Press Releases

Haslam Appoints Nicoll 14th Judicial District Public Defender

Press release from the office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; February 18, 2015:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has appointed John E. Nicoll as the public defender for the 14th Judicial District, which covers Coffee County.

Nicoll fills the vacancy left by the late B. Campbell Smoot, Jr., who passed away November 18, 2014.

“John’s strong academic record and broad experience in criminal cases, both as an Army JAG officer and as managing partner of his own firm, will serve him and the citizens of Coffee County well in this important role,” Haslam said.

Nicoll, 41, is founder and managing partner of the Nicoll Law Firm, PLLC, in Manchester. He has represented more than 200 indigent criminal defendants in the state and federal courts of Tennessee and has served as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panels for the U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee.

As a U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps officer from 2000-2004, Nicoll successfully prosecuted more than 150 felony cases.

”Campbell Smoot served this community well for more than two decades, and his passing is a great loss.  I am honored and humbled to receive Governor Haslam’s appointment and to assume the duties of public defender,” Nicoll said. “I am blessed to have inherited an office filled with an experienced and professional staff dedicated to serving our community.”

Nicoll is a 1999 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he received numerous certificates for academic excellence and the James L. Powers III Excellence in Criminal Advocacy Award. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Furman University in 1996.

He and his wife, Chasity, live in Manchester with their son. Nicoll, along with his wife and other volunteers, helped establish the Coffee County Humane Society, and he enjoys coaching youth basketball and football teams.

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