Phil is a trial lawyer who primarily practices family law. Over the course of a 27-year legal career, he has represented a multitude of clients in high asset, complicated divorce cases and in contested cases involving alimony, child custody, and the calculation of child support. Phil has represented clients in a wide variety of contested post-divorce proceedings, including parenting plan modifications and changes in child custody, parental relocations, child support modification, and appellate work. Phil has represented clients in juvenile court proceedings.
Phil also has represented clients in personal injury cases of all types throughout his legal career.
Phil has been listed as a Rule 31 general civil/family law mediator for more than a decade. His services as a family law mediator are in great demand. He has successfully mediated approximately 500 cases. Phil thoroughly enjoys working with other attorneys and their clients and applying his family law experience and problem-solving ability to help them settle difficult and emotionally charged divorce and post-divorce cases out of court.
Phil was a member of the first class in middle Tennessee to be trained, as a group, in collaborative divorce.
Phil has been a presenter at continuing legal education seminars on a variety of topics related to family law and mediation.
After receiving his license to practice law in Tennessee in 1993, Phil worked as a trial lawyer at Manier, Herod, Hollabaugh & Smith in Nashville, Tennessee for almost five years.
Phil and Mark Puryear – friends and fraternity brothers at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) founded Puryear & Newman in 1997. In 2000, Puryear, Newman & Morton was formed Franklin native, Chas Morton, joined as a third member of the law firm.
Phil has been admitted to practice law in the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of the United States Federal District Court of Tennessee.
Phil routinely handles cases in Williamson, Davidson, Maury, Dickson, Rutherford, Wilson, Cheatham, and Montgomery Counties. He has argued many cases before the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court.
A native of California, Phil was raised in Brentwood, Tennessee, and has lived in middle Tennessee since 1972. Phil is married to Jude White, also a practicing attorney. Phil and Jude live in Nashville with their sons, John Patrick and Joe. Phil is an avid runner and often can be found running before or after work in Belmont/12South, downtown Franklin, or Shelby or Percy Warner Parks. Phil is an avid sports fan and loves great books, a good cup of coffee, and coaching his boys’ baseball teams. Phil and his family are active members of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Nashville.
- University of Tennessee (Juris Doctorate, 1993)
- University of Tennessee (B.S., 1988)
- Brentwood High School
Honors & Memberships
- Tennessee Bar Association
- Nashville Bar Association
- Williamson County Bar Association
- Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators
- Tennessee Bar Association Fellow
- John Marshall American Inns of Court
- Past Board President, Children's House of Nashville Montessori School
- Finance Committee Member, St. Patrick Catholic Church
- Past Board Member, Nashville Shakespeare Festival
- Past Board President, 21st Judicial District Recovery Court
- Past Co-Chair, 21st Judicial District Recovery Court Community Breakfast