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This profile was last updated on 10/4/13  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Gus Puryear IV

Wrong Gus Puryear IV?

Director

Phone: (615) ***-****  HQ Phone
Nashville Bank And Trust Company
4525 Harding Pike Ste 300
Nashville , Tennessee 37205
United States

Company Description: Nashville Bank & Trust offers a comprehensive and coordinated approach to managing the often complex and intertwined financial affairs of our clients. This approach...   more
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

Education

  • bachelor , political science
    Emory University
  • J.D. , with honors
    University of North Carolina School of Law
167 Total References
Web References
Gus Puryear, Senior Vice ...
www.asurion.com, 4 Oct 2013 [cached]
Gus Puryear, Senior Vice President, General Counsel
Gus Puryear began service as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Asurion in April 2010. Prior to joining Asurion, Puryear served for more than nine years as general counsel for CCA, a NYSE-listed company based in Nashville. Puryear previously worked in a variety of political and legislative roles in Washington, D.C., including working with the Vice President of the United States and serving as counsel to both a U.S. Senator and the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs' Special Investigation into illegal and improper fundraising during the 1996 federal elections. Before his work in Washington, Puryear was in the private practice of law in Nashville after serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Rhesa H. Barksdale of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
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Puryear earned his law degree with honors from the University of North Carolina and received a B.A. with highest honors from Emory University. Puryear also serves as a Director of NBT Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiary, Nashville Bank & Trust Co. He is active in the Nashville community and serves on numerous charitable boards, and also currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Tennesseans Against Puryear
www.againstpuryear.com, 7 Dec 2010 [cached]
judicial nomination of CCA general counsel Gus Puryear! Read the January 22, 2009 press release, here.
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With Mr. Puryear's nomination dead under the Obama administration, other candidates will be considered, according to this article.
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AP National Wire story casts doubt on chances for Mr. Puryear's confirmation. Please click here. The Associated Press thus joins the Tennessean, the Nashville Scene and the Nashville Post in casting doubt on Mr. Puryear's judicial nomination.
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Who is Gus Puryear? Mr. Puryear's background includes the following: He received his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1993; served as a law clerk to Judge Barksdale for the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1993-1994; worked as an associate attorney for the Farris, Warfield & Kanaday law firm from 1994-1997 (now Stites & Harbison); served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, 1997-1998; worked as the legislative director for Senator Bill Frist from 1998-2000; and was hired by CCA as general counsel in 2001. He also serves on the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, and is on the board of Nashville Bank & Trust.
Why object to his nomination? He's CCA's general counsel and would hold a judgeship in the same district where CCA's corporate office is located, where numerous lawsuits against CCA are filed. He has very little experience in the federal courts; during his time at CCA he has worked to conceal damaging information about the company, and has belittled prisoner litigation. He is further a member of a blatantly discriminatory country club, and has made misleading statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning the death of a prisoner at a CCA facility.
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1. Mr. Puryear would have a conflict of interest in regard to all litigation involving CCA, his current employer. This is a strong argument against his appointment. Puryear's 2006 compensation from CCA included a salary of $237,308 plus $602,957 in "other long term compensation," according to forbes.com. Since Nov. 2006 he has sold shares of CCA stock valued at over $3 million. In short, CCA has made Puryear a multi-millionaire. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 455, "Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Under this statute, Mr. Puryear would have to disqualify himself from any case involving CCA, CCA subsidiaries or CCA employees as parties.
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At his nomination hearing Mr. Puryear disputed the number of cases in which he would have had conflicts of interest; however, he apparently only counted those cases that named CCA as a corporation. He would, of course, equally have conflicts of interest with cases naming CCA executives, wardens and other staff. Having to assign such cases to other judges would be a burden on the court and would not be an effective use of judicial resources.
At his nomination hearing, Mr. Puryear stated there were only six active cases pending in the Middle District that would require his recusal if he were appointed. Actually, as of Feb. 12, 2008 there were 12 cases in the Middle District pending against CCA or CCA employees. Either Mr. Puryear provided incorrect information to the Senate Judiciary Committee, or he did not know how many cases would require his recusal -- which is his responsibility as CCA's general counsel. A list of the active cases involving CCA as of Feb. 12, 2008 is available here.
