William G. Colvin

William G. Colvin

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Mr. Colvin tries cases in the areas of construction, plaintiff personal injury, particularly medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and insurance coverage litigation. He has been recognized as a Mid-South Super Lawyer for plaintiff personal injury litigation continuously since 2012. He was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Litigation-Construction in 2017 and 2018, and also for Litigation - Insurance in 2018.  He was recently selected as a Charter Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America. 

He has developed a unique career in Chattanooga, serving individuals in mass tort and Multi-District Litigation involving personal injury as well as representing businesses, property owners and insurers in construction litigation. In mass tort and multi-district litigation cases, he has served on discovery committees, as class counsel, and as a judicial appointee to a common benefit fee review committee. As plaintiffs' counsel in personal injury and commercial litigation over the last fifteen years, he has helped clients recover over $150,000,000 in damages. In construction litigation, he has successfully represented property owners and contractors in commercial and residential disputes and has obtained summary judgments for insurers in construction-related coverage disputes.

In all areas of his practice, he has served as local counsel, collaborating with other attorneys from around the nation in a variety of complex cases. In 2015, he was part of the trial team that won the longest civil jury trial in Hamilton County that resulted in the largest plaintiff verdict in county history in a breach of fiduciary duty case. He is also a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Mediator for general civil litigation.

Mr. Colvin has given presentations on issues relating to construction law, expert testimony and complex litigation. He has published articles on insurance coverage, electronic communications in litigation, and arbitration. He is a founding member and past President of the Brock-Cooper American Inns of Court and Founding Member of the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel.

Mr. Colvin is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga teaching a graduate level class on construction law in the construction management degree program. He served on active duty with the U. S. Navy from 1973 to 1976.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, he has been married for 39 years to Jane Colvin. He enjoys time with their daughters, sons-in-law and granddaughters, golf, jogging and his church.

Areas of Practice

  • Plaintiff Personal Injury Matters (Especially Medical Devices and Drugs)
  • Construction Litigation
  • Insurance Coverage Litigation
  • General Civil Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1979
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee, 2007
  • Federal Claims Court, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1998


  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
    • J.D. cum laude - 1979
    • Law Journal: American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Articles Editor
  • Vanderbilt University
    • B.A. - 1973

Published Works

  • “Important Issues for Insurance Coverage”, Commercial Network Magazine, June 2006
  • “Electronic Warfare in the World of Business: Discovery of Electronic Communications and Information in Litigation”, Commercial Network Magazine, May 2005
  • “Arbitration: Boon or Bust?”, Commercial Network Magazine, November 2001
  • “Beware When Tenants Go Under”, Real Estate Today, vol. 26, no. 9, October 1993

Representative Cases

  • American & Foreign Ins. Co. v. Sequatchie Concrete Svcs., Inc., 441 F.3d 341, 2006 Fed.App. 0058P (6th Cir. (Tenn.), 2006)
  • Wilton Corp. v. Ashland Castings Corp., 188 F.3d 670, 1999 Fed.App. 0304P (6th Cir. (Tenn.), 1999)
  • Olin Corp. v. Yeargin Inc., 146 F.3d 398, 46 ERC 1801, 28 Envtl. L. Rep. 21,362, 1998 Fed.App. 0185P (6th Cir. (Tenn.), 1998)
  • Penn Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Cleveland Mall Associates, 916 F.Supp. 715 (E.D.Tenn., 1996)
  • Penn Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Cleveland Mall Associates, 841 F.Supp. 815 (E.D.Tenn., 1993)
  • Stott v. Bunge Corp., 800 F.Supp. 567 (E.D.Tenn., 1992)
  • City of Tullahoma v. Bedford County, 938 S.W.2d 408 (Tenn., 1997)
  • Tri Am Construction, Inc. v. J & V Development, 2012 WL 3847166, (No. E2010–01952–COA–R9–CV) (Tenn. Ct. App., 2011, perm. app. denied 2012)
  • Wise Construction LLC v. Boyd, 2011 WL 864388, (No. E2009–01899–COA–R3–CV) (Tenn. Ct. App., 2011, perm. app. denied, 2011)
  • Wagner v. Fleming, 139 S.W. 3d 295, (Tenn. Ct. App., 2004)
  • Oliver v. Hydro-Vac Services Inc., 873 S.W.2d 694 (Tenn. Ct. App., 1993)
  • Peoples Bank of Elk Valley v. ConAgra Poultry Co., 832 S.W.2d 550 (Tenn. Ct. App., Dec 06, 1991)
  • Dodd v. Varady, 799 S.W.2d 216 (Tenn. Ct. App., 1990)
  • Kaley by Lanham v. Union Planters Nat. Bank of Memphis, Tenn., 775 S.W.2d 607, 10 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 153 (Tenn. Ct. App., 1988)


  • Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Construction Law, Spring semester, 2012, 2013; Summer 2014
  • “The Trial of A Lifetime: the Canyon Ridge Litigation” Brock-Cooper Inns of Court, 2016, Chattanooga Bar Association, December 2016
  • “Financial Issues in the Contract for Construction”, Chattanooga Chapter, Construction Financial Management Association, 2010
  • “Changes in the Tennessee Contractors Licensing Law and Bid Document Requirements”, AGC of East Tennessee, 2009
  • “Expert/Opinion Testimony - What Does McDaniel/Daubert Really Say?”, Chattanooga Bar Association, 2009
  • “Proposed Changes to The Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct”, Chattanooga Bar Association, 2009
  • “Science in the Courtroom – Admissibility of Scientific, Technical and Other Specialized Opinion Testimony in Tennessee”, Chattanooga Bar Association, 2007
  • “Changes in the Tennessee Materialmen’s Lien Statute” AGC of East Tennessee, 2007
  • “Construction Delay Claims in Tennessee”, Lorman Educational Services, March 2006
  • “Construction Change Orders in Tennessee”, Lorman Educational Services, September 2005
  • “Mass Torts, Class Actions and MDL’s”, Chattanooga Trial Lawyers, 2003
  • “Solving Water Intrusion and Mold Problems in Tennessee”, Lorman Educational Services, 2003
  • “Workers Compensation in Tennessee and Latex Allergies”, East Tennessee Second District Dental Hygienists Society, 1997
  • “Caution: Environmental Factors May Be Hazardous to Your Sales” Tennessee Real Estate Educational Foundation, 1992
  • “Assessing Environmental Hazards: For the Property Buyer, Seller or Lessee”, Building Owners & Managers Association International (BOMA), 85th Annual Conventional and Office Building Show, 1992
  • “Trying the Automobile Injury Case in Tennessee”, National Business Institute, Inc., 1991
  • “Role of the Paralegal in Complex Litigation”, Tennessee Paralegal Association, 1988

Honors and Awards

  • Mid-South Super Lawyer, Plaintiff Personal Injury, 2013 - 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America for Litigation - Construction, 2017, 2018
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Insurance, 2018
  • Construction Lawyers Society of America, Charter Fellow
  • Martindale–Hubbell Law Directory: AV Preeminent Rating

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Forum of the Construction Industry, Member
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2016 - Present
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, President, 2017
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, Board of Governors, 2014 - 2017
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, Chair, 2015 - 2016
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, Secretary, 2016
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, Treasurer, 2015
  • Chattanooga Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2013 - Present
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, Memorial Committee, Member, 1994 - 1998
  • Chattanooga Bar Association, Medical – Legal Committee, Chair, 1988 - 1989
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, Founding Member
  • Ray L. Brock & Robert E. Cooper American Inns of Court, Founding Member
  • Ray L. Brock & Robert E. Cooper American Inns of Court, Master, President, 2004 - 2005
  • Ray L. Brock & Robert E. Cooper American Inns of Court, Vice President, 2003 - 2004
  • Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors, 1993, 1995 – 1996
  • Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee, Inc., Board Member, 1999 - 2008

Past Employment Positions

  • Horton, Maddox & Anderson, November 27, 2006 - September 1, 2008
  • Shumacker Witt Gaither & Whitaker, July 1, 2002 - November 22, 2006
  • Shumacker & Thompson, P.C., 1984 - 2002
  • Goins, Gammon, Baker, Robinson & Knight, Partner, 1982 - 1984
  • Goins, Gammon, Baker, Robinson & Knight, Associate, 1979 - 1982
  • United States Navy Reserve, Active Reserve, 1977 - 1978
  • United States Navy Reserve, Active Duty, 1973 - 1976

Pro Bono Activities

  • Girls Preparatory School Parents Council (1996 – 1999, President 1998 – 1999)
  • Girls Preparatory School Board of Trustees (1997 – 1999)
  • Young Life, Chattanooga Area Committee
  • Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, Deacon
  • McCallie School Alumni Council

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William G. Colvin
801 Broad St.
Ste. 428
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Phone: 423-551-9750
Fax: 423-267-5915
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