Tennessee Justice Programs Faculty
John is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist and has been a trial lawyer since 1981. He is the author of Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law, Tennessee Law of Civil Trial, founder and editor of the Tennessee Trial Law Report, and co-author of Tennessee Law of Comparative Fault. John was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2002 and has served as President of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, Chair of the Council of State Presidents of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and President of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Recently, John was elected to the International Society of Barristers. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for over 20 years and received the Lawyer of the Year award in the Nashville Area for Medical Malpractice in 2010 and 2014, for Personal Injury in 2009, and Bet-the-Company Litigation for 2012. John currently serves on the Tennessee Supreme Court's Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure. He is also a member of the American Law Institute. He is an Order of the Coif graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Penny is the Director of the UT Legal Clinics and the University of Tennessee College of Law Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution. As director, she coordinates the law school's advocacy curriculum, which includes courses in Trial Practice, Pretrial Litigation, Negotiations and Dispute Resolution, Interviewing and Counseling and Advanced Appellate Advocacy. In addition, she teaches Evidence, Ethics, Trial Practice and Pretrial Litigation. Before joining the UT faculty, Penny served as a Circuit Court Judge, a judge on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and an Associate Justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. She has taught at law schools in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Colorado. Penny has received the College of Law, the University of Tennessee, and National Judicial College outstanding teaching awards and was awarded the Jefferson Prize from UT in 2012 honoring her work on judicial ethics, selection, and recusal issues. Penny has authored benchbooks for Tennessee Circuit, General Sessions and Municipal judges and most recently authored the Tennessee Capital Case Handbook for criminal defense lawyers. She has served as faculty at the National Judicial College for more than 25 years, and at the Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop for almost 20 years. Penny is an Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Tennessee Law Review, and was a Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center, where she received her LL.M.
Joe is a Rule 31 listed general civil mediator in Memphis and West Tennessee counties. Joe presently serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Professional Responsibility. He previously served as Disciplinary Counsel for the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary, a body that investigated and prosecuted allegations of ethical improprieties against Tennessee judges. Joe retired in July 2004 from the bench, having served seven years on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and eighteen years as Circuit Court Judge, with civil and criminal jurisdiction in Lake and Dyer counties. Joe is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Tennessee and an Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. Joe recently published his first book, Reelfoot Killins', a thriller about a death penalty prosecution from start to finish, told through the eyes of the veteran trial judge.
Special Presenter for Justice Programs 2017
Bill Haltom has been a trial lawyer (not a litigator!) with the Lewis Thomason firm in Memphis for 39 years. During that time he has tried over 100 jury trials. He has served as President of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Memphis Bar Association, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has written 6 books ranging in topics from seersucker to civility, and he has served as Editor in Chief or Chair of the Editorial Board for 4 journals including the ABA Journal and the Tennessee Bar Journal.
Special Presenter for Justice Programs 2017
Houston Gordon has been a trial lawyer for more than four decades and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has been recognized in Best Lawyers In America every year since 1984. He is consistently listed as a “Super Lawyer” and recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers” in Tennessee and the nation. He has served as: President of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers; Trustee, University of Tennessee; and was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Tennessee in 1996. He has written a novel, Plains of Abraham and is finishing a non-fiction work entitled, Blind Obedience: The My Lai Massacre, The Trial of Lt. Calley and the Vietnam War.