About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to solve our clients’ problems by holistically examining issues and providing solutions and advice that fit our clients’ legal, business, and personal needs. Because of our focus on our clients’ needs, we have developed a reputation for handling unusual and difficult cases.

We handle matters in Johnson City, Jonesborough, Erwin, Elizabethton, Bristol, Blountville, Kingsport, Greeneville, Rogersville, Mountain City, and all over upper East Tennessee.

image of Aurthur M. Fowler III

Arthur M. Fowler III

When I graduated from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys Law School, in 2002, I thought I wanted to be a generalist—doing a little of everything—just like my father. Then around 2005, I had my first probate case and decided that this is the area of law I want to focus on. Since 2005, I have been slowly narrowing my practice to focus primarily on probate. Today, probate related cases constitute 70% of my practice.

To me, probating an estate is like driving. There are multiple avenues you can take to get where you want to be, some avenues are better than others. It is only with the right information and a deep understanding of probate law and the probate process in Tennessee that you can pick the best avenue for a client.

I enjoy providing our clients with the information they need to determine which avenue in the probate process will best serve their needs. Then, I walk them through the process step-by-step.

My probate work introduced me to real property disputes and real property litigation, as the two are often intertwined. My real property litigation experience has proven an asset to both my probate clients and those with standalone real property challenges.

In 2019, I became a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator. I only mediate probate disputes, will contests, trust litigation, and real property disputes as those are the areas I can best assist the parties.

I regularly speak on probate topics. I have presented to the Johnson City office of Keller Williams regarding the intersection of probate and listing agreements. Annually my firm presents a seminar on estate planning and probate at Morris-Baker Funeral Home in Johnson City. In 2020, I gave a presentation to the Washington County Bar Association entitled “The Quirky & Sometimes Messy Probate Process.” I have also presented several times for the National Business Institute’s continuing legal education seminars in Tennessee on probate issues such as complex issues in estate administration, handling creditor claims, and closing estates.

I am licensed to practice law in Tennessee and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

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Philip R. Baker

Philip Baker concentrates his practice in labor and employment matters and medical practice management/transitions. Mr. Baker frequently provides counsel and advice to employers on employment matters, including FMLA, discharge, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and workers’ compensation. Mr. Baker also provides general employment advice related to personnel and other issues, including handbooks, wages, and disciplinary actions. Mr. Baker also assists business owners in resolving contractual disputes, succession planning, and corporate matters. In addition, Mr. Baker counsels medical professionals, including physicians, dentists and optometrists, related to start-up, associate contracts, practice management issues, and practice transitions and the documentation required for accomplishing each.

Mr. Baker is married to Dr. Ashley Baker, and they reside in Jonesborough, Tennessee, along with their three children.

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Jason S. Shade

Jason Shade concentrates his practice in the areas of bankruptcy, creditors’ rights law, real estate law, construction law and commercial litigation. Mr. Shade has worked extensively with special servicers in wide-ranging commercial mortgage-backed security matters including foreclosure, receiverships, defense of borrower litigation and guarantor recovery. Mr. Shade has also represented creditors and other parties in preference suits, lien avoidance actions and other various bankruptcy claims and has handled several multi-family housing loan workouts.

In addition to his bankruptcy/creditors’ rights practice, Mr. Shade has represented general contractors, subcontractors and owners in all aspects of construction disputes before courts and arbitration panels. He has also represented various clients in a vast array of real estate, corporate and commercial disputes. Finally, Mr. Shade has represented many different employers in all aspects of employment litigation including, but not limited to, the defense of workers’ compensation claims in both Tennessee and North Carolina.

Formerly associated with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz in its Tri-Cities office, Mr. Shade is a founding member of Ensley, Baker & Shade, PLLC.

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Kathleen Morris

I focus my practice on estate planning, which includes wills, trusts, long term care Medicaid planning, and conservatorships/guardianships. My passion is helping clients obtain the legal tools they need to ensure that they and their loved ones are cared for according to their wishes.

Coming from a large, blended family and having witnessed the devastating effects dementia has on an individual and the family has given me an understanding, both emotionally and legally, of the issues that can arise. Now that my husband and I are raising our children, we also see the importance of having an estate plan that protects our young children in case something happens to us prematurely.

Helping each client obtain a plan that fits their specific needs and ensuring they understand and are comfortable with their documents is how I define success.

After growing up in neighboring Asheville, I attended and graduated from North Carolina State University. I then attended and graduated from George Mason University School of Law (now the Antonin Scalia Law School). I am licensed in Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland (inactive), the District of Columbia (inactive), and various federal courts, though I now limit my practice to Tennessee and Virginia.

image of Erik J. Zetterberg

Erik J. Zetterberg

Erik Zetterberg concentrates his practice in the areas of business formations and transitions and estate planning. He regularly assists professional practices and small businesses with ownership transitions and advises entrepreneurs and non-profits in the business start-up process. Mr. Zetterberg also works with clients to meet their estate planning needs including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives.

During law school, Mr. Zetterberg served as a summer law clerk with the Virginia Court of Appeals and interned with the University Counsel’s Office at East Tennessee State University. Mr. Zetterberg was also awarded the Roger C. Bern Planning Award by the law school faculty for excellence in legal drafting, planning, and problem solving. Mr. Zetterberg joined Ensley, Baker & Shade, PLLC as an associate attorney in June of 2016.

image of Aurthur Fowler

Arthur M. Fowler

1945 - 2023

I have been practicing law in Tennessee for nearly 50 years. During this time, I focused my practice in the areas of civil and commercial litigation, contracts, insurance disputes, land use, business law, and wills and estates. I have handled numerous cases in both state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels.

Over the past five years, however, I have been limiting my practice to helping entrepreneurs and existing businesses design and implement strategies to start a business, grow a small or struggling enterprise, and maximize an existing company’s potential.

I attended The Webb School before graduating from Wofford College with a B.A. in Economics in 1968. I served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970 obtaining the rank of First Lieutenant and was awarded the Bronze Star, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Combat Infrantryman’s Badge.

In 1973, I graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law. I am also a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA). I have been a member of the Executive Counsel of the General Practice Section of the American Bar Association (ABA), and co-editor of that Section’s manual on “How to Find the Courthouse.”

I am licensed in Tennessee, the United States District Courts for the Eastern District and Western District of Tennessee, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.