Brian Yoakum’s dispute resolution practice includes a wide range of complex commercial litigation in the areas of general and business law, premises liability defense, mass tort defense, contract and transactional disputes and business divorces among owners of all types of business entities. Mr. Yoakum regularly represents property owners and businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, and apartment communities in defense of lawsuits brought pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, and the Neighborhood Preservation Act. Mr. Yoakum also handles commercial tort actions such as procurement of breach of contract, tortious interference with business relations, interference with contracts and breach of restrictive covenants.
Mr. Yoakum is also a Registered Lobbyist in the state of Tennessee and advises and advocates for his client’s interest with federal, state, and local legislative, executive, and administrative bodies. He focuses his lobbying efforts on the hospitality industry, including restaurants and entertainment venues.
Mr. Yoakum is a shareholder at Evans Petree, having served on the firm’s Board of Directors as well as its Political Action Committee and marketing committee. Mr. Yoakum is co-chair of the firm’s Food, Beverage and Agribusiness practice group. He is a member of the American, Tennessee, and Memphis Bar Associations. He was recently selected as a Fellow of the Memphis Bar Foundation. He is a 2017 graduate of the Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law program (TBALL), and has been selected to the 2023 Mid-South Super Lawyers list and previously to the Rising Star list in the field of business litigation since 2014. He was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2024 in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants for the seventh year. He has also been elected a Barrister in the Leo Bearman, Sr. Chapter of the American Inn of Court.
Mr. Yoakum has experience aggressively advocating the interests of his clients before state and federal trial courts, administrative bodies, the Tennessee Court of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Tax Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Sixth Circuit. For example, Mr. Yoakum recently obtained from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the reversal of a summary judgement granted against his client in a copyright infringement action. Joe Hand Promotions, Inc v. Griffith, et al., 49 F.4th 1018 (6th Cir. 2022) (cert denied, 2023 WL 3937621). In a Civil Rights 1983 matter, Mr. Yoakum obtained an unanimous reversal of summary judgement for his clients. Baker, et al. v. City of Stratford, TX, et al., 68 F. 4th 240 (5th Cir. 2023). In addition, Mr. Yoakum regularly resolves disputes to his clients’ benefit through alternative dispute resolution vehicles, including negotiations, mediations, and arbitrations. For example, Mr. Yoakum represented his client in private arbitration in defense of a claim for in excess of $6,000,000 by seller of business in dispute existing out of earnout dispute in arbitration. Plaintiff was awarded $0.00 from Mr. Yoakum’s client.
Mr. Yoakum is very active in the community as well. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association- Mid-South Chapter as well as Advocacy Chair for the American Heart Association. He is also a Director of the Touchdown Club of Memphis and the Red Acres Neighborhood Association. Mr. Yoakum serves as Special Judge in the General Sessions Court of Shelby County, Tennessee. He was also honored to serve on the Transition Team for Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, working with the Administrative Budget Committee. He is also a former board member and ombudsman of Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services.