Gary R. Wade

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Gary R. Wade
Wade, Gary.JPG
Current Court Information:
Tennessee Supreme Court
Title:   Chief Justice
Salary:  $178,000
Appointed by:   Gov. Phil Bredesen
Active:   2006-2016
Chief:   2012-2014
Past post:   Judge, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
Past term:   1987-2006
Personal History
Born:   5/31/1948
Undergraduate:   University of Tennessee, 1970
Law School:   University of Tennessee College of Law, 1973
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
Position:  Chief Justice
State:  Tennessee
Election information 2014:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  11/4/2014

Gary R. Wade is the chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court on May 30, 2006 by former governor Phil Bredesen and took office on September 1, 2006. He is one of four justices on the five-justice court appointed by Bredesen.

Wade became chief justice on September 1, 2012. His two-year term will expire on August 31, 2014.[1]

Wade was retained by Tennessee's voters to an unexpired term on the court on August 7, 2008. His current term expires August 31, 2014.[2]



Wade is running for retention to the Supreme Court. The election date is August 7, 2014.

The state's Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission has recommended Justice Wade be retained for another term.[3]


Wade received his B.S. degree cum laude from the University of Tennessee in 1970 and his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1973.[4]


Wade was in private practice at Ogle & Wade, P.C. from 1973 to 1987 and was a city attorney for the City of Pigeon Forge during that same time. He served as the mayor of Sevierville from 1977 to 1987.[5]

Wade was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in 1987, and was elected 1988. He was re-elected in 1990, 1998 and 2006. Wade served as presiding judge of the court from 1998 to 2006. He was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in September 1, 2006 and became Chief Justice in September of 2012.[4]

Awards and associations


  • 2011: Scouts of America Great Smoky Mountain Council Good Scout Award
  • 2010: Recipient of the Legacy Award from Friends of the Smokies[6]
  • 2009: Lincoln Memorial University Commencement, Keynote Speaker
  • 2007-2008: Power100, Business TN
  • 2007: Raymond L. Gardner Alumnus of the Year, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity
  • 2007: United States Department of Interior Citizens Award for Exceptional Service
  • 2006: East Tennessee Regional Leadership Award
  • 2006: University of Tennessee College of Law Commencement, Keynote Speaker
  • 2005, 2008: American Legion Boys State, Keynote Speaker
  • 2005: Garden Club of America Conservation Award
  • 2004: Appellate Judge of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • 2004: Judicial Excellence Award, Knoxville Bar Association[4]
  • 2004: Citizen of the Year, Sevierville Chamber of Commerce
  • 2004: Sevier County High School Wall of Fame
  • 2001: Thornton Athletic Student Life Center Award, University of Tennessee
  • 2000: Walters State Community College Commencement, Keynote Speaker
  • 1999: Lions Club International Melvin Jones Fellow
  • 1997-Present: United Way Leadership Society
  • 1996: Pellissippi State Technical Community College Commencement, Keynote Speaker
  • 1996: Superintendent's MVP - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • 1987: Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Award
  • 1987: Gary R. Wade Boulevard
  • 1987: Key to City Award by City of Sevierville
  • 1987: American Heart Association Presidential Award
  • 1983, 84, 85, 97: Sevier County Mover and Shaker of the Year by The Mountain Press
  • 1980: Outstanding Young Men of America, Who's Who in American Law


