City of Collegedale

City Attorney

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Sam Elliott has been licensed to practice law in Tennessee since 1981. He practices primarily in the field of litigation. He has tried jury cases involving products liability, personal injury, employment discrimination and eminent domain. Sam also represents the municipal governments of Soddy Daisy, Collegedale and Lakesite, and therefore is experienced in such diverse matters as government land use regulation and civil rights litigation. He also advises clients on issues of employment law, environmental law, commercial disputes and professional liability, and has served as an arbitrator.

Sam is a past president of both the Tennessee Bar Association and the Chattanooga Bar Association. In 1995, in an appointed criminal case which he argued before the Tennessee Supreme Court, he and his co-counsel obtained post-conviction relief for a prisoner on death row. He has also appeared as co-counsel for the Chattanooga Bar Association in suits to enjoin the unauthorized practice of law, and volunteers in the pro bono program for Legal Aid of East Tennessee.

Sam is the Chairman of the Tennessee Historical Commission. He is also a member of the board of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association. Sam is a member of the board of the Friends of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, and is a past president of that organization. He also is a member of the Historians of the Western Theater.

Known for his scholarly work on Tennessee during the Civil War era, Sam's most recent book is Isham G. Harris of Tennessee: Confederate Governor and United States Senator (2010), published by Louisiana State University Press as part of its prestigious Southern Biography Series. The book was the co-winner of the 2010 Tennessee History Book Award. Sam is also the author of Soldier of Tennessee: General Alexander P. Stewart and the Civil War in the West (1999) and editor of Doctor Quintard, Chaplain C.S.A. and Second Bishop of Tennessee: The Memoir and Civil War Diary of Charles Todd Quintard, (2003). Sam’s other works include “’I Regard Maj. Genl Stewart as the Best Qualified of the Maj. Genls. of this Army’: Alexander P. Stewart and His Division in the First Phase of the Atlanta Campaign”, an essay appearing in vol. 2 of Confederate Generals in the Western Theater (2010), an introduction to Charles Todd Quintard's A Confederate Soldier's Pocket Manual of Devotions: Including Balm for the Weary and the Wounded, (2009), and “This Grand and Imposing Body of Brave Men”, appearing in the The Chattanooga Campaign (2012). Sam has reviewed books for the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tennessee Bar Journal, Blue and Gray Magazine, Civil War Book Review, Atlanta History and Civil War History, and is the author of two feature articles published in the Tennessee Bar Journal: “Tennessee’s Declaration of Independence: Armed Revolt and the Constitutional Right of Revolution” (December, 2008) and “Tennessee’s Confederate Courts” (January, 2012). Sam has spoken on Civil War topics to groups from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Virginia, and has evaluated manuscripts for four university presses, one private press and a historical journal. Sam gave the keynote address at the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s initial Signature Event in Nashville in November, 2010 and the address at the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner in October, 2011.

Sam and his wife, Karen, have two daughters, and attend Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.


University of the South, B.A. 1978; University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D. 1981.


Tennessee, United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Eleventh Circuits, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, United States Tax Court

Legal Associations

Tennessee Bar Association, Board of Governors 2004-2012; President 2010-2011; Chattanooga Bar Association, Board of Governors 1997-2002, President 2001; American Bar Association; Federal Bar Association; Fellow, American Bar Foundation; Fellow, Tennessee Bar Foundation; Fellow, Chattanooga Bar Foundation; Justices Brock and Cooper American Inns of Court; Southern Conference of Bar Presidents; Listed in Publication Best Lawyers in America for Bet the Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation and Municipal Law; selected as a Mid South Super Lawyer; AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell; Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers 2010; Chattanooga Trial Lawyers Association; Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association.

Community Legal Service

Pro bono volunteer, Legal Aid of East Tennessee

Community Activities

Member and Chair, Tennessee Historical Commission; Board of Directors, Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association; Board of Directors, Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park; Trustee, Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church; Rotary Club of Chattanooga; Friends of University of Tennessee Library Executive Committee; former board member, National Association for the Craniofacially Handicapped (FACES).


Sam Elliott
City Attorney