Nashville, Tenn. (July 12, 2010) – The Honorable Robert L. Echols, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court of the Middle District of Tennessee, will join the Nashville office of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC as a Member following his retirement from the bench on July 22. His first day at the firm will be August 2.
"One needs only to scan his resume to begin to understand the measure of this man and the depth of experience he brings," Managing Partner Keith Simmons said. "It is a rare opportunity for any firm to welcome a federal judge as a member. This is a great day for us and especially for our clients."
Echols brings 45 years of legal experience, including 18 years of experience on the federal bench, to further strengthen Bass, Berry & Sims' Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice, as well as other areas of the firm.
"We are honored to have Judge Echols as part of our team at Bass, Berry & Sims," said Overton Thompson, chair of the Bass, Berry & Sims Litigation Practice. "His perspective, experience, and judgment as a former Chief Judge of the federal court in Nashville will bring tremendous value to our clients, and invaluable expertise as a litigator, mediator and arbitrator."
"I am very excited about beginning this new phase of my career with Bass, Berry & Sims, a truly blue-chip law firm, that is recognized nationally as well as regionally," said Judge Echols. "I look forward to working on a variety of important business and litigation matters alongside so many of the best lawyers in our profession."
While serving as Chief Judge, Echols was a member of the Judicial Branch Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the executive committee and board of directors of the Federal Judges Association, the 6th Circuit Judicial Council, Judicial Conference Planning Committee, and the Tennessee State-Federal Judicial Council, among others.
Prior to becoming a federal judge in 1992, Echols served on the boards of numerous professional and civic organizations, including: the Nashville Bar Association; Tennessee Supreme Court Disciplinary Board; Investors Savings and Loan Association; Family and Children's Services; University of Tennessee College of Law Advisory Council and the Dean's Circle; and University of Tennessee Athletics Board. He also is a Fellow in the American, Tennessee, and Nashville Bar Foundations.
Echols began his legal career as a law clerk for Chief U.S. District Judge Marion S. Boyd in Memphis, Tennessee, and as a legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Dan Kuykendall in Washington, D.C. Later, he practiced at the Nashville-based firm of Bailey, Ewing, Dale & Conner, and then became one of the founding partners of the law firm Dearborn & Ewing, where he remained until his federal judicial appointment.
Echols served in the Army National Guard and Army Reserves for nearly 35 years. He held several positions of leadership and command and received numerous medals and awards. He retired as a Brigadier General and Commander of the 30th Troop Command in 2001. In 2007, Judge Echols was appointed as a Civilian Aide At-Large to the Secretary of the Army, and he continues to serve in that capacity.
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