Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.

David N. Garst

David N. Garst is a shareholder in the firm’s Nashville office. He is chair of the firm’s Construction Law Practice Group and serves on the firm’s Board of Directors. Mr. Garst practices principally in construction law, focusing on architects and engineers professional liability, construction defect litigation, construction contract law, professional discipline, and commercial litigation.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Garst has represented general and specialty contractors, architects, engineers, surveyors, suppliers, and building owners on a variety of construction projects, both locally and regionally. He has substantial experience in the defense of design professionals, and has represented architects and engineers in hundreds of claims, lawsuits, arbitration matters, and disciplinary proceedings. He also has represented numerous general and specialty contractors on construction defect claims, payment disputes, liens, and disciplinary and licensing matters.

Mr. Garst is active in many construction industry organizations.  He writes and edits for the Tennessee Construction Law Journal and has participated as advocate or neutral in the arbitration of many disputes.


  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Foundation
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • The Jefferson Society


  • Best Lawyers® 2020 Construction – Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Nashville
  • Fellow, Construction Lawyers Society of America
  • Selected by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell as Elite Lawyer of the South, 2018
  • Selected and listed in “2016 Top Rated Lawyers in Construction Law”, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America©, Construction Law – Litigation – Construction
  • Best Lawyers in Nashville
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers
  • Fellow, Nashville Bar Foundation
  • Premium Member, CLM
  • Board Member Emeritus, Past President, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, Inc.
  • Presidential Award of Excellence – AIA Tennessee (2015)
  • Presidential Award of Merit for Distinguished Service – AIA Tennessee (1997)
  • General Counsel, Middle Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects
  • Board Member, Associated General Contractors of Tennessee, 2011 – 2013
  • Elected Officer, Middle Tennessee Branch of the Associated General Contractors of America, 2008 – 2014
  • Member, Tennessee Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors
  • Member, Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Member, Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers
  • Professional Member, Construction Specifications Institute
  • Chapter Technical Excellence Award – CSI Knoxville
  • Committee Member, XL Design Professional Insurance Company Contract Guide

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Nashville Office

424 Church Street, Suite 2500
P.O. Box 198615
Nashville, Tennessee 37219
Telephone (615) 259-1366
FAX (615) 259-1389


University of Tennessee, B.Arch., 1981
University of Memphis, J.D., 1986

Bar Admission

Tennessee, 1986

U. S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, 1986

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1987

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1987

U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, 1988

U. S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, 1988

U. S. Court of Federal Claims, 1989

Supreme Court of the United States of America, 1989

  • Construction

    We have a broad and substantial construction practice with a solid record of service to the design and construction industry. Our experienced and dedicated construction practice group attorneys understand the construction industry and can help you navigate its often complex contracts and diverse relationships. We work closely with clients to identify… [Read more]

    Professional Liability

    As a professional, your reputation means everything. We are sensitive to the fact that professional liability lawsuits and claims affect reputations, as well as personal finances, and we stand ready to aggressively protect your practice at both the trial and appellate levels. Representative clients include: Accountants Attorneys* Architects Contractors Directors of Corporations Engineers Financial Advisors Hospitals and Medical Facilities Insurance… [Read more]

