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Tom K. Potter, III

Tom is Managing Partner of the firm’s Nashville office and has over 25 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 a frequent author and speaker on a number of le...


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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Honors & Awards

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Securities Litigation, Regulation & Enforcement
  • Walk-away in upper East Tennessee jury action by disfigured minor child and her trustee suing over prior trustee’s dissipation of structure settlement funds, seeking $3.9M before punitives, fees and costs. Gladden v. Cumberland Trust& Inv. Co., No. 12-cv-119 (Hamblen County, TN Nov. 2012).
  • Dismissal of mass action against placement agent and others (issuers, rating agencies, collateral managers) in bank's action, seeking $135M plus fees and costs arising from purchases of PreTSL and TruPS CDOs.
  • Award dismissing bank’s action against brokerage firm, seeking $7M plus treble damages, fees and costs arising from purchase of bottom-tranche CDOs.

TESTIMONIALS

  • "Mr. Thomas Potter was instrumental in defense of Rule G-37 allegations made by FINRA staff based on erroneous allegations of competitors. He did an excellent job in demonstrating that the rule in text and principle was not violated and, more importantly, that staff could not expand a rule beyond its text to achieve its desired purpose. Mr. Potter is a leader in Rule G-37 and all "Pay to Play" matters."

    -Best Lawyers 2012

  • “He is great. The most important thing I think is judgment, whether more aggressive or more conservative than a firm’s first inclination. Tom’s got a great sense of discretion and judgment and he clearly knows the topic area very well. We never have an issue with us having to prompt ‘try this theory’. He’s smart and very pleasant, responsive as anything.”

    -Chambers 2012

  • “Very responsive. An excellent lawyer with a lot of experience."

    -Chambers 2012