Burr & Forman

M. Clark Spoden

M. Clark Spoden Headshot
  • J.D., University of Tennessee School of Law (1980)
  • B.A., with honors, Sewanee: The University of the South (1977)

Tennessee

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

  • American Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Society of Human Resource Management
  • Sixth Judicial Circuit Conference, Life Member
  • American College of Board Certified Attorneys, Charter Fellow (2015)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2010-2022), Litigation-Construction (2011-2022), Litigation-Environmental (2011-2022), Litigation-Labor and Employment (2011-2022)
  • Best Lawyers, "Lawyer of the Year," Environmental Litigation, Nashville, Tennessee (2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent™ Peer Rated Lawyer
  • Nashville Bar Association, Joseph G. Cummings Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year (2007)
  • Named, Top 100: 2020 Tennessee Super Lawyers
  • Named, Top 50: 2020 Nashville Super Lawyers
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Employment and Labor (2016-2020)
  • Leadership Middle Tennessee, Class of 2018
  • Downtown Nashville Rotary Club, Member
  • Nashville City Club, Member
  • Nashville Symphony, Governing Member
  • Richland Country Club, Member
  • YMCA, Member
  • Cumberland Heights, Member
  • The Land Trust for Tennessee, Member
  • The Red Cross, Member
  • Legal Aid Society, Member
  • The Nature Conservancy, Member
  • Vital Ground, Member
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sustainer
  • Men of Valor, Sponsor

Partner | Nashville, TN

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Services

Commercial / Corporate Litigation Employer Advising, Policies & Training Employment Litigation Labor & Employment Construction and Project Development Environment & Land Use Personal Injury Health Care Litigation Health Care Business, Governance & Transactional

Industries

Manufacturing Health Care

M. Clark Spoden is recognized in Tennessee as a Specialist in Civil Trial and Pre-Trial Advocacy as Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Clark is a Charter Fellow in the American College of Board Certified Attorneys, (2015) and has received recognition in The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2010-2022), Litigation-Construction (2011-2022), Litigation-Environmental (2011-2022), Litigation-Labor and Employment (2011-2022), and in the Top 100 in Tennessee Super Lawyers (2020) and Top 50 Nashville Super Lawyers (2020) and Mid-South Super Lawyers, Employment and Labor (2016-2020).

He is an experienced trial lawyer who practices in the Business Litigation and Labor & Employment Law service groups at Burr & Forman LLP. He has represented companies in contract, employment, environmental, administrative law, construction, business tort, non-competition, intellectual property, wrongful death, and personal injury cases. He regularly advises clients on HR issues and Tennessee Certificate of Need matters.

Clark has long represented manufacturing companies, especially in the fields of aluminum recycling and automotive parts manufacturing.

Clark’s career prior to Burr began with his clerkship for the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. In his early years, Clark became partner a in Dearborn & Ewing’s (D&E) in 1987 and became chairman of the firm’s litigation section in 1989. Also, while at D&E, Clark participated in the trial of Emhart, Inc., v. Duracell International, Inc., a significant environmental case and developed a reputation for excellence in environmental litigation.

In 1994, Clark joined the Nashville office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart where he was a member from 1994-98. At Ogletree, Clark became involved in Labor & Employment law, including L&E trials in various courts including the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and before the AAA in Chicago.

In 1998, Clark helped start the Nashville office of Brown Todd & Heyburn, which became Frost Brown Todd in 2000. Clark served as managing member of the Nashville office for several years.

In 2007-2009, Clark led HR Training Camps for HR managers in various cities, including Nashville, Baltimore, and Las Vegas. He regularly provides in-house HR training for clients. The subject matter of the training is customized to fit client needs, and regularly includes anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training among other topics.

Clark is an Administrative Law Judge for Nashville Electric Service. He has taught Remedies at the Nashville School of Law since 2003 and Civil Procedure since 2019. In 2008, Clark began publishing for his Remedies students his own textbook, entitled Remedies Readings. In addition, Clark is a frequent lecturer on trial practice and employment law.

Clark is very active in community service. He is the chair of the Nashville Rotary Club Environmental Committee and is on the Executive Committee of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk and served as was the Corporate Walk Chair for LLS in 2019. Clark is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Middle Tennessee and helped design and implement the Davidson County program for LMT in 2019.

When not working, Clark is an avid wilderness explorer. In 2002, he and his son, Cage, took a 186 mile wilderness canoe trip in the Yukon Territory, Canada. In 2008, Clark and his daughter, Anna, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Each summer from 2009 to the present, Clark and his wife, Norah, have traveled to Alaska for wilderness kayaking trips.