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Lanis Loretha Karnes

Family Attorney at Jackson, TN

5.0   10 reviews

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About Lanis

Learn Lanis’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Family
    Adoption • Alimony • Child support • Contempt • Jurisdiction • Marriage • Mediation • Parentage • Parenting issues • Prenuptial (and postnuptial agreements) • Relocation Termination of parental rights

    27 years

  2. Juvenile law
    custody, support, parenting issues, dependency and neglect, defending against DCS, terminations of parental

    27 years

  3. Personal injury
    car accidents, slip and fall,

    27 years

  4. Estate planning
    wills, trusts, estates, estate disputes

    27 years

  5. Criminal defense

    27 years


Tennessee City and County courts,  Court of Appeals, State Supreme Court,

Virginia City and County courts, Court of Appeals

 4th, 8th, 6th Federal District Court

 4th,  8th  6th Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals

U. S. Office of Personnel Management Appeals

Veteran’s Administration Appellate Court

Unemployment, Social Security, and Administrative Courts

Public Defender State Court of Appeals 2004

Virginia third year practice attorney 1995


MEDIATOR - Family Alternative Mediation, Norfolk, VA

2006    present  Tennessee Supreme Court trainer for Juvenile Law and Guardian ad Litem


Licensed for 26 years
State TN
Status Active
Acquired 2000
Updated 03/16/2023
State VA
Status Active
Acquired 1996
Updated 12/27/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Lanis

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Karnes Legal Services
2273 North Highland Avenue Suite A
Jackson, TN, 38308


5.0 / 5.0
  10 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | July 1, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Tough, prepared, and ready to fight for you! Unassuming and charming, but they will never know what hit them!
Ive never needed a lawyer before. I live in East tn, and I suddenly found the largest, most powerful bureaucracies in the state, lined up against me with both barells! They acted as if they were above the law. I'm referring to child protective services. I went to them for help for a child in a bad situation as a mandated reporter. Then they turned on me like a pit bull. It was my worst nightmare. They just arbitrarily determined I was guilty of a crime based on the word of a derelict abusive parent. They never contacted me at all during their "investigation" of me. And they broke many more of their own rules and policies. No one would help. No one would listen to me. Family knew the truth but that didn't matter. I stood to have my name on a list, a publicly searchable database as someone who did something that never happened. They had NO CASE AT ALL but it never stopped them. I stood to be ruined by reputation, lose my ability to serve God in the capacity that I had for years. Then I found Ms. Lanis Karnes. A lawyer in the family had advised me to find one with experience in the area of administrative hearings for CPS. AND FALSE "indications" as they call them. Best advice ever. Over the months b4 hearing her staff and herself, walked me thru all that was needed, I sent them all the info and some q&a, but it was the best feeling in the world once the hearing started. All the months of worry and anger melted away as I watched her brick by brick destroy what passed as their case against me. Finally someone who was on my side (aside from witnesses and family) she was professional but tough as nails and prepared! She hit them figuratively speaking with a 10 lb hammer over and over till they had no choice but to dismiss b4 it ever even came to the point of mine and witness testimony. I just sat there in awe as she worked over this cps crew. They were stuttering and stammering and covering Their own tails. HIRE HER! HIRE HER! HIRE HER! HIRE HER! R. FROM EAST TN
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Posted by Bret | January 22, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Child Protective Services Defense
As a provider of homeschool curriculum, we sometimes find ourselves trying to help families whose civil rights are violated by the out-of-control child protective system. We have worked with Lanis, and she is knowledgeable, diligent and truly cares about the families with whom she works. Not only that, but as a family who has adopted 8 special needs children, she was instrumental in helping us deal with a recent situation we had with a child who ran away from home. I cannot think of an attorney that I would rather have helping me with a case involving child protective services.
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Posted by Melody | January 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She is very helpful and informative!. She has made sure that we are informed and kept up to date with everything going on with our case. First rate!!
Posted by Kathy | January 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best lawyer - ever!
I can never say enough about the attorney who saved our family. She has steadfastly worked for us since 2009. We had many cases spawn off our one case and through sheer determination and hard work our children were returned to us, charges were dismissed, appeals were won and our family was restored.
Posted by Anna | January 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She always keeps me in the loop
Lanis Karnes has been extremely helpful and very informative in managing and directing me with and in my lawsuit. What I like best about the way she works is that she is quick and easy to keep in contact with and is very clear on the steps that need to be taken. She is also great at keeping me up to date. She is a very trustworthy woman with great integrity.
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Posted by Leslie | January 19, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
With High Regard
Lanis Karnes is a remarkable attorney that is a warrior for right, and a true legal "beast." I first observed her on a case not my own and I was very impressed with her level of commitment to the pursuit of truth and her willingness to do whatever it takes to see justice served. She worked whatever hours were needed, was willing to file whatever motions were necessary, do whatever research was required, and she was current with law-setting cases. She was timely, detailed, accurate and honest. During the course of observing on a case, I had need of my own legal consultation and I readily choose Lanis. She was frank, helpful and went beyond anything I should have normally expected. I would highly recommend her.
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Posted by Kristin | January 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Don't pass Lanis Karnes by for another attorney
Ms. Karnes is a very compassionate and understanding attorney. She is very attentive to what her clients want and need and is always trying to ensure that her clients agree with her course of action. Ms. Karnes is very knowledgeable and not intimidated by a significant amount of work. Ms. Karnes is also much more available to her clients than other attorneys that my friends have used. I was completely satisfied with my experience with Ms. Karnes. I can't think of a reason to not use Ms. Karnes as your attorney.
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Posted by Randy | January 18, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional Representation at is best!
I am more than thankful that I hired Karnes Legal Services. Ms Lanis and her staff were so on top of my needs. Her advice and her staffs brainstorming was on point every time. I would recommend this firm with the highest regards. I have had attorneys that did good work but never to the level of her staff. I never wondered if I would know where I stood or if they would respond timely, for that was a given and on point. Many thanks to the person that referred me.
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Posted by Ashley | January 18, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
empathetic, strong willed, fair, yet objective
When i had my initial consultation, Ms Karnes was the only attorney I have ever spoken with that heard what I was facing and not only did she seem to understand exactly what I was acing, but what needed to be done. She was willing to tackle it. She was willing to listen to my concerns and show me what she was doing to work towards the best interest of my child. She was very positive, very objective. She is an advocate for the little ones who have no voice. We didn't sit around sipping tea, but she became an advocate for me as well. As long as you are looking to do what is best for your child, you can count on Ms. Karnes to have your back. I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned around for my little family. I came across Ms. Karnes and her team when I was scared and didn't know what to do. They not only showed me where to turn and what resources were out there, they are an example of how we all need to be.
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Posted by anonymous | January 18, 2009
Owner of Business
In my research of and meeting with Ms. Karnes I was very pleased to see that this was a Christian woman that cares about and is dedicated to her community. She listened to every word I had to say and always tried to respond in a positive manner, regardless of my situation. Walking in to an attorney's office will never be a comfortable feeling for anyone. Ms. Karnes immediately made me feel at ease. I actually found a great friend, not just a great attorney. I would recommend her to my own children and have.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 8.0 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Tennessee Supreme Court Trainer for Guardian ad Litem
  • Tennessee Supreme Court
  • 2006 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Karnes Legal Services
  • 1996 - Present


