Todd Presnell is a partner in Bradley’s Nashville and Atlanta offices, where he maintains an active trial practice, serves in discovery-counsel roles, and leads and advises on internal corporate investigations. He has tried 27 cases to verdict and otherwise served as lead trial counsel in several jurisdictions, including federal or state courts in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Texas. He is a member of the peer-nominated American Board of Trial Advocates and served as the 2022 president of ABOTA’s Tennessee Chapter.
Todd has argued before the Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, and Tenth circuits, the Tennessee Supreme Court, and the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and served as lead counsel on merits and amicus briefs before the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Tennessee Supreme Court, Texas Supreme Court, and Tennessee Court of Appeals.
In addition to his trial and appellate work, Todd employs his significant experience in studying, understanding, and applying evidentiary privileges. He counsels and advises in-house legal departments on establishing and protecting the corporate attorney-client privilege, consults with trial teams on discovery issues and motion practice related to privilege-related objections, leads and advises internal investigations, counsels and advises on privilege quandaries faced by entities and individuals subject to government investigations and government-enforcement actions, and serves as a court-appointed Special Master to decide privilege-related disputes.
Todd is the lead author of the new legal treatise Privileges and Protections: Tennessee and Sixth Circuit Law (Matthew Bender & Co. 2024) and is the sole creator and author of the popular legal blog Presnell on Privileges, which the ABA Journal previously named to its Top 100 Blawg list. Todd has been interviewed and quoted on privilege issues by The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Bloomberg news, MSNBC’s The Katie Phang Show, and various legal-news outlets.
Listed in Chambers USA Litigation: General Commercial, 2019-2023 Listed in Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star," Tennessee, 2012-2013, 2018-2021 "Future Star," Tennessee, 2011, 2014-2016 "Litigation Star", 2023-2024 Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Commercial Litigation, 2008-2024 Litigation – Banking & Finance, 2011-2024 Litigation – Intellectual Property, 2011-2024 Litigation – Labor & Employment, 2011-2024 Litigation – Mergers & Acquisitions, 2011 "Lawyer of the Year," Nashville, Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2018 "Lawyer of the Year," Nashville, Litigation – Banking and Finance, 2022 Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2010-2023 Listed by The Nashville Post, "Top 100 Lawyers in Tennessee" Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Finalist, Emerging Leaders Award-Legal Services Category, 2009 Tennessee Bar Association, Leadership Law Program, 2007 Listed in Nashville Business Journal, "Best of the Bar," 2013, 2015-2019 Tom Segalla Excellence in Education Award, Defense Research Institute, 2020 Richard H. Krochock Award (recognizing exemplary leadership to the DRI Young Lawyers Committee), 2012 American Bar Association, Fellow Tennessee Bar Association, Fellow Nashville Bar Association, Fellow Individual Healthcare Specialists, Inc. v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., 566 S.W.3d 671 (Tenn. 2019) Lead trial counsel in obtaining a defense verdict for a major health insurer in a seven-week trial of business tort claims where plaintiff sought damages of $33 million, with the Tennessee Supreme Court affirming the verdict in a decision that redefined the scope and contours of Tennessee’s parole evidence rule for contract interpretation. Flatiron Acquisition Vehicle, LLC v. CSE Mortgage LLC, 502 F. Supp. 3d 760 (S.D.N.Y. 2020); Flatiron Acquisition Vehicle, LLC v. CSE Mortgage LLC, 2022 WL 413229, at *13 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 9, 2022) Co-lead trial counsel in obtaining (1) a defense verdict for a major financial institution in a week-long trial before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in a case alleging fraud, misrepresentation, and other business torts and seeking $11 million in damages, and (2) a plaintiff’s verdict for $385,000 on the financial institution’s counterclaims. In a separate written opinion, the trial judge noted that the trial work “was very good.” Defense verdict for school district Lead trial counsel in obtaining defense verdict for a school district in an 11-day trial of a case consolidating the claims of six families of preschool, special needs children for alleged physical and mental injuries arising from a teacher’s alleged verbal and physical abuse. The client retained