Law Firm

The History

Herndon, Coleman, Brading & McKee was originally founded in 1924 by Judge J.R. Simmons. We maintain our longevity by providing responsive and professional attention to all our client’s needs.

The Practice

Our law firm has over 127 years of providing exceptional legal services to individuals, insurance companies, corporations, and other business entities. The strength of HCB&M lies not only in its depth of experience, but also in the variety of legal expertise offered by our lawyers. We offer the services of highly accomplished attorneys, including two inductees as Fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, who specialize in a wide range of legal fields. The firm manages to integrate these specializations for a comprehensive approach to each client’s legal needs. HCB&M has the size, structure, technological resources and support staff to serve our valuable clients as efficiently as possible. At every stage of litigation, our clients are able to stay informed on cases through regular reports and analyses. One of the most common complaints the public has in the legal field is not being able to communicate with their lawyer, and we feel the secret to overwhelming client satisfaction is making communication with our clients a top priority. Always.

HCB&M understands insurance defense. Since its inception, the firm has dedicated itself to being a regional authority on insurance law and sophisticated insurance coverage issues. HCB&M is an AV rated law firm reflecting the highest rating of Martindale-Hubbell based upon the peer reviews of fellow lawyers and judges. Clients seek our services on a regional and statewide basis to handle complex coverage issues and disputes as well as bad faith and other extra-contractual litigation. HCB&M understands the special requirements of corporate and business clients and dynamically uses its resources to respond their ever changing needs. The relationships a medium-sized firm offers, while exhaustively representing client interests, is a common source of positive feedback. We believe that the client deserves prompt, correct legal advice at all times.

When claims arise, our lawyers set in motion a carefully conceived resolution plan designed to determine likely exposure and identify, analyze and explore all relevant issues. While our practice focuses on effectively managing the entire litigation process, we understand that our clients prefer quick and cost-effective solutions to complex and potentially protracted liability cases. “Shelf life” is as important as any other substantive issue in handling files. Thus, we do our best to accelerate turnaround for our clients, making use of proactive, contemporaneous post-claim and post-suit risk assessment and mitigation techniques in order to resolve matters quickly and efficiently. Opposing counsel’s familiarity with the talents and tenacity of our skilled trial attorneys undoubtedly contributes to most matters resolving prior to trial. When early resolutions are not possible, we do not hesitate to resolve cases in court. HCB&M is proud of its reputation as one of the most successful trial law firms in the area. While some practitioners have no intention of venturing further than the courthouse steps, our lawyers and paralegals work vigorously inside the courthouse to increase the likelihood of favorable outcomes. HCB&M is known for involvement in litigation matters of all levels of complexity, from “high-exposure” cases to more modest and less far-reaching matters. However, we approach all matters we handle with the same level of rigor, discipline, passion, and attention to detail.

HCB&M observes alternative fee structures, frequently entering into compensation arrangements designed to ensure increased predictability, alignment of financial rewards for case results, reduced inefficiencies and elimination of burdens associated with processing and reviewing detailed hourly billings. This translates into substantial cost savings for our clients. Efficiencies are also realized by virtue of our firm database of legal briefs, transcripts, and research materials, allowing our lawyers to easily access information that might otherwise be furnished by a third-party supplier at a substantially higher cost, and often in a less than desirable time frame.

Additionally, HCB&M consistently seeks to better all communities in which it practices by providing assistance to the judiciary and the community. The firm is composed of eight attorneys who have been Bar Association Presidents in its practice jurisdiction. Most recently, the Tennessee Bar Journal recognized the efforts led by HCB&M attorneys to provide access to justice for indigent individuals.



We approach the practice of law with nothing but our client’s interests in mind. We serve our clients aggressively, promptly, and loyally with skill second to none. We seek to be true counselors and treat our clients as we would like to be treated. We recognize that our clients need prompt solutions and that their time is valuable, and we seek to work with each and every one of them promptly and responsively to minimize the consequences of delay and the cost of legal services.

Thomas C. McKee

Senior Partner

Thomas C. McKee is a native of Johnson City and has been engaged in the active practice of law in the community and upper east Tennessee since 1967. He received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963 and a law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1967. He has a wide range of experience, primarily as a litigator, ranging from real estate to all types of personal and corporate litigation. He is a member in good standing of the Washington County Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association (where he formerly served as Co-Chair of the Professionalism Committee), the American Bar Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the American Council Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. He has served the City of Johnson City as a member of its Board of Commissioners for twelve years, twice as its Mayor, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Chairman and long term member of both its Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Boards. He has had extensive experience in representing clients, primarily developers, before public boards, and has direct involvement with much of the commercial development in Johnson City. He currently acts as counsel for the Johnson City Power Board and the Watauga River Regional Water Authority. He has served on numerous community boards, and was a member of the founding Board of Directors (and serving a total of 32 years) of the Dawn of Hope Development Center, a facility serving the physically and mentally impaired of the community.

