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Kenneth Stephen Powers


Steve Powers serves some of the largest motor carriers in the trucking industry in their accident litigation defense across the country.

Professional Biography

As a shareholder in the Firm's Chattanooga office, Mr. Powers practices transportation law and handles a variety of defense litigation and commercial law matters. His transportation practice includes regulatory and administrative law, including assisting clients in obtaining various U.S. DOT operating authorities, as well as contract drafting and insurance coverage issues. He is a frequent speaker at transportation group meetings and in presenting in-house training for the Firm's clients as well.

Mr. Powers is widely experienced in general commercial litigation and product liability defense in both state and federal courts. He has defended businesses in numerous types of negligence and other tort and contract claims. His product liability defense work has involved a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, construction equipment and tobacco products. His insurance practice has included declaratory judgment actions on coverage issues and the recovery of business interruption losses.

Mr. Powers has been admitted pro hac vice in numerous state and federal courts and has served as lead defense trial counsel in multiple jurisdictions. In addition, he emphasizes alternative dispute resolution, and particularly encourages early mediation of catastrophic injury and death cases, for which he has enjoyed a very high success rate.

Mr. Powers is a member of the Firm's Complex Torts (including Transportation and Product Liability) and Labor & Employment Practice Groups and the Firm's 24 Hour Motor Carrier Emergency Response Team, a group of attorneys dedicated to providing rapid post-accident intervention and investigation throughout the Firm's footprint and beyond, whenever and wherever you need us.

  • Member – American and Federal Bar Associations
  • Member – Tennessee and Chattanooga Bar Associations
  • Member – DRI
  • Member – Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member – Transportation Lawyers Association
  • Member – Trucking Industry Defense Association
  • Member and Past Chair – American College of Transportation Attorneys, Inc. (2013 – 2015)
  • Chattanooga Bar Foundation's Class of Fellows (2016)
  • Member – Justices Ray L. Brock and Robert E. Cooper Chapter, American Inns of Court
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2010 – 2021, 2024);  Transportation Law (since 2008); Commercial Litigation (since 2010); Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (since 2012); Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (since 2011)
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2024 and 2021 Transportation Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Chattanooga 
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2024 and 2013 Product Liability Litigation - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year" in Chattanooga 
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2020 and 2018 Bet-the-Company Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" in Chattanooga 
  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2019 and 2017 Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year" in Chattanooga 
  • Member – Baker Donelson's 24-Hour Transportation Emergency Response Team
  • Selected Presentations

  • Panelist – "Litigation Defense in Light of the CSA Proposed Rulemaking and the Rush to Market of Scoring Alternatives," ATA Litigation Center Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, Bellevue, Washington (2016)
  • "The Catastrophic Accident, Jury Verdicts and How Safety Policies Can Mitigate - or Aggravate - Accident Liability Exposure," National Private Truck Council (2015)
  • "'Reptile' Themes and Punitive Damages," Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. - Claims + Safety Seminar, Indianapolis, Indiana (August 25-26, 2014)
  • "Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations - Applicability to Railroad Business: Drayage Carriers, Intermodal Equipment Providers and Related Topics," National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, New Orleans, Louisiana (2014)
  • "Spoliation - What You Don't Know You Have (or Had) Can Really Hurt You," N.W. Arkansas Trucking Seminar, Springfield, Arkansas (September 2013)
  • Panelist – "Hot Topics in Broker-Carrier Sector-MAP-21 and Broker Liability in Cargo and Casualty Claims," Transportation Club International Education Symposium, Memphis, Tennessee (September 2013)
  • "Compliance, Safety, Accountability - Current and Future Issues with its Full Implementation," Trucking Industry Defense Association Advanced Seminar, Miami, Florida (2012)


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1979
    • Phi Kappa Phi
    • American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the Study of Civil Procedure
    • Teaching Assistant, Research & Writing II  
  • University of Tennessee, B.A., 1976
    • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Graduated number one in College of Liberal Arts


  • Tennessee, 1980
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 1980
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, 2009
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, 2010
  • United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1985
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1987
  • United States Court of Federal Claims, 1993

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