James C. “Chris” Cone

  • Shareholder


Knoxville, TN





Chris is a litigation attorney who brought his 25-year litigation practice to Trammell, Adkins & Ward, P.C. in June 2016. He has extensive litigation experience and has successfully tried many jury and non-jury trials in Tennessee State Courts, Federal Court, and Bankruptcy Court. He has specialized his practice in personal injury litigation focused primarily in the areas of insurance defense and self-insured defense litigation involving automobile and trucking accidents, home owners’ claims, commercial losses, construction claims, fire and casualty, general liability, defense of fraud litigation as well as insurance coverage and claims litigation in all personal lines and commercial lines matters.  He has successfully tried dozens of jury and non-jury matters, and he has represented clients in appellate courts of the State of Tennessee and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  He has been a frequent lecturer for various organizations in multiple states speaking on numerous trial-related topics including litigation strategy, trying jury trials, effective use of court room technology, insurance coverage issues, and other subjects at multiple continuing legal education seminars for attorneys.

Chris serves as counsel for State Farm, Auto-Owners Insurance Company, Vice Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, and represents several business and individual clients in litigation and non-litigation matters in State and Federal Courts. Chris is a member of the Knoxville and Tennessee Bar Associations, as well as the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (TDLA) and the Defense Research Institute (DRI).  He is also a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

In 2015, Chris was selected by his peers as a top lawyer as published in the July/August 2015 edition of Cityview Magazine, and he was named a Master of the Bar by the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court.

In 2016, Chris was selected by the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve as a Hearing Committee Member for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility regarding cases involving violations of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct.
Chris has also served on the Board of Directors of nonprofit charitable corporations, the Vestry of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Maryville, Tennessee, and is serving his second term on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, the University of the South (Sewanee).

Chris, his wife Debbie, and their two sons live in Louisville, Tennessee. He enjoys all outdoor activities and sports, plays guitar and a little banjo, and holds United States Soccer Federation license as a club soccer coach.

Areas Of Practice

  • Litigation (Jury and Non-Jury) in State and Federal Courts
  • Insurance Law and Insurance Defense
  • Subrogation
  • Tort and Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Commercial and Business Litigation (Jury and Non-Jury)
  • Construction Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee, 1992
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 1991


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • J.D.
  • University of the Sewanee, TN
    • B.A.
  • Visiting Scholar, Hertford College, Oxford University
    • 1986