TN Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee to retire in August 2023

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon G. Lee will retire in August 2023.
Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon G. Lee will retire in August 2023.(Tennessee Supreme Court)
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 1:30 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Sharon G. Lee has notified Gov. Bill Lee that she will retire in August 2023.

“Serving in the Tennessee Judiciary for the past 19 years has been the greatest honor of my professional life,” Lee said in a news release. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Tennesseans and have done my best to fulfill my judicial oath by upholding the state and federal Constitutions and administering justice faithfully and impartially.”

At the time of her retirement, set for Aug. 31, she will have served 15 years on the Supreme Court and four years on the Court of Appeal.

Lee is currently the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court and the only justice from East Tennessee. She was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2008 and retained by the voters in 2010, 2014 and 2022.

Serving as Chief Justice from 2014 to 2016, Lee promoted access to justice and spearheaded several innovations. These include establishment of the state’s highly successful Business Court pilot project, implementation of electronic filing, a review of the state’s indigent representation system, and a statewide docket cleanup initiative.

“Justice Lee has always been forward-thinking, innovative and open-minded,” Chief Justice Roger A. Page said in a news release. “She has never forgotten where she came from and the people she serves. She is a justice of the people and has advocated for transparency and ensuring the Court’s opinions and orders use language that are accessible to everyone, not just attorneys. She has served her state well and the Court wishes her all the best in her retirement.”

As an appellate judge, Lee has participated in over 1,500 cases, writing close to 450 opinions. She has been actively involved with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission, the Board of Law Examiners, the Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Tennessee Lawyer Assistance Program, the Technology Oversight Committee, and the Trial Court Electronic Filing Committee.

From 2004 to 2008, she served on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, being the first woman to serve on the Eastern Section of the Court in its 79-year history. Lee was retained by the voters in 2006 after receiving unanimous approval of the Judicial Evaluation Commission.

Before entering the judiciary, Lee maintained a small-town practice in Madisonville for 26 years. In addition to representing individuals and businesses in civil and criminal matters, she served as the municipal judge for Madisonville and as attorney for Monroe County, the City of Madisonville and the City of Vonore.