About Us

The Higgins Firm, PLLC, was established to be a full service law firm in Tennessee for the general public. It has been divided into four interwoven divisions to help serve its clients more efficiently and to capitalize on each lawyer's strengths: Civil Litigation, Workers Compensation, Employment Law and Probate. The three principal partners oversee these individual sections.

Jim Higgins

Mr. Higgins is a principal partner for the Serious Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation section of the firm. This section handles workers compensation, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and abuse, automobile accidents, and premises liability cases. Multiple attorneys and support staff assist Mr. Higgins, a Nashville personal injury lawyer who has vast experience in trying significant injury cases. Mr. Higgins is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Memphis.  His career began defending insurance companies, but for the past several years has only represented the injured. Mr. Higgins is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is an organization limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. He litigates serious injury cases in Nashville, TN and throughout the country, and his licensed in Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia.

Richard Piliponis


Mr. Piliponis is a principal partner for the Serious Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation and the Probate and Estate Planning sections of the firm. He is primarily in charge of the firm's nursing home abuse and neglect and medical malpractice division.  He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.  Mr. Piliponis has litigated cases across the southeast and regularly assists other law firms with these complex cases.

Jon Street

Mr. Street  is a principal partner for the Labor and Employment Law and Bad Faith Insurance Litigation division.  He is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee and Wake Forest College of Law in Winston-Salem, NC. Mr. Street has successfully pursued Overtime (FLSA) Collective Action Cases Across the country and is often associated on complicated employment law cases. He is a member of MENSA (The high IQ society) and is an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Don Himmelberg

Mr. Himmelberg is in charge of the criminal law division of the firm. Mr. Himmelberg is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and Nashville School of Law.  Mr. Himmelberg began his career clerking for the Criminal Circuit Court Judge Randall Wyatt and then as a former Assistant District Attorney after which he transitioned into a career specializing in criminal defense.  Mr. Himmelberg representing persons accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes at both the State and Federal Court levels.

William W. Merrell

Is a 1964 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and 1974 graduate of South Texas College of Law in Houston. He attended graduate school at La Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City and the University of Madrid in Spain. He is bilingual and has served as interpreter in court and depositions. The Hispanic community calls him “El Abogado del Pueblo” for his extensive representation of Latins in cases involving workers’ compensation, auto liability, and criminal law. He is admitted to the bar in Tennessee and Texas.

Carrie LaBrec

Ms. LaBrec is a part of the firm's Serious Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation Division, handling automobile/trucking accidents, nursing home abuse and negligence, premises liability, workers' compensation, and products' liability cases. She is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN and earned her Juris Doctor at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, OR.    Ms. LaBrec's career began gaining extensive trial experience as a Metro Nashville Assistant Public Defender after which she transitioned to another prominent civil litigation firm where she gained several years' experience representing injured Plaintiffs.  She is an avid soccer player and a supporter of several humanitarian organizations, including NAMI and CASA.

Ryan Simmons

Mr. Simmons is a part of the firm's Probate and Estate Planning Division.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Lipscomb University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in Denver, CO. During law school Ryan worked in the civil litigation clinic, one of the country's highest rated clinical programs.  Following graduation Ryan volunteered with the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.  When he's not working, Ryan enjoys traveling and the great outdoors.

Tara Hawley Carter

Ms. Carter is a part of the firm's Probate and Estate Planning Division.  She is a graduated Summa Cum Laude from Freed Hardeman University and earned her Juris Doctor at the Nashville School of Law.  While attending law school, Ms. Carter gained valuable experience working as a law clerk for The Higgins Firm, PLLC.  Ms. Carter joined the firm in 2005 and has since focused her practice in the areas of probate, estate issues and family law. 

Ben Miller

Mr. Miller primarily handles business disputes and complex personal injury cases, such as nursing home neglect/abuse, product liability and other matters involving serious injuries.  He spent the first eight years of his practice with a firm that defended insurance companies and their insureds, which included individuals, small private businesses and large public corporations, but he now represent individuals and businesses who have been harmed by others.

Mr. Miller obtained his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 2003 and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2006.  During law school he met his wife and fellow attorney, Elizabeth, and they now live in the Nashville neighborhood of Green Hills with their son, Henry.


Brandon Hall

Mr. Hall is a graduate from Tennessee State University and earned his Juris Doctor at the Nashville School of Law.  He is an Air Force Veteran, an advocate for the disabled community and diehard Chicago Cubs Fan.