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Nashville Litigation Lawyer

Frank Steiner is a respected attorney advocating for clients in Probate, Probate Litigation, Labor & Employment Law, Commercial litigation, Small Business litigation, Contract Law, Sports and Entertainment Law and Mediation. Attorney Steiner has a broad background, with over 40 years in corporate management and law practice combined. Based in Nashville, Frank Steiner is familiar with practice and procedure in the courts throughout Tennessee, both Circuit and Federal(District) Courts. He has the necessary skills and experience to help you resolve your legal problems.

Probate and Probate Litigation

Will Contest TCA §§ 32-4-101 – 32-4-109

(a) If the validity of any Last Will or Testament, written or nuncupative, is contested, then the court having probate jurisdiction over that Last Will or Testament must enter an order sustaining or denying the contestant’s right to contest the Will. If the right to contest the Will is sustained, then the court must:

  1. Require the contestant to enter into bond, with surety, in the penal sum of five hundred dollars ($500), payable to the executor mentioned in the Will, conditioned for the faithful prosecution of the suit, and in case of failure in the suit, to pay all costs that may accrue on the suit; and
  2. Cause a certificate of the contest and the original Will to be filed with the appropriate court for trial.

(b)  As used in this section, the term “the appropriate court for trial” means the court elected by the contestant, in the notice of contest, to conduct a trial upon the validity of the Will.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-4-101

Factors in Setting Aside a Will

Unsound Mind

Under T.C.A. § 32-1-102 the code dictates that any person of sound mind eighteen  (18) years or older may make a Will. Determining whether or not an individual is of sound mind is of course not a definitive science.  If a testator has a lucid interval when executing the Will, the Court will hold that the testator was of sound mind.

Confidential Relationship and Undue Influence

It is not influence upon a capable mind that is prohibited. It is the undue influence thereof which is the subject of judicial condemnation. Patterson v. Mitchell (1929 M.S.) 9 Tenn.App. 662. For the doctrine of undue influence to be applicable there must be a confidential relationship in existence whereby one party is in a position, because of the confidential relationship, to exercise undue influence over the mind and will of the other. Turner v. Leathers (1950) 191 Tenn. 292.

The proponents of the Will have the initial burden of proving that the Will was duly executed. See In re Estate of Elam, 738 S.W.2d 169, 171 (Tenn. 1987). This may be accomplished using the testimony of living witnesses and by showing that the Will complies with all formalities of law. See In re Estate of King, 760 S.W.2d 208, 210 (Tenn. 1988). Proof of due execution makes out a prima facie case of the will’s validity because it gives rise to a presumption that the testator was capable of making a Will. Curry v. Bridges, 45 Tenn. App. 395, 407, 325 S.W.2d 87, 92 (1959); Needham v. Doyle, 39 Tenn. App. 597, 622, 286 S.W.2d 601, 612 (1955). Accordingly, the burden of proof then shifts to the contestant to prove the will is invalid for some reason. Green v. Higdon, 870 S.W.2d at 520; Taliaferro v. Green, 622 S.W.2d 829, 835 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1981).

The first 48 hours after the death of a family relative are the most hectic. The family is more concerned with planning the funeral, editing the obituaries and notices in newspapers  and getting the family matters in order. In most instances the last thing relatives are thinking about at this point is the Will or the existence of  a Will. The first 48 hours after the death of the close Family member are usually very sad and very emotional.  But at some point, the estate of the decedent must be considered and the sooner this is done the better for the estate in general. If the decedent has executed a Will is imperative that the attorney who executes the Will keeps a copy and ensures that the testator put the Will in an easily discoverable location and alerts the selected executor or executrix of the location of that Will. We want to avoid Family members scrambling through personal property of the decedent trying to find the Will, the Will’s location should already be known. Do they have a Will? Do they have a Trust?  A good attorney must take great care in his/her estate planning and always keep copies of all products he/she developed for the client in a location and knows where to get it.  In addition, the attorney must review the files every few years to make sure that the plan derived by the attorney is still the most effective to meet the clients needs.

Tennessee’s statutory framework provides for the following types of wills:

  1. Attested Wills
  2. Nuncupative Wills
  3. Holographic Will
Attested Wills – Most Ideal

T.C.A. §32-1-104 Will other than holographic or nuncupative – – Signatures governs attested wills under Tennessee law.   The statute specifically states as follows:

(a)  The execution of a will, other than a holographic or nuncupative Will, must be by the signature of the testator and of at least two (2) witnesses as follows:

  1. The testator shall signify to the attesting witnesses that the instrument is the testator’s Will and either
    • The testator sign;
    • Acknowledge the testator’s signature already made; or
    • At the testator’s direction and in the testator’s presence have someone else sign the testator’s name; and
    • In any of the above cases the act must be done in the presence of two (2) or more attesting witnesses
  2. The attesting witnesses must sign:
    • In the presence of the testator; and
    • In the presence of each other.

(b) (1) For Wills executed prior to July 1, 2016, to the extent necessary for the Will to be validly executed, witness signatures affixed to an affidavit meeting the requirements of § 32-2-110 shall be considered signatures to the Will, provided that:

  1. The signatures are made at the same time as the testator signs the Will and are made in accordance with subsection (a); and
  2. The affidavit contains language meeting all the requirements of subsection (a).

