Volume 54, Number 8

twelve pages

Byrdstown, Tennessee 38549 -- Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hollars sworn in by Gov. Bredsen

by: Mary Jo Denton,
Herald-Citizen Staff
COOKEVILLE -- Pledging
fairness, independence, humility,
and willingness to
make unpopular decisions
when necessary, Circuit
Judge Amy V. Hollars was
formally sworn into office last
week by Gov. Phil Bredesen.
Before a packed audience
that included her father, retired
Judge John Turnbull,
her mother, Delores Turnbull,
her husband, J.J. Hollars,
their three children, and hundreds
of attorneys, public officials,
and other citizens, the
13th Judicial District's firstever
woman to be appointed to
a state civil court judgeship
made her promise to uphold
the law and to work "for the
"I'm truly honored to have
received this appointment,
and I have enjoyed this ceremony
today, but this is not
about me," Hollars said. "It's
about commissioning someone
to do work for the people of
the 13th Judicial District."
She said the job requires
"fidelity to the law," a commitment
to see that the core
meaning in the law is never
abused or manipulated, but
she also noted that "a judgment
has a human face."
Decisions made by judges
can be "life-altering" for people,
for businesses, for communities,
and a judge must
not forget that each judgment
"has real human costs," she
"Litigants and counsel
must leave the courtroom feeling
they've been given a fair
hearing, and a judge must go
about the job with humility,
having a realistic view of one's
own limitations. A judge must
treat all litigants, jurors,
clerks, and everyone else with
Hollars praised her family,
thanking her husband of 20
years for being supportive of
her career, speaking lovingly
of her three children, and
thanking her parents, who
taught her and her brother
and sister "that it is more important
to be useful than to
Before administering the
oath, Bredesen spoke of the
importance of a "strong, independent
judiciary" in Tennessee
and said Hollars will
uphold that tradition.
"She's litigated hundreds of
cases in this state, and she
has a strong background in
public service," the governor
said. "Her father has served
many years with the highest
integrity, and I'm certain she
will too."
Other judges in this district
also spoke at the investiture
ceremony, each thanking the
governor for his "excellent
choice" in appointing Hollars.
"I mean no disrespect to
your father," Judge Leon
Burns said. "But I have to say
that Amy Hollars will be a
great judge. She's prettier
than her father, and she's
smarter than he is -- he himself
has told us that."
Judge David Patterson
commended the governor for
choosing Hollars and also advised
the new judge to seek
what he said his goal each day
has become: "to combine
toughness, compassion, and
fairness in the court room."
Judge John Maddux, retired
Chancellor Vernon Neal,
and Chancellor Ron Thurman
also praised the governor's
choice for the appointment.
Neal said that when Hollars
had practiced law in his court
in the past, he always "felt she
knew more about the law
than I did."
"But she never tried to
--Continued to Page 2--
show me up," he said.
Retired Judge John Turnbull
spoke at some length
about his daughter, noting
her many accomplishments,
her church work, her commitment
to her family, and her
work ethic.
"She was always prepared,
never late, loved each client as
her most important, whether
they were on welfare or owned
a bank," Turnbull said. "All
the time she was active in
church, loving people and
being as good a wife and
mother and daughter as
you've ever seen."
Saying his daughter does
not like to "toot her own
horn," Turnbull spoke proudly
of her many accomplishments.
He said she was valedictorian
of her high school class and of
her college class (University of
the South), earned a master's
degree in English at Vanderbilt
University, and was third
in her law school class at the
University of Tennessee.
He said, "Governor Bredesen,
you knew and I know
the citizens of this district deserve
her talents and hard
Recalling that he and his
wife took in many foster children
when their own children
were very young, Turnbull
said the experience taught
young Amy Turnbull "a great
lesson -- life is what you give,
not what you get."
Hundreds of Upper Cumberland
residents lined up to
shake her hand after the ceremony.


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