John Medearis, of Chattanooga, was sworn in on Tuesday as clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, effective Tuesday, by Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan. The ceremony was attended by judges, court staff, and representatives of various legal associations, including the Knoxville Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court chapter.
Mr. Medearis succeeds Debbie Poplin, who was sworn in as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, effective Tuesday, succeeding the retiring Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr.
Mr. Medearis has served as Chief Deputy Clerk of the district for the past 17 years. The Eastern District of Tennessee covers 41 counties in this region of the state. The court has offices in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Greeneville.
Mr. Medearis holds a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. From 1984 to 1987, he served as a law clerk for the late U.S. District Judge H. Ted Milburn and continued as a law clerk with Judge Milburn when the judge was appointed to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 1987, Mr. Medearis joined the Chattanooga law firm of Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel, and in 1991, he returned to the court as Manager of the Clerk's Office in Chattanooga. Later, he was promoted to Operations Manager for the district, and .was .appointed Chief Deputy Clerk in 2001.
Mr. Medearis has been active in the Chattanooga chapter of the Federal Bar Association and formerly served as president of th.e organization and as a member of its board of directors. In 2013, he received the chapter's Outstanding Service Award. Mr. Medearis is a frequent speaker on federal practice and procedure and has organized a number of seminars.
Mr. Medearis is married to Jill Price, senior paralegal at Husch Blackwell.