Biography Photo of John E Anderson

John E. Anderson, Sr.

Mr. Anderson's professional experience is highlighted by over 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer, representing clients in state and federal courts throughout the state of Tennessee. He represents major corporations, small businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and individuals in their litigation-related needs. He has served as lead counsel in numerous jury and bench trials and has argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Supreme Court, and the Tennessee Court of Appeals. His experience includes extensive work handling complex commercial and business litigation, general litigation, products liability litigation, and transportation litigation.  Mr. Anderson is the head of the firm's Transportation Practice Group.

Education & Credentials


University of Tennessee

B.S., 1984
  • With Honors

Washington and Lee University School of Law

J.D., 1989

Graduate, International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy - Boulder, CO


Bar Admission

  • Tennessee


  • The Best Lawyers in America® 
    • Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law, 2018-2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Insurance Law, 2022
  • A.M. Best's Directory
    • Recommended Insurance Attorneys
  • Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing, Tennessee Bar Association, 2014
  • Nashville Bar Foundation
    • Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating

Representative Clients

  • Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC
  • Cabela's Inc.
  • Church Mutual Insurance Company
  • Electrolux Home Products, Inc.
  • General Casualty Insurance Company
  • Hanover Insurance Company
  • Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Kirkland’s, Inc.
  • Next Level Instructional Baseball, LLC
  • QBE of the Americas
  • Seterus, Inc.
  • Sodexo, Inc.
  • SunTrust Bank
  • T.H.E. Insurance Company
  • Waste Management, Inc.

Prominent Assignments

State and Federal Court Litigator since 1989.

Awarded EEOC dismissal in defense of automotive dealership brought by a former employee. After investigation, the EEOC dismissed the charge of disability discrimination without issuing a cause finding.

Successful representation of automotive Tier 2 supplier in dispute with Tier 1 supplier. The dispute involved the termination of supply agreement based upon the provisions of the Terms and Conditions and the uniform commercial code. The case proceeded in arbitration and was halted by a bankruptcy filing.

Defense of a claim involving a license and master service agreement where each party to the agreement alleged breach of contract. The case was resolved in pre-suit mediation with a confidential settlement.

Successful defense of breach of contract and bad faith litigation brought against insurance company client for alleged wrongful denial of a claim of roof damage to several commercial roofs owned by the Plaintiff. The case involved a six-day jury trial in Federal Court in Memphis. The Plaintiff asked the jury to award $2.5 million and the jury returned a defense verdict. 

Successful representation of numerous clients in the automobile industry in a variety of commercial litigation matters.

Successfully defended LLC member in dissolution and breach of fiduciary duty action while obtaining full ownership of health care company for client and enforcing non-compete agreement against rogue member.

Successfully negotiated a restructuring of secured debt for health care company and obtained dismissal of related commercial litigation initiated by secured lender. 

Representation of shopping center purchaser in a case against the property owner seeking enforcement of the terms of the purchase contract for recovery of due diligence expenses. Case was resolved favorably for our client prior to filing suit.

Obtained summary judgment of product liability case representing the manufacturer of a medical implant device. Dismissal was upheld on appeal by the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Represented large automotive brake manufacturer for false designation and trademark infringement to judgment which was the first appellate reported case in State Court in Tennessee granting money judgment under the Lanham Act.

Successful representation of numerous manufacturers and retail sellers in products liability litigation, including manufacturers of household kitchen and laundry products, medical implant devices, farm products, conveyor systems, animal vaccines, and automotive products.

Successful representation of numerous insurance companies in a variety of matters, including coverage disputes and representation of insureds in various civil litigation matters, including automobile accidents, construction disputes, and general civil litigation.

Successful representation of shippers, carriers, transportation brokers and warehousemen in a variety of cargo claims including claims brought under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (“COGSA”) and the Carmack Amendment.

Professional Involvement

  • Member, Federal Bar Association 
    • Co-Chair, Surface Transportation Committee, Transportation and Transportation Security Law Section
  • Member, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
    • Vice Chair, Transportation Section
    • Commercial Litigation, Insurance Industry and Transportation Sections 
  • Member, Tennessee Automobile Manufacturers Association
  • Member, Nashville Bar Association 
  • Member, Tennessee Bar Association  
  • Member, Transportation Lawyers Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Sigma Chi Bar Association
  • Member, Japan-America Society of Tennessee, Inc. (golf committee)
  • Member of Recruiting Committee, Dickinson Wright PLLC

Community Involvement

  • Sigma Chi Fraternity
  • Prior Member - University of Tennessee Board of Governors
  • Prior Officer - University of Tennessee, Davidson County Alumni 


    • United States Supreme Court
    • United States Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit
    • United States District Court for Eastern, Middle and Western Districts
    • Tennessee State Courts


    • Author, Sixth Circuit Allows Both Punitive Damages and Bad Faith Damages Against Insurance Company on Bad Faith Refusal to PayDickinson Wright Client Alert, February 2019
    • Author, The U.S. Truck Driver Shortage: Mitigating Risk and Liability, FDCC Blog, April 2017 
    • Author, Adjusting to the Auto Industry’s Safety Whistleblower Program, Fleet Management Weekly, October 2016
    • Author, Three Perspectives on Pipeline Transportation, Federal Bar Association Transportation and Transportation Security Law Section, Winter, 2016
    • Author, Drones: 3 Legal Issues Businesses Should Heed, Nashville Business Journal, January 6, 2016
    • Author, Four Questions Business Owners Should Ask About Drones, The Tennessean, December 20, 2015
    • Author, Tennessee Supreme Court Modifies Summary Judgment Standard, Dickinson Wright Client Alert, December 9, 2015
    • Author, What the IRS Reminds Us About Email Privacy, The Tennessean, July 11, 2014
    • Co-author, 2013 Case Law Review Under the Carmack Amendment, The Federal Lawyer, Vol. 61, Issue 3, p. 18. (Apr. 2014)
    • Co-author, Beware the Email Account: Protecting Attorney-Client Communications, Computer and Internet Lawyer, Vol. 31, No. 4, at 1 (CCH Inc. Apr. 2014)
    • Author, Tennessee Court of Appeals Interprets Exclusionary Clause in Automobile Casualty Insurance Policy, The National Law Review, January 30, 2014.
    • Co-author, International Shipments and the Eroding Application of the Carmack Amendment, Journal of Transportation Law, Logistics and Policy, October 2013.
    • Co-author, We Know . . . You’ve Got Mail: Attorneys Face Challenges in Protecting Client Communications in the Age of Email, Tennessee Bar Journal, December 2013.
    • International Shipments and the Eroding Application of the Carmack Amendment, TransLaw, Federal Bar Association Transportation and Transportation Security Law Section, Spring 2013.
    • Wausau Insurance Company v. Dorsett, 172 S.W.3d 538 (Tenn. 2005)
    • United Brake Systems, Inc. v. American Environmental Protection, Inc., 963 S.W.2d 749 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997)
    • Christ Lutheran Church v. Equitable Church Builders, Inc., 909 S.W.2d 451 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995)
    • Presenter – “Voir Dire – Finding Sympathetic Jurors” – Nashville Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program
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