Buckner Wellford

First Tennessee Building
165 Madison Avenue
Suite 2000
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
T: 901.577.2152
F: 901.577.0786

Buckner Wellford

Buckner Wellford, shareholder in the Memphis office, is the chairman of Baker Donelson's Health Care Advocacy Group. He represents hospitals, physicians and medical groups in health care litigation, regulatory, peer review, contract and employment matters.

Since his arrival at the Firm in 2004, Mr. Wellford has defended physicians, hospitals, and other health care facilities in federal and state court jury trials involving orthopedic, neurosurgery, gynecologic services, intensive care services and rehabilitative care services. He has briefed and argued cases for these clients at the state and federal appellate levels, in addition to representing them on administrative and/or civil enforcement proceedings involving hospital peer review proceedings, the Tennessee Department of Health, Board of Medical Examiners, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of Inspector General. He has also litigated health care cases in state and federal courts in Tennessee, Texas and Massachusetts on matters ranging from Anti-Kickback and False Claims, alleged violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, credentialing actions, and fraudulent conveyance.

Mr. Wellford has substantial jury and bench trial experience in state and federal courts in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Many of these cases involved the defense of health care providers in medical malpractice or regulatory matters, but include product liability, breach of contract and employment disputes, civil rights and fraud claims as well.

A former Shelby County Commissioner with substantial experience in local zoning and land use issues, Mr. Wellford has represented clients before the Shelby County Land Use Control Board, the Memphis City Council, Shelby County Commission, Germantown Design Review Board, and Planning Commission for the City of Collierville.

Mr. Wellford was elected to two terms on the Shelby County Commission where he served from 1994 through 2002. He served as the Chairman of the Commission in 2000, and as Chairman of the Land Use Committee from 2001-2002.

Publications & Presentations

  • "OIG Hospital Compliance Audits: Is Your Number Up? Are You Ready?" co-author, Bloomberg BNA (September 30, 2015); Baker Donelson Alert (October 23, 2015)
  • "Tennessee Tort Reform: The Effects on Long Term Care Providers," Making a Difference, Baker Donelson Long Term Care Newsletter (Volume 2011, Issue 2)
  • "Deposition Procedure in State and Federal Courts," Memphis Bar Association Litigation Section presentation (December 16, 2010)
  • "Risks of Off Label Use of Medications and Emerging Treatment Modalities for Stroke," Multi-Disciplinary Conference Sponsored by Cleveland Clinic on Stroke Treatment (October 2010)
  • "Medicare Secondary Payment Act Issues," 2010 Memphis Bar Association Bench Bar Conference (April 2010)
  • Moderated panel presentation on E Discovery, Health Information Management, and federal privacy/security laws, University of Memphis School of Law Health Care Symposium (March 2010)
  • "Motions in Limine and Post Trial Motions," CLE Trial Academy, Memphis Bar Association (October 2009)
  • "Medicare Secondary Payment Issues," Presentation, Memphis Bar Association (September 2009)
  • "Deposition Practice," Presentation, Memphis Bar Association (April 2008)
  • Case Study – Federal Civil Rights Trial Robinson v. City of Memphis; Memphis Bar Association Bench Bar Conference (May 2006)
  • Summary Judgment Practice: Memphis Bar Association Bench Bar Conference (May 1995)
  • Author – "Celotex, Summary Judgment and the Tennessee Supreme Court: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop," Tenn Bar Journal (1991)

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Medical Malpractice Law, Personal Injury Litigation and Product Liability Litigation since 2005
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2015 Memphis Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2013 Memphis Product Liability Litigation - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006; listed as among top 50 attorneys in Memphis and top 100 attorneys in Tennessee 
  • Listed since 2011 in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading Litigation: Medical Malpractice Defense lawyer in Tennessee
  • Named to Business Tennessee magazine's "150 Best Lawyers" in the area of medical malpractice law (2009)
  • Recipient – Memphis Bar Association's annual Pro Bono award (2001)
  • Recipient – Sam Myar, Jr. Memorial Award, Memphis Bar Association, for Service to the Community (1996)
  • Member – Memphis Health, Education and Housing Facility Board (2016)
  • Board of Directors – Memphis Bar Association (2008 – 2009)
  • Board of Directors – Memphis Area Legal Services Corporation (1990 – 1992)
  • Fellow – Tennessee Bar Foundation (1994), Memphis Bar Foundation (2006)
  • Member – Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing Committee Member (2016) 


  • Tennessee, 1981


  • Washington & Lee, J.D., 1981, Burks Scholar
  • Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1978