BY KEN LITTLE
Greeneville attorney Linda Thomas Woolsey is among three candidates whose names were submitted Thursday as nominees to Gov. Bill Haslam for a Circuit Court vacancy in the Third Judicial District.
The Judicial Nominating Commission met Thursday at The General Morgan Inn and decided to submit to the governor the names of Woolsey, Michael A. Faulk and Douglas R. Beier.
Haslam will decide which of the three to appoint.
Earlier this year, Circuit Judge Kindall T. Lawson, of Hawkins County, announced his retirement, effective June 1.
The Third Judicial District includes Greene, Hamblen, Hancock and Hawkins counties.
Woolsey, who was licensed to practice law in 1979, is a member of the Greeneville law firm Woolsey and Woolsey.
She is also the municipal judge for the Town of Greeneville, the City of Tusculum and the Town of Baileyton.
Linda Woolsey is the wife of Roger Woolsey, attorney for the Greene County government.
Lawson has been on the bench since 1996.
In addition to his time as a Circuit Court judge, Lawson served as Hawkins County General Sessions Court judge from 1974 to 1993.
Beier lives in Hamblen County and is a partner in the Morristown law firm of Evans and Beier.
Beier was licensed to practice law in 1977 and served as Hamblen County Juvenile Court judge from 1982 to 1990.
Faulk is a Hawkins County resident and has a solo practice. He was licensed to practice law in 2008.
Faulk served one term as a member of the Tennessee State Senate, from 2008 to 2012, and was a member of the Hawkins County Commission from 1998 to 2002.
He was also one of three finalists for appointment to the vacancy on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Eastern Section, that former Chancellor Thomas "Skip" Frierson, of the Third Judicial District, was appointed to earlier this year.
The Circuit Court judgeship will be up for election in 2014.
CHANCERY COURT NOMINEES
Also on Friday, the Judicial Nominating Commission held a public hearing concerning the Chancery Court vacancy in the Third Judicial District.
After conducting a vote, the Judicial Nominating Commission submitted the names of three nominees to Haslam for the vacancy.
They are Beth Boniface, Douglas T. Jenkins and William Erwin Phillips.
In February, then-Chancellor Frierson was selected by Haslam to fill the vacancy on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Eastern Section, left by Judge Herschel P. Franks, who retired at the end of 2012.
As a result of Haslam's appointment, the Third Judicial District chancellor's post became vacant. Haslam will ultimately name the appointee.
Boniface, of Hamblen County, has an individual practice. She was licensed to practice law in Tennessee in 2004.
She was admitted to the bar in Virginia in 1994 and Ohio in 1998, but her law license to practice is currently considered inactive in those two states.
Jenkins is a Hawkins County resident with a solo practice. Jenkins was licensed to practice in 1995. He was a lawyer with Terry, Terry and Stapleton, in Morristown, for two years before opening a practice in Rogersville.
Phillips lives in Hawkins County and is a partner in the Rogersville firm of Phillips and Hale.
He was licensed to practice law in 1976. Phillips also serves as the attorney for the City of Rogersville.
Woolsey also applied for the chancellor's position, according to the Tennessee State Courts.
The Chancery Court position will also be on the ballot in 2014.