Cole Dowsley is a Partner at Thompson Burton PLLC.

Cole is a commercial litigator who has extensive experience resolving business-related disputes involving a wide variety of legal issues. Cole’s practice includes handling trials and appeals in state and federal court, in addition to alternative dispute resolution forums, such as mediation and arbitration. He has served as counsel to clients in courts and arbitration forums across the country, including Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Cole was selected as a Mid-South Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine for 2014.

Cole works hard to understand his clients’ business goals in order to deliver excellent results, whether through trial, mediation, litigation or negotiation. He also works with business clients to identify and manage risks and develop strategies to avoid lawsuits.

Cole’s practice includes representing companies and individuals in various business disputes, including breach of contract, partnership disputes, restrictive covenants in employment contracts, fraud, real estate/construction disputes, theft of trade secrets and securities violations. A significant portion of his litigation practice is devoted to the representation of multilevel marketing (MLM) companies and top distributors in lawsuits concerning cross-recruiting, non-competition, non-solicitation, violations of policies and procedures, trade secrets, sales organization raiding and defamation. He has also represented companies and individuals in proceedings brought by regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and Tennessee Securities Division.

Cole is a proud resident of Franklin, Tennessee where he lives with his wife, Nicole, along with their two dogs. Away from the office, Cole enjoys riding his bicycle on the back roads of Middle Tennessee and snow skiing in Utah.

Some of Cole’s representative matters include:

• obtaining advantageous settlement for business owner in “business divorce” with former business partners;

• negotiating successful settlement for top network marketing distributor in case involving claims of cross-recruiting and violations of policies and procedures;

• enforcing direct sales company’s policies and procedures and agreements against former distributors;

• representing direct sales company in lawsuit against another direct sales company involving business disparagement, defamation and interference with contract;

• securing judgment against individual on personal guarantee of commercial loan promissory note;

• negotiating terms of employment agreements and non-compete agreements for highly compensated executives;

• representing homeowners’ association of high rise condominium development in a lawsuit involving claims of breach of contract and misrepresentation;

• obtaining dismissal of professional liability claim on behalf of law firm in bankruptcy court adversary proceeding;

• obtaining summary judgment on behalf of law firm client facing legal malpractice claims as a result of FINRA arbitration;

• obtaining dismissal of claims under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act on behalf of a debt collection company;

• obtaining defense verdict for healthcare provider in employment discrimination claim in U.S. District Court;

• representing CPA/business manager in complex lawsuit by former entertainment client for breach of contract, malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty;

• obtaining successful trial result for residential developer in land use/nuisance dispute;

• obtaining significant arbitration award for property owner in complex construction dispute against general contractor and subcontractor;

• handling appellate matters before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Tennessee Supreme Court and Tennessee Court of Appeals;

• resolving dozens of cases through mediation and judicial settlement forums;

• representing clients before state administrative boards;

• providing legal services to low income clients through the Nashville Pro Bono Program.

Representative Cases:

• Lewis v. Humboldt Acquisition Corp., 681 F.3d 312 (6th Cir. 2012)
• Lewis v. Humboldt Acquisition Corp., 634 F.3d 879 (6th Cir. 2011)
• Barna v. Preston Law Group, 2012 WL 1965615 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2012)
• Black v. Sussman, 2011 WL 2410237 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2011)
• Akers v. Heartland Dental Care, Inc., 2011 WL 1322781 (M.D. Tenn. 2011)
• Turner v. Steriltek, Inc., 2010 WL 744519 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2010)
• Minias v. Historic Hotels of Nashville, LLC, 2008 WL 2437734 (M.D. Tenn. 2008)

Bar Admissions:

• Tennessee
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
• U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee
• U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
• U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee


Cole received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he served on the Editorial Board of the Tennessee Law Review. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee, graduating magna cum laude, with a B.S. in Business Administration, majoring in accounting.

Speaking Engagements:

• Piercing the Corporate Veil in Tennessee: What Your Business Clients MUST Know, M. Lee Smith Publishers, August, 2014