VOL. 121 | NO. 214 | Thursday, November 2, 2006
Memphis Law Talk
Client, Practice Opportunities Keep Attorney at Bass Berry
By Amy O. Williams
"I learn something new every day, and I want to continue to do what is needed to provide excellent service to the firm's clients."
- Steve Ragland
Name: Steve Ragland
Company: Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Basics: Ragland, who previously served as a shareholder at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC, focuses his practice at Bass Berry on commercial litigation, bankruptcy, creditors' rights and the Uniform Commercial Code.
Steve Ragland has been working at Bass, Berry & Sims PLC since June 2002. Before joining the firm, he was a shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.
His practice focuses on commercial litigation, bankruptcy, creditors' rights and the Uniform Commercial Code, the main source of American commercial law. He received his law degree in 1988 from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration with a major in accounting in 1995 from UT.
Ragland maintains memberships in numerous legal organizations, including the Memphis Bar Association's Bankruptcy Section and the Tennessee Bar Association's Bankruptcy Law Section. In 2006, he served on the bankruptcy section's executive committee, business law, and litigation sections. He is also a member of the American Bar Association.
Ragland is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and serves on the University of Tennessee College of Law Alumni Advisory Council. He is a past co-chair of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Liaison Committee for the Western District of Tennessee.
Q: What made you want to study law?
A: I wanted go to law school so that I could put my accounting degree to use in representing businesses.
Q: Was it something you always wanted to do?
A: Not really. I began to consider law school in my early high school days, and the interest grew from there.
Q: Where are you from? What brought you from there to Memphis and to Bass, Berry & Sims?
A: I am from Farragut, Tenn., which is a suburb of Knoxville. I came to Memphis immediately after graduating from law school to begin practice at Heiskell Donelson [known today as Baker Donelson]. I was there for almost 14 years. I came to Bass, Berry & Sims almost four and a half years ago because of the client and practice opportunities it offered.
Q: What are some advantages of living in Memphis over living in the Knoxville area?
A: Memphis is a larger city with greater opportunities to do a lot of things both personally and professionally.
Q: What do you miss about East Tennessee?
A: My parents live there, so I miss them, but I also miss being around the mountains and being around the University of Tennessee.
Q: What attracted you to practice commercial litigation?
A: I like helping to resolve business disputes and problems and that takes the form of both courtroom work as well as the preparation of appropriate documentation. It also allows me to use my business background.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: The best part of my job has to be working with a team of excellent lawyers and support staff representing great clients to help resolve their problems.
Q: How do you feel about being included in the 2007 edition of "The Best Lawyers in America"?
A: I am quite honored, especially considering the other attorneys I know who also received that honor.
Q: What is your best memory from law school?
A: The last day of final exams.
Q: What are you most proud of, personally and professionally?
A: That is a tough question. I am proud of the practice that I have developed and the support that I get for it every day from my colleagues. Despite the demands of a law practice, I am still able to have a strong family relationship and time to do other things like playing golf and cheering on the University of Tennessee.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: I learn something new every day, and I want to continue to do what is needed to provide excellent service to the firm's clients.