Watson Roach


Dan R. Pilkington

Dan Pilkington has 18 years of experience representing individuals, businesses, and governmental entities in civil litigation matters. His areas of practice include insurance defense, civil rights, discrimination, wrongful discharge, contract disputes, land use and zoning, and personal injury. He is also experienced in governmental tort law, environmental law, and cannabis law. He focuses his practice on defending law enforcement in claims of false arrest and excessive force. He also devotes a significant amount of his practice to the defense of physicians and providers in medical malpractice cases.

Mr. Pilkington is an experienced trial litigator who handles complex litigation in both state and federal courts. He frequently represents clients before the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Whenever possible, he also counsels clients on litigation avoidance strategies.

He is a native of East Tennessee. He, along with his wife, two children, and two dogs, lives on their farm in East Knox County.

Awards + Recognition

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Memberships + Associations

  • Knoxville Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association


  • J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, TN, 2005
  • B.B.A, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, 2002


  • Tennessee, 2005
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, 2006
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, 2015
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, 2006
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 2008

Representative cases

Francis v. City of Red Bank (2022)

Obtained summary judgement and dismissal of individual officer accused of excessive force in deadly use of force case. Decision was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Whiting v. City of Athens (2022)

Secured swift unanimous jury verdict following multi-day trial before Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in first amendment case.

Chuck’s Package Store v. City of Morristown (2018)

Prevailed in the Tennessee Supreme Court securing reversal of intermediate appellate court and trial court in high value municipal taxation case.

Schmitt v. City of East Ridge (2019)

Obtained summary judgment in United States District Court in highly charged law enforcement deadly use of force matter.

LaFollette v. City of Gatlinburg (2012)

United States District Court granted summary judgment in employment discrimination matter involving ADA and age discrimination claims.

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