J. Neil Umsted
J. Neil Umsted was born and raised in Memphis. He is a product of the Shelby County public school system, graduating from Germantown High School in 2000. He began his undergraduate studies at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi and was a member of the school’s football team. He completed his undergraduate studies in 2005 at the University of Memphis. While there, Neil served as a legislative intern with Tennessee’s General Assembly, and he also spent a summer abroad, studying in Germany. Neil graduated the University of Memphis Magna Cum Laude and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science. After his undergraduate studies, Neil attended law school at the University of Memphis. He excelled in academics, being named to the Dean’s List several times, and earning the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Complex Civil Procedure. While in law school, he served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable W. Mark Ward and the late James C. Beasley, Jr. of the Shelby County Criminal Court. He was able to work closely with these highly respected judges and gain experience in the litigation process, from arraignment, to jury trial, to post-trial motions and collateral attacks. In 2008, Neil graduated law school and was licensed to practice law in Tennessee, and he is also admitted to practice in the Western District of Tennessee.
After law school, Neil practiced at a law firm specializing in personal injury and criminal defense. While there, Neil practiced a wide range of civil and criminal litigation. He gained valuable courtroom experience and conducted numerous jury trials to verdict. Neil was appointed the Criminal Justice Act Panel which allowed him to represent indigent clients facing federal criminal charges in the Western District of Tennessee. He also had a robust appellate practice and regularly argued before the appellate courts, including the Tennessee Supreme Court where his brief and oral argument secured a unanimous reversal of his client’s conviction and ultimate release from incarceration.
Neil then joined the Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender. He was drawn to public service work and the opportunity it provided him to zealously advocate for the most disadvantaged members of his community. He was assigned to the Public Defender’s Capital Defense Team and was responsible for representing indigent defendants charged with first-degree murder. He successfully tried many murder cases, and secured several favorable verdicts for his clients facing seemingly insurmountable odds.
Neil then transitioned to the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office and applied his experience to the benefit of the crime victims in Shelby County. This allowed him to advocate on their behalf, while also ensuring that the accused were treated with the utmost respect and fairness. Neil was a Senior Felony Assistant in his unit and was primarily responsible for prosecuting homicides and high-level felonies. He served as lead counsel on many jury trials involving violent crimes and homicide, and obtained exceptional results.
Neil brought his years of courtroom litigation experience, which includes thirty jury trials, to Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. He understands that those who have suffered injuries at the hands of another need a seasoned attorney to zealously represent them through the process and to ensure that they receive maximum compensation from insurance companies. Just as he did as a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor, Neil thrives in representing the underdog and advocating for them through the most difficult of times. Neil works in the Memphis office and focuses primarily in the area of personal injury law, automobile and truck accidents, and premises liability cases.
Neil lives in Germantown with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. He enjoys spending time with them and attending his daughters’ sporting events and school functions. In his free time, Neil enjoys music, reading, and playing bass guitar in his band that also includes his father, brother, and cousin.