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Norris’ Legislative Success Subject of Feature Story in Commercial Appeal

1/10/2013

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Adams and Reese Special Counsel Mark Norris, who serves as the majority leader of the Tennessee State Senate, was featured in the Commercial Appeal article, “Power Broker Isn’t a Label Collierville’s Mark Norris Wears Comfortably,” published on the newspaper’s web site on January 5th.

The article reads: “For the past two years, Norris has been a dominating force at a pivotal time in Shelby County history. The Republican has supplanted two powerful West Tennessee Democrats — Jimmy Naifeh and John Wilder, House and Senate speakers who reigned over legislative politics for decades — as the Memphis area's most influential lawmaker. Norris is a polarizing figure, vilified or admired, depending on which side of the aisle you stand. His calculating, meticulous approach — along with the legislature's shift from a Democratic to Republican majority — allowed him to usher in controversial legislation after others had failed. Whether his ascendancy is because of his own maneuvering or a shift in the political climate — or a bit of both — he has emerged as arguably the most powerful legislator west of Nashville.”

“Norris’s name is synonymous with some of the most contentious legislation of the past several years — legislation that has stirred racially-charged accusations and rancorous debate over the balance of power between Shelby County suburbs and the city of Memphis. No political fight has been more entrenched than the one over a push to allow new school districts in the Memphis suburbs after the merger of Memphis and Shelby County schools.”

At Adams and Reese, Norris has practiced law since 1980 and is special counsel with the firm in the Memphis and Nashville offices. He was first elected to the Senate in 2000 and as Majority Leader in 2007.

In 2011, Norris was named among the “Who’s Who” of the Top 100 Movers, Shakers and Newsmakers in the city of Memphis by Memphis magazine.

He is actively engaged in the field of Transportation and Logistics. He is a member of the Transportation Lawyers Association, previously served as Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Safety Committee, and currently serves as chair of the Transportation Policy Task Force for the national Council of State Governments. He is a former Principal in the National Academy of Public Administration’s Intergovernmental Forum on Transportation Finance, and he testified before the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission in 2006.

Norris was named to serve as one of 12 members on the Communications, Policy and Economic Development Council of the U.S. Department of Energy’s program tasked with modeling and simulation of nuclear reactors. Known as “CASL” (Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors), the program includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority, and leading research universities in Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere.
 
Adams and Reese is a multidisciplinary law firm with offices strategically located throughout the southern United States and Washington, DC. American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation's top law firms - "The Am Law 200.” The National Law Journal also includes the firm on the "NLJ 250" list of the nation's largest law firms.