Trent, Edward H.

  • Member


Knoxville, TN



(865) 546-1001

EDWARD H. TRENT is a Member of Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC in the Knoxville, Tennessee office of the firm, which he joined in 2011.  His practice includes labor and employment law matters in both state and federal court and before state and federal agencies.  Ed's broad range of experience includes jury trials in employment discrimination cases, including the defense of appeals before federal and state appellate courts, day-to-day preventative counseling and advice, training for supervisor and human resources personnel on managing the workplace and complying with federal, state and local employment laws and regulations.  Ed also works with churches on child protection issues and employment law matters, and is actively involved with religious liberty issues.  He filed an amicus brief in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC, 132 S.Ct. 694 (2012), upholding the "ministerial exception" to the application of state and federal employment laws to religious organizations, in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, 1345 S.Ct. 2751 (2014), upholding the religious liberty rights of business owners in a challenge to the Affordable Care Act's Contraception Mandate, and several other cases.  Ed received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Florida and his law degree from Duke University School of Law.  He has been admitted to practice in the United States District Court; Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Tennessee; Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida; the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth and Eleventh Circuit; and the United States Supreme Court.  Ed has an AV Preeminent® Rating - which is the highest possible rating given by Martindale-Hubbell, the leading independent attorney rating entity - and since 2011 he has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Employment Law/Management and Litigation/Labor & Employment.  In 2016 Ed was named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers for Employment Law/Management, Knoxville. Ed is also Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by The Florida Bar.

Areas Of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Human Resources

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law, The Florida Bar, 2011

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 2011
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee, 2011
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee, 2012
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee, 2017
  • Florida, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1997
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1997
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1992
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1998


  • Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina
    • J.D. - 1992
    • Honors: Honors
    • Honors: Moot Court Board
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
    • B.S. - 1989
    • Honors: High Honors
    • Honors: Speech and Debate Team (President and Debate Captain)
    • Major: Accounting


  • Human Resource and legal seminars for clients on various Employment Law topics
  • Employment Law Seminars for attorneys
  • Adjunct Professor, Florida Coastal School of Law (Spring 2006)

Honors and Awards

  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2011, in the fields of Employment Law/Management and Litigation/Labor & Employment
  • Named 'Lawyer of the Year' by Best Lawyers® for Employment Law/Management, Knoxville (2016)
  • Exchangite of the Year, Exchange Club of Jacksonville

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Exchange Club of Jacksonville, President (2001-2002), 1992 to 2009
  • Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, Diocesan Pastorial Council, President and Program Director for Young Adult Ministry, 1995 to 2010
  • Northeast Florida Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Board of Directors, President, 1994 to 2003
  • Catholic Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Knoxville, TN, Building Committee, 2013 - 2018
  • Chester Bedell Inn of Court, 2002 to 2005
  • Knoxville Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Akerman Senterfitt, Shareholder, 2001 to 2011
  • Fisher & Phillips, LLP, Associate, 2000 to 2001
  • Coffmen, Coleman, Andrews & Grogan, P.A., Associate, 1996 to 2000
  • State Attorney's Office, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Assistant State Attorney, 1994 to 1996
  • The late Hon. John H. Moore II, then Chief Judge U.S. District Court, M.D. Florida, Law Clerk, 1992 to 1994

Pro Bono Activities

  • Northeast Florida Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1993 to 2008