Attorney D. Russell Thomas was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, August 3, 1952. He attended Middle Tennessee State University (B.S., 1974) and was a member of Kappa Sigma while studying for his undergraduate degree. He attended Memphis State University obtaining a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in December of 1977. While at MSU he was a member of Phi Alpha Delta. Mr. Thomas was admitted to the Tennessee bar on April 15, 1978, and is admitted to the U.S. District Court in the, Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee.
D. Russell Thomas is a 1985 Graduate of ATLA’s Advanced Civil Litigation Course. Mr. Thomas served on the Board of Governors as the Representative for the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association for the 6th District of Tennessee, 1991—2005. He is a member of the Rutherford County, Tennessee and American Bar Associations, The American Association for Justice, The Tennessee Association for Justice (Legislative Committee, 2000—2004), Trial Master, and served as the 2005-2006 President of the Andrew Jackson American Inns of Court. He is the author of “Automobile Liability in Tennessee” published in Trial Magazine which is a statewide publication for trial lawyers.
Mr. Thomas has been a guest lecturer for the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association since 1992; lecturing on selected topics, including worker’s compensation, personal injury,(which includes automobile accidents, product liability, and premises liability) as well as the effective utilization of the American Medical Association Guides to the evaluation of permanent impairment in workers’ compensation, personal injury cases, trial tactics, and civil jury trials.
Based on a confidential survey of other attorneys in this area by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, D. Russell Thomas received an AV Rating. The A – is the mark of the highest rating of legal ability. The V – is the mark of the highest standards of legal ethics.
According to Martindale-Hubbell, “AV Peer Review Rating” shows that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence. He or she has usually practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity”
Elizabeth M. Sodergren first began working with Mr. Thomas in 1986 when she graduated from law school. Licensed to practice a since 1987, Ms. Sodergren has practiced in virtually all areas of the law including worker’s compensation, personal injury, family law, criminal law, bankruptcy and wills and estates.
In 2005 She became a Rule 31 Mediator and completed training qualifying her to mediate civil cases, family law cases and even cases involving domestic violence. Since that time, she has undergone extensive study and practice with techniques of mediation and negotiation taught by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD whose work built upon the foundational work of Carl Rogers, whose theories revolutionized American psychotherapy. Most recently, Ms. Sodergren completed a course in using empathetic techniques.
Ms. Sodergren has enjoyed speaking to many mediators training with her mediation mentor, Jean Munroe, regarding the use of Compassionate Communication Techniques in mediations. she currently co-facilitates a Parenting From Your Heart class based on the techniques developed by Marshall Rosenberg and serves as an assistant facilitator in the Peer Parent Leadership Program, an international program to support parents worldwide.
Ms. Sodergren’ s current areas of practice include uncontested divorce, mediation of civil and family law matters, personal injury, worker’s compensation, wrongful discharge, wills and estates, elder law and civil rights litigation.
Ms. Sodergren holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Lenoir-Rhyne University and a Juris Doctored Degree from The University of Memphis. She is the mother of two and enjoys connection with her Nonviolent Communication (NVC) friends around the world, travel, literature, theater, writing and watching her kids athletic competitions.