Gary S. Peeples (left) and Charles (Chas) Silvestri Higgins (right) have been voted the two newest members at Burch, Porter & Johnson, said Nathan A. Bicks, managing partner of the firm.

Peeples joined the firm as an associate in 2014, and he concentrates his practice in labor and employment law.  His labor and employment law practice includes advising employers on compliance with federal and state laws and defending employers in federal and state courts.  Beyond his labor and employment law practice, Peeples frequently represents businesses (as plaintiffs and defendants) in commercial litigation.

After obtaining a B.A. and an M.S. from the University of Illinois and graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School (Order of the Coif), Peeples served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jon P. McCalla of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. He then worked as an associate in the labor and employment group at a global law firm in Chicago. Peeples subsequently served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ronald Lee Gilman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Known for his excellent legal writing, Peeples authored a merits-stage amicus brief in Frank v. Gaos, which was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in October 2018. It was the first time in recent history that a Burch Porter lawyer wrote an amicus brief at the merits stage of a case before the Court, though several lawyers in the firm have argued cases before the Court.

Peeples has been active in helping non-profits in the educational setting, is an active member of the local chapter of Inns of Court and the Tennessee Bar Association, and in his free time enjoys playing basketball and reading non-fiction.

Higgins, who joined the firm in 2012, focuses his practice on commercial and business litigation, personal injury and medical malpractice litigation, and on white collar and criminal investigations. He has successfully tried cases in both federal and state courts and represented clients before local government boards.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Loyola University Chicago, he was a teacher and high school basketball coach in Marianna, Arkansas, as part of Teach for America. He attended the University of Minnesota Law School (Order of the Coif), then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Jon P. McCalla of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee before joining the firm.

Higgins serves as a Trustee for the William R. Moore College of Technology, and has also served as a member of several other community boards, including Frayser Community Schools/MLK Jr. Preparatory High School, the Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee, and Memphis Challenge.

“We are proud to welcome Gary and Chas as members,” said Bicks. “Both of them are excellent attorneys and we look forward to seeing them continue to serve our clients and Memphis for many years to come.”