Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford was founded in 1971 by William P. Ortale, John W. Kelley, Jr., David B. Herbert and William H. Crawford, Jr. The four-person shop in downtown Nashville, has now grown to 24 attorneys and over 50 employees. Building on its respected and long-standing litigation practice and transactional practice concentrated on commercial real estate lending and development, Ortale Kelley grew to be one of middle Tennessee's pre-eminent law firms.

Bill Ortale

Mr. Ortale passed away at the age of 79 on May 21, 2010, after a year’s valiant battle with cancer. He attended law school at Vanderbilt, graduating in 1955, and went to work as a claims adjustor with State Farm Insurance for eight years. In 1971, he founded the law firm of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford with John W. Kelly, Jr., David B. Herbert and William H. Crawford, Jr. Mr. Ortale was a fellow in the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations, and was active in numerous industry and charitable organizations, including the Tennessee Defense Lawyers, the Vanderbilt Law School National Alumni Council, the Exchange Club of Nashville, and the Jaycees. He was a member of Richland Country Club and a regular speaker and joke-teller with the World War II Club. Over the past 30 years, Bill and his surviving and beloved wife, Jean, traveled extensively to France, Italy, Russia and China. He is sorely missed, but fondly remembered by his family, friends, and firm. His spirit and energy live on at Ortale Kelley.

John W. Kelley, Jr.

Mr. Kelley passed away in 1985 after battling cancer. A native Tennessean, Mr. Kelley attended Vanderbilt University, but his college education was interrupted by military service. He served in the U.S. Air National Guard from 1950 to 1952, and then returned to Vanderbilt to complete his college education. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955, he attended law school at Vanderbilt and graduated in 1959. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Kelley was hired as an associate to Hooker, Keeble, Dodson, and Harris. He later helped found the firm of Ortale, Kelley, Herbert & Crawford alongside David B. Herbert, Bill Ortale, and William H. Crawford, Jr. in 1971. Mr. Kelley was elected to the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association in 1972 and was elected president in 1974. He was very active in local and state politics and served as Treasurer for Jim Sasser’s campaign to be elected to the United States Congress. Mr. Kelley also served as President of Traveler’s Aid and was a past President of the Opportunity House Board of Directors and of Overbrook School. When he wasn’t serving the community or practicing law, Mr. Kelley could be found on the tennis court.

David B. Herbert

Mr. Herbert attended Georgia Institute of Technology, obtaining an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering in 1958 and his law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 1967. Between Georgia Tech and the Nashville School of Law, Mr. Herbert served in the United Stated Air Force as a weather officer. Mr. Herbert has extensive experience in both jury and bench trials in the area of commercial litigation, contract cases, and cases involving title insurance claims. He has also appeared as a seminar speaker on the subject of real estate litigation. Mr. Herbert retired from Ortale Kelley in 2017 after 50 years of practicing law.

William H. Crawford, Jr.

Mr. Crawford retired from the firm in 2005. On January 7, 2016, Mr. Crawford passed away shortly after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Actively involved in complex civil litigation for over thirty years, Mr. Crawford was instrumental in managing the firm and developing its institutional clients. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in Valdosta, Georgia, Mr. Crawford moved to Nashville at age 15. He graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in 1959 and went on to Vanderbilt University, where he was a member of the Commodore football team, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963. He then served as a lieutenant in the United States Army, and upon his return, entered Vanderbilt Law School. He received his Juris Doctorate in 1969. Outside of the practice of law, Mr. Crawford had an accomplished amateur golf career. He won multiple Senior State Championships as well as Richland County Club Championships. His golf career was highlighted by competing in the 2000 U.S. Senior Open Championship. He was an alumnus of Phi Delta Phi and an active member of St. Henry’s Church and Richland Country Club.