Clients say they value my ability to understand people with different backgrounds in a variety of situations – from government regulators and investigators in Washington to judges in Nashville and juries in Houston. I’m just as comfortable sitting at a formal dinner in London as in a coffee shop in Memphis. I draw on these diverse communications skills to serve my clients – and I take a passionate interest in getting to know them and advocating zealously for them.
Thomas Anthony Swafford represents national and regional clients in a wide range of litigation – including complex, high-stakes cases - and regulatory matters across several industries, with a focus on manufacturing, energy, education and transportation and logistics. With years of experience handling class action litigation, acquisition disputes, class tort claims and other matters, Tony advocates for clients before various trial courts, appellate courts and tribunals across the country at both the state and federal levels. He also represents clients in arbitrations and public and private mediations.
Given the ever-expanding nature of the global economy, regulated industries continue to grow more complex and technologically innovative, which means companies increasingly need sophisticated counsel on the legal issues that arise in these related economic areas. Tony closely monitors the many legislative and regulatory proposals that would carry an impact on clients and advises them before and after these proposals become laws and rules. He helps his clients comply with the often byzantine regulations governing their industries and he’s there to represent them during government investigations and in litigation.
In representing clients in the education area, Tony handles intricate cases with many moving parts, drawing on his ability to see the over-arching view and the key nuanced details as he frames and adjusts his litigation strategy. Often clients turn to him for guidance on high-profile, headline-making cases.
Frequently clients hire Tony to assist or consult with their original counsel in a pending case when they think his skill set will contribute to a satisfactory resolution. For these complicated matters, he works hard to craft creative litigation tactics and effectively apply them in courtroom arguments or in settlement discussions. Also, large global firms often reach out to Tony when they need local counsel on cases in the Southeast.
Additionally, Tony counsels clients on labor and employment matters, ERISA/employee benefits, disputes related to non-competition, false advertising and trade secret issues. He has defended union organizing attempts in several states and provided representation before the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board.
Using his management skills, Tony serves as a practice group leader of the firm's Special Business Services Practice Group, a role in which he manages several practice areas within that group. He’s also one of the firm’s representatives in the State Capital Group, a global network of more than 11,000 attorneys in nearly 150 law firms located in state and national capitals across the nation and around the world.
“ My heroes are those people who use their gifts and talents to help the helpless and give a hand to those who have been less fortunate. ”
- Case Western Reserve University, J.D., 1995, magna cum laude
- University of Tennessee, B.S., 1990, High Honors
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
- United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Areas of Practice
- Best of the Bar – Nashville Business Journal
- Mid-South Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters)- Employment & Labor, Transportation, Maritime 2012-2018
- Best Lawyers® - Labor Law – Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment
- Metro Nashville Football Coach (2015, 2016) and Mentor (2015-present)
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- American Bar Association (Torts and Insurance Practice, Labor and Employment Law Sections)
- Tennessee Bar Association
- Nashville Bar Association
- Association for Transportation Law, Logistics and Policy
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Board Member)