Three local attorneys in running for chancery vacancy


NASHVILLE — Three attorneys from Scott County are among those to forge a candidacy for the vacant bench in the 8th Judicial District’s Chancery Court.
James L. (Jamie) Cotton Jr., Patrick Sexton and Andrew Tillman are among six candidates to replace the late Billy Joe White, who died in November.

Campbell County attorneys Elizabeth C. Asbury and Kathy Parrott and Claiborne County attorney Thomas Jackson Tabor Jr. are also among the candidates.

The appointment will ultimately be made by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. In the meantime, the state’s Judicial Nominating Committee will whittle the list to three finalists from which the governor will choose.

Cotton, 59, has served as Scott County’s general sessions judge and juvenile judge since 1990. He most recently won re-election in 2006. His current term ends in 2014. He also serves as a director at First National Bank of Oneida and provides legal counsel for Citizens Gas Utility District.

Sexton, 41, is a practicing attorney at Oneida’s Sexton, Sexton & Kazee. He has practiced law since 2001, primarily dealing with civil matters. He is a deacon at New Haven Baptist Church in West Oneida.

Tillman, 61, is a senior law clerk at the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Knoxville. A practicing attorney since 1989, he currently is a law clerk for Judge Charles D. Susano Jr. at the Court of Appeals. Prior to that, he was a managing partner at Knoxville’s Paine, Tarwater, Bickers and Tillman law firm.

Asbury, 52, has practiced law since 1985. She is a former assistant district attorney in the 8th Judicial District and currently serves as Caryville’s city court judge. She maintains a private practice.

Parrott, 55, has practiced law since 1988. A former workers’ compensation mediator for the Tennessee Department of Labor, she has been president of the PryorParrott law firm in Jacksboro since 2001. Like Cotton, she was an unsuccessful candidate in a special election for the 8th Judicial District’s Circuirt Court judgship in 2004.

Tabor, 50, is a self-employed attorney in Tazewell. He has practiced law since 2001, working for David Dunaway & Associates in LaFollette and Tazewell’s Pressnell and Harrell before opening his own law office in 2004.

The next step for the Judicial Nominating Committee will be a public hearing at the Woodlake Lodge in Tazewell on Jan. 18 at 9 a.m. The commission will then interview each applicant before recommending three candidates to the governor.

The appointment will be Haslam’s third judicial appointment in the 8th District in the past year. Last summer, the governor appointed Oneida attorney Lori Phillips-Jones the district’s attorney general, effective Sept. 1. Later, he appointed Huntsville attorney Mark Blakley the district’s public defender, effective Jan. 1.

The 8th Judicial District includes Scott, Campbell, Claiborne, Fentress and Union counties.

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