Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, sponsored the Tennessee Innocence Project’s (TIP) annual gala last week at Music City Center in Nashville.

The gala titled, “Celebrating Five Years of Fighting for Freedom,” recognizes the accomplishments of the organization – particularly the exoneration over the past five years of five Tennesseans wrongly imprisoned in the state, some for decades.

Exoneree Wayne Burgess

Exoneree Wayne Burgess, pictured here being recognized at the TIP gala, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1999 for the death of his girlfriend’s baby. He spent more than 20 years in a rural Tennessee prison for a crime he did not commit. After more than a year of diligent work by TIP attorneys, the conviction was overturned and vacated on April 13, 2023.

Founded in 2019, TIP is the first full-time innocence organization in the state, and represents individuals making claims of innocence with three focus areas: investigating and litigating actual innocence claims; training law students and attorneys to litigate these specialized claims and to learn processes around prevention; and effectuating change around the origin of wrongful convictions.

Nashville TIP

Lieff Cabraser attorneys and friends celebrate Tennessee Innocence Project’s impact on the community at its annual gala, “Celebrating Five Years of Fighting for Freedom.” (L-R, John Skinner, Wesley Dozier, State Rep. Aftyn Behn, Jennifer Chalos, and Andie McKellar)
Lieff Cabraser Nashville’s Managing Partner Mark Chalos is a member of the Board of Directors for TIP.

“Tennessee Innocence Project does important work to get justice for the wrongly accused,” Chalos said. “We are proud to support this organization.”

Nashville TIP 02

Bob Mendes, Chief Development Officer for the Mayor’s Office, State Rep. Aftyn Behn, and Sue Mendes

Nashville TIP 04

Sue Mendes, Jennifer Chalos, Bob Mendes, and Bryan Pieper

About Lieff Cabraser’s Nashville Office

Along with national work, the Nashville office of national plaintiffs’ firm Lieff Cabraser handles impact cases throughout Tennessee and the South, including litigation relating to fraud on the government, civil rights, employment rights, environmental harm, antitrust, and personal injury/mass tort cases.

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