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Tennessee Court of Appeals

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Tennessee Court of Appeals
Court information
Judges:   12
Founded:   1925
Salary:   $[1]
Judicial selection
Method:   Commission selection, political appointment
Term:   8 years

The Tennessee Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court in Tennessee. It hears appeals of civil cases; the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals hears appeals of criminal cases.

Created by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1925, the Tennessee Court of Appeals hears appeals in civil—or non-criminal—cases from trial courts and certain state boards and commissions. The court has 12 members who sit in panels of three in Jackson, Knoxville, and Nashville. All decisions made by the Tennessee Court of Appeals may be appealed, by permission, to the Tennessee Supreme Court. As in all three appellate courts, court of appeals hearings do not include witnesses, juries, or testimonies. Instead, attorneys present oral and written arguments.[2]

Current judges

Tennessee Court of Appeals judges, seated (from left to right): David Farmer, Patricia Cottrell, Herschel Franks, Alan Highers, Charles Susano; standing (from left to right): Holly Kirby, Richard Dinkins, Andy Bennett, John McClarty, Frank Clement, D. Michael Swiney, and J. Steven Stafford

There are 12 members of the Tennessee Court of Appeals. They are elected on a “yes-no” ballot every 8 years. When a vacancy occurs on the intermediate appellate court, the 17-member Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission interviews applicants and recommends three candidates to the governor, who appoints a new judge to serve until the next August general election.

As with the justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court and the judges of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, judges of the Tennessee Court of Appeals must, by state law, be evaluated every 8 years. The evaluations are then published in newspapers across the state to help voters decide whether the judges should be retained.

JudgeTermAppointed by
Judge Charles Susano1994-2022Gov. Ned McWherter
Judge Richard Dinkins2008-2022Gov. Phil Bredesen
Judge D. Michael Swiney1999-2022Gov. Don Sundquist
Judge Andy Bennett2007-2022Gov. Phil Bredesen
Judge Frank Clement2003-2022Gov. Phil Bredesen
Judge Thomas R. Frierson2013-2022Gov. Bill Haslam
Judge Kenny Armstrong2014-PresentGov. Bill Haslam
Judge Arnold B. Goldin2014-PresentGov. Bill Haslam
Judge J. Steven Stafford2008-2022Gov. Phil Bredesen
Judge John McClarty1995-2014Gov. Phil Bredesen
Judge W. Neal McBrayer2014-2022Gov. Bill Haslam
Judge Brandon O. Gibson2014-PresentGov. Bill Haslam

Former judges

See also

External links


TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Middle District of TennesseeUnited States District Court for the Western District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of TennesseeUnited States bankruptcy court, Middle District of TennesseeUnited Stataes bankruptcy court, Western District of TennesseeUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitTennessee Supreme CourtTennessee Court of AppealsTennessee Court of Criminal AppealsTennessee Circuit CourtTennessee Chancery CourtsTennessee Criminal CourtTennessee Probate CourtTennessee General Sessions CourtTennessee Juvenile CourtTennessee Municipal CourtTennessee countiesTennessee judicial newsTennessee judicial electionsJudicial selection in TennesseeTennesseeTemplate.jpg


A conservative effort to unseat the three Tennessee Supreme Court justices facing retention in 2014 highlighted the issue of retention elections across the state. For more information on this controversy, see: Tennessee Supreme Court elections, 2014.

JudgeElection Vote
KirbyHolly KirbyApprovedA64.9%   ApprovedA
ClementFrank ClementApprovedA65.2%   ApprovedA
SwineyD. Michael SwineyApprovedA63.7%   ApprovedA
SusanoCharles SusanoApprovedA62.5%   ApprovedA
BennettAndy BennettApprovedA64.6%   ApprovedA
McBrayerW. Neal McBrayerApprovedA64.0%   ApprovedA
FriersonThomas R. FriersonApprovedA63.8%   ApprovedA
McClartyJohn McClartyApprovedA64.0%   ApprovedA
StaffordJ. Steven StaffordApprovedA64.8%   ApprovedA
DinkinsRichard DinkinsApprovedA63.3%   ApprovedA
See also: Tennessee judicial elections, 2014