About Us

About Dowden, Worley, Jewell & Olswing, PLLC

When facing challenging legal issues, choose to work with the trusted attorneys at Dowden, Worley, Jewell & Olswing, PLLC. We serve the Memphis metropolitan area, West Tennessee, and Northern Mississippi.
Don L. Dowden

Don L. Dowden, Retired

Don L. Dowden is the founding partner of the law firm of Dowden, Worley, Jewell & Olswing, PLLC. He has over 42 years in the practice of law focusing primarily in the areas of personal injury litigation and the general practice of law. Mr. Dowden has been an active member of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association. He has made numerous presentations in seminars in the areas of personal injury litigation and workers’ compensation. Mr. Dowden is a Rule 31 listed General Civil Mediator. Besides representing clients in the areas of personal injury, he and other members of his law firm assist clients in the preparation of wills.
 
Mr. Dowden received his B.S. degree in Finance in 1962 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After graduating, he served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy for 3 ½ years, where he served aboard a ship in the Pacific for 1 ½ years and was honorably discharged in 1965. After his service in the armed forces, Mr. Dowden was employed as a claims adjuster with Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. specializing in insurance casualty claims.
 
Mr. Dowden obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Memphis, formerly Memphis State University, in 1971 and has practiced law continuously in the Memphis area for the past 42 years. Aside from the practice of law, Mr. Dowden obtained his pilot’s license and is currently an avid sailor and a member of various sailing associations.

Don can be reached at ddowden@dwjlawfirm.com or 901-755-8075.
Patricia M. Worley

Patricia M. Worley, Shareholder

Patricia has been practicing law since 1990, with 80% of her time devoted to family law and 20% devoted to mediation. She is enrolled to practice in all state, local and Federal Courts in Tennessee and has been sworn in to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America.  

Areas of Practice:
• Family Law – divorces and child support
• Juvenile Court – child support and visitation
• Mediation – Rule 31 listed general Civil Mediator and Listed Family Law Mediator 2000

Education:
U.M: Cecil Humphrey School of Law
U.M. B.S. 1971
UT CHS (University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences) BSN 1974
MSN 1978

Bar Admissions:
Tennessee 1990

Professional Memberships:
• Memphis Shelby County Bar Association
• Family Law Section of Memphis Bar
• Alternate Dispute Resolution Section of Memphis Bar

Civic Responsibilities:
• Served on Board of Directors of Center for Parents and Children
• Serves taking pro bono cases from the Memphis Area Legal Services and the Community Legal Clinic of Memphis

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, Tennessee 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630

Melinda Plass Jewell

Melinda (“Mindy”) Plass Jewell, Shareholder

Areas of Practice:
• Family Law
• Juvenile Court
• Mediation 

Education:
University of Louisiana at Monroe, 1983
University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, JD, 1987

Bar Admissions:
Tennessee Bar Association, 1987
U.S. District Court for the Western Division, 2016

Professional Memberships:
• Tennessee Bar Association
• Memphis Bar Association
• Memphis Bar Association, Family Law Section
• Memphis Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, Tennessee 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630
Gordon B. Olswing

Gordon B. Olswing, Associate

Gordon Olswing is from Memphis, Tennessee and has been in the private practice of law since 1986. Gordon was employed after college by a national (e.g.“Big Eight”) and large regional Certified Public Accounting firms where he assisted clients with business and tax matters including, but not limited to audit engagements, preparation of business tax returns and financial statements and with the evaluation of business and accounting procedures. Gordon’s financial and accounting background has substantially benefitted his clients. Gordon is enrolled to represent clients in all Tennessee State and local courts, federal district courts, the United States Tax Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 
Gordon is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Certified Family and General Civil Mediator. In addition to his private practice, Gordon serves as a Shelby County Deputy Divorce Referee and previously served as part–time Assistant Shelby County Attorney for twenty years, representing Shelby County, Tennessee in real estate and commercial transactions and litigation. Gordon represented Shelby County, Tennessee in the negotiation of relocation of the NBA franchise the Memphis Grizzlies to Memphis, Tennessee and matters regarding the construction and financing of the FedEx Forum. Gordon taught negotiable instruments as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis School of law.

Areas of Practice:
• Litigation of Contracts, Real Estate, Banking, Commercial and Other Civil Actions,
• Litigation of Contested Wills and Trusts, 
• Conservatorship Litigation and 
• Litigation to End Elder Abuse.
• Business Formation and Preparation of Business and Real Estate Contracts and Other Documents
• Probate, Estate and Trust Administration and Litigation
• Preparation Of Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers Of Attorney, Healthcare Powers of Attorney and Advanced Care Plans for clients with basic needs and more complicated circumstances
• Representing Clients seeking to Establish Conservatorships and serving as Guardian Ad Litem and Attorney Ad Litem
• Family Law in Tennessee Courts Outside of Shelby County, Tennessee 

Education:
University Of Memphis School Of Law, Memphis , Tennessee, J. D. 1986- Law review and Moot Court Board.
Mid-South School of Banking 1980
University Of Missouri at Columbia Mo. B.S.B.A. with emphasis on Accounting 1977

Bar Admissions:
All Tennessee State Courts 
U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
U.S. Court Of Appeals 6th Circuit
U.S. Tax Court

Gordon Regularly volunteers for Memphis Area Legal Services, The Community Legal Center and Other Charitable and Non Profit Organizations, and is a Regularly Speaks at Seminars on Various Areas of Practice.  

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, Tennessee 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630

G. Chadwick Reeves

G. Chadwick Reeves, Associate

Chad has practiced law since 2004, mainly concentrating in the areas of personal injury (wrongful death, auto accidents, slip and fall cases, and worker’s compensation), family law (divorce, custody, child support, post-divorce modifications, adoption and contempt matters), and bankruptcy. He has been a Rule 31 Listed Family Mediator as approved by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission since 2009. Prior to his legal career, Chad worked as a tax accountant with the Memphis office of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
 
Chad has represented NFL athletes in various legal matters. He has helped recover millions of dollars for injured individuals throughout the Mid-South and was lead counsel for the Defendant in the first same-sex divorce case in Mississippi.

Areas of Practice:
• Personal Injury/Wrongful death
• Family Law
• Bankruptcy

Education:
Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA, 2003 Juris Doctor 
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, 1998 Master of Accountancy
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, 1997 Bachelor of Accountancy

Bar Admission:
Tennessee, 2004
Mississippi, 2005
U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee, 2006
U.S. District Court Northern District of Mississippi, 2006

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, Tennessee 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630

Kevin Cavender

Kevin Cavender, Associate

Kevin has been practicing law since 2001 with the majority of his practice devoted to representing clients in family law matters and personal injury lawsuits. Kevin has practiced law for 15 years and prides himself in being available, thinking outside the box, and bringing common sense solutions to his clients’ legal problems. He is licensed in both Tennessee and Mississippi.

Areas of Practice:
Family Law
• Personal Injury
• Personal Injury defense
• Business Litigation
• Criminal (in Mississippi)

Education:
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, Juris Doctorate, 2001, Moot Court Board, Legal Research and Writing Teaching Assistant.
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS; B. A. Journalism and History, 1993, Faculty Writing Award, Golden Key National Honor Society, sports editor of Daily Mississippian
West Union High School, Myrtle, MS; Star Student 1989, Hall of Fame 1989

Previous Work Experience:
Pontotoc High School, History Teacher 1994-1997, Star Teacher, 1997
Tupelo High School, History Teacher, 1997-1998, Extra Mile Award, 1998, voted on by students
Spicer Flynn & Rudstrom, Associate, 2005-2008
Taylor & Cavender, Direct General Insurance Company in-house counsel, 2008-2012

Bar Admissions:
Mississippi, all state courts, 2001
Tennessee, all state courts, 2008
U. S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi, 2007
U. S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, 2016

Personal:
I grew up in the Macedonia Community in Union County, Mississippi. I currently live in Holly Springs with my wife, Stephanie, and my two daughters, ages 9 and 5. I am an active member of First Baptist Church in Holly Springs, MS, where I teach Sunday School. I am a football season-ticket holder and avid fan of the Ole Miss Rebels through good times and bad. 

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, Tennessee 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630


Kathy Laughter Laizure

Kathy Laughter Laizure, Associate

Since graduating law school in 1992, Kathy has represented individuals and businesses in various areas of civil litigation, primarily focusing in the areas of family law and employment law. Kathy brings to her family law clients and practice level-headedness, compassion, and many years of valuable experience. She assists clients in areas of divorce, child custody and support, post-divorce disputes and modifications, and adoptions, 
Before returning to private practice in 2014, Kathy left family law practice in 2004 to work as in-house counsel for a major corporation. She practiced exclusively in the area of employment law there for approximately nine years, defending claims in all areas of employment discrimination and successfully defending a major wage and hour class action. Kathy continues to practice in the area of employment law, and assists both individuals and businesses in all areas of employment law, including employment discrimination, family leave, age and disability discrimination and claims of retaliation. Kathy also conducts management training in state and federal employment law compliance and litigation avoidance.

Areas of Practice:
• Family law
• Employment law
• Guardianships and Conservatorships
• Mediation and arbitration

Education:
Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, University of Memphis, 
Memphis, Tennessee, J.D. with High Honors, May, 1992
Honors: Class Standing – 1 of 148, Herff Presidential Law Scholarship, 1990-92; National Honor Roll, Memphis State University Law Review, Notes Editor
 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, May, 1981

Bar Admissions:
Tennessee, 1992
Professional Memberships and Affiliations:
• Community Legal Center – Board of Directors: 2008 – 2016; 
Board Chair – 2011 – 2012
• Federal Bar Association: 2004 – Present
• Memphis Bar Association: 1992 – present
• Tennessee Bar Association: 1992 – Present;
  TBA Professional Standards Committee: 1995 – 2005
• Association for Women Attorneys: 1992 – present

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, TN 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630
S. Scott Taylor

S. Scott Taylor, Associate

S. Scott Taylor, from Nashville, Tennessee, has practiced law since 1998. Since graduating from law school, Scott worked for several insurance companies in either their claims or legal departments. In 1998, Scott transitioned to the practice of law in civil litigation and has continued to actively practice law. 

Areas of Practice 
- Personal Injury and Wrongful Death, automobile, trucking accidents, and bicycle accidents. 
- Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Claims. 
- Social Security Disability Representation from Initial Filing to Administrative Hearing Level. 
- Debt Collections including Leasing Issues and Landlord-Tenant Matters. 
- Criminal Defense in Tennessee, various misdemeanor charges, including DUI’s, traffic citations, suspended/revoked driver license. 

Education 
University of the South, A/K/A Sewanee University, 1982 
University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law, J.D., 1987

Bar Admissions 
Tennessee, 1994  
U.S. Western District of Tennessee, 2017

Professional 
Tennessee Bar Association 
Memphis Bar Association 

 6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, Tennessee 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630

Sarah Johnson Carter

Sarah J. Carter, Associate

Sarah focuses her law practice in the areas of family law representing men and women in many aspects, including litigation of divorce, contempt & post-divorce enforcement, child custody and visitation, alimony, child support, protective orders, adoption, child relocation, child support, termination of parental rights, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements. She has served as court-appointed Guardian ad Litem since 2011 and became a Certified Rule 31 Family Law Mediator in 2015. Appointed in 2015, Sarah continues to serve as a Commissioner for the City of Memphis Civil Service Commission.

Areas of Practice:
• Family Law
• Mediation
• Guardianships and Conservatorships

Education:
Mississippi College School of Law, J.D.
Mississippi State University, B.S.
Major: Psychology
Minor: Criminal Justice
Saint Agnes Academy, 2001

Bar Admissions:
Tennessee, 2011
United States Western District Court of Tennessee, 2013
United States Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2014

Professional Memberships:
• Tennessee Bar Association
• Tennessee Association of Justice
• American Bar Association

6750 Poplar Avenue, Suite 200
Memphis, Tennessee 38138
Phone: 901.755.8075 ● Fax: 901.755.2630

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