Richard Carter practices primarily in complex litigation involving commercial construction, intellectual property (patents, copyrights and tradeworks), professional liability and serious personal injury and wrongful death.  In his more than forty years of practice he has tried many complex jury trials to verdict in both state and federal courts.  Because of his extensive trial experience, he has been certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Civil Trial Law since 1999.  In addition to his extensive trial experience, Richard has helped many doctors and other professionals with their contracts and actions to protect their licensure.

Richard holds an AV rating with Martindale Hubbell.  He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for many years and has been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Tennessee in the areas of Intellectual Property and Litigation.  Richard served on the Tennessee Bar Association’s Committee to explore creation of uniform Local Rules for the three federal judicial districts of Tennessee.  He was Chairman of the Civil Rules Section of the United States District Court for the Western District Local Rules Committee between 2009 and 2010 when the Local Rules for the Western District were rewritten.  In 2012, the Federal Court appointed him Chairman of the newly formed Standing Local Rules Committee where he served as Chairman and Member until 2018.  He also was a member of the Western District’s Local Patent Rules Committee.

He has served as Treasurer of the Leo Bearman Sr. Inn of Court, a member of the Lawyer’s Journal Club, a fellow in the Tennessee Bar Foundation and a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.  Richard strongly values his faith and has served Independent Presbyterian Church as Clerk of the Session, Chairman of the Staff Case Committee, Chairman of its Diaconate and Chairman of the Plant and Operations Committee and as a long standing teacher of Senior Adults.  He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the IPC Foundation.  He also has been Secretary, Vice President (2000-2009) and was President of the Law School Alumni Association in 2009-2010 when the new law school building was opened in downtown Memphis.  He continues to serve as a member of the Law Alumni Association Presidents’ Committee.  He also served as Secretary and President of the West Point Society of the Mid-South.

He has lectured extensively on federal local rules, patent litigation and trial practice issues including: the America Invents Act; the update on SCOTUS patent cases; patent litigation; patentability under 35 U.S.C. § 101; accounting defense; uses of demonstrative evidence at trial; Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act; expert witness examination; class action lawsuits; and wrongful death, to name a few.

Richard received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy in 1973 where he commanded one of the Academy’s four Regiments.  After earning his Airborne and Ranger tabs, Richard served in various positions as an Infantry Lieutenant and Captain in Europe before returning to attend law school under the Army Funded Legal Education Program.  While at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis, Richard was Editor-In-Chief of the Law Review, a member of the Moot Court Board and recipient of the Sam A. Meyer Scholarship.  Following graduation from law school, Richard served in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps as a prosecutor, senior prosecutor, and senior defense counsel before leaving the service in 1984 to join Martin Tate.  Richard has been Chairman of the Firm’s Litigation Department for more than 25 years.  For many years, he has been and remains a member of the Memphis, Tennessee, American and Federal Bar Associations.


  • University of Memphis School of Law, J.D., 1980
  • United States Military Academy at West Point, B.S., 1973

Bar Admissions


Professional Recognition

Classes Taught

  • Lecturer, How the Attorney Should Prepare for a Liability Case, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, Memphis Chapter, 1993
  • Lecturer, See You In Court: Security Breach Liability, Society for Information Management, Memphis Chapter, 2002
  • Lecturer, Issues in Discovery , Memphis Bench Bar Conference, 2002
  • Use of Demonstrative Evidence and Trial Presentation Techniques, ATLA Roscoe Pound Institute, 2002
  • Lecturer, Patent Ligation: A Brief Tour Through the Minefield, Memphis Bar Association, 2007
  • Lecturer, Local Rule Changes and The Realities of E-Discovery, Federal Bar Association, 2010
  • Lecturer, Patent Reform Act of 2011, US Law Network, 2011
  • Lecturer, 2015 Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Tennessee Bar Association, 2014
  • Lecturer, The Boundaries of Patentability Under Section 101, Memphis Lawyers' Journal Club, 2015

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi

Certifications and Memberships

  • Civil Trial Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy, since 1999


  • Federal Enforcement of Individual and Corporate Criminal Liability for Water Pollution, 10 Memphis State University Law Review 576, 1980
  • Co-Author, Insurance Coverage Laws in Tennessee, National Business Institute, Inc.1995
  • Co-Author, Trying the Wrongful Death Cases in TennesseeStrategies in Preparation and Valuation, National Business Institute, Inc.1996
  • Spoliation in the State and Federal Courts of Tennessee, Lawyers' Journal Club, 2009
  • The Boundaries of Patentability Under Section 101, Lawyers' Journal Club, 2015