Tennessee Supreme Court Appoints New Access to Justice Commission Members

The Tennessee Supreme Court appointed four new members to serve on the Access to Justice Commission, effective April 1, 2022.  They include Sara E. Barnett, Adolpho A. Birch, III, Lindsay Frilling and Kendra Mansur. 

“The Tennessee Supreme Court is pleased that these individuals accepted the Court’s nominations to serve on the Access to Justice Commission,” said Justice Jeff Bivins, Supreme Court Liaison to the Commission.  “This cohort of new Commission members represents all three grand divisions of our State, including our rural communities. Their voices will add much value to the Commission and its work.”

Sara E. Barnett is a Member with Spragins, Barnett & Cobb, PLC, in Jackson, Tenn. Ms. Barnett is a with the Litigation Department, practicing on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in many areas, including family law, adoption, child custody and child support, employment discrimination, worker’s compensation, and others. She is a graduate of Union University and earned her law degree from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Ms. Barnett is a lifelong resident of Jackson and is active in the community.

Adolpho A. Birch, III., is the Sr. Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer for the Tennessee Titans. His work with the Titans includes legal affairs, government relations, community impact, and business planning and strategy. Prior to joining the Titans, Mr. Birch spent 23 years at the National Football League headquarters in New York. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and earned law degree at Vanderbilt University Law School. Mr. Birch was raised in Nashville and is actively involved in many professional and philanthropic organizations.

Lindsay Frilling, CEcD, is the CEO at the Obion County Joint Economic Council in Union City, TN, and has served in that role since 2009. Her work includes facilitating the creation of jobs, working with industry to assist in capital investment and expansion, and marketing Obion County in order to bring new industry to the area. In 2019, Ms. Frilling was named to the TN Chamber of Commerce board of directors. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Kendra Mansur is a member of the Environment group within the Office of the General Counsel at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Ms. Mansur is primarily responsible for legal oversight of TVA’s real property law transactions. She is Chair of the Generating Justice: Pro Bono Opportunities with TVA and serves as the lead attorney for TVA’s Regional Stewardship Council, an avenue for Valley stakeholder to provide recommendations and advice to TVA on its stewardship activities. Ms. Mansur graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and spent 12 years working for Legal Aid law firms in Middle and East Tennessee, helping low-income domestic violence victims and clients dealing with housing issues and other legal matters before coming to TVA.

J. William “Bill” Coley, the current Chair of the Access to Justice Commission, expressed his enthusiasm for the new appointments.  “The Tennessee Supreme Court has selected a talented group of professionals to join the Commission. Some have helped the Commission in successful projects and programs in the past and others are new faces. I’m looking forward to seeing all the great work they will accomplish.”

The Court also appointed John L. Farringer, IV to serve as the next Chair of the Access to Justice Commission for a two-year term, beginning April 1, 2022. Mr. Farringer has served on the Commission since 2018. He is a Member of Sherrard, Roe, Voigt, and Harbison, in Nashville. Mr. Farringer’s practice focuses on complex business and commercial litigation and he is a listed Rule 31 General Civil Mediator. He serves on the Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors and is the Past Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Access to Justice Committee.

“I am honored to be selected by the Court to Chair the Access to Justice Commission for the next two years, “ stated Mr. Farringer. “The Commission and its partners will continue to work towards understanding the civil legal needs of vulnerable Tennesseans and developing initiatives to provide them with much needed civil legal resources.”

J. William “Bill” Coley, Mary Jo Middlebrook, and Beverly Watts will be rotating off the Commission, as their second three-year terms expire on March 31, 2022, making them ineligible for reappointment. The fourth vacancy on the Commission is due to the untimely passing of Commission member Sean Hunt, in late 2021.  

The Access to Justice Commission is an initiative of the Tennessee Supreme Court.  Its mission is to provide collaborative leadership to create solutions and resources that address and eliminate access to justice for all.  For more information, go to http://www.tncourts.gov/programs/access-justice or call (615) 741-2687.