VOL. 133 | NO. 9 | Thursday, January 11, 2018
Nichols Appointed, Parker Confirmed in Judicial Decisions
By Bill Dries
Deputy District Attorney General Jennifer Nichols is the newest Shelby County Criminal Court Judge.
Nichols was appointed Wednesday, Jan. 10, by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to fill the vacancy created by the December retirement of Judge James Beasley Jr. in Division 10.
Nichols has been deputy district attorney general since 2014. In that role she oversees day-to-day operations of the prosecutor’s office. She joined the office in 1991 as a prosecutor with six years in the law department of the United States Postal Service, before returning to the DA’s office as chief prosecutor of the Special Victims Unit in 2010.
Nichols earned her law degree from Samford University in Birmingham after a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.
With the appointment, the office goes on the August county general election ballot as a special nonpartisan election joining special elections for two divisions of Circuit Court that Haslam made appointments too last year.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of attorney Thomas Parker Wednesday as the newest Memphis Federal Court judge. Parker, a shareholder at Baker Donelson is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, earning his law degree at Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville.
U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker were among those voting to confirm Parker following his nomination last year by President Donald Trump.
Awaiting a vote from the Senate is state Senator Mark Norris of Collierville who was also nominated last year by Trump to the Memphis Federal Court bench as well.
“I will push to secure confirmation as soon as possible,” Alexander said of Norris’s nomination in a written statement. Norris’ nomination was recommended by the Senate Judiciary Committee late last year.
In the interim, Norris is tending to his legislative duties this week in Nashville as the Tennessee Legislature opened its 2018 session.