Tasha C. Blakney is engaged in criminal defense and general civil litigation on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, primarily in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, contract disputes, employment law, and business litigation. Ms. Blakney recently served as President of the Knoxville Bar Association and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Governors of the Tennessee Bar Association. Along with David M. Eldridge, Ms. Blakney formed the practice of Eldridge & Blakney, P.C., in September of 2003.
Ms. Blakney graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law, with honors, in 1999, and has practiced law in Knoxville since her graduation. A Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rated lawyer, Ms. Blakney’s work has been recognized by her peers, having been voted as a Knoxville CityView Top Attorney throughout the years in the following categories: Wrongful Death—Plaintiff, Appellate Practice, Constitutional Law/Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Juvenile Defense, Labor & Employment Law—Employee, Personal Injury—Automobile Accidents, Federal Court Practice, and Workers’ Compensation.
She is also accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs and, in tribute to her father, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, she regularly represents veterans on a pro bono basis through her volunteer work with Project Salute.
Annually since 2013, Ms. Blakney has been honored to be listed as a Mid-South Super Lawyer in the area of Personal Injury Litigation on behalf of Plaintiffs. Prior to that, she was twice named a Rising Star by the Mid-South Super Lawyers publication and was honored to be named by the Greater Knoxville Business Journal in its inaugural list of Knoxville’s 40 Under 40. Also in 2013, Ms. Blakney received the Spirit of Justice Award from the East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women.
In 2008, Ms. Blakney was selected for membership in the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, in which membership is limited to one third of one percent of all lawyers in America. In 2011, the Knoxville Bar Association selected Ms. Blakney for membership as a Fellow in the Knoxville Bar Foundation.
Ms. Blakney has also served as an expert legal commentator for national television programming on NBC’s Oxygen Network and the Discovery Channel’s Investigations Discovery. She has taught as a member of the adjunct faculty at both the University of Tennessee College of Law and in the Paralegal Studies Program at Pellissippi State Community College.
An active member of the Tennessee Bar Association, Ms. Blakney currently serves as the Second District Governor on the TBA’s Board of Governors. She also served for two years (ending in 2014) as the co-chair of the statewide Public Education Committee, and is actively engaged in the Association’s ABA Resource Committee. A past president of the TBA’s Young Lawyers Division (2010-2011), Ms. Blakney has previously been elected as the Fellows Liaison to the TBA Young Lawyers Division Board and she still remains an active participant in the important works of the Board, including service as a volunteer with Wills for Heroes and the Diversity Leadership Initiative, a national award-winning leadership program implemented during her presidency of the Young Lawyers Division.
In 2015, Ms. Blakney was elected as a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, an honor for which membership is by invitation only. She has also been elected to the TBA’s House of Delegates and has served on the Environmental Law Executive Committee. In 2006, Ms. Blakney was awarded the TBA Young Lawyers Division President’s Award for her two years of service as the inaugural Chair of the Children’s Issues Committee. She is a 2005 graduate of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law Program.
Ms. Blakney has also been actively engaged in the activities of the Knoxville Bar Association for many years. As President, her signature project, the Open Service Task Force, placed lawyers into roles of community service each month with local nonprofit organizations and the Task Force continues its work to this day. Her prior service to the KBA includes co-chairing the Access to Justice Committee from 2004-2011 and co-chairing for three years the Association’s active Hunger and Poverty Relief Committee. As a committee member with the Hunger & Poverty Relief Committee, Ms. Blakney began serving as a volunteer for Knox County’s Mobile Meals program. Now, 16 years later, Ms. Blakney still regularly delivers mobile meals to home-bound elderly members of the Knoxville community.
Additionally, Ms. Blakney has served on the advisory board of Legal Aid of East Tennessee. In 2005, Ms. Blakney was awarded the Knoxville Bar Association President’s Award for her service on behalf of the Bar Association and the community, with a particular recognition of her efforts on behalf of the Pro Bono Committee and area non-profit organizations. In 2001, she received the KBA Barristers (Young Lawyers Division) President’s award for service to the community and Bar.
Ms. Blakney was elected to serve three terms as a member of the Board of Governors for the Tennessee Association for Justice (“TAJ”), including an appointment to the Association’s Executive Committee and as Vice-Chair of the organization’s Continuing Legal Education Committee for the Eastern Division. She has spoken on multiple occasions at continuing education programs at the request of TAJ.
Also active in the American Bar Association, Ms. Blakney has served as an elected member of the ABA’s House of Delegates (2005-2011) and was one of 26 lawyers chosen from across the nation to participate in the ABA’s inaugural Leadership Academy Program through its Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section “(TIPS”). She is currently chair of the ABA TIPS’s Medicine & Law Committee, where she has served as newsletter editor, and is also active in the Section’s Long Range Planning Committee, the Task Force on Diversity Leadership Initiatives, and the Task Force on Plaintiff Involvement. She was a recipient of the TIPS Chair’s Leadership in Action award in 2011.
In 2009, Ms. Blakney was honored to be appointed by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen to the Tennessee Community Services Agency Board of Directors, a position Ms. Blakney continued to hold on behalf of Knox County until 2012 upon re-appointment by Governor Bill Haslam.
In 2010, Ms. Blakney was selected for a three-year term as a member of the University of Tennessee’s Chancellor’s Associates and she is an avid UT fan, particularly of the Lady Vols and the football Volunteers. She is also Past President of the Board of Directors for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and is a member of Nucleus Knoxville, Executive Women’s Association, and Knoxville’s Inn of Court chapter. Ms. Blakney is a 2002 graduate of the Knox County Community Action Committee’s Leadership Class. She served for two years as co-chair of continuing legal education programs for the East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women and is a member of the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. In 2014, Ms. Blakney became a member of the board of the Tennessee Justice Center and was also appointed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to serve on a committee to fill judicial vacancies on the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Originally from Millington, Tennessee, Ms. Blakney graduated from Millington Central High School and then enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans. After a year in New Orleans, Ms. Blakney returned home to Tennessee and, following in the footsteps of her parents and later her brother, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee in Martin, Tennessee. She graduated from UT Martin in 1996, magna cum laude, earning double majors in Communications and French. While in college, Ms. Blakney completed a summer internship in France as a translator for an international agricultural company, hosted her own radio program on the college’s radio station, and received the Department of Communications Chairman’s Award of Achievement during her senior year.
Ms. Blakney completed her legal studies at the University of Tennessee College of Law, graduating in 1999 with honors. Ms. Blakney served as an editor of student materials for the Tennessee Law Review, was a member of the Moot Court Board, and was a recipient of a McClure Grant for international legal studies abroad, which she applied to a summer semester of studies at the University of Nice College of Law in Nice, France. Her case note, “Prior Restraint of Speech and Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions” is published in the Tennessee Law Review.
Prior to the formation of Eldridge & Blakney, P.C., Ms. Blakney practiced at the Knoxville firm of Ritchie, Fels & Dillard, P.C. Ms. Blakney further served from 1999 to 2000 as a judicial clerk to Supreme Court Justice Gary R. Wade, who was then Presiding Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, and previously worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Knoxville Office of the Tennessee Attorney General.
Ms. Blakney is licensed to practice before all courts in the State of Tennessee, the United States District Courts for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
She is married to Michael Rogers, a television producer with Knoxville-based Jupiter Entertainment, and she has two amazingly talented step-daughters, Caroline and Katie. They live in South Knoxville with a growing collection of rescued family pets, including a cranky cat named Goose, a loveable lab mix named Bailey, a well-meaning but hyper hound mix named Ollie, and a cute mutt of undetermined origin named Caesar.