Lila Statom was sworn in Monday morning as the newest General Sessions Court judge and she wasted no time beginning to hear cases.
The former prosecutor in the district attorney general's office was selected to fill the seat that had been held by Judge Ron Durby, who stepped down due to health reasons.
Governor Bill Haslam made the selection on Friday.
The ceremony was at 9 a.m. in General Sessions Courtroom #1 in the Courts Building at Sixth and Market.
Judge Clarence Shattuck, who gave the oath, said Ms.
Statom called him late Saturday night and said she was ready to go to work. The ceremony was then hastily arranged.
Despite the late notice, there was a packed house, including her father-in-law as well as husband, Harry Spillman, and children, Zack Jones and Rose Spillman.
District Attorney Bill Cox said Ms. Statom has "the heart of a warrior and the soul of a servant. I am confident that she will be an exceptional judge."
He spoke of her zeal, tenacity and excitement at whatever she was doing.
Noting she had been in the office for 14 years, he said, "We are going to miss her terribly."
The robe presentation was made by Lynda Hood, executive director of the Chattanooga Bar Association.