Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Tennessee Supreme Court Names Three New Members to Access to Justice Commission

January 18, 2018

The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed Michael L. Forrester, John L. Farringer IV, and Alexander McVeagh to serve on the Access to Justice Commission. They will serve a three-year term beginning on April 1, 2018 and expiring on March 31, 2021.

The Access to Justice Commission aims to provide working-poor families and disadvantaged Tennesseans with civil legal services. The Tennessee Supreme Court formed the Access to Justice Commission in 2008 as a response to a growing legal-needs gap in Tennessee as indigent and working-poor families face more civil legal problems caused by unemployment, domestic violence, predatory loans, uninsured medical bills, evictions, and foreclosures. The commission is composed of ten members from across the Volunteer State.

“We are delighted to have three highly qualified attorneys join the Access to Justice Commission,” Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Supreme Court liaison to the Access to Justice Commission, said. “Their collective work ethic and vast experience in civil law will be invaluable to the commission as we collaborate on methods to promote accessible justice within Tennessee.”

Michael L. Forrester of Kingsport, Tenn. received his J.D from the University of Tennessee and has practiced with the firm Hunter, Smith, Davis since 1984, eventually becoming a partner in 1990. His primary emphasis has been in employment-related litigation, particularly workers’ compensation and civil actions brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Mr. Forrester has been certified by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission as a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator. He was also a recipient of the Access to Justice Award for Extraordinary Service, Legal Aid of East Tennessee.

Graduating from Vanderbilt Law School in 2002, John L. Farringer, IV served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman Jr., Senior United States District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee. A Nashville native, Mr. Farringer is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex business and commercial litigation, practicing in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate level. Mr. Farringer has previously served as Chair for the Tennessee Bar Association Access to Justice Committee, as well as participated in pro bono work, including prevailing in a case before the Tennessee Supreme Court. 

Alexander McVeagh was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to serve as an interim General Sessions Judge in Hamilton County in April 2017, temporarily replacing Judge David Bales, who declared medical disability. Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, McVeagh finished Vanderbilt Law School in 2013 while working for Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. McVeagh’s primary emphasis is municipal law, bankruptcy, and other civil litigation. McVeagh serves on multiple boards within the legal community, such as Legal Aid of East Tennessee, YMCA’s Youth Community Action Program, and the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyer Division.