Practice Areas: Civil LitigationFederal PracticeInsurance DefenseLabor & Employment LawMunicipal LawPublic & Private Utility Law.

Phone: 423-434-4719
Fax: 423-434-4738

Charles T. Herndon IV


Charles T. “Chip” Herndon IV is a native of East Tennessee and has been practicing law in the region since 1974. He received a BS Degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1971, where he also obtained his law degree in 1974. He has a wide range of litigation experience and currently mainly handles professional liability defense, focusing on medical malpractice defense. He has tried to a jury most issues in tort practice. He is a member in good standing of the Washington County Bar Association ( past president), the Tennessee Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Association for Justice (Tennessee Trial Lawyers) before it changed defense posture), the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Review Board, and the Federal Bar Association, having served as a past President for the Northeast Tennessee section in 2002. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and he has served as a member of the Hearing Committee for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility. He has been recognized as a Tennessee “Super” lawyer in the medical malpractice area. He has presented many seminar programs over the years relative to trial practice. He has been involved in a variety of social functions and community matters for many years, the most notable of which has been pulpit supply for Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, since 1997.

Chip’s assistant, Terri Leifert, can be reached at 423-434-4706 or via email at

Practice Areas: Civil LitigationFederal PracticeInsurance DefenseMedical Malpractice.

Phone: 423-434-4700
Fax: 423-434-4738

Bradley E. Griffith


Brad has been practicing law in Tennessee since 2000. A native of Erwin, Tennessee, he attended East Tennessee State University for his undergraduate studies and attended the University of Tennessee College of Law, graduating from both universities with honors. He joined the firm in 2001 and focuses his practice on civil litigation, with extensive experience in the areas of automobile liability, workers’ compensation, and premises liability, among others. He is a member in good standing of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and the Washington County Bar Association.

Brad’s assistant, Deborah Parker, can be reached at 423-434-4708 or via email at

Practice Areas: Civil LitigationFederal PracticeInsurance DefenseLandlord-Tenant LawPersonal Injury.

Phone: 423-434-4700
Fax: 423-434-4738

J. Matthew Bolton


Matt joined the firm in August 2006 upon his return to East Tennessee, where he was born and raised. He devotes 100% of his practice to litigation, representing individuals and businesses in a wide range of civil disputes, primarily including personal injury, premises liability, and breach of contract matters. He also manages an expansive domestic relations practice, including contested and uncontested divorce, child custody, post-divorce modifications, child support, paternity actions, and contested and uncontested adoption petitions. Matt’s other primary area of practice is criminal defense representation, both at the local state level and in the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Western District of Virginia. Matt graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2002, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications, later graduating law school in 2006 with an emphasis on trial practice. Always with an eye on giving back to the community, he has served on many area boards, including the Dawn of Hope and Hands On Children’s Museum, and he is a co-founder of the Lawyers Helping People Program, which has been recognized state wide for its contributions in assisting indigent citizens in the community obtain legal help in a variety of areas, free of cost. In 2016, Matt was recognized by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys as a “Top 10 Under 40” attorney and was also named as a Mid-South Rising Star in the Super Lawyers publication the same year. He is a member in good standing of the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the Washington County Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, having graduated its yearly renown criminal defense trial college in March of 2016.

Matt’s assistant, Tammy Harrison, can be reached at (423) 434-4702 or via email at

Practice Areas: Civil LitigationDivorce & Family LawEstate PlanningFederal & State Criminal DefenseFederal PracticeInsurance DefenseLandlord-Tenant LawPersonal Injury.

Phone: 423-434-4700
Fax: 423-434-4738

Elizabeth M. Hutton


Holding both nursing and law degrees, Elizabeth joined the firm in 2008. She specializes in complex litigation, focusing primarily on medical malpractice defense. She is able to easily understand complex expert witness opinions and correlate those opinions and their underlying facts to the statutory and common law rules governing this specialty field. Building from her legal and medical background, Elizabeth has represented doctors and their practice groups in numerous cases since joining the firm.

In addition to her expertise in medical malpractice, Elizabeth is known for excellence in domestic relations and litigation concerning a variety of issues, from product liability to trade secrets, including class action litigation. The Virginia Bar Association recognized her adept legal skill in 2007 when she was the sole recipient of the Virginia Bar Association Family Law Award. She has also completed the American Bar Association’s National Trial Academy in Tort Trial and Insurance Practice, where she excelled and received high remarks. In addition, she has argued numerous cases before the Tennessee Court of Appeals. (e.g. Roberts v. Prill, 2014 Tenn. App. Lexis 368). She also has experience representing individuals before various licensing boards in Tennessee.

