Two women and four men have applied to become nominees for the Circuit Court vacancy in the 21st Judicial District – Hickman, Lewis, Perry and Williamson counties.
The judgeship is a new one, authorized by the Legislature in April and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam in May. It will be the fifth judge for the 21st Judicial District.
According to the bill, “it is the intent of the general assembly by adding an additional trial court in the 21st judicial district that the interests of public access to the courts and economy of judicial travel are best served by the presiding judge designating the new trial court created by subdivision to serve Hickman, Lewis, and Perry counties.”
The Trial Court Vacancy Commission will consider the six applicants when it meets on August 7, 2018 in Franklin. The new judicial position was created, along with several others in the state, to handle expanding case loads. The judge will be seated by September 1, 2018.
The applicants are:
Melanie Totty Cagle – Cagle, of Centerville, is a private-practice attorney with offices in Centerville and Hohenwald handling civil, criminal, simple and complex litigation. She also is County Attorney and Delinquent Tax Attorney for Hickman County.
She ran unsuccessfully in 2014 for Hickman County General Sessions judge.
“As a life-long resident of Hickman County, I have a great desire to serve my community and I appreciate the circumstances of these rural communities,” Cagle wrote in her application. “If appointed, this will allow the remaining four judges to utilize their collective time to assist the needs of the citizens of Williamson County.”
Stacey Brackeen Edmonson – Edmonson, of Spring Hill, is a Deputy District Attorney General who handles criminal prosecution, with cases ranging from public intoxication to first degree murder.
“Hickman, Lewis and Perry Counties have a small-town familiarity, so working there daily feels like going home,” she wrote in her application. “Unfortunately, these counties have been consistently slighted over the years by our judiciary due to the growing Williamson County dockets.”
Terry Ryan Malone – Malone, of Franklin, is a private practice attorney licensed in Tennessee and Kentucky. He currently focuses on insurance defense litigation and workers compensation, after working primarily in medical malpractice defence and the representation of long-term car facilities.
“I seek to avoid the contentious — and frequently unnecessary — disputes that arise in litigation, whenever possible,” Malone wrote in his application. “I believe my selection would give the court a hard-working, respectful and impartial judge.”
Brian Todd Martin – Martin, of Brentwood, is Division Counsel for the Nashville Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives within the U.S. Department of Justice. He served a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army (Reserve); and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in both the Eastern District of Tennessee and the District of Puerto Rico, temporarily assigned to a Violent Crime Impact Team.
“By being experienced in a broad range of the law, I can quickly step in and lend assistance to the current bench, reducing backlogs, and allowing cases to resume a faster resolution.”
Michael Everett Spitzer – Spitzer, of Hohenwald, is a private practice attorney with Spitzer and Heath in Hohenwald, where he handles civil litigation, real estate and elder law. He ran unsuccessfully in 1998 for General Sessions Judge for Lewis County. He also represents the cities of Lobelville and Hohenwald, and the Lewis County School Board. He was a teacher in the Lewis County Schools, and later served as principal of a K-4 school and later of Lewis County High School. He served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Tennessee Department of Education.
“The rule of law and separation of powers has given this country a consistency and structure unequaled in the world,” he wrote in his application.
Scott Cameron Williams – Williams, of Franklin, is a lawyer in private practice, with a background in corporate law and financial services law. He served as board chairman of O’More College of Design in Franklin and chairman of the board of The Kings Daughters School in Columbia.
“It is a great virtue of our state that those of us who practice law from day to day in it, have nearly as much opportunity to represent rural residents as urban ones in our practices, and that opportunity contributes to the overall wisdom of our State Bar,” Williams wrote in his application.
The Vacancy Commission will interview the applicants at the Williamson County Administrative Complex, County Commission Auditorium, 1320 West Main Street, Franklin.
The Commission then will make a recommendation to Gov. Haslam, who will appoint a judge to serve through 2020, when the judge will stand for election to an eight-year term.
The meeting will include a public hearing starting at 9 a.m. CDT, during which anyone may express their opinions in opposition to the applicants. The Commission is expected to vote immediately following the interviews and forward three names to Governor Bill Haslam for his consideration.
Click on the name of each candidate for completed applications, or go to TNCourts.gov.