Longtime judge who pioneered drug court retires as state commission seeks to fill several new circuit court seats

Longtime judge who pioneered drug court retires as state commission seeks to fill several new circuit court seats


The state’s Trial Court Vacancy Commission has announced they are seeking two new circuit court judges, one for a new position, and the other to replace a longtime judge who is retiring.

20th Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Seth Walker Norman, 84, has announced his retirement, effective August 31, 2018.

Norman served in the Air Force and the Tennessee Air National Guard.

In Davidson County, Norman began his political career with the Davidson County Young Democrats, before serving as secretary to the state’s executive party. He was first elected as criminal court judge in 1990.

Norman is notable for his creation of the first court-operated residential drug court in the United States; his cases have been cited in numerous legal publications, and he has won numerous awards for his work in recovery and addiction.

The position in District 19, which covers Montgomery and Robertson counties, was one of several openings created by Chapter 974 of the Public Acts of 2018.

The bill, which was passed in April and signed into law in May, adds judges in the 16th Judicial District (Rutherford and Cannon counties), the 19th Judicial District, and the 21st Judicial District (Hickman, Lewis, Perry and Williamson Counties).

The new positions should help combat the growing population in each of the district, though some legislators said judicial boundaries need to be redrawn.

Qualified applicants must be licensed attorneys who are at least 30 years of age, have been residents of the state for five years, and are residents of the applicable Judicial District.

Interested applicants must complete the Trial Court Vacancy Commission Application, which is available on www.TNCourts.gov, and submit it to the Administrative Office of the Courts by noon CDT on Monday, July 23, 2018.

The commission will make a recommendation to Gov. Bill Haslam, who will confirm judges for the open positions for an eight-year term. After the term, they may run for re-election.

About The Author

Brooke Wanser is the associate editor for the Franklin Home Page, and can be reached at brooke.wanser@homepagemediagroup.com. Follow her on Twitter at @BWanser_writes or @FranklinHomepg.

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