The Honorable Charles D. Susano, Jr., of Knoxville, has been elected by his peers to be presiding judge of the Tennessee Court of Appeals succeeding the Honorable Herschel P. Franks of Chattanooga, who retired at the end of 2012.
With Judge Susano’s election, the three Tennessee appellate courts – the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Court of Criminal Appeals – all are headed up by individuals whose chambers are located in the historic U.S. Post Office and court house on Main Street in Knoxville. Gary R. Wade is chief justice of the Supreme Court and Joseph M. Tipton is presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Judge Susano has been a member of the Court of Appeals since March 1994 when he was appointed to the position by former Tennessee Governor Ned Ray McWherter. He subsequently was elected to the post in August 1994 and was re-elected in 1998 and 2006.
The Court of Appeals is a statewide court that hears appeals from circuit, chancery, probate and most juvenile courts. It consists of 12 judges, four from each of Tennessee’s grand divisions.
Prior to being appointed to the Court of Appeals, Judge Susano was a well-known attorney in Knoxville with the law firms of Susano, Sheppeard, Giordano & Swanson and Bernstein, Susano & Stair and their predecessor firms.
He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and attained his law degree from the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Tennessee Law Review.
He and his wife, Carolyn, live in west Knoxville and have three children.