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John W. Wheeler

E-mail MeJohn W. Wheeler

Of Counsel
Knoxville, Tennessee

John W. Wheeler has a record of extensive service to the legal profession. After serving as East Tennessee vice president, district governor, and vice president, he served as president of the Tennessee Bar Association in 1989-1990. He has been a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates since 1986. He served as a member of the Tennessee Appellate Court Study Commission, chair of a U.S. Magistrate merit selection panel and as a member of merit selection panels in appointment of two U.S. Bankruptcy judges. He is Chairman of the Historical Society of the U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, and a founder and member of the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society. His professional memberships include the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, Defense Research Institute, International Association of Defense Counsel, American Inns of Court in which he is a Master of the Bench (Emeritus), Southern Conference of Bar Presidents, and National Conference of Bar Presidents. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and among Mid-South Super Lawyers. He is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation in which he serves as Tennessee Chair of the Fellows, and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. Mr. Wheeler graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1960 and was an Army officer and newspaper editor before entering the legal profession. In 1968, he received his law degree from the University of Tennessee. He was a member of the Board of Editors of Tennessee Law Review. He has been a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court since 1974. His primary areas of practice are commercial litigation, workers' compensation and insurance defense, and class action defense. He is an approved mediator under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 and in the U.S. District Court.

AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale Hubbell

Areas of Practice

  • Civil Litigation
  • Workers Compensation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Tort Law
  • Mediation
  • Class Action Defense

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1968
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1968
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1974


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • J.D. - 1968
    • Law Review: Tennessee Law Review, Board of Editors
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • B.S. - 1960

Representative Clients

  • Aetna Casualty & Surety
  • Ernst & Whinney
  • Fireman's Fund
  • Knoxville Utilities Board


  • First American Bank, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Foster D. Arnett, Attorney, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • T. Maxfield Bahner, Attorney, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • John Zawistoski, Attorney, Rutland, Vermont

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for 10 years
  • President, Tennessee Bar Association, 1989-1990
  • Chairman, Historical Society of United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
  • Founding Member, Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society
  • United States Bankruptcy Judge Merit Selection Panel, Eastern District of Tennessee, 2002-2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Knoxville Bar Association
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Board of Governors, 1979 - 1980
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Presently President-Elect, 1981 - Present
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Tennessee Defense Lawyers
  • American Inns of Court (Master of the Bench Emeritus), Hamilton Burnett Chapter
  • American Bar Foundation (Life Fellow; Tennessee Chair)
  • Tennessee Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Sixth Circuit Judicial conference (Life Member)
  • Southern Conference of Bar Presidents


  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Sigma Delta Chi

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More Than 80 Years of History

We serve the needs of a range of clients, including Tennessee residents and out-of-state clients, throughout eastern Tennessee...

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Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC

Hodges, Doughty & Carson, PLLC
617 W. Main Street, P.O. Box 869
Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: 865-951-7334
Toll Free: 877-504-0012
Fax: 865-292-2321
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