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Stephen K. Heard

 - Of Counsel

1D4 8042 SmallSKH 1
1 Rule 31 Mediator

Stephen K. Heard practices with the firm of Cornelius & Collins, LLP, and focuses primarily on civil trial and appellate practice in State and Federal courts as well as the representation of small businesses and non-profit organizations.  His areas of focus include:

  • Employment Law (including Age, Sex and Race Discrimination)
  • Torts and Personal Injury
  • Real Property Disputes
  • Civil Rights
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Products Liability
  • Education Institutional Liability
  • Auto and Truck Liability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Equine Law
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Small Businesses
  • Contract disputes

Stephen is a Rule 31 Mediator since 2001 and has participated in over 250 mediations. He is a member of the Nashville Bar Association, American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, former member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (1987-2022) (Employment Law Committee Chairman from 1993 to 1995; Medical Malpractice Committee; Products Liability, Drug Device, and Biotechnology Committee), Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, American College of Equine Attorneys, and Transportation Lawyers Association. He has twice been awarded Strathmore’s Who’s Who Law Professional of the Year Award (2007 and 2009).

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Emory Law School, Stephen has tried over 200 court of record lawsuits and argued 36 appeals. He has served as a lecturer and presenter in over 28 continuing legal education programs, most recently at the National Equine Law Conference on the subject of Non-Profit Law Issues for Equine Trade and Breed Associations (2015); Equine Doping and Contamination (2019); and SafeSport: Jurisdiction, Procedures, Issues and Concerns (2021).  Stephen also presented a program at the 22nd Tennessee Worker’s Compensation Educational Conference on “The Compensation Conundrum, Points of View of a Complicated Death Case” (2019).  He was also a presenter at the 25th Tennessee Workers Compensation Educational Conference on “Stand Alone Work-Related Mental Injuries” (2022).  He has also served as faculty at the Defense Lawyers Trial Academy, sponsored by the International Association of Defense Counsel. Stephen is a member of the Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky Bar Associations.


More Information

Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky

  • Who’s Who Professional of the Year in Law/Workers’ Compensation, 2007
  • Who’s Who Professional of the Year in Law/Workers’ Compensation, 2009
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated for ethical standards and legal ability
  • Rule 31 Mediator, Tennessee Supreme Court, ADR, 2001
  • Nashville Bar Association, Member
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member
  • Georgia Bar Association, Member
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, Member
  • Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, Founding Member
  • American College of Equine Attorneys. Founding Member
  • Transportation Lawyers Association, Member

Have participated in numerous seminars as a presenter and author of seminar materials in areas of:

  • Americans with Disability Act
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • EEOC
  • Employer Liability
  • Uninsured Motorist Law
  • Comparative Fault
  • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Non-profit Issues for Equine Trade Breed Associations
  • Equine Doping and Contamination
  • Safe Sport & Jurisdiction, Procedures, Issues and Concerns
  • Examination of the Medical Expert
  • American Medical Association Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (4th edition)
  • American Medical Association Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (6th edition)

Contributing author of Independent Contractor Status, State by State Legal Guide, Employment Law Library from Wiley Law Publications.

Faculty Member, Defense Lawyers Trial Academy

Successfully defended an industrial machine manufacturer in a wrongful death product liability action seeking $10M in damages.

Successfully defended a software corporation in a breach of contract action brought by former owner seeking damages under theories of successor corporation liability. Suit was dismissed on Motion for Summary Judgment.

Successfully defended a building materials supplier in a residential construction case where supplier was accused of negligently drafting plans and specifications which, when implemented by a general contractor, resulted in defective construction. Cause of action against supplier was dismissed on a Motion for Summary Judgment.

Represented a class of physical therapy students against a university on theories of breach of contract, willful and negligent misrepresentations and violation of the Consumer Protection Act. The university failed to obtain certification of its physical therapy program which resulted in damages to the students. The case was tried to a jury and Judge, resulting in a judgment in favor of the students in excess of $1.3M.

Represented a former employee of a printing company in an age discrimination case against that entity. The case was tried to a Judge and jury and resulted in a judgment in favor of the employee in excess of $500K.

Have tried hundreds of lawsuits in both jury and bench trials in state and federal courts.

Represented various insurance companies in direct actions, bad faith claims, coverage disputes, and have represented insurance carriers’ insured’s in civil litigation matters, including motor vehicle accidents, construction disputes, violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, medical malpractice claims, products liability claims, and premises liability actions.

Successfully defended national fast food chains in suits alleging food borne illnesses and food contamination by foreign object. Have tried such suits to defense verdicts in both state and federal courts.

Successfully defended national trucking carriers in catastrophic injury and death cases arising from motor vehicle accidents.

Successfully defended a national health care provider and various physicians in medical malpractice suits.

Successfully defended real estate mortgage lending institutions in numerous suits attacking lending practices.

Have handled over 1,000 workers’ compensation cases in the State of Tennessee, inclusive of Department of Labor mandated mediations, court of record trials, appeals through the Supreme Court Workers’ Compensation Panel and the full Supreme Court.

  • University of North Carolina, B.A., 1976
  • Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1980
1D4 8042 SmallSKH 1
1 Rule 31 Mediator