I am Tennessee criminal lawyer Douglas K. Dennis. I proudly provide legal representation to clients in Cookeville, Crossville, Sparta, and throughout the Upper Cumberland.
My First Career in the Entertainment Industry
Before beginning my law career, I provided security for some of the largest nightclubs on the East Coast. I was also a successful booking agent with Famous Artists Agency in New York City, NY. From the age of 18, I represented a roster of over 150 musical performance acts including such greats as Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle, James Ingram, the Four Tops and Will Smith.
At the onset of hostilities in the first Persian Gulf War, I enlisted as an Electronics Warfare technician in the U.S. Navy. I served aboard the USS John Hancock (DD981) while deployed in the Red Sea during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. After participating in MEFOPS in the Red Sea in 1993, I was awarded the Southeast Asia Combat Medal by the U.S. Navy.
Business Management Experience
Immediately following my honorable discharge, I relocated to Cookeville, Tennessee and met my wonderful wife, Jodi. I secured employment with Federal Express Corporation here in Cookeville, and worked my way up the corporate ladder to become an operations manager for the shipping giant. I worked at FedEx for over 7 years, and dreamt of eventually attending college as my family grew. Tennessee had been very good to my family, and it soon became possible for me to go to college. I attended Tennessee Technological University here in Cookeville, and earned my Bachelor’s Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in just two and a half years while putting myself through school and supporting a family of five.
A Career in Tennessee Law
The time was right for me to pursue my lifelong dream of going to law school. Having been raised in New York City, New York, I grew up watching friends and neighbors being unfairly treated by the criminal justice system simply because they could not afford to hire adequate representation to defend them, or paid way too much for the quality of representation they actually received. Though nobody wanted to admit it, the defendants who could afford to hire an excellent criminal defense attorney always seemed to fare better than those who couldn’t. When I was a kid, there were millions of people in New York City who could barely make ends meet, and tons of criminal defense lawyers who made huge promises. Unfortunately, many of those lawyers forgot about promises immediately after depositing the checks for their fees. Sitting in the gallery of a Manhattan courtroom, I saw firsthand the damage caused by lawyers who spent their careers counting money instead of defending their clients.
Following my graduation from TTU in 2003, I was accepted as an incoming law student by the University of Tennessee’s College of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee. I graduated from UT Law School in 2006 with multiple awards, and a concentration in the Advocacy Program, and I gained firsthand experience as an Assistant Attorney General with the District Attorney General's Office in Knox County. Immediately after graduation, I passed the bar exam and was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 2006. I then went to work for one of the premier criminal defense attorneys in Tennessee, and learned the importance of effective motion practice; a skill that has become something of a lost art in today’s legal universe.
Serving the Upper Cumberland Area in Private Practice
In 2008, I opened my own firm in Cookeville, Tennessee. Since its opening, we have remained solely dedicated to aggressive criminal defense. We give personal attention to each client with the support of a small and dedicated staff. My office has fiercely defended clients in federal courts and throughout the State of Tennessee, and we are known for the quality of our work in courtrooms and law offices across the state. We’ve won multiple full acquittals in jury trials for Homicide and “Shaken Baby” cases, and obtained dismissals and favorable results in thousands of criminal cases filed against our clients.
I have never forgotten how it felt to watch a friend or neighbor get hammered by the criminal justice system simply because they hired the wrong lawyer, and our office fights each and every day to ensure that our clients are getting the very best criminal defense available at any price. There are still a ton of lawyers out there who make huge promises, and charge much more than they’re worth.
We earned our swagger the hard way,….and we intend to keep it.