  • Regent University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1996
  • Central Bible College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1976

Legal Cases

  • IN THE MATTER OF: LEVI D.No. W2012-00005-COA-R3-PT
  • prevailed
  • . IN THE MATTER OF: DEON S. No. W2012-01950-COA-R3-PT
  • prevailed
  • . IN THE MATTER OF: DEON S. No. W2012-01950-COA-R3-PT
  • prevailed
View all legal cases


  • DCS Children's Justice Task Force; Court Improvement Committee Member
  • Appointed position
  • 2011 - Present
  • Supreme Court of Tennessee Court Improvement Committee
  • Appointed Position
  • 2010 - Present
  • Alliance Defending Freedom
  • Honor Guard Ranking
  • 2008 - Present
  • Madison County LAW Association
  • Formerly on Western Region Advisoty Board
  • 2000 - Present
  • Madison County Bar Association
  • 2000 - Present
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • 2000 - Present
  • Virginia Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • 1997 - Present
  • TLAW
  • State Board Member
  • 2011 - 2015
  • Christian Legal Society
  • 2000 - 2015
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Attorney for Justice 2013 - 2015
  • Tennessee Supreme Court
  • 2015
  • Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tennessee
  • Sterling Award
  • 2014
  • Bronze Award
  • Alliance Defending Freedom
  • 2014
  • Top 20 Most Influential Women in Tennessee
  • Sterling Award 2013
  • 2013
  • The Tennessean Magazine
  • 2013
  • Pro Bono Attorney of the Year
  • West Tennessee Legal Services
  • 2007
  • Attorney of the Year
  • CASA
  • 2007
  • Honor Roll
  • TBJ
  • 2005
  • Honor Roll for Pro Bono Work
  • TBJ
  • 2005
  • Faculty Achievement Award
  • Regent University School of Law
  • 1996
  • Miss Tennessee CA
  • Tennessee District A/G
  • 1991
  • Director's Special Service Award Adoption Specialist
  • State of Missouri
  • 1988
  • Ester Award
  • General Council of the A/G
  • 1982
  • Miss Missionette
  • Tennessee District A/G
  • 1969
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Representing Families in DCS cases
  • Rule 40 Guardian Ad Litem Training
  • 2015
  • The Urban Child Institute
  • Guardian Litems in Juvenile Court
  • 2015
  • Estate Planning
  • Wills, Trusts and Estates
  • 2015
  • Representing Parents Against DCS
  • Trial Skills Training
  • 2014
  • The Tennessee Court Improvement Program
  • Introduction to Child Dependency Law
  • 2013
  • Court Improvement Program
  • Introduction to Child Advocacy
  • 2013
  • Understanding the Foster Care Experience
  • Introduction to Child Dependency Law
  • 2012
  • Introduction to Child Dependency Cases
  • Train Attorneys Regarding Child Welfare Cases
  • 2011
  • Personal Injury Matters
  • Personal Injury
  • 2011
  • Family Law Legl Education
  • Child Support
  • 2010
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (2)
Endorse Lanis
Family Attorney | Jan 26
Relationship: Other
"Lanis is who I refer all my Jackson area Family and Juvenile Law cases to. She handles her cases from a Christ centered perspective, which is particularly helpful in family law matters."
Family Attorney | Dec 21
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Lanis is the premier family law attorney between Memphis and Nashville and would rank in the top 5 statewide. Her vast knowledge of important nuances and strategies in cases involving divorce, child custody, child support, grandparents' rights, parental relocation, etc. and post-divorce issues cements her place on the pinnacle of great family law attorneys. Also, Lanis will and knows how to fight injustice caused by baseless or poor allegations by the Department of Children's Services (DCS). I could go on and on. I would choose Lanis if I had a family law issue."
Child custody Attorney | Jan 20
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Lanis is one of the most dedicated and hard working attorneys I have met. If you are in need of a child custody or adoption attorney, I recommend her whole-heartedly."
Criminal defense
Employment and labor