The Tennessee Insurance Litigation Blog offers legal insights on insurance litigation in Tennessee from a pair of attorneys on both sides of the discussion.

Brandon McWherter, a partner at Gilbert McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC, provides the policyholder’s perspective. Parks T. Chastain, a member in the Nashville-based firm Brewer, Krause, Brooks & Chastain, PLLC, offers the insurance company’s perspective.


About Brandon McWherter

J. Brandon McWherter is a member of Gilbert McWherter Scott & Bobbitt PLC, which has offices across the State of Tennessee in Jackson, the Nashville area, and Chattanooga.  Licensed in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi, he has dedicated his practice to assisting insurance policyholders with their claims against insurance companies, including claims for bad faith. He has handled hundreds or thousands of first-party insurance claims for policyholders across the State of Tennessee and elsewhere around the country.

For more than a decade, McWherter’ practice has been focused almost exclusively on the prosecution of first party property insurance claims for policyholders.  His interest in this area of the law first started around 2003 when a tornado struck Jackson, Tennessee, where he lived and worked at the time.  Since then, McWherter has represented hundreds or thousands of policyholders whose claims have been underpaid or denied.  He advises and advocates for owners of commercial properties, industrial facilities, residential properties, churches, business owners, and other insurance policyholders.

Since 2013, McWherter has assisted his clients obtain more than Eighty-Five Million Dollars ($85,000,000) in settlements, awards, and jury verdicts against insurance companies.

In 2018, McWherter was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Coverage Counsel, which is an invitation-only organization designed to facilitate and encourage the association of lawyers who are distinguished for their skill, experience, and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice or teaching of insurance coverage and extra-contractual law and who are dedicated to excellence in this area of practice.

McWherter has been featured as a “Super Lawyer” or “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers every year since 2010.  Since 2013, he has been selected each year  for inclusion in U.S News and World Reports’ The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Insurance Law.  He also enjoys an AV Preeminent ranking by Martindale-Hubbell for legal ability and ethical standards.

Mr. McWherter received his law degree from the University of Memphis. While in law school, he was a member of the University of Memphis Law Review, and served on the Editorial Board as Notes Editor. Mr. McWherter has also published two articles in that publication.

In advocating for clients, McWherter has trudged through fire scenes and crawled roofs, quizzed consulting construction experts and experts for hours on end, and deposed and cross-examined hundreds of adjusters, experts, consultants, and other professionals within the insurance industry.  He reads insurance policies nearly every day and has a working knowledge of the customs and practices of insurance companies in investigation, estimating, and payment of claims.  McWherter counsel clients on presentation of claims, assists in compiling the evidence necessary to validate the amounts owed, and then enforces his clients’ rights, if necessary, via the judicial system and other alternative dispute resolution options, such as appraisal.

Several of McWherter’s cases have developed the law governing insurance disputes in the State of Tennessee, most recently including the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision in Lammert et al. v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., which held that insurers may not depreciate the costs of labor in determining their actual cash value payment obligations when the policy does not clearly allow it.

When not working, you will usually find Mr. McWherter with his wife, Angela, and his two daughters. He is an avid golfer and a lifelong bass fisherman, neither of which he does as often as he would like.

Practice Areas

  • Representation of policyholders in claims and litigation against insurance companies
  • Bad faith insurance litigation
  • Consumer class actions

Professional Associations

  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • Mississippi Bar Association
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association (past member)
  • American Bar Association (past member)

Education

  • B.S.B.A. – Union University (1998)
  • J.D. – University of Memphis (2001)

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Arkansas
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

About Parks T. Chastain

Parks T. Chastain, a member in the Nashville, Tennessee law firm of Brewer, Krause, Brooks & Chastain, PLLC, focuses on the representation of insurers on a state and national basis. Mr. Chastain represents insurers in the investigation of first party claims, and in litigation arising from first party and third party coverage disputes. He has been involved in litigation dealing with first party policy interpretation, claims handling practice and procedures, bad faith and extra-contractual exposure, arson, misrepresentation and fraud. He is statewide coverage counsel in Tennessee for many insurers, on both first party and third party coverage matters. He has also consulted with insurance carriers regarding the development and drafting of insurance policy provisions and endorsements, and represented those carriers before state departments of insurance. At a national level, Mr. Chastain has been retained by various carriers to represent them in the cases involving public adjusters and the appraisal process, as well as the investigation of insurance fraud.

Mr. Chastain frequently speaks at industry meetings on topics such as “Avoiding Bad Faith Exposure,” “Public Adjusters,” “The Appraisal Process,” as well as general principles of policy interpretation. He also presents seminars for continuing legal education on topics related to policy interpretation, coverage disputes and bad faith claim litigation. Mr. Chastain has extensive trial experience in first and third party coverage disputes, both in state courts as well as the Federal Court system.

Practice Areas

  • Representation of insurance companies in first party coverage litigation
  • Representation of insurance companies in third party coverage litigation
  • Representation of insurance companies in extra-contractual litigation arising from the handling of both first and third party insurance claims, including claims for “bad faith,” “bad faith refusal to settle,” and violation of consumer protection acts
  • Provision of coverage opinions in first and third party cases
  • Representation of insurance companies in the appraisal process

Professional Associations

  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators

Education

  • University of Louisville/B.S. Sociology with Highest Honors
  • University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law/J.D., cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • State of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit