Judge Sharp is the Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Nashville office, which opened in the spring of 2017. He joined Sanford Heisler Sharp after serving as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee from May 2011 through April 2017, serving from 2014 to 2017 as the Court’s Chief Judge.
About Joining Sanford Heisler Sharp
I would not have left the bench for just any firm. I liked my role as a judge and was proud to have been selected by President Obama to serve in the judiciary. However, David Sanford and I have been friends for over a decade, and the firm that he and Jeremy Heisler built is the best in the country at what they do. So the chance to be a part of a group of smart, talented and, above all, dedicated individuals working toward a social justice end was an opportunity I could not let pass.
On Equal Opportunity and Equal Justice
Growing up, my father, a former army paratrooper and Memphis firefighter, instilled in me a love of country and a sense of duty. And on multiple occasions, I have taken my own oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States. I became a lawyer to fulfill those commitments, and there is no worthier means for realizing the ideals embodied in our constitution than fighting for equal opportunity and working toward a more just society.
On His Time in Public Service
It has been my great honor to serve this nation and the citizens of Tennessee as a federal judge, and, since 2014, the District's Chief Judge. Having worked in all three branches of government, first as a sailor in the U.S. Navy, then as a lawyer for the U.S. Congress Office of Compliance, and as a member of the judiciary, I have witnessed the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women who have chosen to put country above self. They have inspired me and, I hope, made me a better citizen.
Judge Kevin Sharp is the Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Sharp’s Nashville office. He joined the firm after serving as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee from May 2011 through April 2017, including service from 2014 to 2017 as the court’s Chief Judge.
In his judicial role, Judge Sharp handled many high-profile cases, including Young v. Giles County Board of Education, granting an injunction against school officials who prevented a student from wearing a shirt that read “Some People are Gay. Get Over It!”; Rodriguez v. Providence Community Corrections, Inc., halting the practice of a private probation company, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, seeking to jail probationers when the only violation alleged was nonpayment of court costs and fines; and Marshall v. ESPN, Inc., et al., a case garnering national attention addressing the right of publicity by college athletes.
Judge Sharp is presently lead counsel in the General Electric ERISA Class Action in which the plaintiffs assert GE and the Plan violated the Federal Employee Retirement Security Act by breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in prohibited transactions and unlawful self-dealing detrimental to the named plaintiffs and the class. He is also lead counsel in a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Metro Nashville Airport brought by the Airport’s former President and CEO. Additionally, Judge Sharp is lead counsel in an age discrimination collective action against Volkswagen of America and VW AG currently filed in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. He further represents multiple Virginia localities, including the City of Alexandria, the City of Winchester, the City of Martinsville, Arlington County, Dickenson County, Lee County, Loudoun County, and Washington County, Virginia, in opioid epidemic investigations and lawsuits that were the first in the Commonwealth pursuing legal action against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy benefit managers.
Earlier in his career, Judge Sharp served as an attorney in the Office of Compliance of the U.S. Congress from 1996 to 1997. Prior to attending college, he served in the United States Navy, specializing in in-flight communications aboard the P-3 Orion operating in antisubmarine warfare and reconnaissance capacities. Currently Judge Sharp is working with several national organizations on criminal justice and sentencing reform issues.
- J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, TN 1993
- B.S. Christian Brothers College, Memphis, TN 1990, summa cum laude
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee - Chief Judge, October 2014 to April 2017 - Judge, May 2011- September 2014
- United States Navy, Petty Officer, Patrol Squadron 17, Barbers Point, HI 1982-1986
- U.S. Congressional Office of Compliance, Attorney, Washington, DC. 1996-1997
- Drescher & Sharp, P.C., Nashville TN, Shareholder 2003-2011
- Stokes, Bartholomew, Evans & Petree, P.A. Nashville, TN - Member, Litigation Section; Co-Chair, Employment Law Group, 1997-2003 - Associate Litigation, federal and state, 1993-1996
- Tennessee, 1993
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Memberships & Activities
- Sustaining Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Fellow, Napier-Looby Bar Foundation
- Fellow, Nashville Bar Foundation
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Nashville Bar Association
- Member, Tennessee Bar Association
- Member, Federal Bar Association
- Member, National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
- Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Class (2005)
- Board member, Tennessee Supreme Court Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection (2004 – 2009)
- Member, TBPR Disciplinary Hearing Committee (2000 – 2006)
- Special Disciplinary Counsel to the Tennessee Supreme Court (2001)
- Former president, ALS Association, Tennessee Chapter (nonprofit organization dedicated to serving patients and families living with Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Volunteer Counsel, Jeanne A. Carpenter Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund (2005 – 2010)
- Former board member (2001-2004) and legal counsel (1994-2004), Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley
Fauquier County, Virginia, filed the lawsuit in state court against more than 15 opioid manufacturers, distributors, and PBMs.
The City of Alexandria and Dickenson County, Virginia, represented by Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, and The Cicala Law Firm PLLC became the first municipalities in the Commonwealth of Virginia to pursue legal action against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for their role in creating the public health emergency caused by prescription opioids.
The Relator’s Complaint alleges that in 2013, Roche paid Humana a kickback in exchange for Humana placing Roche’s diabetes testing products on its Medicare Advantage formularies.
The German automakers’ “Pact for the Future” labor campaign eliminates 7,000 jobs in the Americas primarily held by workers born between 1995 and 1960.
Washington County filed the lawsuit in state court against more than 15 opioid manufacturers, distributors, and PBMs — including pharmaceutical titan Purdue Pharma and worldwide distributor McKesson.
Galax and Giles County filed the lawsuits in state court against more than 15 opioid manufacturers, distributors, and PBMs — including pharmaceutical titan Purdue Pharma and worldwide distributor McKesson.
Page County filed the lawsuit in state court against more than 15 opioid manufacturers, distributors, and PBMs — including pharmaceutical titan Purdue Pharma and worldwide distributor McKesson.
Martinsville and Henry County filed the lawsuit in state court against more than 15 opioid manufacturers, distributors, and PBMs — including pharmaceutical titan Purdue Pharma and worldwide distributor McKesson.
Lee County and the City of Norton filed the lawsuit in state court against more than 15 opioid manufacturers, distributors, and PBMs — including pharmaceutical titan Purdue Pharma and worldwide distributor McKesson.
- Death row inmate Nicholas Todd Sutton asks for mercy. Lawyers say he went ‘from a life-taker to a life-saver’
- Sanford Heisler Sharp
- The graying of America’s prisons: ‘When is enough enough?’
- Nashville airport settles lawsuit with former CEO for $2M
- VW Can’t Sink Class Claims In Age Bias Battle
- Judges should be able to take a ‘second look’ at prison sentencing
- VW Workers Get Narrowed Collective OK’d In Age Bias Suit
- Floyd and Three Other Virginia Communities Join the Fight Against Opioid Industry
- 4 Va. Localities Initiate Legal Action against Opioid Industry
- Madison joins other localities in Virginia in suits against Big Pharma
- 2019 Attorney for Justice, the Tennessee Supreme Court
- 2019 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - South in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - South in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- Nashville Business Journal’s Best of the Bar (2003, 2005-2009)
- “Mid-South Super Lawyers” (2007 – 2010)
- 2008–2010 and 2020 Best Lawyers in America – Recognized for work in the field of “Employment Law - Individuals”
- Included in Corporate Counsel magazine’s feature The 2009 Best Lawyers Annual Guide to Labor and Employment Law
- Awarded “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell
- Listed in Who’s Who in American Law