Mr. Barfield has practiced law with Bass, Berry & Sims for more than 30 years and has been a Member since 1978. He is a member of the Litigation and the Healthcare Industry Practice Areas of the firm and served as a member of the firm's Executive Committee from 1994 through 1997.
Mr. Barfield has substantial experience in litigating civil cases, both jury and non-jury, in state and federal court. He handled a broad variety of litigation, including healthcare cases, business disputes, insurance litigation, class actions, commercial law issues, banking matters and constitutional law claims. He has been involved in litigation over the valuation of closely held corporations. He has also defended claims arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Mr. Barfield has been actively involved in the defense of hospitals, doctors and nurses in medical malpractice cases throughout his career. He has also counseled healthcare providers on hospital operational issues, child abuse reporting, fraud and abuse and other healthcare regulatory issues. He is experienced in litigating high profile cases with substantial media coverage. Mr. Barfield has participated in the successful mediation of numerous cases.
Mr. Barfield has served as a lecturer at numerous legal education seminars on a variety of subjects, including medical malpractice, liability of managed care organizations, insurance law, fraud and abuse and professional ethics. He is a Adjunct Professor of health law at Vanderbilt Law School and teaches Professional Responsibility. He has spoken at numerous continuing legal education seminars sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association, as well as legal educational programs produced by the Tennessee Bar Association, the Nashville Bar Association and other groups. He served as a member of the board of directors of the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics from 1995 through 1998.
Mr. Barfield graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1968 earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and then received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Vanderbilt Law School in 1974.
He served as president of the Board of Law Examiners for the State of Tennessee for fourteen years from 1986 through 2000. He served as a member of the Advisory Commission to the Tennessee Supreme Court on the Rules of Civil Procedure from 1982 to 1986 and, in that capacity, assisted in drafting and recommending to the Supreme Court adoption of the first set of Rules of Evidence for Tennessee. Mr. Barfield is a member of the American, Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations and served as president of the Nashville Bar Association in 1985. He is also a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Barfield is listed in Best Lawyers®, an honor he has received for more than 15 years, the Best of the Bar in Nashville Business Journal and has been named one of Tennessee's leading litigation lawyers by Chambers USA. He is also listed in the Lawdragon 3000 Leading Lawyers in America.
Mr. Barfield has served in a variety of professional, educational, community service and philanthropic organizations. He served as a member of the board of directors of American Retirement Corporation and its predecessor, a publicly held company in the business of providing congregate care, assisted living, skilled nursing and other services to senior citizens from 1978 through 2001. He presently serves on the board of directors of Montgomery Bell Academy, the Frist Visual Arts Center, WPLN, the public radio station in Nashville and Cookeville, and served as president of the National Commodore Club, an organization to provide support for Vanderbilt athletics, from 1997 through 2000.
His litigation experience includes the following reported cases:
- Successful defense of hundreds of medical malpractice actions for hospitals, doctors and nurses, including the following reported cases for Vanderbilt University Medical Center:
- Caldararo v. Vanderbilt Univ., 794 S.W.2d 738 (Tenn. App. 1990)
- Boyd v. Hicks, 774 S.W.2d 622 (Tenn. App. 1989)
- Vythoulkas v. Vanderbilt Univ. Hospital, 693 S.W.2d 350 (Tenn. App. 1985)
- Tucker v. Metropolitan Gov't of Nashville and Davidson County, 686 S.W.2d 87 (Tenn. App. 1984)
- Bass v. Barksdale, 671 S.W.2d 476 (Tenn. App. 1984)
- The successful defense of physicians and a major academic medical center and tertiary care hospital against allegations of wrongful reporting of child abuse as reported in Bryant-Bruce v. Vanderbilt University, 974 F. Supp. 1127 (M.D. Tenn. 1997)
- The representation of a private school challenging the constitutionality of the recruiting rule of a state high school athletic association as reported in Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary Schs. Athletic Ass'n, 13 F. Supp. 2d. 670 (M.D. Tenn. 1998), rev'd 180 F.3d 758 (6th Cir. 1999), review denied en banc, 190 F.3d (6th Cir. 1999), reversed. and remanded 531 U.S. 288, remanded 180 F.3d.758 (2001)
- The defense of a leading national hospital company in an ERISA case alleging breach of fiduciary by failing to sell company stock owned by a retirement plan. Landgraff v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. 2000 WL 33726564 (M.D. Tenn. May 24, 2000)
- The defense of a leading national hospital company in numerous class actions in state and federal court challenging the billing practices of the company. In re Columbia/HCA Billing Practices Litigation, United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 2002 FED APP. 0201P (6th Cir.)
- Defense of a closely held corporation challenging the valuation of the company in a shareholders' derivative action as reported in Elk Yarn Mills v. 514 Shares of Common Stock of Elk Yarn Mills, 1987 Tenn. App. Lexis 3112 (Tenn. App. December 9, 1987)
- Defense of a bank against allegations of improper handling of a documentary draft as reported in Memphis Aero Corp. v. First American Nat'l Bank, 647 S.W.2d 219 (Tenn. 1983)
- Defense of an automotive supplier in a contract action involving commercial law issues in Precision Rubber Prods. Corp. v. George McCarthy, Inc., 872 F.2d 187 (6th Cir. 1989)