Attorney J. Steven Collins
J. Steven Collins is an experienced litigation attorney practicing in areas including employment law, domestic relations and premises liability. For 30 years, he has used his professional acumen and experience to achieve the legal needs of his clients—getting them where they need to be when they need to be there. He has achieved an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and serves in an Of Counsel role in Spicer Rudstrom’s Knoxville office.
Steve’s practice has involved defending and representing parties in the grocery, financial, manufacturing, not-for-profit and trucking industries, as well as providing counsel on government compliance, hiring agreements and severance packages for employers. He has also handled numerous wills contests. Steve is a member of the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution, Insurance Law, Business and Corporate Law, Employment Law, Family and Domestic Law, Retail and Hospitality, Products Liability, Trucking and Transportation and Wills and Probate Proceedings practice areas.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Steve was awarded the Order of the Coif and the Chancellor’s Citation for Extraordinary Academic Achievement. Before joining Spicer Rudstrom, he was a founding member of Burroughs Collins and Newcomb in Knoxville. He has been a frequent lecturer to clients, the business community and colleagues and has served as an adjunct professor on litigation practice skills, pre-trial procedure and appellate practice for both Pellissippi State Technical Community College and the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Steve’s bachelor’s degree is in education and history, and for nearly five years after college, he was an educator and motivator for inner-city and delinquent youth. He taught history, economics and English at Melrose and Southside High schools in Memphis and later taught a range of subjects, as well as guidance on recreation, athletics and jobs, at Cooper House Child and Family Services in Knoxville. The advice of three important women in his life—his mother, aunt and wife—led him to pursue higher academic studies and another vocation where he could live out his passion for helping others. Steve chose law school and graduated with his J.D. with highest honors in 1986.
A Memphis native, Steve’s brush with fame took place at a very early age, when, as family lore is told, his baby-sitter crossed paths with a young Elvis Presley, who, wanting to spend time with her, pushed Steve’s baby carriage while on a walk. Traces of his Memphis heritage can be found in the meals he most enjoys cooking—Southern-style dinners of barbecue, pot roast, fresh garden vegetables, corn bread and fried okra. Away from work, Steve’s favorite pastime is piling his family, friends and dogs into his Pathfinder and heading for the mountaintops of southern Appalachia. He and his wife have four grown children and four smart and lovely granddaughters.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Business and Corporate Law
Employment Practices Litigation
Family and Domestic Law
Insurance Defense Litigation
Retail and Hospitality
Trucking and Transportation
Wills and Probate Proceedings
Rule 31 Listed General Civil/Family Mediator, Tennessee Supreme Court (2016)
University of Tennessee College of Law (J.D., with highest honors, 1986)
University of Tennessee (B.S., with honors, 1978)
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (1993)
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee (1988)
Tennessee Human Rights Commission
Tennessee Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims
Tennessee Trial and Appellate Courts
Tennessee Supreme Court
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
United States Court of Appeals
Awards and Accomplishments
AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
Top Rated Lawyer, Labor and Employment, Martindale-Hubbell
Master of the Bench, American Inns of Court
CityView Top Attorneys, Auto Accidents, Employment Law, Workers’ Compensation
Knoxville Bar Association (General Counsel, 2009-2013; President, 2006; Treasurer, 2004; Secretary, 2003; Member, Board of Governors, 2000 – 2007; Co-Chair, Professionalism Committee, 1999 – 2005; Membership Services Committee, 1996; CLE Committee Chair, 1994 – 1995)
Tennessee Bar Association (Special Committee on Workers’ Compensation, 2004; Statewide Chair of the Litigation Section, 2001)
American Bar Association (Employment Law and Litigation Sections)
American Institute for Property and Casualty Underwriters