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Tom K. Potter, III

Thomas K. Potter, III

PH: (615) 724-3231
Fax: (615) 724-3331
Email: Thomas
Legal Secretary
Athena Gosnell ()
PH: (615) 724-3325

Tom is a Partner in the firm’s Nashville office and has over 30 years experience representing business interests in securities, corporate and intellectual property disputes.

Tom represents broker-dealers and investment bankers in disputes from multi-district mutual-fund class actions to state-court jury trials on derivatives contracts, government enforcement actions, and constitutional challenges to municipal securities rules to customer arbitrations. He represents labels and artists in music copyright litigation over several multi-platinum rock and hip-hop albums, and manufacturers in product-configuration trademark and software interface infringement litigation.

In addition to disputed matters, Tom advises broker-dealers, municipal and investment advisors on regulatory and compliance matters. He assists companies with internal investigations, regulatory and compliance matters. Tom has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), having tried scores of arbitrations, and sits as an arbitrator and Panel Chair for the Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Tom is an author and speaker on a number of legal matt...

  • Securities Litigation, Regulation & Enforcement
  • Walk-away in East Tennessee jury case by disfigured child and trustee over dissipation of structured settlement funds, seeking $3.9M before punitives.
  • Award dismissing bank’s action against brokerage firm, seeking $7M plus treble damages from purchase of bottom-tranche CDOs.
  • Award dismissing trade-secrets, breach and raiding claim seeking $2.4M, plus punitives, fees and costs.
  • Defended broker-dealer against regulators’ charges they had engaged in 21 prohibited municipal securities transactions totaling $1.1B. Termed by The Bond Buyer “the largest involving G-37 ever brought.”
  • Dismissal of civil claims against broker-dealer in investor securities and shareholder-derivative class actions in multi-district litigation over mutual-fund timing and late-trading. Resolved SEC's regulatory claims nominal fine and supervisory suspension.
  • Denial of class certification in shareholder action over merger of server-virtualization software development company.
  • Dismissal of a securities-fraud mass action, in which an issuer alleged over 100 broker-dealers and financial institutions engaged in a short-sale market-manipulation scheme in connection with the “death spiral” convertible debenture financing of
  • Defending a brokerage firm and its officer against fraud and fraudulent-conveyance claims about a reverse repurchase transaction to provide bridge financing for the LBO acquisition of a company subsequently looted by its purchasers.
  • Entertainment
  • Summary judgment dismissing music copyright-infringement suit over reggaetton hit, Gasolina.
  • Dismissal of claims against record labels and national distribution company in multimillion-dollar music infringement case involving the band, Puddle of Mudd.
  • Defense jury verdict dismissing all claims in $39M music copyright-infringement action against record label and international distribution company over rap song, Back That Ass Up.

What is your favorite thing about the law?
You confront something new every day - even recurring issues arise in new circumstances. Each new matter presents an opportunity for creative solutions to complex problems. I really enjoy the art and challenge of persuasion - finding the most compelling way to present a client’s point of view, through legal principles, to suggest a desired result.

What was your first job?
A historical re-enactor at Fort Nashborough.

What is your hobby?
I love sailing. It’s challenging, absorbing and relaxing, mentally and physically - all at once. There’s no better adrenaline rush than working in skilled crew during a crowded start or mark-rounding in big-boat racing. For family vacations, I really enjoy exploring remote islands in a cruising sailboat. We’ve done off-shore deliveries, racing, and have worked race committees in junior events and Olympic qualifying regattas. You never go out that you don’t learn something new about your surroundings, your boat and yourself.

What advice would you give to a young student in law school?
Work hard. Study people as much or more than the law. Don’t let law school or the early associate years chill your voice or personality


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