Lack of Qualifications and Trial / Litigation Experience
2. Although Mr. Puryear served as a judicial clerk, his time spent in active litigation as a trial lawyer has been scanty. He spent only three years working for a Nashville law firm. One of the attorneys at that firm stated that Puryear was hired right out of law school as a "young lawyer," and mainly assisted other attorneys. According to federal court records, Puryear has been listed as counsel of record in 130 cases in U.S. District Court in Tennessee during his legal career, which certainly sounds impressive. However, an examination of each of those case dockets reveals the following:
85 cases were dismissed by the court without service on the defendants; Puryear did nothing.
39 cases were handled by another law firm or attorney; Puryear was not directly involved.
1 case was answered by Puryear personally; he sent a letter saying the defendant had died.
5 cases included Puryear's personal involvement; all were from 1994 to 1998.
Thus, according to the federal court dockets, and by Mr. Puryear's own admission, he has been actively involved in only five federal cases over his entire legal career, and only two cases that went to trial -- most recently 10 years ago.
UPDATE! In one of only two cases he has taken to a jury trial (which he lost), Mr. Puryear's client sought to have him removed from the case, twice. Mr. Puryear was less than candid when he described his role in that case to the Senate Judiciary Committee, as detailed in this letter. (includes documents from the original case file)
Mr. Puryear has authored only one published law journal article, in 1992. Apparently his qualifications for a federal judgeship are not based on his extensive knowledge as a trial attorney, nor on his litigation experience or academic credentials. Nor is his ABA ranking noteworthy (see below). What, then, are his qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench?
UPDATE! The American Bar Association (ABA) ranks federal judicial candidates as Well Qualified, Qualified, or Not Qualified. The vast majority of judicial nominees are rated Well Qualified. During the 110th Congress, for example, 102 judicial nominees were rated by the ABA; of those, 79 were rated Well Qualified (about 77%). The remaining 23, including Mr. Puryear, were rated Qualified. The ratings are available here. Thus, Mr. Puryear was ranked in the BOTTOM 23% of his judicial nominee peers.
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Puryear is a dedicated Republican supporter, having previously worked under Republican Senators Bill Frist and Fred Thompson.
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The Nashville Post referred to Mr. Puryear as a "Republican heavyweight."
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Both Senators Alexander and Corker have strongly supported Mr. Puryear's nomination; however, they have not acknowledged that Puryear and CCA have made significant donations to their political campaigns.
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Still, federal judges, who are supposed to be impartial, should not be as blatantly partisan as reflected by Mr. Puryear's record, irrespective of party. Political payback should not be the basis for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. That goes for Democrat nominees, too.
UPDATE! Much has been made of a letter from David Randolph Smith, a Democrat and plaintiff's attorney in a suit filed against CCA by Estelle Richardson's family (see below), which endorses Mr. Puryear's nomination.
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A number of other attorneys have voiced support for Puryear, too, as has Thurgood Marshall, Jr. What do they have in common? The answer is here, though it will likely come as no surprise.
Not Acting in the Public Interest
4. As CCA's general counsel, Mr. Puryear has actively worked to hide damaging information about the company from the public, including from governmental agencies that contract with the company. Such actions are antithetical to the ethical qualities that should be displayed by a federal judge. There are several examples that can be cited. Following a hostage-taking at CCA's Bay County, Florida jail in 2004, which resulted in a prisoner and a nurse hostage being shot by a SWAT team member, CCA refused to release an after-action report related to the incident. Mr. Puryear arranged to have a private law firm provide the report to protect CCA from liability, and stated the report would never become a public record. This was reported in the News Herald on Nov. 14, 2004. A copy of the article is archived here (search for "Puryear" on the page). Notably, reports by Bay County officials and Florida state officials related to the same incident are public records.
In 2005 CCA's quality assurance division was placed under the company's legal department, so that internal quality assurance reports would not be subject to public record laws. By designating such reports as "attorney client privileged" they could be kept secret, for in-house use only. Of course Mr. Puryear was "just doing his job" as CCA's lawyer; however, deliberately withholding information from the public is not the kind of behavior we want or need in a federal judicial candidate.
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Mr. Puryear has been implicated in a scheme where CCA allegedly withheld information
Executive Salaries
www.PrivateCI.org, 13 July 2015 [cached]
Gus Puryear, IV, Executive VP, General Counsel, and Secretary: $840,265 ($237,308 salary and stock options, etc. (2006).