She served as vice-president of her nursing class when she graduated from East Tennessee State University in 2001 and has continued to move to the forefront as a leader, serving as a representative for the First Judicial District on the House of Delegates of since 2014. She is also a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and Christian Legal Society.

Elizabeth’s assistant, Terri Leifert, can be reached at 423-434-4706 or via email at

Practice Areas: Civil LitigationDivorce & Family LawFederal PracticeInsurance DefenseMedical Malpractice.

Phone: 423-434-4707
Fax: 423-434-4738

McKenna L. Cox


McKenna L. Cox graduated Magna cum Laude from Wofford College with a Bachelor’s degree in English, Spanish, and Latin American Studies. She holds a Master’s Degree in Romance Languages and Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill and is fluent in Spanish. McKenna received her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2005 with a concentration in Advocacy.

McKenna has over a decade of experience in family law, domestic violence, mediation, powers of attorney, immigration, conservatorships, and litigation practice. She is a Rule 31 listed family mediator in the State of Tennessee. McKenna is also a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the Catholic Charities CLINIC program for representation of victims of crime in immigration cases. She is member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Federal Bar Association and its Immigration Law Section, the Tennessee Bar Association, the LGBT Bar Association, is the past Vice President and Pro Bono Coordinator of the Washington County Bar Association, sat on the Board of Legal Aid of East Tennessee, and is currently a member of the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnson City, TN.

McKenna has lived in Santiago, Chile and has travelled throughout Central and South America as well as Spain, the rest of Europe, parts of Asia, and most of North America.

McKenna’s legal assistant, Marsha Cox, can be reached at 423-434-4704.

Practice Areas: Deportation Defense & Immigration Court RepresentationDivorce & Family LawImmigration LawLandlord-Tenant LawLGBTQ IssuesMediation Services.

Phone: 423-434-4700
Fax: 423-434-4738

K. Justin Hutton

Associate Attorney

Justin graduated from East High School in 1994 and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. At 18 years of age he chose to sign the ultimate contract and challenge himself to become one of the few. His willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice and ensure the safety of his friends, family, and country evidences his strength of service to his clients and his staunch determination to succeed. He served our country with honor and distinction in the United States Marine Corps in the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, at the Strategic Weapons Facility in Bangor, Washington, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, and at Camp Swab in Okinawa, Japan.

After seeing the world, Justin rotated out of the Marine Corps and chose to pursue his education here in East Tennessee. By applying the lessons he learned in the Marine Corps, he excelled in obtaining his education receiving an Associate Degree from Northeast State Community College and his Bachelor’s of Science Degree from East Tennessee State University in Criminal Justice.

Despite being successful in his military career and in his educational goals, Justin continued to challenge himself by pursuing a Post-graduate Degree in legal studies. He continued to excel in his education studies and was awarded a merit based scholarship and a position as a research assistant, at which time he assisted in the publishing of several articles. He graduated from the Appalachian School of Law in the top 25% of his class in 2007 and moved back to his home town here in East Tennessee.

Even while his educational demands were high, he found time both in undergraduate and during his law school career to serve as the youth director in his local church. Additionally, he was voted in as chairman of the Christian Legal Society at his law school.

After graduating from Appalachian School of Law in 2007, Justin began his legal career at the Public Defenders’ Office in Sullivan County gaining invaluable litigation experience. He moved on from that position and has litigated with honor and professionalism in both the State and Federal Courts of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Over the course of his legal career, Justin has handled a variety of cases in a variety of environments.

Herndon, Coleman, Brading, & McKee is delighted that Justin decided to join our firm at the end of 2017. His litigation skills and experience in both Criminal and Civil matters in both State and Federal Courts are invaluable and an asset to our firm. As an Associate at Herndon, Coleman, Brading, and & McKee he will continue his career as a litigator in the Medical Malpractice field, as well as continuing to litigate a wide variety of matters for which he has extensive experience, including both State and Federal criminal matters. He continues to give his time serving on the Tennessee Bar Association’s House of Delegates and serving his local church. During his leisure, he enjoys spending time with his two sons in Cub Scouts, motocross, and hunting. He also enjoys hiking and canoeing with his wife.

Justin’s assistant, Terri Leifert, can be reached at 423-434-4706 or via email at

Practice Areas: Civil LitigationFederal & State Criminal DefenseMedical Malpractice.

Phone: 423-434-4712
Fax: 423-434-4738

Solange A. McDaniel


Solange A. McDaniel graduated from Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tennessee and went to King University on an athletic and academic scholarship. She graduated from King in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and History then went on to obtain her Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2011 with a concentration in Advocacy and Dispute Resolution.

During law school, Solange interned with the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and with Federal Defender Services of Eastern Tennessee. Since law school, Solange has practiced a variety of disciplines, including immigration law, criminal defense, personal injury, divorce & family law, and social security & disability law.

