Curtis A. Runger
Curt began his career practicing law with Eugene “Doug” Douglass in 2004, handling “door law” cases, servicing all business that came through “the door.” Unlike many of his peers who joined larger firms where they eased into the practice of law under the close watch of senior partners, Curt immediately litigated a variety of matters ranging from car wreck cases and complex business disputes to contested divorces, probate estates and criminal defense matters. This fast-paced litigation experience forged Curt into one of the most versatile litigators for his age in Memphis. Curt’s reputation for aggressive, yet compassionate representation, coupled with his burning desire to serve as many clients as possible quickly resulted in an influx of new clientele for his practice.
While he enjoyed handling a variety of matters, Curt understood to provide the level of representation his clients deserved, he needed to hire experts in different practice areas, so that he could focus on the areas in which he truly excelled; namely, complex civil litigation, probate matters and transactional work. His vision to provide top notch legal representation for all clients drove him to expand his practice, and in February 2010, Curt and Doug established Douglass & Runger. The two-man operation that started in 2010 grew under Curt’s leadership into one of the most well-respected small firms in Memphis.
Curt brings extensive litigation experience to his clients and has tried many cases to verdict, non-jury and jury. As a self-described “old school, throw-back” lawyer, Curt attributes his versatility to his late grandfather and Harvard Law educated lawyer, Bruce Laybourne, who practiced law at a time where “your lawyer was your lawyer” regardless of the situation. A skilled tactician, Curt understands the intricacies of trial strategy in every case and locks into his clients’ cases providing measured and aggressive representation. Curt’s well documented litigation history includes matters such as:
- Personal Injury cases ranging from car/trucking crashes, airplane crashes, premises liability cases and product liability cases resulting in millions of dollars in recoveries for his clients;
- Business disputes including corporate dissolutions with small companies, partnership disputes, contract/ownership disputes over multi-million dollar contracts, breach of contract cases and collection matters;
- Commercial and Residential real estate litigation, including actions to quiet title, slander of title, fraudulent conveyances, partition, setting aside unlawful foreclosures, condemnation and easement rights;
- Consumer Protection matters ranging from successfully suing, as well as successfully defending car dealerships, obtaining judgments against businesses for unfair and deceptive trade practices and successful prosecutions of breach of warranty cases against national car manufacturers;
- Probate litigation such as will contests, contested conservatorships and trust litigation.
Curt also enjoys the change of pace involved in representing his business and estate clients. An enthusiast for entrepreneurs, Curt assists clients in forming corporations and llcs and provides corporate counsel on all matters related to his clients’ businesses. Highly experienced in transactional work, Curt represents clients and negotiates on their behalf in “Buy-Sell” agreements from franchised businesses such as Subway and Papa Johns to sales and acquisitions of seven figure and eight figure companies like medical clinics and commercial refrigeration companies. Assisting clients in estate planning and helping them navigate the death of a loved one through the probate process is one of the most gratifying services Curt offers his clients. Understanding that the loss of a loved one is difficult regardless of the circumstances, Curt’s experience and compassionate representation has helped countless clients achieve peace of mind in the most difficult of times.
In addition to navigating clients through the estate planning and probate process, Curt is a trusted fiduciary and has served as a Trustee on more than 30 Trusts, including Special Needs Trusts, Family Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts. His knowledge and experience in trust administration, coupled with his estate planning and litigation experience, make Curt an attractive alternative for trust beneficiaries when big banks and trust companies no longer wish to serve as their Trustee or when it is not economically feasible for them to continue to serve as Trustee.
In his free time, Curt loves spending time with his wife Jodi and Westie, Sophie Sue. Curt also loves reading, listening to podcasts, learning and exercising. A die-hard Clemson Tigers football fan, you can find Curt cheering on Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers most Saturdays in the fall.
- Clemson University, 1999 B.A., Language & International Trade, German
- University of Memphis, J.D. 2003
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- Tennessee, state and federal, 2003
Associations and Memberships
Memphis Bar Association
Tennessee Bar Association
Tennessee Association for Justice
Volunteer for Youth Leadership of Memphis
- City Attorney for City of Gallaway, Tennessee (2013-2017)