  • 1995-1996: Delegate
  • Member, Tennessee Bar Association
  • 1980-1988: House of Delegates
  • 1995-1996: Board of Governors
  • 2008-Present: Fellow, Young Lawyers Division
  • Member, Knoxville Bar Association
  • 2004 Board of Governors
  • Member, Sevier County Bar Association
  • 1988-Present: Member, American Inns of Court
  • 2009-Present: Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • 2008-Present: Fellow, Knoxville Bar Foundation
  • 2006-Present: Phi Delta Theta Educational Foundation
  • 1998-Present: Tennessee Bar Association Fellow, Young Lawyers Division
  • Walters State Community College Foundation
  • 2005-2006: President
  • 1998-Present: Board of Trustees
  • 1996-Present: Founder and secretary, Tennessee Judicial Conference Foundation
  • 1996-Present: Member, Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society
  • 1994-Present: Fellow, Tennessee Bar Foundation
  • 1994-Present: Dean's Circle, University of Tennessee
  • 1993-Present: Board of Visitors, University of Tennessee
  • 1993 - Present: Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, co-founder, past president, and president emeritus
  • 1987-Present: Tennessee Judicial Conference; President, 1995-1996
  • 1998-2006: Member, Council of Chief Judges
  • 2004-2005: Member, Governor's Task Force on Sentencing
  • 2003-2005: Maryville College Board of Trustees; Finance Committee, 2004-2005
  • 1998-2005: UT Development Council
  • 1997-2002: Pellissippi State Technical Community College, President's Associates
  • 1990-1997: Eta South Province President, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity
  • 1996: Member, Special Joint Committee (Senate Joint Resolution 477) on Special and Pro Tempore Judges
  • 1995-1996: Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors
  • 1995-1996: Leadership Knoxville Class
  • 1993-1996: Member, Commission on Future of the Tennessee Judicial System
  • 1990-1994: Member, Tennessee Sentencing Commission
  • 1980-1988: Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates
  • 1985-1987: Member, Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund, Board of Directors and Treasurer
  • 1983-1987: Member, Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association
  • 1983-1987: Member, National Association of Municipal Law Officers
  • 1973-1987: Member, Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association
  • 1973-1984: Member, Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Board of Directors, 1978-1984[4][5]

Community Involvement

  • 1972: Sevierville Lions Club, Past President
  • 1972-1987: Sevier County Volunteer Legal Assistance Program
  • 1977-1979: Sevierville Community Center Capital Campaign, Chair
  • 1984, 1985, 1986: Sevier County Heart Association, Chairman
  • 1984-1986, 2004-2006: Sevier County United Way, Board of Directors
  • 1986-1987: East Tennessee Chapter of American Heart Association, Vice President
  • 1989-1994: First United Methodist Church of Sevierville, Finance Chair
  • 1996-2000: First United Methodist Church Conference, Finance Chair, Maryville District
  • Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • 1993-2005: Co-Founder and President
  • 2005-2006: Board Chair
  • 2007-Present: Chairman Emeritus
  • 1996-2002: East Tennessee Foundation Board of Directors
  • 1996: Honorary Chair, Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains Capital Campaign
  • 1997-1998: Board of Directors, YMCA Metropolitan Knoxville
  • 1997-2004: Board of Directors, AAA East Tennessee
  • 1997: Board of Directors, United Way of Greater Knoxville Campaign Cabinet
  • 1997-2008: Board of Directors, Tennessee's Resource Valley
  • 1998-2000, 2006-Present: East Tennessee Historical Society Board of Directors
  • 1998-Present: Sevier County High School Foundation Board of Directors
  • Knoxville Zoological Gardens
  • 2000-2006: Board of Directors
  • 2002-2004: Vice Chair
  • 2005-2006: Chair
  • 2006-Present: Honorary Director
  • 2000-2003: Board of Directors, Fort Sanders Foundation
  • 2000-2002: Nine Counties, One Vision, Chair, Transportation Committee
  • 2001-2006: ALCOA Community Advisory Board
  • 2002-2004: Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Board
  • 2003-2005: Board of Directors, Friends of Headrick Chapel
  • 2004-Present: Sevier County Library Foundation
  • 2004-2006: Board of Directors, Museum of Appalachia, Vice Chair
  • Leadership Sevier
  • 1996: Co-Founder
  • 1996-Present: Board of Directors
  • 2001: President[7]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of State Supreme Court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Wade received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.14, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.02 that justices received in Tennessee. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[8]

See also

External links


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