Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Knox Commission to interview eight lawyers for open magistrate spot

Eight local attorneys will interview with the Knox County Commission on Monday to replace long-time magistrate Richard Major.

The interviews, which are open to the public, will take place at 1 p.m. in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building.

The board will make a final decision during its voting meeting a week later.

You can find the resumes, cover letters, etc. RIGHT SMACK HERE.

The new magistrate (often called judicial commissioner) will replace Major, who is stepping down to take over as incoming Knox County Criminal Court Clerk Mike Hammond's second-in-command.

The county has five magistrates who work 36 hours per week on a rotating schedule. The position pays around $65,000 to review applications for warrants and summonses and conduct the initial court appearances of prisoners via closed-circuit television.

Here’s a quick look at the candidates (in alphabetical order):
  • Alexander Brown: Serves as a substitute judicial commissioner, and has run a general practice (includes trials in state and federal court) since 2002.
  • Maria Danker: Prosecutor with the Knox County Child Support Office.
  • Dustin Dunham: Serves as a substitute magistrate and a solo practitioner (focus on criminal law) since 2010.
  • Ray Jenkins: Serves as a substitute magistrate; practicing attorney of 16 years. (Side note: Folks might recognize Jenkins’ name. He served as the local GOP chair and also recently ran for the Circuit Court Division 1 judge seat.)
  • Rhonda Lee: Attorney who graduated from law school in 2012 and opened her own practice last year. (Side note: For someone with what appears to be very little experience, she has an 11-page resume.)
  • J. Myers Morton: An attorney since 1988, his practice focuses on domestic relations and criminal law.
  • Jason R. Smith: A junior law clerk to D. Kelly Thomas Jr., a judge for the Eastern Section of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, since 2010.
  • Steve Williams: Operated a private practice since 1985. (Side note: Folks also might recognize Williams’ name. He ran for the Criminal Court Clerk gig.)
I’m not sure how many actually applied. Folks initially submitted resumes to the General Sessions Court, where the judges there made the selections. They were tasked with picking between four and eight candidates for the commission.

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