Ortale Kelley Mourns Loss of Managing Partner

Richard Warren Sebastian passed away unexpectedly on February 9, 2024, at age 59. Richard was a devoted husband, father, brother, and law partner.  Richard is survived by his soulmate and loving wife of 34 years, Lynda (Lynn) Sebastian, his beloved daughter, of whom he was so proud, Maria Sebastian, his sister, Carol Goodin (Len), and his brother, Robert Sebastian.  Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Robert J. and Virginia J. Sebastian, his sister, Pamela Sexton, and his brothers, Bruce Sebastian and Mark Sebastian.  In addition to his cherished biological family, he leaves behind his Ortale Kelley family – all of whom he deeply loved. Richard started with Ortale Kelley in 1988, serving as a runner while attending law school.  His head for business and talent in real estate quickly revealed themselves.  Richard served as the Managing Partner of the Ortale Kelley Law Firm for 18 years.  His practice concentrated in the areas of real estate law, commercial transactions, and corporate law. Born in Seattle Washington on December 29, 1964, Richard quickly relocated to Nashville, Tennessee at the tender age of six months old.  Richard was educated at Battle Ground Academy, Middle Tennessee State University, and the Nashville School of Law.

Richard had a natural instinct when it came to real estate transactions and negotiating buy-sell agreements.  Applying that innate talent for his clients’ benefit was a gift he relished.  His real estate experience included negotiation and implementing all aspects of acquisitions, leasing, financing, and structuring. Richard had a passion for cars, working on them, acquiring them, and even racing them. In his early days, he participated in hundreds of drag races.  He owned a full-service auto repair shop and custom car business, which allowed him to continue tinkering in this passion and to nurture a rare collection of automobiles.  Applying the same no-holds-barred, all-effort approach to the practice of law as he once did to drag racing proved to serve his clients and the Ortale Kelley Law Firm well.  As Richard was fond of saying, “Nothing ever gets better without hard work.”

Richard was a member of the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations and the Tennessee Land Title Association.  He volunteered as counsel to the Executive Board for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville and to the Tennessee Association of Construction. His volunteer efforts resulted in being awarded the 2022 Habitat for Humanity Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award.  His emphasis on pro bono work led the way for the Ortale Kelley Law Firm having consistent 100% firm participation in giving to the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee.  Richard had a special aptitude for helping others.  He leaves behind a legacy of leadership and will be remembered fondly for his friendship, his guidance, and his unique sense of humor.

Services for Richard will be held at St. Henry’s Catholic Church, 6401 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN. 37205, on Thursday, February 15, 2024.  Visitation will be from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., with a Funeral Mass to follow at 10:00 a.m. Committal at Harpeth Hills Memory Garden, 9090 Hwy 100, Nashville, TN. 37221, from 12:30-1:00 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville or the charity of your choice.



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