Duane Willis has 17 years’ experience in civil litigation, with a strong emphasis on general civil litigation defense matters including workers’ compensation, automobile and trucking liability, premises liability, and products liability. In addition, Duane has significant experience both at the state and federal levels on numerous employment law and black lung claims. Throughout his tenure as an attorney, Duane has successfully defended numerous claims in both bench and jury trials.
Duane has also successfully handled cases before the appellate courts of Tennessee, including the Full Tennessee Supreme Court. In 2012 Duane was solely responsible for the decision in Troy Mitchell v. Fayetteville Public Utilities, Supreme Court Case No. M2011-00410-SC-R3-WC, which changed the Tennessee state standard and revived the defenses of willful misconduct and willful failure to use a safety device.
Duane is licensed to practice law in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Federal Courts for the Sixth Circuit, Western and Middle District of Tennessee . He has previously been a managing attorney for a large law firm, managing their Memphis and Nashville offices; and a partner with another firm in Nashville, Tennessee.
In addition to practicing law, Duane has presented seminars for clients, adjusters, and other attorneys on Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Laws, and edited portions of several workers compensation volumes. Duane has been involved in the recent law changes regarding the new administrative claims system for workers compensation in Tennessee, and continues to assist clients in making this transition. He is also involved in fundraising for many special needs charities, including Gigi’s Playhouse, Best Buddies, the Special Olympics and the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee.
- Attorneys’ Fees Decision in Andrews v. Yates Services, LLC (May 17, 2018)
- Supreme Court Affirms Denial and Reaffirms Burden of Proof for Employees (August 7, 2017)
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
Areas of Practice
- Insurance Law and Defense
- Workers Compensation
- Automobile and Trucking Liability
- Employment Law
- Products Liability
- Premises Liability
- Black Lung Litigation
- American Bar Association
- Tennessee Bar Association
- Nashville Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Trial Tactics Committee and Ethics Committee member
- University of Maryland, Munich Campus, Munich, Germany, A.A. cum laude 1992
- Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, B.S. cum laude 1995
- University of Tennessee – Knoxville, J.D. 1998