Governor Bill Haslam has appointed Judge Jeff Bivins, a member of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, to the Tennessee Supreme Court, replacing Justice William C. Koch Jr., who is retiring July 15.
“I had the opportunity to appoint Judge Bivins to the Court of Criminal Appeals, and he has served the state extremely well in that role,” Governor Haslam said. “Tennesseans will benefit from his vast experience as he moves to our state’s highest court.”
Judge Bivins, 53, was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals on Aug. 24, 2011. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Judicial Conduct and is a member of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, serving on its executive committee as the moving vice president. He is co-chair of the Retirement and Compensation Committee of the Conference and has served as chairman of the ad-hoc Committee on Court of the Judiciary Legislation. Judge Bivins also serves on the Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Conference and was formerly a member of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.
Judge Bivins was a circuit court judge for the 21st Judicial District, which serves Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties, before his appointment to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
“I am deeply honored to accept Gov. Haslam’s appointment to the Tennessee Supreme Court,” Judge Bivins said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as a trial court judge and as a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals. I now will work tirelessly to become an excellent Supreme Court justice. I also am very excited to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of our great state in this new position of public service.”
Prior to his appointment to the circuit court, Judge Bivins practiced law at Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry in Nashville. His practice there focused on commercial litigation, mediation and arbitration, and government relations work. His commercial litigation practice included experience in numerous state and federal courts in antitrust law, securities law, business contractual disputes, non-compete agreements, real estate law, property tax appeals, commercial torts and insurance coverage disputes.
A native of Kingsport, Judge Bivins is a 1986 graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. He received a B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in 1982 from East Tennessee State University in political science, with a minor in criminal justice.
Judge Bivins is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Williamson County Bar Association. He has been active in civic and community affairs, serving on the boards of the Williamson County Education Foundation and the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature. Before his appointment to the bench, he was an elected member of the Williamson County Commission.
He and his wife, Gail, have two daughters, Kathleen and Caroline, and live in Franklin.