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PROFESSIONAL BIO | GET TO KNOW DAN

OVERVIEW

For nearly 40 years, Dan has represented clients across numerous practice areas. His vast experience includes not only legal achievements, but also community involvement, volunteer service and thought leadership within the industry.

Dan is a Fellow, Regent and past Tennessee State Chair of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and serves on the ACTEC Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations Committee.

He is a member of the Knoxville, Tennessee and Florida Bar Associations, The National Lawyers Association and the Christian Legal Society.

Dan served on the Tennessee Probate Study Group from 1986 to 2008, a joint ACTEC and Tennessee Bar committee responsible for reviewing and drafting proposed state laws regarding estates, trusts, property and inheritance, including related tax laws.

He is a past president of the Knoxville Estate Planning Council and was an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1998.

Dan is involved with numerous local and national charities and is a director or pro bono advisor for selected charities. He was awarded the Knoxville Bar Association annual Pro Bono Award in 1991.

Dan is also a Fellow of the Knoxville Bar Foundation and was in the Leadership Knoxville Class of 2002.

Dan has spoken at various local, state and national meetings and remains an occasional lecturer to both professional and lay groups on estate planning topics.

Dan married his junior high school sweetheart, and they have two sons and four grandchildren. He enjoys endurance running, having finished the Western States 100 Mile Trail Race at age 61, and can frequently be found on the trails of East Tennessee’s parks.

Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

In my first career as a consultant with an international consulting firm, I discovered my gifts included meeting with people, problem solving, quantitative analysis, writing reports and implementing plans. I realized I wanted to use those skills directly for people, not corporations, so I went to law school to become an estate planning lawyer.

What attracted you to estate law?

Estate planning is the one area of law that is not primarily about pathologies, but about all the things the world’s great religions hold dear – love your neighbor, honor father and mother, provide for your family, do unto others as you would have them do unto you and be a good steward of all your resources. Helping clients bless their families and their communities is a never-ending joy.

How would you describe yourself both personally and professionally?

Called to serve, driven to excellence. I believe all humans are made in the image of their Creator, and therefore endowed with inherent capacity for enormous good. I believe we do the most good when we serve something greater than ourselves, whether that something is our Creator, our fellow man, our country or our notions of justice or beauty or other higher purpose. I feel blessed both personally and professionally that my calling in law serves all of those.

What do you love about your career?

I love knowing and advising so many of Tennessee’s hard-working and accomplished citizens, being one fellow worker alongside so many others in faithfully and intentionally building a better community.

Who was the biggest influence in your career?

I have been fortunate to have had three mentors who intentionally invested in me: Guy Shannon, my first boss in my first career; Bill Davis, my law partner whose commitment to excellence and integrity was infectious; and Dr. Bob Ferguson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, who challenged me and so many others to lives of service to God and man.

What is something that you are really proud of, and why?

I am most proud of my two sons, both dedicated to lives of excellence and integrity, accomplished in their fields and outstanding husbands and fathers.

What are the goals you are still working to achieve?

I strive to finish well, to purge pride ruthlessly, to consider others better than myself, to give credit to others, to be agreeable and cooperative and to be as creative and wise as possible for the sake of my clients and my community.

What are your main interests, hobbies or passions outside of work?

I rarely think of “work” as merely the practice of law. Work for me encompasses all the things in life to which I have been called, all of which require dedication – husband, father, grandfather, service on boards of directors, speaking and writing, reading and studying, small group ministries and running, often on the many magnificent trail systems of East Tennessee.

Is there something you wish you could do over again?

Not really. Life is an experiment of one, and we can never know how any alternatives we think we should have chosen would have played out. I have faith that a sovereign God uses all our choices for His purposes.

When people look back at your life, how do you want to be remembered?

I hope I am remembered as someone who was passionate about life, who loved many, encouraged many and was gracious and grateful in all circumstances.

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