Jesse D. Nelson – attorney

Jesse D. Nelson is originally from west Tennessee, having spent his early years in and around Jackson. He attended Lambuth University where he was captain of the Mock Trial competition team, a Lambuth Scholar, and received numerous awards.

Mr. Nelson attended law school at the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford. He was a member and articles editor of the University of Mississippi Law Journal, and he completed an externship with the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Mississippi. He graduated with honors in 2006 and was in the top 13% of his graduating class.

Following his return to Jackson, Tennessee, Mr. Nelson joined the largest law firm in west Tennessee (excluding Memphis) where he handled a variety of cases in state and federal courts. He received several favorable court rulings that are contained in published opinions and that are frequently cited by courts, scholarly authors, and other litigants.

Mr. Nelson later joined a civil litigation firm in Knoxville and became a frequent speaker at legal seminars and for professional groups.

Attorney Nelson is admitted to practice in all Tennessee state courts; the United States District Court–Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts; and the United States Circuit Court of Appeals–Fifth and Sixth Circuits. He also represents clients before the Tennessee Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other state and federal administrative agencies.

Jesse and his family live in Knoxville, and they enjoy camping, fishing, and spending time outdoors. They attend Two Rivers Church.

Kayla M. Swiney – associate attorney

Kayla M. Swiney is originally from southwest Virginia, having moved to Knoxville after completion of her undergraduate degree. She attended Lincoln Memorial University where she majored in Art and received her K-12 teaching license.

Ms. Swiney attended law school at the Duncan School of Law. She was the president of the Mock Trial team, winning the school competition during her 3L year. She was a member and the Executive Symposium Editor of the LMU Law Review. Ms. Swiney completed an externship with Judge Kelly Thomas, Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals and traveled to China where she studied the Chinese judicial system. During law school, Ms. Swiney was awarded multiple scholarships, and received CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Wills, Trusts, and Estates and Tennessee Bar Studies. Ms. Swiney enjoyed her time in Knoxville throughout law school and now calls this place home.

Ms. Swiney joined the Nelson Law Group in August 2017. Ms. Swiney enjoys recreational sports leagues such as volleyball and kickball and loves nothing more than binge watching Netflix and ordering food to-go.


Karla Gander – paralegal

Karla Gander was born and raised in Wisconsin and moved to Knoxville in 2010. She brings ten years of legal, HR, and administrative experience to Nelson Law Group. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, where she focused on written communication and psychology.

Her activities have included literary editing, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and March of Dimes, and working with Concord Quest with First Baptist Concord in Farragut. She is an active member of the Knoxville running community, and she enjoys hiking, kayaking, UT sports, and spending time with family.