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Catherine C. Dugan


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Cate is a litigation attorney who has practiced in the insurance defense industry since 2004. She has handled claims from workers’ compensation to general liability to coverage, and has worked in private practice and in-house. For most of her career, Cate’s focus has been on defending employers and insurance carriers in workers’ compensation claims, assisting her clients as they navigate necessary administrative procedures and defending claims through litigation, as necessary. She has tried cases before Courts throughout Tennessee and has successfully argued before the Tennessee Supreme Court Special Workers’ Compensation Panel.

Another key focus of Cate’s practice is on training and education for employers and carriers, keeping her clients updated as the workers’ compensation law has evolved in recent years and advising on successful practices to avoid common pitfalls when a worker is injured. She also enjoys lecturing and presenting at seminars and conferences on important issues facing the practice of workers’ compensation defense.

Cate is an AV Preeminent-rated attorney from Martindale-Hubbell. She is a Past President and current Board Member with the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association. She is also our Tennessee State Representative for the DRI, Lawyers Representing Business, Southern Regional Director, past Tennessee State Representative, as well as active with the national DRI Workers' Compensation Committee. Cate was selected for and completed the Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Program in 2014, and has been selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyers Rising Star several times. Cate is also involved with the Mid-South Workers’ Compensation Association and the Blue Goose International Tennessee Pond.

Cate was born in Lexington, Kentucky and lived in Kentucky and South Carolina before moving to West Tennessee at age 9. Cate attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, graduating summa cum laude and as a University Scholar, in 2001. She then attended the University of Tennessee College of Law, graduating cum laude in 2004, with an emphasis in Trial Advocacy.

Cate, her husband John, and her daughters Clare and Emme, live in Brentwood, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. When she is not working or taking her daughters to activities around town, she enjoys reading, trying new restaurants, and traveling. She is also an avid Kentucky Wildcats fan. Cate and her family love living in Nashville and enjoying all the fantastic events and music the city has to offer.

    Professional Associations

    • Tennessee Defense Lawyers' Association, Past-President, Board Member
    • Defense Research Institute, Tennessee State Representative
    • The Alliance of Women in Workers' Compensation, Nashville Ambassador
    • Mid-South Workers' Compensation Association, Member
    • Blue Goose International, Member

    Bar Admissions

    • Tennessee, 2004
    • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, 2005


    • AV Preeminent Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
    • Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law, Class of 2014
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Rising Star