counsel 90 days prior to trial with the case postured with 70 depositions and multiple expert witnesses. Defense verdict for Fortune 500 company Lead trial counsel in obtaining a defense verdict for a Fortune 500 company, which at the time was the largest marketer, producer, and bottler of Coca-Cola® products, in a week-long trial in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver in a business tort case involving fraud and wrongful inducement claims. Defense verdict for in Title VI case Lead trial counsel in obtaining a defense verdict for a school district in a week-long trial in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in a case brought by a nationally ranked high school athlete alleging that coaches and players bullied, harassed, and discriminated against her because of her race in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. American Industries Services, Inc. v. Howard, 2006 WL 1082833 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 25, 2006); Media Group, Inc. v. Tuppatsch, 298 F. Supp. 2d 235 (D. Conn. 2003) Co-lead trial counsel in successfully defending a former executive and investor in a New York-based fulfillment company in multi-jurisdiction lawsuits filed by the fulfillment company. Obtained summary judgment in business tort cases filed in Tennessee state court. Following these judgments, represented the executive/investor in a malicious-prosecution case and, following an 11-day trial, obtained compensatory- and punitive-damages verdict for $4.2 million. E.E.O.C. v. BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles, 450 F.3d 476 (10th Cir. 2006); BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Los Angeles v. E.E.O.C., 549 U.S. 1105 (2007) Lead trial and appellate counsel for a Fortune 500 company, which at the time was the largest marketer, producer, and bottler of Coca-Cola® products, in a Title VII claim filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Obtained summary judgment for client in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, but the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted client’s petition for writ of certiorari, and case settled favorably one week prior to oral argument. Successful settlement for Fortune 500 manufacturer Retained by Fortune 500 manufacturer of powersports vehicles following the close of discovery to serve as lead trial counsel in multimillion-dollar products liability action in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Through relationship building, strategic negotiations, and pointed motion practice, maneuvered the case for a successful settlement. Defense verdict for fabricated-housing manufacturer Lead trial counsel in obtaining defense verdict for fabricated-housing manufacturer in a week-long trial before the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee in products liability claims arising from damages caused by fire. Successful verdict on corporate governance claims Lead trial counsel in obtaining successful verdict following a week-long trial before the Tennessee Business Court on corporate governance claims and counterclaims between a college and its founding nonprofit corporation. Defense verdict on age- and gender-discrimination claims Lead trial counsel in obtaining defense verdict following a week-long jury trial for a Fortune 500 company, which at the time was the largest marketer, producer, and bottler of Coca-Cola® products, in a week-long trial in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, in Denver, in a case involving federal age- and gender-discrimination claims. Hosse v. Sumner County Board of Education, 776 F. App’x 902 (2019) Lead trial counsel in obtaining defense verdict following a week-long jury trial for a school district in the United States District Court for Middle District of Tennessee in a federal age-discrimination case, including successful defense of the client’s verdict before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Watson, 195 S.W.3d 609 (Tenn. 2006) Court-appointed lead trial counsel to represent indigent defendant being sued by his landlord’s insurance company for negligence resulting in fire loss. Trial judge rendered verdict for plaintiff-insurer, but the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Tennessee Supreme Court reversed and remanded for entry of verdict for defendant-client. Gentry v. Hershey Co., 687 F. Supp. 2d 711 (M.D. Tenn. 2010) Lead trial counsel in obtaining summary judgment in products liability claim against international manufacturer and marketer of chocolate and sugar confectionery products in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Hoover v. Coca-Cola Co., 255 F. Supp. 2d 791 (M.D. Tenn. 2003) Lead trial counsel in obtaining summary judgment for The Coca-Cola Company in contract dispute with consumer over sweepstakes-related claim.