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John L. Chambers

Special Counsel

John L. Chambers joined Adams and Reese in 2005 as part of the merger with Stokes and Bartholomew, where he practiced since 1989. John is Special Counsel, practicing out of the firm's Nashville office and a member of the Litigation Practice Group and Commercial Dispute Practice Team.

His practice has included substantial real estate law, corporate work, securities, tax, as well as substantial business, class action, and reorganization litigation.

In real estate, John has represented developers who pioneered condominium projects in middle Tennessee, developers or lenders - both construction and permanent - of a number of shopping centers and two hotels in Tennessee; land acquisition and building of fast food outlets for sale and leaseback by a fast food franchisor; negotiation of termination of 135 commercial leases in over 20 states; legal oversight of the sale of 100 commercial buildings in Florida; legal oversight of a long term Development of Regional Impact in Florida involving 6,500 acres, half wetland, with planned 5,000 homes and associated schools, etc.; representation of generators of contaminants in environmental cases, “brownfield” development; and hundreds of secured commercial loans by banks and residential loans by S & L’s.

John's litigation experience includes a variety of federal and state court matters. These representative matters have included:

  • Class action cases in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (1970-1973) representing the issuer in Section 10-b-5 litigation arising out of financial statements of the issuer and a filling of a $100 million debenture offering.
  • Securities litigation, representing directors of a public dry cleaner “roll-up” in 10-b-5 actions in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky in the mid 1970’s.
  • Three successive state court class actions stemming from an acquisition of a specialty credit card processor in 1987, representing the company; defeated class certification in each case.
  • Representation of a multinational in a series of cases (1980-1986) in United States District Court involving PCB and TCE contamination of a capacitor plant and landfill in Tennessee and claims - consolidated but class status denied - of 1,000 former employees and family.
  • Representation of a national foundation as a defendant in class action tort and Section 1983 proceedings in United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in 1993-1998 raising novel issues concerning funding of research in the 1940’s involving the unconsented administration of radioactive iron into pregnant women and young children to determine uptake rates.

His experience has also included antitrust litigation, particularly involving bid rigging in the highway industry and, more recently, advising in trucking fuel card anti-trust litigation and defense of accounting firms in securities related proceedings, acting as Special Master under court appointment in contested dissolution cases, and other complex situations.

John has enjoyed 44 years of private practice after completion of active duty in the Navy, ending his duty as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve. Along with practicing law, John has also served as CEO of a public corporation, Chair of a national chain of destination RV resorts and a publicly traded fast food corporation, as well as active governance of heavy construction and development companies.

John graduated from Princeton University in 1957 and received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1960.

In the professional legal community, John was Secretary/Treasurer of the Nashville Bar Association from 1969-1970, director in 2001-2003 and First Vice President in 2003. He is President-Elect of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society and a member of its Board of Directors. John is an active member of the Tennessee and American Bar Associations, and its sections on taxation, real property, and probate and trust law. He is also a member of the American Judicature Society.

John serves as an Adjunct Professor of Management in the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, lecturing in the area of Property Law for Business Students.

In his free time, John enjoys history, political science and popular science.