JONES WILSON (J.W.) LUNA
Biography

J.W. Luna, a native and lifelong resident of the Middle Tennessee area, has extensive experience in the areas of government relations, environmental, healthcare, administrative law, and other regulatory areas.

Mr. Luna is a founding member of Luna Law Group, PLLC where he works with longtime partners, Mike Pearigen and Jennifer Brundige. Included in his many years of experience in governmental matters, Mr. Luna serves as the attorney for the liquidation of a significant medical malpractice insurance company and as the primary attorney for a major natural gas distribution company concerning its Tennessee regulatory matters. Mr. Luna has successfully worked on numerous regulatory matters concerning water and air quality, solid waste permitting and enforcement, and low level radioactive waste management.

Mr. Luna served in the Cabinet of former Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter managing a variety of state departments. First, he served as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Personnel (1987 – 1988) and Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health and Environment (1988- 1991). He created the concept for and obtained executive and legislative approval for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and then served as its first Commissioner from 1991-1995. It was during this 8-year tenure that Mr. Luna developed many of his relationships across the state.

Mr. Luna was instrumental in the passage of the Tennessee Environmental Protection Fund Act of 1991, the Tennessee Superfund Act of 1994, the Tennessee Solid Waste Management Act of 1991, the Tennessee Hazardous Waste Reduction Act of 1990 and the Tennessee and Local Parks and Recreation Partnership Act of 1991. He was active in improving the relationship between the EPA and the states on a regional and national level. A founding member of the Governor’s Cabinet Council on Economic Development, he participated in recruiting and siting major new industrial projects and expansions. While serving as Commissioner of the Department of Health and Environment, Mr. Luna instituted significant reforms in Medicaid programs and financing, and developed and implemented affordable and accessible healthcare initiatives.

Upon Governor McWherter’s retirement from state government, Mr. Luna joined Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, PLLC as a partner in 1995. In 2002, he became a founding partner of a law firm currently known as Luna Law Group, PLLC. In his private practice, he has served as co-counsel for the state in the Xantus Healthplan of Tennessee receivership, assisted developers in the permitting of the large, commercial development in Knox County known as Turkey Creek, and represented the families of two Tennessee victims of the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Florida Everglades.

Some of the large and small businesses and state and local governmental clients that Mr. Luna has represented include:  AGL Resources, Inc., Studsvik, Inc., Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, Turkey Creek Land Partners, City of Morristown, Liberty State Bank, Colonial Pipeline, Eastman Chemical, Lakeway Recycling and Sanitation, Tidi-Waste Systems, Waste Industries, Waste Connections, Inc., Waste Services of America, Liberty Waste Services, Infiltrator Systems, US Gypsum Pipeline, Pollution Control Industries, Cigna Healthcare of Tennessee, Centerville Machine & Pattern, Centerville Forge, Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, Knoxville Utilities Board, City of Dickson, City of Franklin, City of Knoxville, City of Church Hill, City of Cornersville, City of Memphis, Shelby County, Greater Dickson Gas Authority, Comfort Research, Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Mr. Luna has received numerous recognitions through the past several years including the Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated Lawyer rating, and “Best Environmental Lawyer” and “Best Environmental Law Firm” from Chambers USA. He was rated the 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers and he has been named a “Super Lawyer” for 2008-2013. Other awards include being named “Best of the Bar” in 2012 by the Nashville Business Journal and receiving the “Humanitarian Scholar” Award in 2012 from the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University. He is a fellow of both the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Foundations.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a B.A. degree in Economics, Mr. Luna went on to receive his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Tennessee Law School where he was President of the Student Bar Association and a member of Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. After a brief tenure of practicing law with the Honorable Knox Bigham in his hometown of Lewisburg, Tennessee, Mr. Luna served as an Assistant District Attorney for 9 years in the old 14th Judicial District covering Coffee, Warren, DeKalb and Van Buren Counties. He gained invaluable experience in the courtroom prosecuting a wide array of cases including several high profile murder cases.

Mr. Luna is married and has four adult children. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Franklin First United Methodist Church and enjoys volunteering in the church’s “Giving Garden”. He is a former founding board member of the Land Trust of Tennessee.