The names of three potential nominees to the Tennessee Supreme Court were sent to Gov. Bill Haslam this week.
All three of the men, who were selected by the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments, serve as state appeals judges. They are Thomas Radcliffe Frierson of Morristown, Robert H. Montgomery, Jr. of Kingsport and Roger Amos Page of Medina.
Frierson currently sits on the Tennessee Court of Appeals Eastern Section. Montgomery is a judge for the eastern section of the state Criminal Court of Appeals. Page is on the Criminal Court of Appeals Western Section.
Page is 59 years old, Frierson is 57 and Montgomery is 62. All three were appointed to their current appellate bench assignments by Gov. Haslam.
All nine of the applicants for the vacant Supreme Court slot — which was created when Justice Gary Wade unexpectedly retired in September — were asked why they’re seeking a seat on the state’s high court. Below are the responses from the finalists.
“Nineteen years ago, I applied for a position on the Court of Criminal Appeals. While I was not appointed, I knew that if the opportunity ever presented itself, it was my career aspiration to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court. While I did not have then the depth of legal knowledge and experiences that I have today, the same reasons still exist for my desire to serve on the Supreme Court – to serve the public by determining how justice is administered, not just in one courtroom, but throughout Tennessee.
“Over the years as a prosecutor, a trial judge, and appellate judge, I have worked continuously to develop my legal skills and knowledge. I believe that my professional and personal background, my abiding interest in legal concepts, my temperament and collegiality, my attention to details, my willingness to reflect on and make informed and logical judgments about people and the law, and my desire to share my legal knowledge, provide me with the skills to be a valuable Supreme Court member.”
“Serving the needs of others should be a lifelong endeavor. Judges, as public servants, play “a central role in preserving the principles of justice and the rule of law.” Tenn. Sup.Ct. R. 10, RJC Preamble. The opportunity to serve as a member of the Tennessee Judiciary is truly an honor.
“A broad spectrum of legal disputes currently require judicial review. Technological advances, enhanced access to information, and greater societal mobility mandate that a court respond to the call for justice in an effective, timely, and professional manner. Limited government resources must be responsibly extended so as to promote public confidence in the judiciary while preserving the integrity of impartial adjudication.
“I seek the privilege of serving as Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court to address the significant demands of judicial service to others throughout our State. I welcome the responsibilities of fulfilling judicial duties while seeking to promote public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary. No less significant is my focus upon encouraging civility and professionalism in the legal profession.”
“The short and easy answer is that I love the State of Tennessee. I can think of no higher honor than serving the people of our great State as a member of our highest court. Due to my unique educational experience of graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and the University of Memphis Law School, I have met and now know numerous people in almost all ninety-five counties of Tennessee. In my father’s direct ancestral line, I am a sixth generation West Tennessean. My mother’s ancestral family is from Sevier County in East Tennessee. My sons and grandchildren all reside in Middle Tennessee. If I am selected for this position, I will represent all Tennesseans on the Court.
“I believe that my entire professional life has prepared me for this position. I have vast experience in both civil and criminal matters. As an attorney and judge, I have handled cases involving medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, stockbroker fraud, collections, divorces, probate and estates, condemnation, contracts, zoning and real estate.”