Hawkins County lawyer William E. Phillips II was appointed Friday by Gov. Bill Lee to fill the unexpired term of 3rd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Wright.
Phillips, of the Phillips & Hale law firm and Rogersville city attorney, was one of three candidates for the judicial position interviewed Aug. 31 by the state Trial Court Vacancy Commission, which forwarded the names of the candidates to Lee.
The other candidates were Crystal Jessee, a Greeneville lawyer; and J. Bradley Mercer, a 3rd Judicial District assistant attorney general.
Wright retired on Sept. 1 from the position but still serves the state courts system as a part-time senior judge.
Phillips, 44, will fill Wright’s unexpired term. Wright was elected in 2014 to an eight-year term on the Circuit Court bench that ends in 2022.
Phillips has practiced law since 2002. He is a partner in the Phillips & Hale law firm in Rogersville. In addition to duties as Rogersville city attorney, Phillips also represents clients in criminal and domestic relations cases.
His judicial appointment is effective immediately.
In addition to Phillips, Lee Friday also appointed Brent Bradberry as a 24th Judicial District Circuit Court judge. The five-county judicial district includes Carroll and Henry counties.
“These two qualified Tennesseans will bring valuable experience to their respective roles. I’m honored to announce their appointment and confident they will serve our state with the highest integrity,” Lee said in a news release.