Tennessee Supreme Court has first-time female majority

By Drew Smith | Oct 2, 2008

Sharon Gail Lee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline)-Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has created the first female majority on the state's Supreme Court with the appointment of Court of Appeals Judge Sharon Gail Lee.

Lee, 54, will be sworn in today and joins the court's two other women -- Chief Justice Janice Holder and Justice Cornelia Clark.

"Sharon has served with distinction on the Court of Appeals and I am confident she will bring the same level of honor and integrity to the Tennessee Supreme Court," Bredesen said in a statement.

Lee is replacing Justice William Barker, who announced his retirement in April. She has served on the Court of Appeals' Eastern Section since 2004. She was in private practice in Madisonville prior to that and is a former county attorney for Monroe County.

"My 26 years of experience as an attorney encompassed virtually all of the types of cases that the Tennessee Supreme Court is called upon to consider, so I understand very well the impact the Court has on the lives of those who come before it," Lee said. "I will approach this new role with the recognition of how important it is that decisions be well-reasoned, grounded in the law, legally correct and issued in a timely manner."

Lee earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee and her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She previously served as secretary and member of the executive board of the Knoxville Executive Women's Association and is a member of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Monroe County.

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