John W. Chandler, Jr.

During his 40+ years as a trial lawyer, John W. Chandler, Jr. has tried well over 100 jury cases to verdict in State and Federal Courts throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. He has obtained numerous jury verdicts and settlements for clients of $1.0 Million or more in the following areas of legal practice: tractor-trailer litigation, railroad crossing litigation, products liability litigation, medical malpractice litigation, and §1983 Civil Rights litigation. During the past several years, Mr. Chandler has focused his practice primarily on representing clients in serious injury and death cases resulting from tractor-trailer wrecks.

Mr. Chandler has been licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee since 1978 and is admitted to practice in all State and Federal Courts in Tennessee, all U.S. District Courts in Arkansas and Mississippi, and the U.S. Sixth and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal. He is an active member of several State and National trial lawyers’ organizations, including the American Association for Justice (AAJ) where he served as the Chair of the Railroad Section (2000-2001), The Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA), and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers’ Association (TTLA). Mr. Chandler has lectured and made presentations to other lawyers on the handling of automobile accident, truck accident, and railroad accident lawsuits.

Mr. Chandler has been “AV Preeminent Peer Review 5.0 out of 5.0” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the leading peer based lawyer rating service for the last 24 years or since 1994, “AV® Preeminent™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies.” He also has been a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum since 1985, has been listed in Best Lawyers of America, and has been recognized in Who’s Who in American Law.


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1978: Tennessee Law Review
  • University of Tennessee, B.A. English cum laude, 1974

Professional Background

The Hamilton Firm
Chattanooga, TN (May 2018-Present)

See profile published in Hamilton County Herald.

Law Office of Morgan Adams / Truck Wreck Justice, PLLC
Chattanooga, TN  (October 2008 – May 2018)

During his approximately 10 year tenure with Morgan Adams, Mr. Chandler devoted 100% of his practice to representing Plaintiffs in cases filed in State and Federal Courts throughout the State of Tennessee.  He primarily handled tractor-trailer wreck cases involving catastrophic injury or death.

Solo Practice
Chattanooga, Tennessee  (January 2001 – October 2008)

Along with his wife, Pamela O’Dwyer, Mr. Chandler handled numerous railroad grade crossing cases in State and Federal Courts throughout  Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Ms. O’Dwyer and Mr. Chandler obtained several jury verdicts and settlements in excess of $1.0 million, including a $1.4 Million jury verdict in the case of Shanklin v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. 369 F3d 978 (6th Cir. 2004).

Burch, Porter & Johnson, PLLC, Memphis, Tennessee
Partner (September 1984 – January 2001)
Associate (September 1978 – August 1984)

After graduating from law school, Mr. Chandler was employed at the Memphis firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson, PLLC where he handled a wide variety of cases both for Defendants and for Plaintiffs. While he was still an associate, Mr. Chandler assumed primary responsibility for representing Illinois Central Railroad Company and Southern Pacific Railroad in grade crossing and FELA cases.  During his tenure at Burch Porter, he also handled numerous Plaintiff cases, including a § 1983 Civil Rights case, wherein he obtained a $1.5 Million verdict for the parents of a young Sheriff’s Deputy who was recklessly shot and killed by his partner.  See Carr v. Hicks, Case No. 2:89-cv-03090, U.S. Dist. Ct. Western District of Tennessee.

Professional Involvement

  • American Association of Justice: Chair Railroad Section (2000 – 2001)
  • Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA)
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA)
  • Tennessee Bar Association (TBA)
  • Chattanooga Bar Association (CBA)
  • Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association: Pro Bono Attorney of the Year (1993)


Author/Editor of the five-volume treatise entitled Handling Motor Vehicle Accident Cases (2d) Thompson Reuters (2001-present) that covers all issues involved in representing Plaintiffs in automobile, tractor-trailer, and railroad crossing cases.

Author/Editor of Tennessee Litigation Letter (1992-1995)

Other Significant Cases:

Feaster v. CSX Transp., Circuit Court of Franklin County, Tennessee

Along with Pam O’Dwyer, Mr. Chandler represented the parents of a high school senior, who was killed in a railroad grade crossing collision after the flashing light signals failed to operate and warn her of the approach of a train. This case was settled for a significant confidential amount. After that settlement, the case was the subject of a July 12, 2004, article published in The New York times entitled, “Death On The Tracks” that was written by Walt Bogdanich, who won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for that article and other articles on railroad crossing safety.

In re Showa Denko K.K., 953 F.2d 162 (4th Cir. 1992) (L-Tryptophan MDL Litigation)

Mr. Chandler represented over 10 Tennessee clients in product liability suits filed in Federal Court that were consolidated with numerous other cases filed in Courts throughout the United States in Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina; obtained significant settlements (one in excess of $1.0 Million), served as the  Tennessee Liaison to the ATLA L-Tryptophan Litigation Group,  and briefed and argued the  complex “stream of commerce” jurisdictional issue in opposition to Defendant Showa Denko K.K.’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction before the MDL Judge on behalf of all similarly-situated United States Plaintiffs.

Bowman v. Corrections Corp. of America, 350 F.3d 537 (6th Cir. 2003).

Mr. Chandler represented the mother of a prisoner at the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a South Central Tennessee Prison who died after the physician at that facility refused to transfer him to a hospital for necessary medical care. The District Court Judge granted a Motion Mr. Chandler filed and held that CCA’s medical policy, under which the prison physician’s annual salary increased significantly in the event he significantly reduced CCA’s annual costs of providing medical care to prisoners, violated the prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment” established by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Bisected by the Tennessee River, bordering Georgia and Alabama, at the junction of three interstate highways, including the heavily traveled I-75 corridor, Chattanooga, Tennessee is both a historic railroad town and a modern transportation hub.  I-24 begins in Chattanooga running northwest toward Nashville, TN.  I-59 also begins just outside Chattanooga and runs south toward Birmingham, AL.  To the south, toward Atlanta along I-75, lies Dalton, GA a world center for the carpet and flooring industry. Chattanooga’s diversified economy includes the Volkswagen North American assembly plant, as well as insurance giants Blue Cross Blue Shield and Unum.  Chattanooga is also a major tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year.  As a result, The Hamilton Firm LLC focus much of its work on representation of persons injured in trucking and transportation related cases as well as serious workplace injury cases.

Chattanooga is the headquarters for two of the nation’s major trucking companies, U.S. Xpress and Covenant Transport. And as crossroads city, Chattanooga ranks first in the nation among all metropolitan cities for the volume of freight moving through the city by truck (according to a recent freight study by Cambridge Systematics and reported in the Chattanooga Times Free Press). Problem areas include the interchanges as well as the entire section of I-24 from I-59 to I-75, and I-75 north to Cleveland, TN. Tractor trailers, while essential to a thriving economy, also present great risks to the traveling public if not operated safely by well trained professional drivers with well maintained equipment.

Chattanooga is also a rail hub for Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads.  Travel, transport and commerce by water, rail and road are essential to our lives and economy, but all the economic activity also brings traffic and congestion, which can lead to more wrecks, accidents and injuries.  This can be a volatile mix when combined with the high freight volume on tractor trailers traveling through or originating in the area.