DC Hall of Shame
www.PrivateCI.org, 28 Nov 2011 [cached]
Puryear, general counsel for Corrections Corp. of America, was the subject of an intense lobbying effort that eventually doomed his nomination.
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The spot that is open on the U.S. District Court has been publicized not because who was once in the seat, but who was nominated for it - Gus Puryear. Puryear, who is the executive vice president and general counsel for Nashville based Corrections Corporation of America, was nominated for the bench by President George W. Bush in June of 2007.
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Although Puryear did get a nomination hearing, the U.S. Senate, which has final say on these lifetime appointments, never voted on his appointment. Puryear's nomination suffered from negative press reports about his ties to Belle Meade Country Club as well as the alleged practices of CCA in its prisons. Puryear was also targeted by an organization opposed to prison privatization. The Florida group had ties to organized labor that represents state corrections officers. Traditionally, when openings for a federal judgeship occur, the U.S. Senators from that state tell the president whom they want and he nominates them.
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Yesterday, Lamar Alexander, the lead water-carrier for judicial nominee Gus Puryear, read the campaign its last rites.
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Alexander's statements are the last nail in the coffin for Puryear, lead counsel for private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America. They're also an unofficial acknowledgment of the power of the one-man campaign. No matter where your loyalties lie, it's tough to argue that anyone deserves more of the credit (or blame) for Puryear's failed nomination than Alex Friedmann.
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Nominations of two Tennesseans - Gus Puryear of Nashville to be a federal judge and Susan Williams of Knoxville to be a TVA board member - have been derailed by political squabbles.
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Several prison rights and civil rights groups have objected to the nomination of Puryear, general counsel for Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison giant based in Nashville. CCA had been hammered by allegations of underplaying serious incidents in its jails and misrepresenting the circumstances of in-custody deaths.
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Democrats opposed both -- Puryear was caught in an election-year political fight. Republicans have tried to gain approval for as many of Bush's nominees as possible before the end of his term.
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In response to Alexander's comments, Puryear released a written statement through CCA.
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"Mr. Puryear was an unqualified, inexperienced, conflicted and controversial nominee for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.
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The nominations of Gus Puryear of Nashville to be a federal judge and Susan Williams of Knoxville to the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority are dead for this year, Sen.
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"That's not going to happen," Alexander said at a briefing with Tennessee reporters, referring to the nomination of Puryear for a federal judgeship in the Middle District of Tennessee.
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The nomination by President Bush of Puryear, general counsel for Corrections Corporation of America, had been criticized by prison rights and civil rights organizations because of his role in representing the largest private prison company in the country.
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Puryear issued a statement through CCA.
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"Gus realizes this is a lame duck year in politics," he added.
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"Gus Puryear is a qualified nominee who deserves an up-or-down vote in the Senate, and we're continuing to pursue every option to that end," Sen.
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CCA spokesman Steve Owen, responding to a request for Puryear to comment, said the company has "no way of knowing what the outcome of the confirmation process will be.
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We continue to believe that Mr. Puryear would make an excellent federal judge. He has served the company admirably and with great integrity as general counsel. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Puryear's nomination in February but has not scheduled a vote on whether to send his name to the full Senate for a vote. Reasons cited by opponents as to why Puryear should not be confirmed include: a lack of trial and judicial experience, his role as chief lawyer for the country's largest private prison company, and the company's handling of the 2004 death of Estelle Richardson while she was in the Metro Detention Facility in Nashville.
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A series of articles by the New York Times have Washington, D.C. insiders saying that Gus Puryear should keep his day job. Puryear, executive vice president and general counsel for Nashville based Corrections Corporation of America, was nominated by President George W. Bush last year to serve on the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee.
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Since the nomination, Puryear has been attacked here and in Washington for everything from his handling of CCA legal matters, his membership in the Belle Meade Country Club, to his lack of experience outside of corporate law.
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Republican insiders acknowledge that the articles have made Puryear's bid "more complicated" and there is no momentum to push him forward at this time. While the articles don't mention Puryear by name, CCA is sharply criticized for their handling of the death of Boubacar Bah and the labeling of his inmate file as "proprietary information - not for distribution. Bah was 52-year-old tailor from Guinea who had overstayed a tourist visa. While incarcerated, Bah had fallen and hit his head and became incoherent. According to the NYT, "documents detail how he was treated by guards and government employees: shackled and pinned to the floor of the medical unit as he moaned and vomited, then left in a disciplinary cell for more than 13 hours, despite repeated notations that he was unresponsive and intermittently foaming at the mouth. He was eventually transported to a hospital, but his family was not notified of his whereabouts for five days. He died four months later.
