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Leo Bearman Jr. to Receive the 2020 American Inns of Court Lewis F. Powell Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics

Leo Bearman Jr. has been selected to receive the prestigious 2020 American Inns of Court Lewis F. Powell Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics, which recognizes exemplary service in the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence in the legal profession. Bearman is senior counsel at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC in Memphis.

"An experienced litigator…, Leo is well-known for his involvement with high-profile cases that have had a tremendous impact on the landscape of his community," says R. Mark Glover, Esquire, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Memphis office, who nominated Bearman for the award. "Because of his stature as a pillar of the legal community, other lawyers frequently seek out his advice and guidance."

Bearman graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1957 and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1960. After school, he returned to his native Memphis to practice law with his father. In the early 1980s, their firm merged with another and grew to become what is now known as Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, one of the nation's largest law firms.

Bearman represents clients in a variety of areas, including civil litigation, class action defense, government matters, insurance defense litigation, products liability defense, intellectual property litigation, professional negligence defense, and commercial litigation. In one key patent case, Bearman represented a world leader in medical technology in which the jury agreed to his client's request to continue using the intellectual property at issue, the basis of the client's $1.8 billion a year business. Bearman has also served as counsel of record for the city of Memphis and the local utilities division in an action concerning the city's groundwater supply before the Supreme Court of the United States. He is also an adjunct professor at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis.

In addition to serving as president of the Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court, he has been president of the Tennessee Junior Bar Association and the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and a life member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. He is also a leader in his own community, having served as president of the Memphis Orchestral Society, Goodwill Homes for Children, and Temple Israel.

The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, inspires the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education, and mentoring. The organization's membership includes nearly 30,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in nearly 370 chapters nationwide. More information is available at

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