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Goodwin promises to be fair, yet firm as criminal court judge

May 5th, 2014 1:30 pm by Amanda J. Vicars

Goodwin promises to be fair, yet firm as criminal court judge

Jim Goodwin ~ Candidate for Criminal Court Judge (2nd Judicial District)

"Firm, fair and friendly."

Jim Goodwin, candidate for Criminal Court Judge (2nd Judicial District) said his motto on the baseball field as a volunteer Little League umpire doubles as his platform for candidacy.

Goodwin was born and raised in Carter County, Tenn. He grew up attending schools in the county until he graduated high school and moved to Knoxville. There, he studied at the University of Tennessee and received his bachelor's degree in engineering with honors in 1991.

"I decided to study law about halfway through my college career [while] I was co-opting down in Tampa, [Fla.]," Goodwin said. "I was hit by a sheriff's deputy and, after dealing with the insurance carrier for the sheriff's office, I developed an interest in the law."

Goodwin went on to attend law school at the University of Memphis where he earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence with honors in 1994. He then joined a private law practice in West Tennessee.

While practicing privately, Goodwin handled a broad range of criminal and civil cases. As far as criminal cases went, he was involved in a first-degree murder case as well as an aggravated vehicular homicide case. On the civil end, he participated in a national product liability class action suit and handled personal injury cases, both as plaintiff and defense counsel.

"After five years, I wanted to go into public service," Goodwin explained, "so, I joined the District Attorney's office when I moved back here."

Goodwin was hired as an Assistant District Attorney General for Sullivan County, assigned to the criminal court. In 2011, Attorney General Barry Staubus promoted him to division leader for Division II, a leadership role requiring supervision of several prosecutors. "It was an honor," Goodwin beamed. "I was very pleased to get a job with the district attorney's office and I remained there for 14 years."

During that time, Goodwin said he's coordinated the County's Fatal Incident Reconstruction and Support Team to assist officers with car crashes resulting in fatalities or serious bodily harm, and worked closely with the Children's Advocacy Center, the Department of Children's Services, and local law enforcement in the battle against child abuse.

Goodwin said he's also taught sentencing at the New Prosecutors Academy for the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference in Nashville as well as a recurring 40-hour training course for the Governors Highway Safety Office through the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Association.

On Feb. 20, 2014, Goodwin resigned from the District Attorney's office to run in the election. The Christian conservative said if he wins the election for judge, he'll be honest and compassionate yet stern in his judgments.

"I will assure that rights are protected and that personal responsibility is an integral part of our justice system," he said.

Goodwin said that after 20 years experience as a private practice attorney and Assistant DA, he has "developed a strong sense of justice," and understands "the necessity of a fair and impartial justice system."

Outside the office, Goodwin enjoys spending time with his wife Krisna and their two Cocker Spaniels, in addition to his community service. Goodwin is volunteer chairman of the City of Bristol Parks and Recreation Commission. He also volunteers as an umpire within the Little League Baseball and Softball program throughout Sullivan County.

"It's been so rewarding," Goodwin said with a wide smile, "and it's like being a judge in that you have to make tough decisions. You're always expected to be right, and half the time people don't like your decisions."

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Jim Goodwin, Criminal Court Judge.

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