Solange is a member of the American Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, Washington County Bar Association, Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, and National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR).

Practice Areas: Deportation Defense & Immigration Court RepresentationDivorce & Family LawFederal & State Criminal DefenseImmigration LawSocial Security & Disability Law.

Phone: 423-434-4700
Fax: 423-434-4738

Darcee L. Kubisiak

Associate Attorney

A passionate advocate for the underprivileged, Darcee joined Herndon, Coleman, Brading & McKee in January 2018. She graduated from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2014. During law school, Darcee externed for Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc., where she provided legal assistance to indigent individuals with respect to Consumer Law and Fair Housing Practices. After returning to East Tennessee in 2014, Darcee clerked for the Honorable James A. Nidiffer of the First Judicial District.

Prior to law school, Darcee attended Milligan College on a combined academic and athletic scholarship. She was a four-time qualifier for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Swimming and Diving National Championship Meet. In 2008, Darcee received the distinguished “Champions of Character” Award from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Additionally, Darcee was recognized as an NAIA “Speedo All-American.” In 2011, Darcee graduated from Milligan College with honors and received degrees in Communications and Humanities.

Darcee’s favorite pastimes include swimming, running, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three basset hounds.

Darcee currently serves on the Board for the Washington County Misdemeanor Recovery Drug Court. Her practice areas of interest include Estate Planning, Probate, Conservatorships and Guardianships, Criminal Defense, and Landlord/Tenant Law.

Darcee’s assistant, Tammy Harrison, can be reached at (423) 434-4702 or via email at

Practice Areas: Estate PlanningFederal & State Criminal DefenseJuvenile LawLandlord-Tenant Law.

Phone: 423-434-4743
Fax: 888-979-6358



Our primary goals: to listen carefully to our clients, seeking to understand what is truly important to them; to provide legal representation appropriate to each client’s needs, or to advise up front that we cannot; to discuss in advance the fees for which our services are to be provided; to provide legal knowledge as well as common sense advice to our clients; to report to our clients all significant developments; to complete each case task promptly, expeditiously, and as inexpensively as possible; to bill promptly and ethically for services and expenses, to keep confidential all private information, both during and after the professional relationship ends; and to always remember “The Golden Rule”, both with all of our clients as well as other attorneys and judges whom we practice with and in front of in the community.

  • Ace USA Insurance Company
  •  AmSouth Bank
  •  State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Co.
  •  Mountain States Health Alliance
  •  First Community Bank of East Tennessee
  •  Progressive Hawaii Insurance Company
  •  CNA Insurance
  •  Consumers Insurance
  •  North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company
  •  Watauga River Regional Water Authority
  •  North Elizabethton Water System
  •  Builders Mutual Insurance Company
  •  Johnson City Power Board
  •  Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
  •  Employers Mutual Insurance Co.
  •  CIGNA
  •  Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.
  •  Kemper Insurance Group
  •  Indiana Insurance Company
  •  United Services Automobile Assn.
  •  Atlanta Casualty Co.
  •  Insurance Company of North America
  •  Jefferson Pilot Insurance Co.
  •  The Chubb Group
  •  Zurich-American Insurance Group
  •  Fidelity & Deposit Insurance Co.
  •  Employers of Wausau Insurance Co.
  •  Continental Insurance Co.
  •  Crawford & Co.
  •  Scottsdale Insurance Co.
  •  SPS, Inc.
  •  Woodridge Hospital, Inc.
  •  Colonial Insurance Company of California
  •  United Companies Lending Corporation
  •  Carolina Casualty Co.
  •  Permanent General Insurance Co.
  •  Western Heritage Insurance Co.
  •  Great American Insurance Co.
  •  Travelers/Aetna Group
  •  Vermont Mutual Insurance Co.
  •  Nationwide Insurance Co.
  •  Anchor Acceptance Corportation
  •  East Tennessee Rent Alls, Inc
  •  Summers Taylor, Inc
  •  Ready Mix, USA
  •  Cemex, Inc
  •  Tri-Summit Bank
  •  Peoples Community Bank
  •  State of Franklin Savings Bank
  •  Premier Mortgage
  •  Johnson City Power Board
  •  Penn Millers Mutual Insurance Co.
  •  Frontier Health
  •  Stewart Title Guaranty Company
  •  First American Title Insurance Company
  •  Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company
  •  Polymer Industries, Inc.


How can we help?

HCB&M consistently seeks to provide legal representation that is skilled, professional, and reliable. We offer a broad range of services with the capacity to handle most any legal need our clients may have. We invite you to contact us and let us know how we can help address your legal needs. We are conveniently located in the heart of downtown Johnson City, Tennessee.

Complete the contact form with your phone and email so we can get back to you in a timely manner.

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104 E. Main St. Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone: 423-434-4700 Fax: 423-434-4738

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