(2)  If the witnesses signed the affidavit on the same day that the testator signed the Will, it shall be presumed that the witnesses and the testator signed at the same time, unless rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. If, pursuant to this subsection (b), witness signatures on the affidavit are treated as signatures on the will, the affidavit shall not also serve as a self-proving affidavit under § 32-2-110. Nothing in this subsection (b) shall affect, eliminate, or relax the requirement in subsection (a) that the testator sign the Will.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-1-104                                   

Nuncaputive Will

(a)  A nuncupative Will may be made only by a person in imminent peril of death, whether from illness or otherwise, and shall be valid only if the testator died as a result of the impending peril, and must be:

  1. Declared to be the testator’s Will by the testator before two (2) disinterested witnesses;
  2. Reduced to writing by or under the direction of one (1) of the witnesses within thirty (30) days after such declaration; and
  3. Submitted for probate within six (6) months after the death of the testator.

(b)  The nuncupative Will may dispose of personal property only and to an aggregate value not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), except that in the case of persons in active military, air or naval service in time of war the aggregate amount may be ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(c)  A nuncupative will neither revokes nor changes an existing written Will.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-1-106

Holographic Will

T.C.A. § 32-1-105 governs holographic wills and specifically states as follows:

No witness to a holographic Will is necessary, but the signature and all its material provisions must be in the handwriting of the testator and the testator’s handwriting must be proved by two (2) witnesses.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-1-105

Tennessee Probate Courts still see quite a few holographic Wills that periodically show up in probate. Most holographic wills are done without the assistance of an attorney which leads, in many cases, to unexpected consequences for the estate of the testator. As an attorney if you become aware that a client has a holographic Will, you should at least request to review it to ensure that it would be effective upon presentation to the court. Holographic Wills since they’re drawn up by the testator may not exhibit the formalities required under the law. A simple update to ensure compliance with the statute might save an estate serious heartache upon presentment to the court.

Employment Law

Our practice covers all aspects of Labor and Employment Law.  Frank Steiner spent the first part of his career, over 25 years, in management with some of the largest corporations in America.  This experience gives him a unique insight into business and how they operate.

Frank Steiner frequently litigates cases involving  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S §2000e et seq. He specializes on cases involving gender discrimination, contravention of rights afforded by the Americans with Disabilities discrimination (ADA) 42 U.S.C.§§12101 et seq., and Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, (FMLA) 29 U.S.C. §§2601  et seq.,  along with violations of TCA §8-50-103, Tennessee Disability Act. T.C.A. § 4-21-301.


Retaliation occurs when an employer punishes an employee for acting under protected activity.  Protected activity occurs in employment when the individual acts in furtherance of federal discriminatory law. For example, an employee files a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging discrimination or retaliation while still employed. In that instance the action of filing a charge is considered “protective” activity and any adverse action against the employee is considered retaliation.


Filing a lawsuit can be very intimidating.  More importantly, you do not always have to file a lawsuit to get your wrong righted.  Our experienced attorney will work with your individual needs while guiding you through the process.  Our practice covers:

Federal and Tennessee Laws prohibiting discrimination and retaliation based on:

  1. Race/National Origin
  2. Religion
  3. Sexual orientation
  4. Age
  5. Disabilities

In addition to Title VII and the Tennessee Human Rights Act, we practice:

  • ADA Discrimination and Retaliation
  • FMLA Violation
  • Tennessee Whistleblower Actions

TCA (symbol) 50-1-304, The Tennessee Whistleblower Act provides an exception to the at-will employment doctrine of Tennessee.  Retaliatory discharge provides that employees cannot be fired for refusing to remain silent or refusing to engage in actions that they believe to be illegal.

Commercial Litigation and Small Business Law

We believe the key to representing business is to investigate and assess the vulnerabilities of the organization. Our Attorney has successfully defendant cases involving business disputes and commercial litigation.

Frank Steiner has a broad knowledge of experience in corporate environments which he brings to the table in all of his client engagements.  This includes working for Andersen consulting, Hughes Aircraft, and Continental Airlines.

We bring this wealth of 25 plus years of corporate experience to each and every client service.

Entertainment and Sports Law

Frank Steiner Law offers services in representation of entertainment and sports clients, such as drafting contracts, review of contracts, interpretation of contract and litigation fir breach of contract.

Contract Law

With over 25 years of experience in corporate management, Attorney Steiner has in-depth understanding and insight in the construct of contracts.  Whether it is business or employment contract, he is able to navigate his clients to get the best protection while negotiate the best term for them.  Before signing any contracts, call our office for confidence and competent assistance you deserve.


Attorney Frank Steiner is a Tennessee listed rule 31 mediator and neutral. Approximately 97% of all litigation results in mediation. Mediation is an effective approach to resolving disputes and reducing the cost of litigation. Frank Steiner has over 25-years in corporate management where he has engaged in mediation to save problems. During his term at Continental Airlines, Frank Steiner engaged in complex mediation and negotiation involving the training provided by the original equipment manufacturer ensuing that his client obtained the most advance and thorough aircraft training.  This special skill has work well to achieve favorable and successful outcome for many of his clients.


Meet Frank Steiner

Frank Steiner is a respected lawyer advocating for clients in Labor & Employment Law, Probate, Wills and Estates, and Small Business and Corporate Law. Based in Nashville, Frank Steiner is familiar with the courts throughout all of Tennessee, both Circuit and Federal Court. He has the necessary skills to help you resolve your legal problems.

Client Reviews

Very honest person, professional and takes the time to listen to people, very kind and informative. I would hire him with my eyes closed no doubt about it...

Carolina T.

Frank is a true Gentleman dedicated to his Clients and fights for them at every turn. He does not quit and he is always on your side. Having Frank as my Attorney was a great Legal Experience. Thank you Frank Gene.

Gene S.

Frank Steiner has provided excellent legal services for my family and I on more than one occasion. They are very personable, and I would highly recommend them to handle your legal needs!

James P.

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Frank Steiner Law, PC
2200 21st Avenue South, Suite 309

Nashville, TN 37212

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