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In his April 16 letter, which Pith obtained this morning, Turner mentions the Time magazine story that alleges CCA counsel Gus Puryear allegedly whitewashed incident reports on escapes and unnatural deaths, so as not to alarm the company's clients.
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Add women's rights groups to the list opposing the federal judicial nomination of Gus Puryear IV, the embattled general counsel for the Corrections Corporation of America. Puryear's membership to Nashville's Belle Meade County Club is under fire by the women's rights organization who say women are unable to vote or hold office at the private golf club. National Organization of Women, the National Council for Women's Organizations and the Women's Equal rights Legal Defense and Education Fund have sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Puryear's nomination ignited a debate whether the general counsel of CCA, the for-profit prison giant, is suited for the bench in light of allegations that he encouraged misleading incident reports. Private Corrections Institute, an advocacy group that opposes prison privatization, has been an outspoken critic of Puryear's nomination. The Alliance for Justice and the National Lawyers Guild are among the opposition. There's also a website, www.againstpuryear.org, is part of the opposition campaign. The hearings were held last month and the committee has not voted on his nomination. President Bush nominated Puryear last June to serve as a federal judge for the Middle District of Tennessee.
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Now, though, the Richardson case has taken center stage in the nomination hearings of Gus Puryear, the CCA general counsel who was nominated by President George W. Bush to a federal judgeship in Tennessee's Middle District.
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The Senate Judiciary Committee has grilled Puryear about his statements about the case-he falsely claimed the guards were "exonerated"-and how his company handled the investigation.
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First, there's the issue that, no matter how you look at it, Richardson was almost certainly killed in a CCA facility, which Puryear glosses over in his correspondence with members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
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In fact, Puryear makes her death out to be a veritable mystery, even though it's ludicrous to imagine how someone could break their skull and crack their ribs by simply slipping on the floor. So if-and we're using the word "if" lightly here-she was killed in jail, that doesn't reflect well on CCA. Then, of course, there's McGuire's fresh anecdote about the supposedly malfunctioning camera, which makes you wonder if CCA took an awkward stab at a cover-up. CCA and Puryear are already under fire for last week's Time.com report, in which a former prison manager accused the company of lying to its government clients about the safety of its prisons. Is there a pattern here? It's next to impossible to gleam objective data
PCI News
www.PrivateCI.org, 6 Sept 2012 [cached]
That's a tangential issue in the legal career of Gustavus A. Puryear IV, just one of the things that has caught the attention of Alex Friedmann, an ex-con gone good and now an editor of Prison Legal News, an organization devoted to digging out mistreatment and maltreatment of prisoners.
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Puryear is chief lawyer of Corrections Corporation of America that is headquartered in Nashville. "CCA is the defendant in scores and scores of lawsuits each year. It is difficult to see how Puryear could ever serve as presiding judge in a trial involving his old bosses. The nomination---presented before the Senate Judiciary Committee by Republican Senators Corker and Alexander---came about the way most do: Puryear has been a worker in the vineyards for Tennessee and national Republicans.
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Friedmann says Puryear has been personally involved in only five federal cases and two trials over his entire legal career, and lost one of those.
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Republicans answer that Puryear has been rated as "qualified" by the American Bar Association.
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Puryear, therefore, is in the bottom 25 percent.
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There is a chance that Puryear won't be approved in the Senate committee.
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More than a year after President Bush nominated Gustavus A. Puryear IV to become a U.S. district judge in Nashville, the 40-year-old's appointment appears to be in serious trouble, thanks in no small part to Alex Friedmann, a convicted armed robber turned inmate advocate.
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Erica Chabot, the press secretary for committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, said Puryear is one of only three people who have been nominated for district judgeships since January 2007 and have had hearings before the committee but have not had their nominations voted on.
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"I understand they have put Puryear in the 'controversial' category," said Brian Fitzpatrick, who once worked for Republican Sen.
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Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee solidly support Puryear.
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Puryear did not return calls from The Associated Press for this story.
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