Laura Peggy Merritt
Laura Merritt is an intellectual property attorney in Holland & Knight's Nashville office. Clients call on Ms. Merritt for guidance when facing intellectual property disputes and when business relationships have gone wrong. Described as pragmatic and strategic in her approach, she focuses on finding legal solutions suited to her clients' business needs.
With more than a decade of litigation experience, Ms. Merritt brings a pragmatic approach to intellectual property, business and commercial disputes. She focuses on crafting legal strategies that are suited to her clients' needs, whether that calls for negotiation of an early settlement or involves litigating a case through trial and appellate courts or other forum.
Some of her recent representations include:
- Successfully represented a privately held company in a lawsuit for a judicial appraisal following a "squeeze out" of a minority shareholder, obtained a winning ruling after a six-day trial that was subsequently affirmed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Both courts ruled that the fair value of the shares were no more than the price paid by the company. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted review and clarified the standard for determining "fair value" of the shares of a privately held company under Tennessee law.
- Obtaining partial summary judgment in favor of the holder of a lien under Tennessee's mechanic's lien statute after the lien-encumbered aircraft was sold abroad without release of the lien. On a question of first impression, the U.S. District Court's ruling articulated a standard for conversion of lien-encumbered property under the applicable Tennessee statute.
- Engaged on appeal, she obtained the reversal of two related trial court decisions that had ordered a subsidiary of a privately held company to direct its parent company to redeem stock held by two former employees.
- Strategic advisor to nonprofit related to its relationship with its national affiliate.
- Represented a software development company in arbitration related to its termination of a value-added reseller agreement and trade secret misappropriation claim.
Ms. Merritt has significant experience in trademark and copyright-related matters, helping clients obtain and enforce the legally protectable aspects of their brands and creative works. She works with clients on both the sending or receiving sides of cease and desist letters related to intellectual property claims and provides clients with candid assessments of enforcing and defending against intellectual property claims. She regularly practices before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in cancellation, opposition and ex parte appeal proceedings. She also advises on legal issues surrounding sweepstakes, contests and social media and digital marketing campaigns.
Mr. Merritt previously as an ombudspersons for a Tennessee-based law firm and on the steering committee for the firm's Women’s Leadership Council.
- American University, Washington College of Law, J.D.
- University of Florida, B.S., Journalism, cum laude
- University of Florida, B.A., Political Science, cum laude
- All U.S. District Courts in Tennessee
- Nashville Bar Association, Intellectual Property Committee, Past Chair and Co-Chair
- Tennessee Bar Association
- American Bar Association, Section of Intellectual Property Law, Young Lawyers Action Group
- Lawyers' Association for Women, Marion Griffin Chapter
- Young Leaders Society of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, Past Steering Committee Member
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Litigation - Intellectual Property, 2023-2024
- Rising Star, Intellectual Property, Mid-South Super Lawyers magazine, 2012-2021