John J. Heflin, III is a seasoned attorney at Bourland Heflin Alvarez Minor & Matthews, PLC (BHAMM), focusing on business and commercial litigation cases and serving as chair of the firm’s litigation practice. With more than 40 years of experience preparing and trying bench and jury trials in both state and federal trial courts, as well as in briefing and arguing appeals before state and federal appellate courts, John adeptly guides complex commercial disputes to resolution, whether by negotiation, litigation, arbitration, or mediation.

John is a certified and experienced mediator and is frequently retained by other lawyers to mediate business disputes. However, when litigation is the preferred or inescapable course of action, John has aggressively and assertively litigated claims involving breach of contract, business tort claims, insurance coverage disputes, intellectual property rights, unfair competition, misappropriation of and/or protection of trade secrets, securities regulation and securities fraud, defamation and trade libel, construction, environmental, ERISA, employment disputes including employee restrictive covenants, professional liability claims, premises liability claims, trust and estate claims, and disputes arising out of the purchase, sale, dissolution, or control of businesses.


  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1978
  • Vanderbilt University, College of Arts & Sciences, B.A., 1975
  • Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, high school degree 1972

Memberships, Licenses & Certifications

  • Memphis Bar Association, 1978-present
    • Fellow
    • President, 2004
    • President-Elect, 2003
    • Treasurer, 2002
    • Secretary, 2001
    • Former Member, Board of Directors and Executive Committee
    • Former Member, Long-Range Planning Committee
    • Former Chairperson, Judicial Evaluations Committee (several terms)
  • Tennessee Bar Association
    • Fellow
  • Master, Leo Bearman Chapter, American Inns of Court
  • Member, Panel of Arbitrators, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) (formerly National Association of Securities Dealers and New York Stock Exchange), 1986-present
  • Admitted to practice before all Tennessee courts, all U.S. district courts in Tennessee, and United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh circuits

Professional Honors & Awards

  • AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, since 1991
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers as one of “Tennessee’s Top 100″ attorneys
  • Best Lawyers in America in areas of commercial litigation, labor and employment litigation, and trusts and estates litigation
  • Memphis Business Quarterly “Power Player” in business litigation
  • 2016 Chair, Campaign for Equal Justice, Memphis Area Legal Services

Representative Reported Cases

  • Buffington v. Legacy & Exit Planning, LLC, 2017 WL 1240155 (Tenn. Ct. App. March 31, 2017)
  • Smith v. Hi-Speed, Inc.,3d, 2016 WL 4546057 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2016)
  • Arvest Bank v. Byrd, 548 Fed. Appx. 324 (6th 3, 2013)
  • Stein Holdings, Inc. v. Goense Bounds Management, L.P., 2013 WL 5436372 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2013)
  • Raleigh Commons, Inc. v. SWH, LLC, 2013 WL 3329016 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 28, 2013)
  • United Inventory Services, Inc. v. Tupperware Brands Corp., 2010 WL 1009978 (U.S.D.C. W.D. Tenn. March 15, 2010)
  • Cordova the Town Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Gill Development Company, Inc., 2008 Tenn.App. Lexis 522, 2008 WL 4253414 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 12, 2008)
  • Lichterman v. Pickwick Pines Marina, Inc., 2007 WL 4287586 (U.S.D.C.N.D. Miss. Dec. 6, 2007)
  • Staple Cotton Co-op. Assoc. v. D.G. and G., Inc., 503 F.Supp.2d 1217 (E.D. Mo. 2007)
  • Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Inc. v. Stewart, Estes & Donnell, 232 S.W.3d 18 (Tenn. 2007)
  • May v. Scott, 388 F.Supp.2d 828, 2005 WL 2249744, 36 Employee Benefits Cas. 2179 (W.D. Tenn. 2005)
  • May v. National Bank of Commerce, 230 F.R.D. 505, 2005 WL 2249745 (W.D. Tenn. 2005)
  • Hill v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 327 F.Supp.2d 886 (E.D. Tenn. 2004)
  • Neely v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 326 F.Supp.2d 871 (E.D. Tenn. 2004)
  • Terry v. Community Bank of Northern Virginia, 255 F.Supp.2d 811, 817 (W.D. Tenn. 2003)
  • Varner Constr. Co. v. Marrs, 2002 WL 818234 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept 18, 2002)
  • Carswell v. Raytheon Employees Disability Trust, 142 F.Supp.2d 939 (E.D. Tenn. 2001)
  • Holmes v. FSR/Tennessee Affordable Housing, 100 F.Supp.2d 804 (W.D. Tenn. 2000)
  • Pearson v. Exxon Corp., 234 F.3d 1269 (6th Cir. 2000)

Community Involvement

  • Member, Second Presbyterian Church
  • Vestry, Calvary Episcopal Church, early 1990s
  • Member, Downtown Memphis Rotary Club, 1984-present
    • Past Chairman, Constitution and Bylaws Committee