United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 Federal courthouse
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee is one of ninety-four United States district courts.
Vacancy warning level
|Travis Randall McDonough||Sewanee, The University of the South, 1994||Vanderbilt University Law School, 1997|
Article III judges
|Judge Harry Mattice||1954||Chattanooga, TN||W. Bush||11/18/2005 - Present||Allan Edgar||University of Tennessee, B.S., 1976||University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1981|
|Judge Ronnie Greer||1952||Mountain City, TN||W. Bush||6/12/2003 - Present||Thomas Hull||East Tennessee State U., B.S., 1974||University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1980|
|Chief Judge Thomas Varlan||1956||Oak Ridge, TN||W. Bush||3/14/2003 - Present||10/8/2012 - Present||Robert Leon Jordan||University of Tennessee, B.A., 1978||Vanderbilt U. School of Law, J.D., 1981|
|Judge Pamela L. Reeves||1954||Marion, Virginia||Obama||3/5/3014-Present||Thomas W. Phillips||University of Tennessee, 1976||University of Tennessee Law, 1979|
Active Article III judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Judge Curtis Collier||Clinton||5/10/1995-10/31/2014||2005-10/7/2012||10/31/2014-Present||Tennessee State University, 1971||Duke University School of Law, 1974|
|Senior Judge Allan Edgar||Reagan||4/16/1985 - 10/7/2005||1998 - 2005||10/7/2005 - Present||Davidson College, B.A., 1962||Duke U. School of Law, LL.B., 1965|
|Senior Judge Robert Leon Jordan||Reagan||10/17/1988 - 11/30/2001||11/30/2001 - Present||University of Tennessee, B.S., 1958||University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., 1960|
|Senior Judge Thomas W. Phillips||W. Bush||11/15/2002-7/31/2013||7/31/2013 - Present||Berea College, B.A., 1965||Vanderbilt U. Law School, J.D., 1969|
Senior judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee|
|Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman|
|Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton||06/2003 - Present||Rhodes College, B.A., 1978||University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1981|
|Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley||02/13/2002 - Present||Lipscomb U., B.A., 1974||University of Tennessee Law, J.D., 1977|
The Eastern District of Tennessee has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
There are four court divisions, each covering the following counties:
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Justia.com-Dockets and Filings-Eastern District of Tennessee.
| • Lawyer contempt case (2010)|
|Click for summary→|
|On March 30, 2010, Judge Collier harshly reprimanded a practicing attorney from Tennessee over a contempt of court violation. James A.H. Bell was ordered by the judge to lecture on legal ethics to Tennessee's five law schools and its bar associations despite the fact that judge considered revoking his federal bar license. Bell was found guilty by magistrate judge Clifford Shirley after claiming he met a drug dealer in the judge's chambers, which was a false statement.|
| • Confederate flag case (2009)|
Judge(s):Thomas Varlan (Defoe v. Spiva et al, 3:06-cv-00450)
|Click for summary→|
|Judge Varlan on August 20, 2009, ruled against a former Tennessee high school student who sued Anderson County School District administrators over the right to wear clothing bearing the confederate flag.
The judge found no evidence that a similar ruling in Blount County, Tennessee over the confederate flag ruled that school administrators were correct to suspend the student over fears of disruption in the classroom.The case that got thrown out was the second trial in the case, the first case in 2006 involving the same student ended in a hung jury.
The State of Tennessee was organized as a single judicial district with one judgeship on January 31, 1797. This judicial district was not yet assigned to a judicial circuit, and therefore was granted that same jurisdiction as the United States circuit courts, excluding in appeals and writs of error which are the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
The Judiciary Act of 1801 on February 13 removed the district court in Tennessee and then authorized the United States Circuit Court for the Sixth Circuit to hold court in the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Western District of Tennessee. The full jurisdiction of the district and circuit courts was applied to these districts.
The Judiciary Act of 1801 was repealed on March 8, 1802, and thus restored the judicial organization that had remained in effect before 1801. This reestablished the U.S. District Court for the District of Tennessee, with circuit court trial jurisdiction.
On April 29, 1802, Statute 2 Stat. 165 divided the state of Tennessee into the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Western District of Tennessee. One judgeship was assigned to each of the districts.
The act on February 24, 1807 repealed the circuit court jurisdiction of the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Western District of Tennessee. The districts were assigned to the Seventh Circuit and a United States Circuit Court of the District of Tennessee was established.
Congress assigned the judicial districts of Tennessee to the Eighth Circuit on March 3, 1837. The Middle District of Tennessee was established on June 18, 1839 and the existing judgeship was made to serve all three judicial districts.
On July 15, 1862, Congress assigned the judicial districts of Tennessee to the Sixth Circuit. Over time four additional judicial posts were added to the Eastern District of Tennessee for a total of five current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Eastern District of Tennessee:
|April 29, 1802||2 Stat. 165||1|
|May 31, 1938||52 Stat. 584||2(1 temporary)|
|November 27, 1940||54 Stat. 1216||2|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||3|
|July 10, 1984||98 Stat. 333||4|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||5|
Former chief judges
In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information the judges of the Eastern District of Tennessee, see former federal judges of the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Four separate courthouses serve the Eastern District of Tennessee.
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee Official Website
- Opinions of the Eastern District of Tennessee
- Judges of the Eastern District of Tennessee
- US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Knoxville News, "Federal judge spares Knoxville lawyer further sanctions," March 30, 2010
- Tri-State Defender, "Federal judge says ‘no” to Confederate flag as a free-speech fashion statement," August 20, 2009
- History of the Eastern District of Tennessee from the Federal Judicial Center
- United States Courts, Frequently Asked Questions
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Susan K. Lee • Dennis Inman • Bruce Guyton • Clifford Shirley •|
|Former Article III judges||
John McNairy • Morgan Welles Brown • Herbert Milburn • West Hughes Humphreys • Connally Findlay Trigg • David McKendree Key • Charles Dickens Clark • Edward Terry Sanford • Xenophon Hicks • George Caldwell Taylor • Leslie Darr • Frank Wiley Wilson • Thomas Hull • James Jarvis • Charles Neese • Robert Taylor (Tennessee) •
|Former Chief judges||