Civil Rights

Since the 1950’s, our firm has fought to protect individual civil rights in Tennessee and around the nation. Today, Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison remains one of the premier civil rights law firms in the Southeast.

2% - 3%

The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that Tennessee's Voter ID laws suppress 2-3% of the eligible votes- a critical difference in close elections.

30+ Years

The length of time our firm litigated against the State of Tennessee in a case that successfully desegregated our public university system.


Our firm’s founding partner, the late George Barrett, represented jailed participants in the Nashville sit-in movement, fought to protect the free speech rights of citizens to parade in public, and represented conscientious objectors to the Vietnam draft. He also spent more than 30 years representing students and faculty in one of the nation’s seminal cases concerning integration of higher education, Geier v. Sundquist, 372 F.3d 784 (6th Cir. 2004).


In recent years, our firm has continued the fight for civil rights by representing Tennesseans who have been denied the right to vote, students who had religious practices imposed on them in the public schools, women who have been paid and promoted less than similarly experienced men, community members who have suffered from environmental racism, and government employees who have been fired because of their political beliefs.


If you believe your civil rights have been violated, the lawyers at Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison would be honored to discuss your case.

Friends of Megan Barry v. Wall

During Nashville’s 2015 mayoral election, our firm represented Mayor Megan Barry’s campaign by obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order requiring the city to extend the voting hours at one of the city’s polling sites after it had opened nearly an hour later than all of the city’s other polling sites.

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Davis v. Haslam

In 2012, our firm represented former Congressman Lincoln Davis after the State of Tennessee improperly purged him from its voter rolls and prevented him from voting in the March 6, 2012 primary election.

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