The American Inns of Court honored T. Maxfield Bahner, senior counsel at Chattanooga law firm Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., at the Celebration of Excellence in the nation’s capital on Oct. 20. Mr. Bahner received the 2018 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Sixth Circuit.
Mr. Bahner is a life trustee of the University of Chattanooga Foundation, Inc. The Foundation’s other life trustees are local philanthropists Joe Decosimo, John Guerry and Jim Kennedy, Jr.
The American Inns of Court selects honorees whose "life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity alongside ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and rule of law."
During the ceremony, Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, recognized each circuit awardee and told guests that Mr. Bahner was described as both iconic and one of the most beloved lawyers in Tennessee.
“Max Bahner is lauded for his commitment to professionalism, ethics and mentoring – as well as his leadership, community service and strongly held belief in the law as a profession of service,” said Chief Judge Stewart. “Those who work for him and with him extol his assistance to young lawyers, helping them not just to enjoy the practice of law, but to love it and cherish the unique opportunities it presents. He is frequently heard to say that if he had to live his life ten times over, he would live it as a lawyer.”
Mr. Bahner’s practice concentration is primarily in complex litigation, and he’s a senior member of Chambliss Law Firm’s litigation section. His mediation experience includes contract disputes, health care related matters and disputes between insurers and physician groups.
Mr. Bahner was chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court Advisory Commission on the Rules of Civil Procedure. He chaired the Task Force that reviewed and recommended changes to the Tennessee Rules of Judicial Conduct.
Mr. Mr. Bahner is emeritus master of the bench in the Justices Ray L. Brock, Jr.–Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court. He is a founding fellow of the Tennessee and Chattanooga bar foundations and a life fellow of the American Bar Association. He served nearly 17 years in the association’s House of Delegates, leading the Tennessee delegation for nine years.
Bahner holds a bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College, where he chaired the board of trustees for five years, and he graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1960.