Social Security Lawyer David Downard

David Downard was born in Springfield, Tennessee.  The Disability Program was important to him growing up, because at the age of twelve, he lost his father and was subsequently raised by his grandparents.  Social Security Benefits were awarded to the young Downard, which helped with expenses throughout the rest of his childhood.  Downard credited a great deal of his success to the benefits he received, which enabled him to worry about school and  graduation instead of how he would pay bills.


Mr. Downard went on to attend  college, during which time he married and had a son born with a severe disability.  Once again, Downard was able to rely on SSI benefits and Medicaid to help his young family through an incredibly difficult time.  He continued to work full time and graduate from college with the comfort of knowing over one million dollars in medical bills was covered.  The Downards suffered the devastating loss of their son from heart failure in 1991.   





It was then that he decided he would work in a career that helped people navigate through the often difficult benefits process.   He began his career as a service specialist with the Social Security Administration.

During this time, his grandmother applied for disability benefits, and to his surprise, was denied!   At sixty years old, she fought hard for the benefits she deserved, but eventually gave up after continued denials.  You can imagine his frustration as he continued to work for the Social Security Administration that he was helpless to make a difference in his grandmother's outcome.  He continued to hear stories similar to hers and eventually  chose to pursue a law degree so he could help people fight for the disability benefits they deserve.   He earned his law degree in 2002.

Mr. Downard spent his career fighting for disabled people to get them the benefits they deserve.




Attorney Joseph M. Dalton, Jr.


Owner/Managing Attorney

Joe was born and raised in Colonie, New York and graduated from Notre Dame- Bishop Gibbons School in Schenectady.   He became a "Tennesseean" when he  graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science Degree.   He went on to obtain his Master of Science Degree from the University of Miami in Florida , then attended the Nashville School of Law,  where he earned his law degree in 1981.   Joe is a lifetime member of the Tennessee  Trial Lawyers Association,  former board member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and  has spent 35 years as a trial lawyer.   He has helped people all over Nashville with their social security disability claims since 1984.  Joe and David had been dear friends since college and trusted one another both personally and professionally.  He's been married  for 28 years to attorney Catherine Hughes.   Together they spend their days playing with dogs Wrigley and Ivy and  travel to their home in  Miramar beach, Florida.     Joe is also an avid golfer and sports fan.

Lawyer Robert Parker



Mr. Parker is an associate with the firm and has been an integral member of our team for over 11 years. His practice focuses primarily in the areas of Social Security Disability/SSI, and Veteran’s Disability Claims. He is accredited by the VA to represent Veterans in the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for VA Benefits.

A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Mr. Parker obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Lambuth University in 2004 and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2008 from the Nashville School of Law.   Mr. Parker is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before all Tennessee trial and appellate courts.

Social Security Attorney Chelsea Parker

Chelsea Parker


A native of Pulaski, Tennessee, Chelsea Parker is an associate of the firm. She received her B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2009. While in college, she gained experience as an intern with the Office of the Public Defender. In 2010, she began working for Downard and Associates as a Legal Assistant and attending Nashville School of Law after work in the evenings. She graduated from Nashville School of Law in 2013 and was admitted to practice law in Tennessee in 2014. She has now been with us for over 9 years.

Her practice focuses primarily in the area of Social Security Disability/SSI. She currently resides in Hendersonville with her husband and enjoys volunteering as a preschool leader at their church.



Cumberland University, Cum Laude. 2004 Nashville School of Law

Prior legal experience: Family Law, General Business Law, Criminal Law, and Civil Litigation serving primarily Wilson, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, and Williamson Counties.

  • Admission to Practice: Tennessee Supreme Court

  • Admission to Practice: United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee

  • Admitted to Practice: United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

  • Admission to Practice: United States District Court, Western District of Tennessee

  • Trained Family Mediator – Supreme Court Listed 2011-2015



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822 Wren Road

Goodlettsville, TN 37072


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Gallatin, TN 37066​


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Lebanon, TN 37087​


6242 Ringgold Rd.

Chattanooga, TN 37412​


111 Tucker St.

Jackson, TN 38301​

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