  • Representative Experience

    • Representation of the world’s largest architecture firm in litigation arising from a Nashville sports arena. Mr. Garst managed a team of lawyers through months of court directed discovery and depositions. The case ultimately was settled for an amount far below the remaining cost of defense.
    • Representation of four hotel contractors in a range of disputes involving over 30 hotel projects constructed across the Eastern United States. These cases required preparation and perfection of bond and lien claims, management of local counsel, preparation of numerous contracts, cost effective preparation of technical proof of claims and defenses, and numerous proceedings in courts and before arbitration panels.
    • Representation of a construction manager in an arbitration proceeding involving major delay claims on the construction of a large commercial aircraft hangar. The issues were successfully defended and the claims settled below the remaining cost of defense.
    • Representation of the designers of a major Memphis sports facility involved in structural defect claims. Through rapid and innovative dispute resolution techniques, the structure was evaluated and remedial work performed during the planned construction period. The facility opened on time and all disputes were resolved within a few months, without the necessity of litigation.
    • Representation of an architect charged with disciplinary infractions on four separate projects. Mr. Garst obtained a reversal of the decision of the Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners in Martin v. Sizemore, 78 S.W.3d 249 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2001). The decision is recognized as a leading case on the standard of proof concerning the professional care required of design professionals in Tennessee.
    • Representation of a German specialty contractor in a multi-party dispute involving a large manufacturing plant in Tennessee. Although a lawsuit was filed, Mr. Garst and his clients worked with the claimants and owners through a series of meetings locally and in Germany to identify the valid issues and arrive at a reasonable resolution. Ultimately, the plaintiffs never served process on the client and the claims were dismissed for a small fraction of the demand.
    • Co-author, Travelers Insurance Company “Contract Solutions”
  • Mr. Garst has spoken at hundreds of seminars, meetings, and conventions and has written on a wide range of construction law topics. His recent presentations and activities include:

    • “Contract Indemnity Provisions & Designer Limitation of Liability Provisions” –  HalfMoon Seminars, Nashville, 2012
    • “AIA Contracts” – Lorman Education Services, Inc., Nashville, Chattanooga, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
    • “Tennessee Lien Law Basics for Architects” – American Institute of Architects Middle Tennessee Chapter Meeting, Nashville, 2012
    • Crow Friedman Group Risk Management Road Show, American Institute of Architects/Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers, Nashville and Memphis, 1997 through 2011
    • “Construction Statutes of Limitations and Repose” – Annual meeting of the Tennessee Associated General Contractors, Destin, Florida, 2011
    • “Construction Defect Claims” – Tennessee School Boards Association, 2011
    • “Risks Presented by Undetected Construction Defects” – American Institute of Architects Middle Tennessee Chapter Meeting, Nashville, 2011
    • “Risk Management for Design/Build Projects” – Travelers Insurance Company webinar, 2011
    • “Professional Liability Basics” – Watkins Institute, 2010
    • “Professional Liability Basics for Architects” – American Institute of Architects Middle Tennessee Chapter Meeting, Nashville, 2010
    • “Project Disaster Preparedness” – Association of General Contractors Middle Tennessee Branch, 2009
    • “Large Loss Claim Case Study” – American Institute of Architects Tennessee Convention, 2009
    • “Getting Paid” – American Institute of Architects Middle Tennessee Chapter Meeting, Nashville, 2009
    • “Basics of Risk Management” – International Interior Design Association Tennessee Convention, 2009
    • “Early Resolution of Claims” – American Law Firms Association International Construction Practice Group Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, 2008
    • “Copyright Law for Engineers” – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Seminar, Memphis, Tennessee, 2008
    • “Independent Decision Makers” – Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, Townsend, Tennessee, 2008
    • “Managing Construction Projects in Tennessee” – Lorman Educational Services, Inc., Nashville, 2008
    • “Copyright Law for Architects” – American Institute of Architects Middle Tennessee Chapter Meeting, Nashville, 2008
    • “New Consensus Documents” – Association of General Contractors Middle Tennessee Branch, 2008
    • “Retention Documents and Electronically Stored Information” – Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE), Atlanta, Georgia, 2007
    • “Current Issues in Stormwater Litigation” – American Society of Civil Engineers, Nashville, 2007
    • “Professional Conduct and Discipline” – HalfMoon LLC, Nashville, 2007
    • “Practice Checklist for the Tennessee Construction Litigator” – Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, Tunica, Mississippi, 2007
    • “AIA Contracts” – Lorman Education Services, Nashville, 2007
    • “Large Loss Claim Case Study” – Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors, Nashville, 2007
    • “Electronically Stored Information” – American Institute of Architects Middle Tennessee Chapter Meeting, Nashville, 2007