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Lew Conner

For over 50 years, businesses in a variety of industries from healthcare to construction have turned to Lew Conner to resolve their complex legal disputes. Whether seeking his counsel in the role of trial lawyer, family law advisor, or mediator, clients know they will receive competent and candid advice from Lew.
 
The trust clients feel when working with Lew derives not only from his vast experience, but also from his sharp mind and business-like style. With his evaluative mediation style, Lew brings candor, empathy, and integrity to the table, thereby gaining the confidence of all parties that he will exhaust every possible avenue to fairly resolve a given dispute. Whether representing clients in front of a adjudicative body or serving as the mediator in a complex business case, Lew finds resolution for those relying upon him.  Over the last quarter of a century, Lew has conducted some 850 mediations with  a success rate exceeding 85%.  Additionally, since 1971 he has served as a panelist in over 100 large, complex AAA arbitrations and as an advocate in numerous others.
 
In 2015, Lew reached the pinnacle of his 52 year career as a lawyer and a jurist when selected to receive the coveted John Tune Award from the 2800 member Nashville Bar Association.  The John C. Tune Public Service Award is presented by the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association to the member of the Association who has shown the highest degree of dedication not only to his or her work as a lawyer but to the betterment of the community in which he or she lives.  Because the award is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member, it is not necessarily given annually, but only when someone is deserving of the award. 
 
For over 30 years, Best Lawyers has recognized Lew as a leading lawyer in six categories (Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Family Law and Family Law Mediation), and named Lew as the Nashville "Lawyer of the Year" in the category of "Alternative Dispute Resolution" in 2010 and 2011 and “Family Law” in 2013.
 
Additionally, Business Tennessee recognized Lew in its inaugural listing and repeatedly thereafter as one of the "Best 101 Lawyers" in the State of Tennessee.
 

Professional

  • Member, Nashville, Tennessee and American Bar Associations
  • Founding Fellow, Nashville and Tennessee Bar Foundations
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators
  • Former Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Former President, Nashville Bar Association
  • Life Member, Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Law
  • Member, Supreme Court Commission for the Future of the Court System in Tennessee
  • Member, Tennessee Academy of Mediators and Arbitrators
  • Former Chairman, Tennessee Corrections Overcrowding Commission
  • Former Chairman, Willis Corroon, Tennessee
  • Member, Panels of Commercial and Construction Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association, 1971-present
  • Former member, Board of Directors, American Arbitration Association

Prior Affiliations

  • Partner, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, 1984-1990
  • Judge, Tennessee Court of Appeals, Middle Section, 1980-84
  • Special Chief Justice, Tennessee Supreme Court, 1980-81
  • Senior Counsel, Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Partner, Boult Cummings, Conners & Berry, Nashville Tennessee
  • Founding Partner, Dearborn & Ewing, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Founding Partner, Bailey, Ewing, Dale & Conner, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Captain, JAGC, 101st Airborne Division, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky

Education

  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1963
    • Order of the Coif
    • Managing Editor - Vanderbilt Law Review
  • B.A., Vanderbilt University, 1960

Legal Services

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals

Up Close

"I care" is a fitting motto for Lew. For his entire career, he has devoted his free time to enriching the lives of others.
 
Lew is the Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, has served on its Board for over 30 years and received the organization’s highest national honors, the Medallion and the Lifetime Achievement Award as well as having been inducted into the Tennessee Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame.  He was also the recipient of the Hope Award, the most prestigious recognition of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Mr. Conner also is a Past Chairman of the Gaylord Music City Bowl Board and Tennessee State Museum Board. He has served on the Boards of the Nashville Symphony, Tennessee Business Roundtable, Pencil Foundation, Vanderbilt University School of Law and Vanderbilt National Commodore Club, and is an elder of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
 
On multiple occasions when the State of Tennessee faced difficult issues, Lew was called upon by the Governor and/or the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve: first, as the Special Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court when the validity of the election of the entirety of the then-sitting Supreme Court was challenged; second, as the Chairman of the Tennessee Corrections Overcrowding Commission, which, under Lew's leadership, drafted legislation subsequently passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in a specially-called session to prevent a takeover of the Tennessee prison system by the Federal Courts; third, appointed pursuant to the Tennessee Merit Selection Plan and thereafter elected in a statewide race, Lew served for four years as a Judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, resigning to consider a race for Governor.  In 2014, when the retention of three of the Supreme Court justices was in jeopardy, Lew initiated the organization of the lawyers of Tennessee and was part of the leadership of the fight that resulted in the retention of all three in a statewide election.  Also in 2014, he was also integrally involved in passage of Amendment Two, Gubernatorial selection of appellate judges, avoiding a return to political elections.   He has remained involved in politics all of his life and has either chaired or co-chaired the finance committees for the last three republican governors and the last four republican senators of Tennessee.
 
An accomplished amateur golfer, Mr. Conner has won over 35 state, regional and local tournaments and is a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame. He now primarily directs his passion for golf to the efforts of the Tennessee Golf Foundation in support of junior golf and the disadvantaged, as well as the Vanderbilt Golf Teams.  The Little Course at Conner Lane located at Golf House Tennessee, The Conner Family Hitting Bays and Conner Family Short Game facilities at the Vanderbilt Legends Course are so named in recognition of his benevolences to the Foundation and Vanderbilt.