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VOL. 126 | NO. 88 | Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wade Dedicated to Many Facets of Law

By Allison Buckley

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Martin Tate Morrow & Marston PC strives to educate its lawyers with a broad range of legal issues, something that weighed especially on John D. Martin Jr.’s heart when David Wade joined the firm many years ago.


Thanks in part to the mentorship of Martin, whose father was a founding partner of the firm, Wade – now a director and shareholder – has come to realize that understanding many facets of law is important.

Now a prime example of this belief, Wade has established himself in many practice areas, a dedication to law that has kept him listed as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for the last 10 years.

“I’m honored to have been included,” Wade said.

“I’m certainly grateful that there are folks that believe I should be included in that organization. I think all I’m trying to do is … (perform) legal services to the best of my ability.”

With a bachelor of arts from Regis University in Denver and a juris doctorate from the University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Wade began his law career as a law clerk for a judge on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.

From there, Wade practiced with the Memphis City Attorney General in the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office before joining Martin Tate in 1977.

Since then, Wade has worked on cases involving accountants’ defense, construction issues, land use disputes, environmental law, criminal law and general business and contract disputes.

Wade is particularly interested, however, in mediation, which he teaches at the U of M law school.

“I believe it is important for an attorney who is going to be effective in assisting their clients in the mediation process to also be effective in the litigation arena,” Wade said. “Being involved in litigation is always a challenge because there are new and different areas that you learn about as a litigator all the time.”

As one of three managing directors at Martin Tate, Wade’s responsibility as a member extends to a managerial role. Still, he’s OK with the additional responsibility – it’s just another way to become involved with a firm he believes in.

“We’re very fortunate at Martin Tate,” Wade said. “We have a great group of attorneys. We stress the collegiality of the legal process. We have an open-door policy so that at any time if anyone wants to discuss any legal issues, they’re welcome to do so.

“I believe it is important for an attorney who is going to be effective in assisting their clients in the mediation process to also be effective in the litigation arena.”

– David Wade,

“And we have a group of people who I think enjoy the practice of law but can maintain time to pursue their individual interests outside of the practice of law.”

When Wade isn’t working at the firm, he and his wife, Benlyn, along with his five children and their families, strive to raise money for the West Tennessee branch of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, an organization close to Wade’s heart.

The 11th annual “License to Cure” Promise Ball on April 30 honored two of Wade’s daughters, Dr. Julie Kate Webster and Evlyn Vander Vliet.

The ball was a huge success, Wade said, raising $310,000 as contributions continue to come in.

The next event is the Walk to Cure Diabetes Oct. 1 at Shelby Farms Park.

After surpassing the JDRF’s original goal of $282,000, Wade is excited about the future for the West Tennessee branch and has no plans to slow down anytime soon – with his professional or charity work.

“The legal profession is an art, and I enjoy being with people who are also practitioners of the legal profession,” Wade said. “I don’t have any current plans to slow down or stop.”

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