We represent people of all walks of life who have challenging, complex and complicated legal problems. The success we have had on behalf of our clients is tied directly to the deep personal satisfaction we get from taking on challenging cases on behalf of worthy causes. Simply put, we like what we do, and we often achieve incredible results.
Our firm is built on the legacy of our founding partner, George Barrett. Upon his passing in 2014, Vice President Al Gore called him “a beacon of progressive politics for three generations of Tennesseans.” Known as “The Citizen,” George made a career representing the underdog against the most powerful interests in society, taking on authority figures with righteous indignation whenever they were abusing power.
George identified himself first and foremost as a “labor lawyer,” and he represented unions in countless arbitrations and lawsuits, in front of the NLRB and at the bargaining table. A 1957 graduate of Vanderbilt Law School, George often remarked that he “went to law school to represent working people.” And that’s exactly what he did for more than 55 years, representing workers and labor unions throughout the United States.
In the 1960s, George became a central figure in the Civil Rights movement. He represented college students in the sit-in movement – one of the few white lawyers in the South to take up the cause. In 1968, he brought one of his most significant cases, Geier v. Tennessee, which resulted in the desegregation of Tennessee’s state universities. George litigated the case for more than 38 years, achieving systematic change to how higher education is funded in Tennessee. In the 1990s, George led litigation against his alma mater, Vanderbilt, on behalf of women who unknowingly ingested radioactive iron while they were pregnant in the 1940s as part of a “nutrition study.” George’s commitment to representing the most vulnerable citizens was a constant theme in his career.
Later in his career, George built a class action practice focused on securities and antitrust litigation, representing investors and consumers whose finances had been detrimentally affected by fraud on the marketplace. He was counsel to shareholders in some of the most notable class action cases in the country. Today, our firm continues George Barrett’s legacy – taking on powerful interests on behalf of ordinary people.