Volume 51, Number 30

eighteen pages

Byrdstown, Tennessee 38549 -- Thursday, July 24, 2014

Judge Turnbull resigns for health reasons

By: MARY JO DENTON,
HERALD-CITIZEN Staff
Circuit Judge John Turnbull,
who has served the 13th
Judicial District since 1989
and whose current term will
run until 2014, has resigned
his position for health reasons.
He has been on disability
status since last October due
to a ruptured disc in his neck
and back surgery. His back
problems continue to cause
him pain, particularly when
he is sitting, he said.
"And it's just not a good
thing when a judge cannot sit
down for very long," Judge
Turnbull told the Herald-Citizen.
He said he notified Gov.
Phil Bredesen in an April 8
letter that he is resigning, effective
June 15.
After that date, the governor
will appoint a replacement
to the position, and that
person will hold the job until
the next regular election,
which is next year.
When Judge Turnbull went
on disability status last fall,
Gov. Bredesen appointed
Turnbull's daughter, Livingston
attorney Amy V. Hollars,
as special temporary
judge to fill in during his absence.
She continues to hold
the position and is expected to
be a candidate for the appointment.
Judge Turnbull was first
appointed to the judgeship in
August 1989, replacing Judge
Tom Haile. In 1990, he ran
and was elected, then was reelected
in 1998 and 2006.
Turnbull, 66, grew up in
the beautiful rural community
of Alpine near Livingston,
one of eight children
of the Rev. and Mrs. Frank
Turnbull.
He earned his law degree
from the University of Tennessee
College of Law and
practiced law in this area for
several years before being appointed
to the judgeship.
He has been a leader in
many professional organizations
and is credited with establishing
a lawyer mentoring
program designed to improve
the legal system by providing
guidance to beginning attorneys
from experienced attorneys.
He has served as president
of the Tennessee Trial
Lawyers Association and was
instrumental in establishing
mandatory continuing legal
education for attorneys. In
1998, he was named Judge of
the Year by the Tennessee
chapter of the American
Board of Trial Advocates.
Asked to comment on his
career, Judge Turnbull said
this:
"A judgeship is a trust,
given by the people. A judge
must deeply care for people
and love the legal system. It is
a position that demands absolute
fairness, strength,
courage, and hard work.
"I have been fortunate to
have that trust, and to attempt
to fulfill these judicial
obligations for the past nineteen
and a half years. I've
given it my best shot, and I've
loved serving.
"I want to thank, from the
bottom of my heart, those who
have worked with me --
lawyers, clerks, judges, officers,
jurors, and most importantly,
the voters who gave
me this opportunity to serve.
I hope to continue to serve as
a mediator and advisor."
The 13th Judicial District
is comprised of Putnam, Overton,
White, DeKalb, Clay,
Pickett, and Cumberland
counties.

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