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U of M Law Alumni Board Announces President and New Members

For release: July 26, 2011
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843.

The University of Memphis Law Alumni Board has chosen Tanja L. Thompson as its new president, The Honorable Robert “Butch” Childers as president-elect, and R. Hunter Humphreys as secretary/treasurer.  Tapped as new board members are Robert E. Craddock Jr. and John I. Houseal Jr. 

Tanja L. Thompson
Tanja L. Thompson
Thompson, a partner with Kieswetter Wise Kaplan Prather, PLC, received her law degree from the U of M in 1997.  She is a member of the Labor and Employment Law sections of the American, Tennessee, and American Bar Associations and is the Management Program co-chair of the ABA’s Committee on the Development of the Law under the National Labor Relations Act.  She is also the Employer co-chair of the Membership Development Committee of the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law section. 

Judge Childers has been a Circuit Court Judge since 1984.  He has served as a Special Judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers’ Compensation Panel and the Tennessee Court of Appeals.  He is a past president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference and the Tennessee Trial Judges Association.  He is currently chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP).  Previously, he had served on the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program Commission, from its inception in 1999 to 2009.  

He is a charter member and Master of the Bench of the Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court.  He has chaired the Tennessee Judicial Conference Civil Pattern Jury Instruction Committee since 1991.  He is a current member and past chair of the Tennessee Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council and is a former chair of the Shelby County  Domestic Violence Council.

Judge Robert Childers
Judge Robert Childers
Judge Childers has been recognized as Outstanding Judge of the Year five times since 1984.  He received the Judge Wheatcraft Award from the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.   He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Memphis in 2002 and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Memphis Rotary Club in 2007.  He has taught at the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada Reno, and has been a frequent speaker at legal seminars and for schools, civic, church, and business groups in Tennessee and throughout the nation.


R. Hunter Humphreys
R. Hunter Humphreys
Humphreys is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Real Estate Law), Chambers USA, Mid-South SuperLawyers, Top 100 Lawyers in the State of Tennessee, Business TN magazine's Top 150 Lawyers in TN, and Top 150 CRE in TN (influential individuals in the commercial real estate business).

He also serves or has served on the boards of the Downtown YMCA, the Metropolitan YMCA, Memphis University School Alumni Association, and the Estate Planning Council of Memphis .

Humphreys has served as an adjunct professor of real estate transactions at the U of M law school since 1998. He is a frequent speaker on real estate law and secured lending.

Robert E. Craddock Jr.
Robert E. Craddock Jr.
Craddock (JD ’77) is co-chair of the Litigation Department of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs and serves on the firm's executive committee.  He concentrates his practice in the area of commercial litigation.  He leads the firm’s Class Actions & Appeals Service Team. Craddock has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the practice of business litigation and by his peers as a SuperLawyer in the area of business litigation.  He holds the highest professional rating by the Martindale Hubbell law directory. 

He is a trustee of the Hutchison School, a board member of The Children's Museum of Memphis and The Memphis Arts Council, and the co-chair of the Annual Fundraising Campaign for Memphis Area Legal Services.

John I. Houseal Jr.
John I. Houseal Jr.
Houseal (BS ’67, JD ’70) is a member of Glankler, Brown, PLLC.  He concentrates his practice in the areas of litigation, including health care and construction. In addition, his practice also focuses on compliance, ERISA, and insurance coverage.

Recognition for his legal work includes membership in Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Mid-South SuperLawyers, Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and Best Lawyers in America.

While a student at the University, Houseal served as president of the Student Government Association.  After receiving his law degree, he graduated from the Air University, Judge Advocate Staff Officer School, and served as Assistant Staff Judge Advocate of the 21st Air Base Group, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, Trial Counsel and Claims Officer, at the rank of captain.

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