Ed Yarbrough, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, will become a partner in the Nashville law firm of Walker Tipps & Malone PLC, upon leaving his current position, NashvillePost.com has learned.
The move was expected as President Barack Obama has nominated Nashville attorney Jerry E. Martin, partner in the firm of Barrett Johnston & Parsley, to fill the U.S. Attorney post. Martin was approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee by a voice vote yesterday and is now waiting on confirmation by the full U.S. Senate.
Steven Anderson, managing partner of Walker Tipps, said, "This is a great opportunity for us to add someone who is enormously respected across the legal community. We are excited to have him on our team."
Reached for comment, Yarbrough would not speak of his future plans but stated, “There is no greater job in the American system of justice than United States Attorney, with its myriad responsibilities and potential for public service. I have been proud to lead the office in Nashville for two and a half years and see firsthand the amazing capabilities of the dedicated lawyers and staff here. The people of Middle Tennessee can be secure in the knowledge that federal prosecutors are looking out for them and doing everything in their power to make our city and state a safer place to live and work.”
When asked to speak about his likely successor, Yarbrough stated, “Our U.S. Attorney’s Office has been a catalyst for cooperation and high productivity among the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Middle Tennessee. I feel confident this energy will continue under new leadership.”
Yarbrough took office on Oct. 10, 2007, and is widely credited by the legal and law enforcement community for bringing much-needed stability, focus and leadership to an office that had been in turmoil due to personnel issues that resulted in a high-profile age discrimination law suit.
With 37 years of criminal and civil litigation experience being brought by Yarbrough to the Walker Tipps firm, which is already recognized for having some of Nashville’s top trial attorneys, it will be interesting see what new areas of practice open up as a result of this collaboration.
Born and raised in Nashville, and educated in public schools here, Yarbrough received a B.A. degree from Rhodes College in 1967 and a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School in 1972.
Prior to graduation from law school, he served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, first as a ceremonial platoon leader in the Old Guard at Arlington Cemetery and then as a member of a mobile adviser team to Vietnamese regional forces. For his service in the Vietnam War, Yarbrough received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement and Vietnam service and campaign medals.
In 1973, Yarbrough was appointed Assistant District Attorney General for the Tenth Judicial Circuit (Nashville) of Tennessee. As a state prosecutor, he tried scores of felony jury cases, including charges of first-degree murder, rape, armed robbery and narcotics offenses.
In 1976, he joined the newly organized firm of Hollins & Wagster, which for two years shared offices with former Watergate prosecutor James F. Neal in Nashville. In 1978, the firm name was changed to Hollins Wagster & Yarbrough and separate offices were established. That firm grew to 10 lawyers before Yarbrough’s departure in 2007 to become U.S. Attorney.