Clerk of the Appellate Courts Mike Catalano announced Friday he will retire in June of this year and become an ordained deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, pursuing his ministry on a full-time basis.
Mr. Catalano has served the state of Tennessee for more than 35 years in a variety of roles. He was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to be the appellate court clerk for a six-year term starting in January 2004 and was reappointed for a second term starting January 2010.
“Mike Catalano is the consummate professional – a public servant of the first order. As a valued leader within the office of the attorney general and as clerk of all of our appellate courts, he has performed his duties in an exemplary fashion – with class, dignity, and courtesy, “ said Chief Justice Gary R. Wade. “That he has chosen to spend the balance of his career in service to the highest authority is the best reflection of his true character. Our courts will sincerely miss this good man.”
Mr. Catalano attended night classes for four years to study to be a deacon. He will be ordained June 9.
While the clerk of the appellate courts, Mr. Catalano oversaw the implementation of a new case management system launched in August that provides lawyers, litigants, and the public with greater access to digital copies of documents filed in the appellate courts through the Tennessee court system website, TNCourts.gov. He also implemented the online posting of audio digital recordings of all appellate court arguments.
“It has truly been an honor and privilege for me to serve the State of Tennessee for the past 35 years and as the Clerk of the Appellate Courts of this state for the past 10 years,” he said.
Prior to his appointment as clerk, Mr. Catalano served in a variety of positions in the state attorney general’s office from 1980-2004. He worked as a staff attorney for the executive secretary of the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1979-80.
As president of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society, Mr. Catalano oversaw the establishment of the Tennessee Judiciary Museum located in the historic law library of the Supreme Court building in Nashville. He spearheaded the display of the original three Constitutions of Tennessee (1796, 1835 and 1870) as part of the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the building in December 2012.
Mr. Catalano graduated summa cum laude from Memphis State University in 1976 with a B.A. in political science. He attended the University of Tennessee College of Law and graduated in 1978.
Mr. Catalano is a member of the Nashville Bar Association and served as a member of the board of directors of that organization. He is also a member of the National Conference of Appellate Court Clerks, a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation, and served as president of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society from 2012-13. He and his wife, Janet, have two young daughters, Katherine and Rebecca. His last day with the courts will be June 6.