Our Team

We Are a Team of Warriors Doing What We Believe In

When you hire Piper McCracken, PLLC, you get a committed legal partner that will listen to your needs and concerns. We present solutions that take all aspects of your situation into account, from legal to personal, from emotional to financial. If your family law matter requires litigation, we are your team of warriors. We will advocate for, and protect, your rights in the courtroom.

Heather D. Piper – Partner

Heather D. Piper is one of the two founding partners of Piper McCracken, PLLC. With a legal practice that spans over a decade, she is an experienced litigator with multiple victories at the trial and appellate levels. She also has advanced training in the non-litigious collaborative divorce process. Heather prides herself on developing innovative approaches to her clients’ cases, including the creation of customized hybrid plans that combine the cooperative attitude of collaborative divorce while maintaining the protections afforded by the Court system.

Heather’s passion for family law was the result of her own divorce experience. She had to cope with the monumental change to her life and learn how to create a new “normal.” When she remarried and became a stepmother several years later, Heather helped her husband navigate the unique challenges of co-parenting in child custody arrangements and disputes.

Heather moved to Nashville after law school and spent several years defending high exposure medical malpractice cases. After representing some of these clients in their family law matters, she acknowledged her true calling and transitioned her practice to exclusively handle divorces and family law. Today, Heather’s clients are typically professionals from Nashville and Franklin’s leading industries, including the medical, legal, technological, financial, entertainment, and real estate fields.

As an experienced family law attorney who has actually experienced what her clients are going through, Heather possesses an understanding and empathy that makes her stand out. The emotional, financial, and physical well-being of her clients are top priority as she helps them emerge from difficult situations with confidence, strength, and resolve. This commitment to client well-being, along with her desire to improve the way family law is practiced, inspired Heather to team up with Joanna L. McCracken, a like-minded litigator and colleague, to form a firm dedicated to serving and listening to its clients.

Heather’s creativity, hard work, and dedication to excellence has earned her recognition by her peers in the legal community. She has consistently been named one of Tennessee’s Top Ten under 40 Family Law Attorneys and a Mid-South Rising Star by the Super Lawyers Magazine. She was also the recipient of Tennessee’s 10 Best for Client Satisfaction award from the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, a two-time recipient of the American Board of Trial Advocates Award, and a Best of the Bar nominee by the Nashville Business Journal.

Heather is likewise committed to serving the Nashville community in varying leadership roles outside of the legal profession. Recognized as one of Nashville’s young leaders, Heather currently serves on the board of the Nashville Young Leaders Council. She also serves on the board of Neighborhood Health, which provides affordable quality health care to Middle Tennessee residents.

Aside from her work at Piper McCracken, Heather’s biggest passion is her family. She and her husband, Jamey, are blessed with two wonderful children, Christian and Ellie. Heather is likewise blessed by having an amazing work family consisting of talented individuals whose mutual respect and caring for each other’s well-being form the heart of Piper McCracken.

Education & Credentials

  • J.D., Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
  • B.S., Austin Peay State University

Bar Admission

  • Tennessee

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Associations
  • Williamson County Bar Association
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • National Academy of Family Law Attorneys
  • Tennessee Bar Association’s Wellbeing Committee
  • Middle Tennessee Collaborative Alliance
Joanna L. McCracken – Partner

Joanna L. McCracken is one of the two founding partners of Piper McCracken, PLLC. She is both an experienced litigator and a collaborative divorce professional with an advanced certification. As a family law attorney, Joanna strives to guide her clients through their toughest life experiences with education, zeal, and compassion, utilizing her versatile skill set to create solutions that deliver long-term benefits protecting her clients’ best interests and futures.

Joanna’s dedication to her practice and clients has earned her the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys’ 10 Best for Client Satisfaction Award multiple years in a row. She has consistently been ranked in the Top Ten by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, been named a Mid-South Rising Star by Superlawyer magazine, and is recognized by the American Jurist Institute as a Top Ten Family Law Attorney for Tennessee. Joanna is an active member of the American, Tennessee, and Nashville Bar Associations. She serves on the Tennessee Bar Association’s Wellbeing Committee working in conjunction with Bar associations around the nation to improve the working lives of lawyers. Joanna is an active member of the Middle Tennessee Collaborative Alliance which promotes the use of the collaborative divorce process in lieu of litigation.

Prior to forming her own firm, Joanna worked as a litigator at a large regional law firm where she honed her skills in a broad range of practice areas including family law, medical malpractice, professional liability, real estate, and entertainment law. However, it was her own experience with divorce that prompted Joanna to build a dedicated family law practice. As a single parent with two small children, Joanna faced many challenges as she rebuilt her future, leaving her with a great appreciation for difficulties of transitioning to a new life and a deep sense of advocacy and empathy for her clients.

