Sister Nicole M. Grida was elected as the International Marshal on August 11, 2018 at the 62nd Biennial Convention held in Lexington, Kentucky. At the direction of the International Justice Jason M. Ross, she has been asked to lead the International Expansion Committee and implement plans for establishing a true international presence for Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International. Prior to being elected International Marshal, Nicole served as the District Justice for District XV from 2010 to 2018 and as the Assistant District Justice for District XV from 2008 to 2010. In her role as District Justice for District XV, Sister Grida provided support and encouragement for law school and alumni chapters throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Southwestern Ohio. She also planned, led, and attended District Conferences, Chapter Installations, Chapter Initiations, and Officer Transition Meetings for over 10 years in her roles as a DJ and ADJ. Nicole also attended District Conferences in other Districts to learn different techniques to help develop future leaders within PAD and the legal profession as a whole. In 2018, Sister Grida was awarded the Stan Jones Outstanding District Justice Award.
She was initiated into McReynolds (now Sanford) Chapter at The University of Tennessee College of Law in 2004 during the spring semester of her 1L year. When Nicole first became a member of PAD at UTLaw, there were only six active members and five were graduating. She helped grow the Chapter while serving as Marshal during her 2L year. By the time Sister Grida graduated, almost one quarter of the law students at UTLaw were members of Phi Alpha Delta.
Nicole currently works for International Paper Company as Senior Counsel - Litigation and is based out of IP's Global Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. In this role, she is responsible for managing personal injury litigation against the company arising out of claims for premises liability, automobile liability, products liability, and workers’ compensation pending before state and federal courts throughout the country. Sister Grida retains outside counsel to defend the company’s interests in these personal injury litigation matters and collaborates with outside counsel to ensure these matters are handled in a cost efficient manner. Additionally, she coordinates the handling of pre-suit matters at various IP facilities throughout the United States with IP's Third Party Administrator and evaluates claims for potential early resolution. To ensure the various facilities are advised as to the status of pending matters, Nicole is responsible for regularly updating IP's business counsel colleagues.
Prior to joining IP, Sister Grida handled a variety of general civil liability matters during her time at a regional insurance defense law firm and as staff/field counsel for two insurance companies. In these various insurance defense roles, she represented individuals, professionals, and businesses in premises liability, products liability, automobile negligence, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, workers’ compensation, and other general civil litigation matters throughout Tennessee. Nicole has extensive trial and litigation experience in state and federal court and has tried numerous premises liability, automobile liability, and workers’ compensation cases. She has authored “What to Avoid When Dealing with Under-Insured Motorist Claims in Light of the Tennessee Court of Appeals Decision in Peggy Gaston v. Tennessee Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company” and frequently presents CLEs and educational seminars on various aspects of litigation and insurance defense.
Since moving to Memphis, Nicole has been very active in various professional organizations. From 2010 until 2016, she served on the Board of Directors for the Memphis Bar Association, Young Lawyers’ Division and was President of the Division in 2015. Sister Grida is currently serving the second of a three year term on the Board of Directors for the Memphis Bar Association. She is also Chair of the Memphis Bar Association’s Bench Bar Committee and Vice Chair of the Memphis Bar Association’s Publications Committee. Additionally, Nicole has been the Young Lawyers Delegate for West Tennessee to the Tennessee Bar Association’s House of Delegates since 2013 and previously served as the West Tennessee Governor and the CLE Chair for the Tennessee Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division. She is a graduate of the Memphis Bar Association Leadership Forum, Class of 2008–2009.
Sister Grida regularly volunteers at the Second Saturday Legal Clinic (“2SLAC”), a free legal clinic hosted by Memphis Area Legal Services (“MALS”) and the Access to Justice Committee of the Memphis Bar Association. In 2012 and 2013, she served as Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers’ Committee of the Campaign for Equal Justice, an annual campaign designed to raise money for MALS, and is currently serving as the Chair of the Corporate Committee for the Campaign for Equal Justice. Nicole also spends time answering questions on TN Free Legal Answers, an online portal made possible by the generous support of International Paper and other companies, where members of the public can seek free legal advice. She is also a member of the Memphis Chapter of the Red Shoe Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, which is a group of young professionals who provide financial and volunteer support to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis to ensure that it can provide supportive services and housing to families of children receiving treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Nicole lives in Midtown Memphis with her dog Carmelo Thurston Grida. When she is not working or volunteering, she enjoys exploring the Bluff City, reading, watching reality television, traveling to new places, and spending time with her family especially her two nephews Vinny and Jasper.