W. Thomas Dillard
Mr. Dillard graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1964. He began private practice in 1965, serving for nine years as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. From 1976 to 1978 he was the district's first full-time federal magistrate. He then returned to the U.S. Attorney's office, serving as its chief assistant until 1983, except for a period in 1981 when the U.S. District Court Judges for the Eastern District of Tennessee appointed him to serve as the district's U.S. Attorney.
In 1983, the President of the United States appointed Mr. Dillard to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. In 1987, he joined the firm of Ritchie, Fels & Dillard, today called Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson.
Mr. Dillard represents clients in an extensive range of state and federal matters. He has successfully defended numerous individuals in a wide range of complex white collar criminal actions, high profile murder prosecutions, and other serious cases. Mr. Dillard is certified as a criminal trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. He is a Master of the Bench of the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court.
Mr. Dillard has served on the Board of Directors of the Helen Ross McNabb Center, the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense lawyers, the Knoxville Bar Association, the Knoxville Bar Foundation, and the Federal Defender Services of Eastern Tennessee. Mr. Dillard is the founding president of the Knoxville Defense Lawyers Association. He was appointed to the Mayor's Commission on Police, the Tennessee Bar Association's Committee on Professional Standards, and the Advisory Commission to the Supreme Court on Rules of Practice and Procedure. He was elected to the Leadership Knoxville Class of 1998. The Knoxville Bar Association in 2002 awarded Mr. Dillard its highest honor, the Governor's Award, recognizing professional achievement and community involvement. He received the Knoxville Bar Association's Law Through Liberty Award in 2008. He was also privileged to receive the 2012 Joseph B. Jones award for lifetime achievement from the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Mr. Dillard instructed at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy for a number of years and was an adjunct professor of trial practice at the University of Tennessee College of Law. He has lectured at seminars for various national, state, and local bar associations and other professional organizations. Mr. Dillard has achieved the highest rating awarded by the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory (AV), and he is listed in Best Lawyers in America, The National Directory of Criminal Lawyers, and Who's Who in American Law.