In early 2016, Joanna teamed up with Heather Piper, a legal colleague with shared interests, to develop a different kind of law practice – one that truly seeks to determine each client’s personal goals and priorities, to provide the resources and options to ensure custom-handling of each client’s case, and to give clients a home where they can feel confident and cared for.

In addition to her legal accolades, Joanna is a meditation teacher and yoga instructor certified by the Yoga Alliance. She uses the skills learned in these disciplines to educate the legal community on how to better handle occupational stress and how to use such skills to help clients. Joanna gives talks at law schools, legal conferences, and for various professional organizations.

Joanna originally hails from London, England. You might notice the accent! She attended London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in African Studies, majoring in the Swahili language. Joanna moved to Nashville in 2002 while working in the music business. She enjoyed success as a music publishing manager and copyright administrator on Music Row. Joanna also pursued her love of real estate by working toward, and obtaining, a broker’s license. Joanna remains very involved in the Nashville real estate community. Joanna’s background in music and real estate has uniquely positioned her to advise family law clients regarding real and intellectual property issues that need to be addressed during divorce, for prenuptial agreements, and other family law situations.

Joanna and her family are avid fans of the Nashville Soccer Club and the Belcourt Theatre. They enjoy downtime together in the farming community where they live.

Education & Credentials

  • J.D., Nashville School of Law (Nashville, Tennessee)
  • B.A. in African Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (London, UK)

Bar Admission

  • Tennessee

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Nashville Bar Associations
  • Middle Tennessee Collaborative Alliance
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • National Academy of Family Law Attorneys
  • American Jurist Institute
  • Tennessee Bar Association’s Wellbeing Committee
  • Yoga Alliance

Demi R. Marks – Associate Attorney

Demi R. Marks is an associate attorney at Piper McCracken, PLLC. She works in close conjunction with all the firm’s clients, specializing in divorce, pre- and post-marital agreements, wills, and child custody. Demi is passionate about the collaborative divorce process and mediation and believes in using both to help families redefine their relationships in a respectful and harmonious manner. Demi is both the office document drafter and social media guru, bringing her unique perspective to all aspects of work that she does at Piper McCracken, PLLC. Demi is a member of the Nashville, Tennessee, California, and American Bar Associations and is licensed to practice in both Tennessee and California.

Prior to joining the firm, Demi worked at a boutique family law office in Beverly Hills, California. She handled a variety of complex litigation cases involving high net worth individuals, from post-judgment enforcements of qualified domestic orders to child and animal custody cases. Her favorite part of the job was advocating for her clients and helping them develop creative divorce solutions.

Demi also has an entertainment law background, having worked at Amazon, NBCUniversal, and Sony in various capacities during her time in Los Angeles. While attending UCLA School of Law, she was the President of the Entertainment Law Society, Chief Articles Editor for the Entertainment Law Review, and Submissions Editor for the Journal of Law and Technology.

During her time at UCLA, Demi studied with the esteemed collaborative law professional, Forrest “Woody” Mosten. She soon realized her passion for family law and, through Woody’s mentorship, developed skills in mediation, collaborative law, and hybrid solutions to tricky family law situations. After graduation, Demi worked with Woody as a research assistant on his book Unbundled Legal Services: A Family Lawyer’s Guide.

When Demi is not at work, she can typically be found hiking the greenways with her fiance and their two pups, Riggins and Wild, or exploring music city. She is a passionate advocate for animals and volunteers with various organizations.

Education & Credentials

  • J.D., University of California at Los Angeles School of Law (Los Angeles, California)
  • B.A., Children’s Entertainment and Entrepreneurial Leadership, Tufts University (Medford, Massachusetts)

Bar Admission

  • Tennessee
  • California

Professional Affiliations

  • Nashville Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Publications

Johnna Palermo – Paralegal

Johnna Palermo is the firm’s certified paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the legal field. Originally from New York, Johnna is passionate and tough. She works closely with each client to ensure they are taken care of and kept apprised of the status of their case. Johnna prepares the firm’s cases with a thoroughness and dedication that delivers tremendous value to clients.

Johnna is inspired and motivated by the opportunity to help families during difficult and often confusing transitions in their personal lives. She is fluent in Spanish. When she isn’t at the firm, Johnna is working on her other passion – creating culinary masterpieces and catering events.

Education & Credentials

  • B.S., Criminal Justice, John Jay School of Criminal Justice (New York, NY)