VOL. 133 | NO. 10 | Friday, January 12, 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 before leaving in 2003 to join the law department of the United States Postal Service. She returned to the DA’s office in 2010 as chief prosecutor of the Special Victims Unit.
Nichols earned her law degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, after a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.
The Criminal Court position goes on the county general election ballot in August, joining two nonpartisan special elections for Circuit Court judge.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of attorney Thomas Parker Wednesday as the newest U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Tennessee. 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. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker were among those voting to confirm Parker to the federal judgeship following his nomination by President Donald Trump last year.
State Sen. Mark Norris of Collierville, who also was nominated to the U.S. District Court bench by Trump last year, is still awaiting a Senate confirmation vote.
“I will push to secure confirmation as soon as possible,” Alexander said of Norris in a written statement. Norris’ nomination was recommended by the Senate Judiciary Committee late last year.
In the interim, Norris has been tending to his legislative duties in Nashville this week as the Tennessee Legislature opened its 2018 session.