April 26, 2023
We regret to share that former Nashville School of Law professor Mr. Tom Carlton passed away on April 22, 2023, after a brief illness, at the age of 85.
Admired by many lawyers in Nashville and his NSL family, Tom was known for his passion for the law and always having a kind word.
He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1960. Then, in 1965, Tom graduated from Nashville School of Law, only to come back years later to teach Moot Court I from 1978 to 2016.
“Tom was a proud graduate of the Nashville School of Law and enjoyed teaching Moot Court. He loved to share what he learned over the years and mentor law students and young lawyers. He always treated others with respect,” said NSL Professor of Civil Trial Practice and Tom’s law partner Dan Berexa.
“Tom was a fine lawyer and a good man. His many contributions to NSL and its students are woven into the fabric of the school’s history” said NSL Dean William C. Koch, Jr.
“As a young lawyer, one of my bosses had a case with Tom and I covered several depositions. Tom was very kind to me then and later, and I’ve always admired him very much,” said NSL Professor of Domestic Trial Practice Phil Newman.
Tom became a partner at Cornelius & Collins in 1975 where he practiced law for more than 50 years until retiring in 2022. He was an active member of the American, Tennessee, and Nashville Bar Associations.
“There was no better example of civility, in and out of the courtroom, and mastery of the skills of a trial lawyer. He was genuine and could connect with jurors, and even opposing counsel, in such a way that they liked and respected him,” said Berexa.
In a statement from Cornelius & Collins, his colleagues shared these words, “Tom had a way of charming jurors, making friends of adversaries, and was a mentor to countless young lawyers. He was a great storyteller, loved to laugh, and never missed his daily crossword puzzle. Tom was dedicated to his family, his faith, and will be dearly missed.”
Tom Carlton is survived by his wife Kathy, his children, and grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Friday, April 28 from 4:00-7:00. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, April 29 at 10:00 am with a visitation prior from 9:00-10:00. All services will be held at Saint Henry Church, 6401 Harding Road, Nashville, TN 37205.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Nashville School of Law (4013 Armory Oaks Drive, Nashville, TN 37204) or Father Ryan High School (700 Norwood Dr, Nashville, TN 37204.