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John Barry Burgess

Contact Me:


81 Monroe Ave.
Suite 600
Memphis, TN 38103

Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent AV Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence 2021


John Barry Burgess practices in the area of civil litigation in both Tennessee and Kentucky. For over 40 years, the focus of his practice has been litigation, insurance, and constitutional law. In the course of his practice he has represented most of the major insurance companies in relation to liability defense, first party claims and coverage issues.


  • Memphis State University School of Law, Memphis, Tennessee
    • J.D. - 1980
  • Memphis State University, Memphis, Tennessee
    • B.A. - 1977
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Major: History

Practice Areas

  • Insurance
  • Workmans' Compensation
  • Constitutional Law
  • Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed Mediator


  • American Jurisprudence Award for Insurance
  • Phi Alpha Theta, National History Honorary Society
  • Memphis State Law Review (Associate Editor)

Published Works

  • "Civil Rights - Municipal Liability for Police Misconduct", 10 Memphis State Law Review 129, 1979

Fraternities or Sororities

  • Phi Delta Phi

Representative Cases

  • Robert Elliott v. University of Tennessee, 478 U.S.788 (U.S. Supreme Court 1986)
  • Vicki Speaker v. The Cates Company, 879 S.W.2d 811 (TN Supreme Court 1994)
  • World Sales, Inc. v. Belz Investment Co., 1994 WL 8155 (Tenn.Ct.App.)
  • Union Planters Nat. Bank v. American Home Assur. Co. , 865 S.W.2d 907 (Tenn.Ct.App.)
  • National Mortg. Co. v. Warnes, 1991 WL 268363 (Tenn.Ct.App.)
  • Craig v. Gentry , 792 S.W.2d 77 (Tenn.Ct.App.)

Professional Associations

  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member, 1980 to Present
  • Memphis Bar Association, Member, 1980 to Present
  • Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee, Member
  • Leo Bearman, Sr. American Inn of Court, Master of the Bench, Emeritus
  • Tennessee Healthcare Association, Associate Member
  • Master of the Bench, Emeritus

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed Mediator

Current Employment Position

  • Of Counsel

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Mississippi, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Mississippi, 1994
  • Kentucky, 2012
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee, 2011