Judge Mcmullen Presides Over Court Of Criminal Appeals Session In Historic First

Friday, August 09, 2013

Judge Camille R. McMullen made history in 2008 when she became the first African-American woman to serve at the appellate court level in Tennessee. This week, she made history again as the first African-American woman ever to preside over a panel of an appellate court proceeding in the state. 

On August 6, Judge McMullen, of Shelby County, presided over the August term of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Western Section in Jackson.

Long-standing tradition of the court dictates the judge with the most seniority serve as presiding judge, sitting in the middle as the central authority of the panel of judges, and opening and adjourning court. 

Although Judge McMullen has been on the court for over five years, she never has had seniority or presided over a panel. 

Judge Thomas Woodall, of Dixon, and Judge John Everett Williams, of Huntingdon, yielded their seniority and asked Judge McMullen to preside, making this historic event possible. 

“Judge McMullen has proven herself to be a respected colleague and it was time that this barrier was broken sooner than later,” Judge Woodall said. “Today is a good day for the state of Tennessee and the judicial system.” 

Judge John Everett Williams echoed Judge Woodall’s remarks, noting he was delighted to be involved in a historic event that broke barriers, opened doors, and perhaps will inspire others to pursue opportunities that before appeared unattainable. 

“I commend the wisdom of my colleague Judge Woodall for his noble and thoughtful gesture and I agree that this time had come,” Judge Williams said. 

Judge McMullen said she was honored and emotionally touched by her colleagues’ gesture, remarking how this historic event exemplifies how far the Tennessee judiciary has come and how she is confident that progress will continue. 

“When I was appointed in 2008, I received unwavering support from my colleagues. Today is yet another example of their continued support,” she said. 

She specifically thanked judges Woodall and Williams for recognizing and acknowledging the significance of the moment. 

Judge McMullen was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Western Section, by Gov. Phil Bredesen in 2008. She remains the only African-American female appointed to any appellate court in Tennessee’s history.


Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways To Spot Suspicious Calls

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert today providing taxpayers with additional tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS.   These callers may demand money or may say you have a refund due and try to trick you into sharing private information. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They ... (click for more)

CBL & Associates Properties To Pay Common And Preferred Stock Dividends

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. Thursday announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend for the company’s Common Stock of $0.245 per share for the quarter ending Sept. 30. The dividend is payable on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 30. The Board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.4609375 per depositary share for the ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Insurance Burden Should Not Fall On The Teachers

I have attended several Hamilton County School Board meetings over the past few months, including the recent special called meeting" to vote on teacher insurance changes. First, let me say I am very impressed with Superintendent Rick Smith and his staff at the Central Office.  Mr. Smith is a very dedicated public servant, working hard to provide services to our community ... (click for more)