Attended Virginia Military Institute, the University of North Carolina, United States Navy Reserve Midshipmen's School at Columbia University, served on Battleship U.S.S. Mississippi from October 1945 through August 1946 as a division officer in the gunnery department. Attended Vanderbilt University School of Law.
Member of the Nashville law firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP. He has practiced law in Nashville since 1950.
When he was a Democrat, he served as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, 1954 through 1956. While he was in the legislature, he sponsored bills to legalize the sale of mixed drinks and parimutuel betting on horse races. He also sponsored a bill to reapportion the Tennessee legislature. The Democrats defeated all those bills. He was one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in Kidd v. McCanless filed in the Tennessee courts in 1955 to enforce the constitutional requirements that the legislature be reapportioned every 10 years according to the number of voters in each county. This case led to the “one man/one vote” decision of the United States Supreme Court in Baker v. Carr and this forced the Tennessee legislature to reapportion itself as required by the Tennessee Constitution.
He was the lawyer for the taxpayer in Jack Cole Co. v. MacFarland in 1960, in which the Tennessee Supreme Court held that a state income tax on earnings in Tennessee was prohibited by the Tennessee Constitution.
He left the Democrat Party in 1964 to support Senator Barry Goldwater's campaign for President. When Winfield Dunn was elected Governor of Tennessee in 1970, he became a Republican. In 1977, he was appointed legal counsel to the Tennessee State Republican Party and served in that capacity until 2003.
In 1984, he successfully defended the Tennessee Republican Party in a case brought by the Democrats in the federal court to enjoin the Republicans from trying to find out if voters were legally registered to vote. He was one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs in Langsdon v. Millsaps, in which a 3-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee held that the 1992 reapportionment of the Tennessee House of Representatives which put 12 incumbent Republican representatives into 6 districts was unconstitutional.
He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Nashville Bar Foundation and Tennessee Bar Foundation, a Master Bencher Emeritus of the Harry Phillips Inn of Court and a member of the American Bar Association, Bar Association of Tennessee and Nashville Bar Association. He was a director of the Nashville Bar Association from 1963 through 1966 and 1990 through 1993 and second vice president in 1966. In The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Antitrust Law, Commercial Litigation and Family Law. Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist in Tennessee.
Admitted to practice in all state courts of Tennessee, the United States District Courts in Tennessee, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.