Circuit Court Judges Hollingsworth, Thomas And Williams Announce They Will Seek Re-Election

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Three Hamilton County Circuit Court judges announced they will be seeking re-election. Judge Jeffrey Hollingsworth, Division II, Judge Neil W. Thomas III, Division IV, and Judge Marie L. Williams, Division III, will run. Circuit Court Judge Jackie Bolton announced earlier that she is not seeking re-election.

Judge Hollingsworth, who was elected in 2006, has been licensed to practice law since he graduated from the Louisiana State University Law School in 1977. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Baton Rouge, La., and Chattanooga until January 1989. From 1989 until his election to the bench in 2006, he was with the law firms of Stophel & Stophel, P .C. and Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. While practicing law, Judge Hollingsworth was certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the Tennessee Supreme Court.

During his term as judge, Judge Hollingsworth has served as vice president and chair of the Public Trust and Confidence Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. He has been chosen as a fellow of the Chattanooga and Tennessee Bar Foundations.

Active in his community and church, Judge Hollingsworth serves on the Board of Hope for the Inner City and is a member and past pPresident of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Chattanooga.   He is an elder and trustee at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church.

Judge Hollingsworth and his wife Mary, have been married for 41 years and have two children.  Their daughter, Katy Murphy, and her husband Cliff live in Soddy-Daisy.  Their son, John and his wife, Lauren, live in the Highland Park area of Chattanooga.  Jeff and Mary are the proud grandparents of Jack and Luke.

Judge Thomas was appointed to his position by the governor in 1997, and was elected for two eight-year terms in 1998 and 2006. Circuit Court is a court of general jurisdiction, and the cases that are tried there include medical malpractice, car wrecks and domestic disputes.

In addition to providing service locally, Judge Thomas has served as chairman of the Family Law Committee and Treasurer of The Tennessee Judicial Conference.

Judge Thomas graduated from The Baylor School and then from the University of North Carolina and The University of Michigan Law School. He started his career in New York and then returned home in 1976 to practice commercial law until being appointed to the bench in 1997. He is a member of the American, Tennessee and Chattanooga Bar associations. He also is a member of the Supreme Court of The United States and Federal Circuit Courts for the Second, Third, Sixth and Tenth Circuits.

He and his wife, Anne, are the parents of four sons, Neil, David, Michael and Greg. Michael practices as a lawyer in Chattanooga.

Judge Williams has presided over Division Ill of the Circuit Court of Hamilton County since 1995.

Judge Williams is a graduate for the University of Georgia and earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee. She has been licensed to practice law since 1977. Williams was a partner in the firm of Spears, Moore, Rebman, and Williams until she was appointed to the bench by Governor Don Sundquist in 1995. Judge Williams is the first woman to hold a state judgeship in Hamilton County.

A committed community volunteer, Judge Williams is a member of The Rotary Club of Chattanooga and has served on the boards of St. Barnabas Nursing Home and St. Nicholas School. She is also a current member of the Board of Trustees of Girls Preparatory School of which she is a graduate and a recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award and the Margaret Rawlings Lupton Award of Excellence.  Judge Williams is a lifelong member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and has long been active in parish life. She is also a vice-chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee.

A member of many professional organizations, Judge Williams was instrumental  in the adoption and implementation of legislation designed to reduce the damage inflicted on children by the divorce process and in the revision of procedures utilized in jury trials.

These changes have been proven to make the jury experience more rewarding and time efficient.

Judge Williams has been married to Jeffrey L. Cleary since 1980. Together, they have four children: Commander Margaret Cleary Dean of Annapolis, Md., Caroline Cleary Vale of Lovettsville, Va., Laura McBee Cleary of Atlanta; Jonathan Cleary of North Chattanooga. Judge Williams and Mr. Cleary are the proud grandparents of nine.



The Livery Stable, Modern Auto Dealer Featured In New Chattanooga Historic Photo Book

A new book of old Chattanooga photos sponsored by Chattanoogan.com will feature a vehicular history of the city spanning the livery stables to the modern auto dealer. It includes a number of photos of horse and mule "sale stables" as well as dealers like D.S. Etheridge, Bert Brown, John Hicks and Amos and Andy Buick. Some "filling stations" are featured as well, including ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Charged After Driving Lexus Wrong Way On Highway 27

A local auto salesman has been arrested after driving a Lexus sedan the wrong way on Highway 27 north of town. Police said Simon Duffey, 35, of 3427 Clio Ave., almost struck head-on an ambulance from Warren County with three people inside. Duffey was charged with attempted vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, DUI, driving ... (click for more)

Why I'm Voting Republican And So Should You

For much of my life, the commitment to the Democratic Party has puzzled me. I was raised to analyze both sides of issues and to make an intelligent decision based upon that information. The values of self-reliance, hard work, and individual liberty that I grew up with were the same American values that have made this country exceptional. As I have grown older, I have witnessed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s So Sad For Me

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been as saddened by such a travesty that has now erupted in the confirmation process that would place Brett Kavanaugh on our Supreme Court. I am sad for every single person who has been touched by this catastrophe, from 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein to Brett’s wife and two young daughters, ages 13 and 10. Not a person, in any way involved, ... (click for more)

UT Turns Focus To First Road Test At No. 2 Georgia

    The Tennessee football team turned its focus towards its first true road game on Monday as the Vols prepare for a trip to Athens this Saturday to take on No. 2 Georgia in Sanford Stadium.     Despite last week's disappointing loss to SEC East rival Florida, UT head coach Jeremy Pruitt said that he saw a lot of Vols play their best ... (click for more)

UTC's Cooper Named SoCon Player Of The Week

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior linebacker Marshall Cooper is the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced today.  Cooper's efforts helped the Mocs post a 27-20 win over No. 17 Samford  on Saturday  at Finley Stadium. Cooper recorded eight tackles, forced fumble and intercepted a pass to help UTC improve ... (click for more)