements, structuring of fringe benefits, counseling in connection with potential claims of employees in areas of termination, benefits, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, plant closures, the Americans with Disabilities Act, discrimination and wage and hour compliance. In addition, the attorneys listed herein have considerable experience in employment litigation matters such as breach of employment agreements, injunction proceedings pursuant to covenants against competition, retaliatory discharge cases, age, sex, race and nationality discrimination claims, unemployment benefits claims, and the like.

    The firm’s employment and labor practice is primarily handled by John L. Van Cleave, Steven D. Parman, Erik Thorngren, and Samuel P. Helmbrecht.


    As noted above, the firm is involved heavily in the representation of insurance companies and their insureds in virtually all areas where insurance coverage is available; personal injury, property damage, professional negligence, including medical malpractice claims against physicians and hospitals; and claims against architects and engineers, product liability, aviation losses, construction claims, workers' compensation and health benefits. The firm's corporate section is involved in the licensing and regulation of insurance companies formed or admitted in the State of Tennessee. Counseling of clients is provided in the interpretation and enforcement of insurance policies and direct actions on such policies

    Steven D. Parman, David J. Pflaum, Erik Thorngren, and Samuel P. Helmbrecht have extensive experience in all areas insurance matter.


    The corporate section of the firm has substantial experience in the area of acquisitions and dispositions of business interest. Previous transactions handled by the firm include asset purchases, stock purchases and mergers. The firm has represented both purchasers and sellers in these transactions. The firm's participation in these transactions has included both the design and structuring of the transaction, the drafting and negotiation of the definitive sale documents and the actual closing of the transaction and conveyance of real and personal property. The firm has also been involved in negotiations and litigation arising post-closing in connection with indemnity claims for breaches of representations and warranties.

    The firm believes that its clients are best served by consolidating in a single attorney overall responsibility for the supervision of the transaction. This insures that one attorney is aware of all facets of the purchase or sale and that all areas of the transaction are coordinated and that the client is not faced with inconsistent position through the fact that two different lawyers are handling separate portions of the transaction.

    The firm's corporate attorneys have extensive experience in the negotiation and preparation of contracts in virtually all areas of business, including purchase and sale of real and personal property, both tangible and intangible, supply and distribution agreements, public and private, construction contracts, licensing arrangements, and loan, employment and other corporate contracts. Additionally, the firm's trial lawyers have handled numerous lawsuits involving allegations of breach of contract including claims arising from the design or construction of public projects.

    The firm's business and transactional practice is handled primarily by John L. Van Cleave, W. Warner McNeilly, IIIErik Thorngren and Katlin Ryan.


    Attorneys practicing in the firm’s Business and Litigation Sections assist both individuals and businesses with legal matters involving Intellectual Property and Entertainment. The intellectual property of a person or business includes copyrights, trademarks, and the names, likenesses and personas of individuals and businesses. The firm’s attorneys help clients register, maintain and enforce rights in their intellectual property by registering their copyrights and trademarks, and when necessary, helping clients prosecute and defend legal actions to enforce rights in their intellectual property. The firm’s attorneys assist songwriters, recording artists, broadcast talent and other owners and creators of intellectual property by negotiating songwriting, recording, talent and license agreements for the creation and use of intellectual property.

    The firm’s intellectual property and entertainment law matters is primarily handled by R. Horton Frank, III.


    The firm's experience in this area is limited to the representation of existing clients as creditors in their efforts to recover property sold or leased to debtors or in connection with their pursuit of their monetary claims. The firm does not represent debtors in Bankruptcy proceedings or otherwise prepare or file Bankruptcy petitions.

    The firm’s bankruptcy practice is primarily handled by John L. Van Cleave and Samuel P. Helmbrecht.