Robert H. Watson, Jr. (1945 - 2014)



Robert Watson has been engaged in complex litigation involving issues of civil rights, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, corporate litigation, etc. He has defended more than a 1,000 different clients in civil rights cases in Tennessee. He is Chief Trial Attorney for the Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool and has represented numerous cities, doctors, lawyers, police officers, sheriffs, etc. throughout Tennessee. Mr. Watson has represented both Knox County and its employees as well as Knoxville and its employees for over 25 years. He is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has been listed as a Tennessee Civil Trial Specialist since 1996. Mr. Watson has briefed and argued numerous cases in the Tennessee Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Supreme Court, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts in Tennessee and all state courts of Tennessee. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Knoxville Bar Association, and the Tennessee Bar Association. He is included in the Martindale-Hubbell, American Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and has held its AV rating for 20 years. He is listed in the Mid-South Super Lawyers for 2006 to the present. He is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. In 2012, Mr. Watson was elected a Fellow of the Knoxville Bar Foundation.

Mr. Watson is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee College of Law (B.S., 1968; J.D., 1970). He is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Lincoln Memorial University's Duncan School of Law and member of the Lincoln Memorial University Board of Trustees.


Civil Defense Litigation
Civil Rights Defense
Professional Liability


Spears v. Ruth, 589 F.3d 249 (6th Cir. Tenn. 2009).
Deselm v. Owings, 2009 WL 1470704 (Tenn.Ct.App. 2009).
Cusatis v. Casey, 2009 WL 3460451 (Tenn.Ct.App. 2009)
King v. Sevier County Election Commission, et al., 2008 WL 2938052 (Tenn.Ct.App. 2008).
Davenport v. Causey, 521 F.3d 544 (6th Cir. Tenn., 2008).
Jordan v. Knox County, 213 S.W.3d 751 (Tenn. 2007).
Wilson v. Morgan, 477 F.3d 326 (2007).
Moody v. Hutchison, 247 S.W.3d 187 (Tenn.Ct.App. 2007).
Gillispie v. City of Knoxville, 2006 WL 1005155 (Tenn.Ct.App. 2006).
Norris v. East Tennessee Children's Hospital, 195 S.W.3d 78, 2005 WL 2860190 (Tenn.Ct.App. 2005).
Ross v. City of Gatlinburg, 113 Fed.Appx. 113, 2004 WL 2413386 (6th Cir. Tenn., 2003).
Sharpe v. Cureton, 319 F.3d 259 (6th Cir. Tenn., 2003).
Sharp v. Lindsey, 285 F.3d 479 (6th. Cir. Tenn., 2002).
Bennett v. Putnam County, 47 S.W.3d 438 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2000).
Smith v. Thornburg, 136 F.3d 1070 (6th Cir. Tenn., 1998).
Ellison v. Cocke County, Tennessee, 63 F.3d 467 (6th Cir. Tenn., 1995).
Guity v. Kandilakis, 821 S.W.2d 595 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1991).
Loy v. North Bros. Co., 787 S.W.2d 916 (Tenn.Ct.App. 1990).
Kennedy v. City of Spring City, 780 S.W.2d 164 (Tenn. 1989).
Brandenburg v. Cureton, 882 F.2d. 211 (6th Cir. Tenn., 1989).
Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Butcher, 116 F.R.D. 196 (E.D. Tenn., Oct. 30, 1986).
Bryant v. Jefferson City, 701 S.W. 626 (Tenn. Ct. App., 1985).
Doherty v. City of Maryville, 2011 WL 2312080 (6th Cir. 2011)
Brumley v. City of Cleveland, 2011 WL 1326239 (Tenn.Ct.App.)

Update of civil rights and tort law under the Governmental Tort Liability Act - Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association Summer Seminar, June 11, 2012.

Importance and impact of recent Supreme Court decisions on issues police chiefs and their officers encounter on a day to day basis - Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, May 31, 2012.

History and discussion on the ever changing and evolving area of civil rights litigation - Spring Conference of the Tennessee County Attorneys Association, May 5, 2012.

Defending Legal Malpractice – Knoxville Bar Association, 2008.

Trial Tactics – Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 2003 and 2005.

Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool Seminar 2006.

Expert Witnesses – Knoxville Bar Association, 2001.

Civil Rights Update – National Institute for Municipal Law Officers, 1989.

Numerous lectures to Tennessee Municipal Attorney Association, Lectures to County Attorney Association, and Tennessee Trial Attorneys.


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