Cates wears multiple hats as litigator, prosecutor

Law Talk profile for The Memphis Daily News

June 13, 2013

Taylor Cates, attorney with Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC, describes himself as “an adequate rhythm guitar player.”

It’s a skill that might not find him onstage at the Levitt Shell, but did help him with work at his first job out of the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1999. His interest helped him to “speak the language,” and he went to work for a firm in Nashville that specialized in entertainment litigation.

When, in 2003, he and wife, Carolyn, moved home to Memphis where Cates had grown up and attended Germantown High School, it was as new parents with a growing family. There was also a family connection of law and he took an office just down the hall from his father Tom Cates, and father-in-law Joel Porter, both attorneys at the old-guard law firm.

With his connection to the legal profession in his father, there was always some indication that Cates would go into the profession as well.

“That’s something that was helpful in showing me what it was like,” he said.

With a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia University, the course was an easy one to law school.

Cates says his bread and butter is in business litigation, but still works in entertainment and intellectual property law with referrals coming to him from the Memphis Music Foundation . . . (read more)