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Lucian T. Pera focuses his practice on commercial litigation, media law, and legal ethics work.  His civil litigation practice has ranged widely and includes a variety of commercial, personal injury and intellectual property litigation, as well as numerous state and federal appeals. Lucian has represented many media outlets in matters ranging from claims for defamation or invasion of privacy to access to courtrooms, public records and meetings of government bodies.

His extensive bar association work in the field of legal ethics and professional responsibility has resulted in him being elected, both locally in Tennessee and nationally, to bar association leadership positions.  This work also makes him a go-to lawyer nationally in the field of legal ethics and professional responsibility.  He advises attorneys, law firms, their clients, and businesses who deal with lawyers about all aspects of the law. Recent assignments have included defense of lawyers in disciplinary investigations and proceedings, counseling clients with disciplinary complaints and other claims against lawyers, advising law firms about loss prevention and claims, defending and prosecuting motions to disqualify lawyers or for sanctions, and advising innovative start-ups in the legal business.

Lucian regularly provides expert witness testimony in matters concerning legal ethics, professional responsibility and the standard of care for lawyers and law firms.

Amid rapid changes in the business of law, Lucian also counsels law firms and other entities developing new business models for the delivery of legal services.  He also advises individuals and organizations seeking to do business with lawyers about how they may do so legally and ethically.

Lucian also writes and speaks frequently, both nationally and in Tennessee, on legal ethics and professional responsibility and media law. In addition, he routinely conducts presentations and seminars for national audiences.

There’s more change going on in the business and practice of law today than in the last 100 years. The most exciting work I’m doing these days is advising real innovators trying to deliver legal services better, faster, and cheaper, using technology and really different business models, while still complying with laws written to regulate the law business of the 20th Century.


  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1985
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1982

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee

Court Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit


  • Best of the Bar, Memphis Business Journal, 2017
  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Litigation: General Commercial - Chambers USA
  • Best Lawyers® - Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, First Amendment Law, Health Care Law, Legal Malpractice Law (Defendants/Plaintiffs), Litigation - First Amendment, Media Law
  • Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year – Litigation - First Amendment Law, 2012
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Business Litigation 2006-2019
  • Best of the Bar - Nashville Business Journal
  • "Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation" - American Lawyer Media, Martindale-Hubbell™, 2013
  • Best 150 Lawyers in Tennessee - BusinessTN Magazine
  • The Power Players - Business Litigation - Memphis Business Quarterly Magazine, 2010-2015
  • Who's Who in American Law 1992-Present
  • Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing 1992
  • Sam A. Myar, Jr. Memorial Award - Memphis Bar Association 1997
  • President’s Award - Tennessee Bar Association 2000, 2003

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Active involvement in the most recent complete revision of the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, now the model for the lawyer ethics rules in all but one American jurisdiction, serving as the youngest member of the ABA “Ethics 2000” Commission. Since his Ethics 2000 experience, Lucian has been deeply involved in the ABA House of Delegates’ consideration of every other significant change to the ABA Model Rules. He currently chairs the governing committee of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, the home of the ABA’s standing ethics, discipline, and professionalism committees.
  • Served as ABA Treasurer (2011-2014), including service on the ABA Board of Governors and Executive Committee. Prior service on the ABA Board of Governors as a young lawyer from 1994-1997, including chairing its Finance Committee and serving on its Executive Committee. Membership in the ABA House of Delegates, primarily representing the TBA, for all but three years since 1991. View video of his August 2013, February 2014, and August 2014 reports to the ABA House of Delegates.
  • Served as President of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL), the national membership organization of lawyers who work in legal ethics.
  • Leadership of the Tennessee Bar Association ethics committee from 1995 through 2009, including spearheading the TBA’s petitions to the Tennessee Supreme Court seeking ethics rule revisions. These included the TBA’s successful petition that led to Tennessee adopting in 2002 its own version of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct to replace Tennessee’s prior ethics rules, which had been in place since 1970.
  • Active involvement in the Media Law Resource Center, the national organization of media lawyers and outlets, including as an annual contributor to several of its national surveys on media law. He also currently serves as President of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, an alliance of media and citizen groups advocating for transparency in government at all levels.
  • Assisted in creation of the TBA and ABA websites and chairing the ABA Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems.
  • Immediate Past President of the Tennessee Bar Association.

Lucian has litigated key media access cases, including a Tennessee Supreme Court case extending access under the Tennessee Public Records Act to records of private companies that are the “functional equivalent” of government (Memphis Publishing Co. v. Cherokee Children & Family Services, Inc., 87 S.W.3d 67 (Tenn. 2002)) and expressly confirming the constitutional right of public and press access to attend civil trials (King v. Jowers, 12 S.W. 3d 410 (Tenn. 1999)).