John K. Maddin Jr., a member of the Nashville Bar for more than 56 years, died yesterday at his home of a heart attack. He was 82.
A Nashville native and a descendant of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Howell E. Jackson, Maddin graduated from The Webb School in 1945. After serving in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy, he completed undergraduate and law degrees at Vanderbilt University.
He began practicing law in 1952, partnering with his father with the firm of Maddin and Maddin. He was later associated with the firms of Gracey Buck Maddin & Cowan, Maddin Miller & McCune and, during the last decade, in an "of counsel" role with Blackburn & McCune.
Over the course of his long career, Maddin became known as one of the preeminent product-liability defense attorneys in the Southeast. Appearing before the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, he represented clients in numerous product-liability cases as well as other causes, as when he defended Holly Farms Corp. against a 1988 hostile takeover bid by Tyson Foods Inc.
In 1982, Maddin was inducted as a fellow into the American College of Trail Lawyers and invited to become a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2002, the Nashville Bar Association recognized his 50 years of service.
Surviving him are his wife, Sallie Beth Fletcher Maddin, and three daughters and sons-in-law: Mary Lee Puckett (Ben) of Pass Christian, Miss., Keith Maddin McCord (Steve) of Nashville, and Laura Maddin Bryan (Pat) of Starkville, Miss., as well as six grandchildren.
Visitation will take place Saturday, October 31, from 12-1:30 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Funeral Home, 1101 Lebanon Pike, with a graveside service to follow at 2 p.m. Maddin's grandchildren will serve as pallbearers. Honorary Pallbearers: Malcolm McCune, Doug Fisher, Dwayne Brasfield, Hal Hardin, The Hon. John T. Nixon, Jennifer and David Rawlings, Carl Johnson, Ginny and Percy Wilkins, Bill Wilkinson, Joe Howard, David Moore, Bill Cameron, Dana and Jabbo Hessey, Carol Ann and Tommy Wilson, Ann Booten, Nancy and Blanton Smith, Jodi and Paul Thurmond, and Mathew Zenner.
The family has stated that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Susan G. Komen-Nashville Affiliate, 4009 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215; Nashville Humane Association, 213 Oceola Ave., Nashville, TN 37209, in honor of Maddin's companion, Savannah Maddin; and The Nashville Rescue Mission, 639 Lafayette St., Nashville, TN 37203.