Haslam Announces Members of Judicial Appointments Council

Press release from the office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; January 12, 2015:

Group will recommend candidates to fill vacancies on trial and appellate courts 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the 11 members of the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments that will recommend candidates to the governor to fill vacancies for Tennessee trial and appellate courts.

The council was established by executive order following the November 4 passage of a constitutional amendment creating a method for selecting judges of the Supreme Court or any intermediate appellate court in Tennessee. Members of the council include three each from the western, middle and eastern divisions of the state. Two members are at-large.

“This council will ensure that we continue to have a strong, independent and impartial judicial system in our state,” Haslam said. “I am grateful to these members for their willingness to serve and their work to maintain a strong judiciary in Tennessee.”

Members of the council representing the Western Division of the state are:

  • Lang Wiseman, Wiseman Bray PLLC, Memphis
  • George Brown, Resolute Systems, LLC, Memphis
  • Bradford Box, Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell PLC, Jackson

Members representing the Middle Division are:

  • Michelle J. Long, Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville
  • Michael Spitzer, The Spitzer Firm, Hohenwald
  • William “Bill” Young, Office of Attorney General and Reporter, Nashville

Members representing the Eastern Division are:

  • Rosemarie Hill, Chambliss Bahner & Stophel P.C., Chattanooga
  • Cheryl G. Rice, Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C., Knoxville
  • R. Culver Schmid, Baker Donelson, Knoxville

At-Large members are:

  • David A. Golden, Eastman Chemical Company, Kingsport
  • Randy Noel, Butler Snow LLP, Memphis

With the passage of the amendment to Article VI, Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution, the method of selecting appellate judges for a full term or to fill a vacancy is by and at the discretion of the governor.  The governor’s appellate court appointments must then be confirmed by the General Assembly, and thereafter elected in a retention election by the voters of the state.

After receiving notice that a trial or appellate court vacancy has occurred or is impending, and after a public hearing, the council will select three candidates who are most qualified to fill the vacancy and send those names to the governor as nominees for the appointment.  The governor will fill the vacancy by appointing a person from among the three nominated or require the council to submit a panel of three additional nominees.