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130 North Court Ave
Memphis TN 38103
Fax: 901.524.5024

Admitted to Practice

Tennessee, 1961

United States Supreme Court, 1965

Bar Admissions

American Bar Association

Tennessee Bar Association

Memphis Bar Association

Mike Cody’s practice is presently focused on the mediation and arbitration of complex commercial disputes, as well as commercial litigation, internal investigations, and regulatory matters.

Mr. Cody began his practice at the firm in 1961 and, except for his years in public service, has been with Burch, Porter & Johnson since that time. He served as the Attorney General of Tennessee from 1984 to 1988, was the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee from 1977 to 1981, and served on the Memphis City Council from 1975 to 1977.

He has represented major corporations across the United States in a wide variety of litigation and in matters before state attorneys general and regulatory agencies. In 2005, he was appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the Tennessee Commission on Ethics, charged by the Governor of Tennessee with revising state ethics laws. In 2010, Mr. Cody was elected co-chair of the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus or SAGE. One of the founding members of the group, he is only the second co-chair in SAGE's history.


  • Rhodes College (Honorary Doctor of Laws, 1989)
  • University of Virginia (J.D., 1961), Phi Delta Phi
  • Rhodes College (B.A., 1958), with distinction, Omicrom Delta Kappa


  • Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Rhodes College (2018-present)
  • Co-Chair, Society of Attorneys General Emeritus (2010)
  • Co-Chair, Governor's Commission on Ethics in Government (2005)
  • Adjunct Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Law (1987-1988)
  • Attorney General, State of Tennessee (1984-1988)
  • Personally argued four cases before the United States Supreme Court:
    - Rose v. Rose, 481 U.S. 619 (1987)
    - Rose v. Clark, 478 U.S. 570 (1986)
    - Alexander v. Choate, 469 U.S. 287 (1985)
    - Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)
  • Adjunct Professor, Memphis State University School of Law (1981)
  • United States Attorney for Western District of Tennessee (1977-1981)
  • At Large Member, Memphis City Council (1975-1977)
  • Adjunct Professor, Lemoyne Owen College (1970-1972)
  • Adjunct Professor, Southwestern (1969-1973)
  • First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Reserve (1961-1967)
  • Admitted to Tennessee Bar in 1961

Legal and Professional Development

  • Member, Advisory Committee, Community Legal Center (2018-2019)
  • Founder, Memphis Neighborhood Legal Services (predecessor to Memphis Area Legal Services)
  • Co-Chair for TBA Racial and Ethnic Diversity Task Force (2008)
  • Chair, Memphis and Shelby County Crime Commission (1997-1998)
  • Advisory Group Chairman of Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990
  • Member, Judicial Council, State of Tennessee (1984-1988)
  • Judicial Conference, State of Tennessee (1984-1988)
  • Tennessee Code Commission (1984-1988)
  • Tennessee Sentencing Commission (1984-1988)
  • Attorney General's Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys (1979-1980)
  • Past President, Southern Association of Attorneys General
  • Tennessee Environmental Council
  • Life Member, Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Tennessee Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution
  • Past Chair, Tennessee Chapter of United States Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Past Vice President, Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Member, Supreme Court Commission on Indigent Defense
  • Memphis and Shelby County Sports Authority
  • Member, American Arbitration Association's National Panel of Arbitrators
  • Past Chair, American College of Trial Lawyers' Attorney-Client Relations Committee
  • Member of the AAA National Roster of Neutrals

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Recipient, The Luminary Award, Memphis City'shighest honor (2020)
  • Named Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" for Mediation in the Memphis area (2019)
  • Named to the Best Lawyers in America© list (2006-2010) and in the practice areas of Arbitration and Mediation (2011-2021)
  • Recipient, Tri-State Defender Newspaper 65th Anniversary Legend Honor (2017)
  • Recipient, Rhodes College Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution (2007-2017)
  • Named Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" for Mediation in the Memphis area (2014)
  • Named Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" for Arbitration in the Memphis area (2013)
  • Named Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" for Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Memphis area (2011)
  • Recipient, Lifetime Achievement Award, International Academy of Mediators (2010)
  • Named to the "Top 100 Tennessee Super Lawyers" list (2009-2010)
  • Named to the "Top 50 Memphis Super Lawyers" list (2009-2010)
  • Recipient, National Bar Association's Outstanding Community Service Award (2008)
  • Recipient, Francis X. Bellotti Award, National Association of Attorneys General (2007)
  • Recipient, Memphis Bar Association's Lawyer's Lawyer Award (2001)
  • Member, Tennessee Supreme Court Board of Professional Responsibility (1990-1992)
  • Fellow, Memphis Bar Foundation, Tennessee Bar Foundation, and American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Tennessee Academy of Mediators and Arbitrators
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Attorneys in Business
  • Listed in Business Tennessee magazine as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Tennessee”

Publications and Presentations of Note

Community Involvement

  • Member, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
  • Member, Memphis Amateur Sports Hall of Fame
  • Member, Rhodes College Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Member, Board of Directors of the National Civil Rights Museum
  • Vice Chair, Memphis and Shelby County Library Foundation
  • Vice Chair, Memphis Travel Aid Society
  • Board of Trustees, Leadership Memphis
  • Board of Directors, Memphis YMCA
  • President of Board of Trustees, Lausanne Collegiate School (2007)
  • President, Memphis in May (1996)
  • Appointed by Governor as a Commissioner for Goodwyn Institute Commission

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W.J. Michael Cody
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W.J. Michael Cody
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