Jay Steed is a partner at Jones Hawkins & Farmer, PLC. Mr. Steed has more than a decade of experience as a trial and appellate attorney, advocating for clients charged with the most serious state and federal criminal offenses. Since moving to Nashville in 1999, he has established himself both as a passionate advocate for his clients, and as an attorney dedicated to the public interest.
Mr. Steed's practice areas include state and federal criminal defense, as well as select civil litigation. He regularly appears in the federal District Courts for the Middle District of Tennessee, where he has successfully represented clients facing federal prosecution for offenses ranging from firearms and narcotics violations, to complex white collar fraud and conspiracies. In state courts throughout Middle Tennessee, Mr. Steed effectively defends clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies, in many types of cases.
Before joining the firm in 2010, Mr. Steed spent six years with the Office of the Federal Public Defender. As an Assistant Federal Defender, he successfully negotiated settlements in hundreds of the most serious federal cases. Where no agreement was possible, Mr. Steed earned multiple verdicts of Not Guilty for federal defendants at trial, before both judge and jury. He also achieved successful results for clients at countless hearings, from preliminary and detention hearings through motions and contested sentencings. At the appellate level, he effectively argued cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
From 1999 through 2004, Mr. Steed served as a trial and appellate attorney with the Nashville Office of the Metropolitan Public Defender. As a trial attorney, he obtained numerous verdicts of Not Guilty, including jury acquittals for driving under the influence (DUI), forgery, firearms violations, and homicide. At the appellate level, he briefed and argued cases before both the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Mr. Steed's work with the state and federal Public Defenders has given him a broad range of experience, which has proven invaluable to clients in his private practice.
Mr. Steed is often invited to lecture on criminal justice issues both locally and nationally, at continuing legal education programs for attorneys, and at schools and universities. He remains committed to public service and advocacy, serving as a member of the federal Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Middle District of Tennessee. He is also a member of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Nashville Bar Association (NBA).
Raised in North Carolina, Mr. Steed attended law school and graduate school at Duke University, where he earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Master of Arts (M.A.), in 1999. He had previously studied philosophy at the University of Chicago, earning his Bachelor's Degree (B.A.) with Honors in 1995. Mr. Steed has also completed some of the most rigorous training programs in the nation for trial attorneys, including the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), the Faubush Litigation Persuasion Institute, and the National Criminal Defense College's intensive Trial Practice Institute.