Mary L. Wolff
Mary Lee Wolff received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University in 1972 where she graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Juris Doctorate in 1975 from the Boston University School of Law and was awarded the Sylvia Beinecke Robinson Award for significant contribution to the life of the School of Law. In 1985, she was a co-recipient of the Young Lawyer's Chair from the Boston University School of Law, presented in recognition of distinguished achievement.
Ms. Wolff joined the Memphis law firm of Canada, Russell and Turner in 1975, which firm later merged with a Chicago law firm to become a nationally based firm. On January 1, 1988, Ms. Wolff became a founding shareholder of the law firm of Wolff Ardis, P.C.
Since 1975, Ms. Wolff has spent the principal amount of her time involved as both plaintiff and defense counsel in complex commercial litigation. Her practice is focused in the areas of financial institution bonds; professional liability claims, including directors' and officers' liability claims; securities fraud, and products liability.
Ms. Wolff has handled professional liability claims for institutions throughout the United States, and has litigated those claims on numerous occasions. Ms. Wolff has successfully handled financial institution bond claims and claims under related corporate bonds for national banks, small financial institutions, the FDIC, insurance companies, securities firms and private corporations. She has managed the criminal aspects that often accompany financial institution and corporate fraud. Ms. Wolff has managed complex litigation from its inception, through the trial and/or settlement process, organizing legal theories, as well as personnel, documentation, and witnesses to support the case. Ms. Wolff and Mr. Ardis have participated in the successful recovery and judgments of more than $130 million for clients through such claims.
Since 2008 Ms Wolff has been retained by the FDIC to investigate and pursue professional liability claims, including financial institution bond claims and directors' and officers' liability claims, throughout the southeast on behalf of the FDIC as receiver for various failed institutions.
Ms. Wolff has prosecuted and defended claims arising under federal securities laws, state securities statutes, common law fraud, constructive fraud, breach of trust and fiduciary duty, violation of NASD rules and violation of federal and state RICO statutes. Consequently, she is well-versed in pleading and motion practice, discovery tactics, negotiation and settlement strategies, trial preparation and appellate advocacy.
In addition to maintaining a full work load, Ms. Wolff actively supervises the management of the firm. She has also participated in the development and presentation of a number of seminars on the subjects of fidelity bond claims, testifying and the management of complex litigation.
Ms. Wolff served for six years as a Hearing Committee Member for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility. She is a member of the court appointed panel of Court Certified Mediators for the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and is approved as a Rule 31 Mediator in the Tennessee state courts.
Ms. Wolff is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Circuits and is licensed to practice in the State of Tennessee. She is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Memphis Bar Association and the Association for Woman Attorneys.
J.D., Boston University , 1975
Moot Court - Best Spear 2nd year
In charge of 1st year program
Sylvia Beinecke Robinson award for contribution to the life of the law school
B.A., Vanderbilt University, 1972
Magna Cum Laude
Phi Beta Kappa
Jurisdictions Admitted to PracticeTennessee Supreme Court, 1975
USDC – WD Tennessee , 1975
USDC – MD Tennessee, 2005
U.S. Ct of Appeals – 5th Circuit , 1991
U.S. Ct of Appeals – 6th Circuit, 1980
U.S. Ct of Appeals – 9th Circuit , 2007
U.S. Supreme Court , 1975
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
Memphis Bar Association
Member Since: 1975
Association of Women Attorneys
Member Since: 1994
Tennessee Bar Association
Member Since: 1975
Featured Cases and Matters
State of West Virginia, 1989-1995
We represented the State of West Virginia in its effort to recover losses suffered in its consolidated investment fund, recovering $54.8 million for the State.
First National Bank of Louisville, 1993
With Patrick Ardis, handled trial of financial institution bond claim against bonding company, obtaining a verdict of $21.7 million.
Chad and Michelle O'Hara, 508 F2d 753 (5th Cir 2007), 2007
Handled appeal to Fifth Circuit in precedent setting case on preemption of tort claims by FMVSS 205.
Washington Mutual Bank, 2004
Represented Washington Mutual Bank in a lawsuit filed to recover losses from its fidelity bond carriers. We obtained a partial summary judgment against the insurance companies and recovered $17.4 million.
Featured Pro Bono Activities
Mediator of the Day
Pro bono mediation conducted for unrepresented parties in General Sessions court.
Board Member and Treasurer of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis. The WFGM is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage philanthropy and foster leadership among women and support programs that enable women and children to reach their full potential.