Meet the Barrister – John Dotson
A periodic Q & A session with a Lewis Thomason (LT) lawyer
LT: When did you decide to become a lawyer?
John Dotson: When I was 35, I decided to change careers, from teaching English as a Second Language to pursuing a career in the law. I taught English at Tehran University from 1976 to 1978, leaving the country just after martial law had been declared in Tehran. After completing a master’s degree in Middle Eastern and Modern European History at the UT Knoxville in 1979, I returned to the Middle East to once again teach English, this time in Saudi Arabia. After getting married in 1984, I began to think of returning home to the U.S., because I didn’t want our children to grow up outside of the U.S. I knew that in order to make a successful transition back to the U.S., I would need to change careers. So, after a fair amount thought, I settled on the law, and the rest, as they say, is history.
LT: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
John Dotson: I don’t think of my career in terms of highlights. Instead, I give thanks that for the past 24 years I have been privileged to practice with such a fine group of lawyers, a group that has increased in size substantially in recent years.
LT: What do you enjoy most about being a lawyer?
John Dotson: Helping clients.
LT: You are stranded on a desert island, what music are you listening to?
John Dotson: Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Mozart.
LT: What do you want your legacy to be?
John Dotson: Legacy is a mighty big word for a small town boy like me. Heck, I‘m just happy to have had the opportunity to serve.
LT: What is the one thing on your bucket list and why?
John Dotson: I am not a fan of bucket lists. I can never take the term seriously. Sometimes, it reminds me of the Jimmy Durante scene in the film, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, and, at other times, it brings to mind the Woody Allen quote: “I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
LT: What is your favorite drink?
John Dotson: The one Mike Keeney springs for. No further explanation needed.
LT: What famous person do you admire and why?
John Dotson: Bill Gates. I should say Bill and Melinda Gates, because they work as a team. They have not been content to simply kick back and enjoy their tremendous wealth. Instead, they founded and continue to run the largest private charitable foundation in the world. A foundation largely funded with their wealth. They have put their money where their hearts are.
Mr. Dotson has extensive experience in advising and defending clients in the health care industry, including physicians and physician practice groups, in a range of areas such as HIPAA, Medicare/Medicaid audit claims and other areas of regulatory compliance. He also has extensive experience in defending physicians against medical malpractice claims. His other practice areas include premises liability, business litigation and employment law. He has tried numerous civil lawsuits to verdict and he has briefed and argued cases before the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court. Mr. Dotson is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator.