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James Kendrick Simms

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Firm Name
Thompson Burton PLLC
6100 Tower Circle
Address 2
Suite 200
Name & Address

Franklin, TN 37064

Areas of Practice
Employment & Labor
Google Maps:
6100 Tower Circle, Franklin, TN, USA
Practice Summary
Practice Overview

J.K. Simms is a Partner at Thompson Burton and leads the firm’s employment law practice.

J.K.’s practice is devoted to serving his clients both from a litigation avoidance and litigation defense standpoint. He has nearly two decades of experience representing companies and individuals at the state level and every federal court district throughout Tennessee. He has also handled appeals at the state and federal levels, including briefing and arguing an appeal before a sixteen-judge en banc panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. In addition to J.K.’s focus on advocating for his clients in employment litigation, he devotes a great deal of time conducting training for his clients and advising them in identifying potential employment-related legal issues and resolving day-to-day management and operations issues.

J.K. has represented companies and individuals in the areas of wrongful discharge, retaliation, whistleblower, discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour, Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. J.K. has also stood toe to toe with labor unions, representing companies in collective bargaining agreement negotiations, grievances, and arbitrations and advising them on union avoidance measures.

J.K. has extensive experience representing his clients in the areas of non-compete and trade secret law. He has drafted such agreements and litigated matters regarding the enforcement of such agreements both on behalf of the employer and employee.

J.K.’s recent representative matters include:

  • Obtaining summary judgment and dismissal for corporate client in race, gender and religious discrimination and retaliation lawsuit in United States District Court, affirmed by the U.S. Sixth Circuit of Appeals;
  • Obtaining jury verdict for defendant corporation in employment disability discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court;
  • Obtaining summary judgment for defendant corporation in disability discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court;
  • Obtaining summary judgment for defendant corporation in sexual harassment lawsuit in U.S. District Court;
  • Obtaining dismissal of disability discrimination lawsuit against school principal in U.S. District Court;
  • Obtaining jury verdict for defendant in highly publicized lawsuit against educational institution;
  • Negotiating severance agreements for numerous highly compensated executives;
  • Negotiating employment agreements for professionals and executives;
  • Representing clients in responding to Charges of Discrimination before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
  • Working with corporate client in drafting a comprehensive document retention and destruction plan and litigation hold policy and provide training of workforce throughout Tennessee on the implementation of such policies;
  • Advising corporate and individual clients on non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements;
  • Drafting comprehensive employee handbook and policies and procedures manuals for corporate clients;
  • Representing client in Fair Labor Standards Act collective action case pending in United States District Court;
  • Representing clients in audit by U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division;
  • Advising client on labor union avoidance measures;
  • Representing individuals and corporate clients in claims of breach of non-compete agreement, inducement of breach of contract, tortious interference and unfair competition;
  • Representing corporate client in Charge of Unfair Labor Practice with the National Labor Relations Board;

Every year since 2017, J.K. has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his high caliber of work in the practice area of Employment Law – Management. JK was recognized as “Best of the Bar” by the Nashville Business Journal in 2015 and 2016. He has also been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by the Super Lawyer publication every year since 2014.

In 2019, J.K. was appointed by Tennessee Governor, Bill Lee, to serve on the Tennessee Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals is charged with hearing appeals filed by employees of the State of Tennessee who wish to challenge certain adverse employment actions taken against them.

J.K. received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he served as Lead Editor of Student Materials for the Tennessee Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He has been recognized as a leader among Tennessee lawyers when selected for inclusion in Tennessee Bar Association’s highly selective Leadership Law program, a program for which he now serves on the steering committee.

J.K., his wife, Suzanne, and their three children reside in Franklin, Tennessee.

Rep. Cases/Clients

Lewis v. Humboldt Acquisition Corp., 681 F.3d 312 (6th Cir. 2012)
Link v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Kimber Halliburton, 2012 WL 4506028 (M.D. Tenn. 2012)
Lewis v. Humboldt Acquisition Corp., 634 F.3d 879 (6th Cir. 2011)
Leu v. Embraer Aircraft Maintenance Svcs., Inc. Structural Modification and Repair Technicians, Inc. and Johnson Service Group, 2011 WL 1337405 (M.D. Tenn. 2011)
Cumberland Trust and Investment Company v. Genesis Learning Centers, 2010 WL 2265696 (M.D. Tenn. 2010)
Harris v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Genesis Learning Centers, 2009 WL 483153 (M.D. Tenn. 2009)
Hatcher v. RMR Investment Co., 2005 WL 2338788 (M.D. Tenn. 2005)


All Tennessee State Courts
U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee
U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
United States Supreme Court

Google Reviews
Google Reviews
Thompson Burton PLLC

6100 Tower Cir Suite 200, Franklin, TN 37067, USA

(615) 465-6000

4.6 out of 5 stars

Paul Rubenstein

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

I spoke with Walt Burton regarding Tennessee commercial property tax exposure. Living in Florida, I was unaware of certain specific state taxes. Walt took my call and professionally addressed all my questions. I look forward to hiring this firm in the future for Commercial Property related work.

Piper Noble

5 out of 5 stars

posted 6 months ago

Kevin Thompson helped us navigate the dangerous waters in the industry. He really provides much more value than what he charges. He helped us avoid a number of issues, saving us money and future headaches. He is pragmatic and practical in his advice and we found his conservative yet candid nature...

Renee Brewer

5 out of 5 stars

posted a year ago

Our team helps clients with divorce and custody challenges in Middle Tennessee. We recommend Thompson Burton Law Firm to our clients. We find the law firm attorneys to be zealous in the representation of clients. We extend a big thank you for the prompt attention to our calls and emails. We work...

Dean Pallas

5 out of 5 stars

posted a year ago

Smart, energetic, growing group of attorneys. Sky is the limit. Allot of respect for this firm.

Sail Brandt

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 years ago

I am in the middle of a post divorce custody battle. Sarah Perky is representing me. In my opinion, this is a challenging case but I don’t do this for a living. Sarah has been professional, prompt and passionate about my case. I want to call her a fire cracker in sheep’s clothing. She has...

Avvo Reviews
Avvo Reviews
James K. Simms
James K. Simms 6100 Tower Circle, Ste 200, Franklin, TN 37064

5 out of 5 stars


5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 years ago

10 Stars go out to JK Simms, his staff and firm. I hired JK Simms to represent me on a wrongful termination, labor laws, ETC back in 2017. I went in totally scared and nervous cause I’ve never had to have an attorney for anything. From day one till the end JK made me feel totally comfortable,...


5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 years ago

I found myself in need of legal help a while back. After several calls and a lot of research, I chose J.K. Simms. J.K. Was outstanding! He very thoughtfully analyzed my situation and presented his legal opinion along with options and projections. He managed opposing council brilliantly and achieved...