Tenn. Chief Justice changes retirement plans

John O'Brien Jun. 30, 2008, 3:15pm

Seated is Chief Justice William Barker. Standing, from left, are justices Janice Holder, Gary Wade and Cornelia Clark.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) - Tennessee's Chief Justice will wait two more weeks before retiring in order to give the Supreme Court a full roster for a Sept. 3 session in Knoxville.

Chief Justice William Barker had submitted Sept. 1 as his retirement date, but delays in picking his successor changed his plans.

The state's Judicial Selection Commission will pick a panel of three candidates from a field of applicants to submit to Gov. Phil Bredesen, who will personally pick the next Justice.

"When I notified the governor in early May of my intended retirement on Sept. 1, I had hoped that would allow enough time for the selection process to be completed before the court heard cases in Knoxville," Barker said.

"However, the Judicial Selection Commission will not be able to meet until Aug. 18 to evaluate applicants for the Supreme Court and recommend three names to the governor. That close time frame, coupled with the Labor Day holiday, convinced me that I need to be available to sit with the court."

Barker said Bredesen agreed with the decision. He has served on the Supreme Court since 1998.

At last count, there were six candidates for Barker's spot. They are:

-Paul Campbell, III, a 62-year-old attorney with Campbell and Campbell in Chattanooga;

-Sharon Lee, a 54-year-old Judge on the state's Court of Appeals in Knoxville;

-Nancy Miller-Herron, a 52-year-old state Claims Commissioner for the Western Division in Dresden;

-John Westley McClarty, a 60-year-old attorney in Chattanooga;

-R. Culver Schmid, a 49-year-old attorney with Long, Ragsdale & Waters in Knoxville; and

-D. Bruce Shine, a 69-year-old attorney with the Law Offices of Shine & Mason in Kingsport.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

More News