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Haslam names Kingsport native to Tennessee Supreme Court

April 4th, 2014 1:25 am by Hank Hayes

Haslam names Kingsport native to Tennessee Supreme Court

JEFFREY BIVINS

Kingsport native Jeffrey S. Bivins was named Thursday by Gov. Bill Haslam to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Bivins, 53, currently lives in Middle Tennessee and serves on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. He beat out four other justice candidates.

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.

Bivins also serves on the Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Conference and was formerly a member of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.

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 had the opportunity to appoint Judge Bivins to the Court of Criminal Appeals, and he has served the state extremely well in that role," Haslam said in a prepared release. "Tennesseans will benefit from his vast experience as he moves to our state's highest court."

Bivins graduated from East Tennessee State University and the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Before becoming a judge, Bivins said the primary areas of his private law practice were commercial litigation, mediation and arbitration, and antitrust law.

"As I have progressed through my education and professional life, I have always had a career goal to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court," Bivins said in his application questionnaire for the post. "I want to make a difference in my community. I consider this position as a great opportunity to satisfy a long-time career goal and to continue public service. I believe that the combination of my experience as a trial court judge, my experience as an intermediate appellate judge, my legal skills, my personality, my temperament, and my past diverse experiences in my professional and personal life provide me with the skills to be a very good supreme court justice."

Bivins is also a former Williamson County commissioner and state government department general counsel.

The Tennessee Supreme Court is composed of five justices.

No more than two can reside in any one grand division.

The court is the final decision maker on all issues of law under the Tennessee Constitution, and is also the final decider in all other cases except those which may involve issues under the United States Constitution.

Bivins will fill the Middle Tennessee division slot vacated by Justice William C. Koch Jr., who is retiring in July to become dean of the Nashville School of Law.

He and his wife, Gail, have two daughters, Kathleen and Caroline, and live in Franklin.

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