Chief Judge Pamela L. Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Tennessee has announced the appointment of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley D. Rucker of
Chattanooga as the next Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee,
effective Oct. 1.
Judge Rucker will fill the position current Chief Judge Marcia Phillips Parsons will be
vacating upon her retirement on Sept. 30. Chief Judge Parsons has served as the
chief judge since July 2, 2012.
A chief bankruptcy judge is the statutorily appointed presiding officer of the bankruptcy
court, and serves as the court’s executive and organizational leader, responsible for the
effective execution of bankruptcy court business. In fulfilling the duties of the position, a chief
bankruptcy judge guides the development, adoption and enforcement of uniform policy for the
bankruptcy court through the active participation of all the court’s bankruptcy judges and with
the support of the district court.
Judge Rucker has served as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District
of Tennessee since April 2, 2010, upon her appointment by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Rucker practiced bankruptcy law with the firm of Miller & Martin PLLC in Chattanooga for 27 years prior to taking the bench. She previously served as chairperson of the firm’s Commercial Department and practice group leader of the Bankruptcy Creditor Rights Group. She was a board member and president of the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute. In 2000, she served on the Joint Committee of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Tennessee Bankers Association, which worked on the enactment of Revised Article 9 in Tennessee.
Judge Rucker has been a member of the Tennessee Bar since 1982, is a frequent lecturer about bankruptcy and is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.
Judge Rucker received her undergraduate degree in English and economics from Texas
Christian University in Fort Worth, Tx., where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She earned
her law degree from the University of Georgia, where she was a member of the National Moot
There are two other federal bankruptcy judges in the Eastern District of Tennessee–one
in Chattanooga, Bankruptcy Judge Nicholas W. Whittenburg, and one in Knoxville, Bankruptcy
Judge Suzanne H. Bauknight.