SOURCE: Waller


November 30, 2015 11:28 ET

Lew Conner to Receive 2015 John C. Tune Public Service Award From the Nashville Bar Association

NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - Nov 30, 2015) - In recognition of more than 50 years of service to both the legal profession and the Middle Tennessee community, Waller attorney and mediator Lew Conner will be presented the John C. Tune Public Service Award at the Nashville Bar Association's annual meeting and banquet on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 at the Music City Center in Nashville.

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.

"This is the pinnacle of my professional career.  It is a deeply gratifying and unbelievably humbling experience.  I had the privilege of knowing John Tune well," Conner said. "He was a tremendous lawyer and an even better person who was in the middle of so many important community initiatives. To be mentioned on the same page as Mr. Tune is the highest honor I can imagine."

After graduating from the Vanderbilt School of Law in 1963 Conner spent three years as a J.A.G.C. officer with the 101st Airborne Division prosecuting over 100 general courts martial. Following his honorable discharge from the Airborne, Conner spent 45 years as a Nashville litigation attorney and four years as a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals. He also served as Chief Justice of the Special Supreme Court when the validity of the then existing court was challenged in 1979. In the early 1990s he became a trailblazer in bringing mediation to Tennessee as a viable alternative to trial in the resolution of disputes. Since that time Conner has successfully mediated more than 800 disputes as mediation entered the mainstream of dispute resolution in Tennessee. Last year when three Tennessee Supreme Court justices faced a retention election, Conner was a leader in organizing the members of the bar statewide in bipartisan support of retaining the justices. The justices were ultimately supported by 93% of the bar, and all three justices were reelected in a landslide. Conner, along with the involved justices and many other members of the bar, viewed the results as a reaffirmation by Tennessee voters for an independent judiciary.

Conner served as president of the Nashville Bar Association in 1987, and Conner notes with pride several accomplishments that took place during his tenure leading the NBA, including the hiring of the Association's first full-time executive director, the passage of a code of professional courtesy and the association's move into permanent offices. He also points out that he was succeeded by the first female president in the Association's more than 150-year history, Juliet Griffin, who retired earlier this year as Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

"Lew Conner personifies the very best of our profession and our community. Everyone at Waller is delighted to see him receive this well-deserved honor," said Waller chairman Matt Burnstein. "Lew jokes that he has had six wonderful lives between his family, his church, the community, golf, the law and politics. He has set a very high standard in each of those worlds as a leader, a mentor, a colleague and a friend."

The following is a partial list of Conner's awards, achievements and accolades:

  • Former President, Nashville Bar Association
  • Member and Former Chairman, Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee
  • Recipient, Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest national honor presented by the Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Inductee, Tennessee Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame
  • Former Chairman, Board of Directors of the Gaylord Music City Bowl
  • Former Chairman, Board of Directors of the Tennessee State Museum
  • Former Member, Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Tennessee Business Roundtable
  • Recipient of the Hope Award, the highest honor presented by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Former Member, Boards of Directors of the Nashville Symphony, the Pencil Foundation, Vanderbilt University School of Law and the National Commodore Club
  • Inductee, Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame
  • Founder and Former Chairman, Tennessee Golf Foundation; Emeritus Member of its Board
  • Inaugural Recipient, Tennessee Golf Foundation's "Tennessee Person of the Year" Award
  • Member and Former President, Board of Directors of the Tennessee Golf Association
  • Sunday School Teacher, Deacon and Elder, Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Former Finance Chairman or Co-Chairman:
    • Alexander for Governor Campaign, President and Senate Campaigns
    • Corker, Thompson and Frist Senate Campaigns
    • Haslam and Sundquist for Governor Campaigns
    • Tennessee Republican Party
  • Former Member, National Finance Committee, Reagan for President, George H. W. Bush for President, George W. Bush for President
  • Alumnus, Leadership Nashville

The NBA Annual Meeting & Banquet will take place on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at the Music City Center, Davidson Ballroom. A reception for NBA members will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and the program to begin at 7:00 p.m. The passing of the gavel from President Ed Lanquist to President-Elect Joycelyn Stevenson, introduction of the NBA officers for 2016, and awards are on the agenda for the evening. Online registration is available at this link:

About the Nashville Bar Association
Nashville Bar Association, established in 1831, is a professional organization serving the legal community of Nashville, Tennessee. The NBA, with some 2,800 members, is the largest metropolitan bar association in Tennessee. The NBA offers 37 service and professional committees. The service committees include the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee (conducts pre-election polls of Nashville lawyers regarding Davidson County judges and related officials), the Memorial Service (which honors the memory of those Nashville lawyers and judges who passed away during the preceding six-month period), and the Diversity Committee. The NBA partners with other community organizations such as the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Nashville Pro Bono Program. Its publications include the award-winning Nashville Bar Journal. For more information, please visit

About Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
With more than 200 attorneys in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., and Austin, Tex., Waller assists clients in complex transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. The firm has built a national reputation for its work in healthcare, financial services, retail and hospitality, and has extensive experience in manufacturing, real estate, technology and other industries. For more information, please visit

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