UPDATE: Three finalists confirmed for vacant Criminal Court jud - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Three finalists confirmed for vacant Criminal Court judge position

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Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern. TFP photo Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern. TFP photo

UPDATE:  Three finalists have been named as potential replacements for Judge Rebecca Stern's position;  Mike A. Little;  Leslie Anne Longshore; and Boyd M. Patterson, Jr. 

These names now go to Governor Haslam for consideration.  It could take a couple of months before a final decision is made. 

The Governor's Council for Judicial Appointments is meeting in Chattanooga Thursday morning to consider the seven attorneys who have applied for Judge Rebecca Stern's position.

Judge Stern is set to retire by June 1 after serving in that role since 1997.

Seven attorneys have applied for the soon vacant Hamilton County Criminal Court judge position.

READ MORE | 11th Judicial District applicant profiles

Johnny D. Houston, Jr.: Houston is a local attorney and currently in his second term as Red Bank City Judge. In his application, Houston writes “I believe that I am a known quantity and I have the genuine reputation of treating people fairly. My appointment as judge would guarantee immediate continuity and the lack of a learning curve and would allow me to hit the ground running.”

D. Marty Lasley: Lasley is a local trial lawyer and part-time Soddy Daisy City Court judge. Lasley writes in his application, “My background, experience and temperament, tested over the years and under fire, provide me with the foundation, resources and ability to make tough decisions and still be empathetic, compassionate, fair and rule in accordance with the law.”  

Mike A. Little: Little works in the 11th Judicial District Public Defenders Office. Little said in his application, “The position requires someone with experience, integrity, knowledge of the law and an understanding of judicial temperament. I have gained valuable experience working in the legal profession and believe that experience would suit me well as a criminal court judge.”

Leslie Anne Longshore: Longshore works as an assistant District Attorney handling sex crimes and crimes against children. Longshore said in her application, “As judge I will protect the community with tough sentences for the convicted violent and persistent offenders, while scrupulously protecting the rights of all criminal defendants. I will ensure a fair process for both parties while following the law.”  

John Gary McDougal: McDougal is a local self-employed attorney. He wrote in his application, “A judge who does not exhibit fair and impartial administration of the law, either by being too harsh or too lenient then lends the impression, to the citizens, that they are not likely to receive fair and equitable justice from the Court. I would be able to do this in Criminal Court.”

Boyd M. Patterson, Jr.: Patterson is an assistant District Attorney General in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Hamilton County. He's also the former gang task force coordinator for the City of Chattanooga and the DA's office. He writes, “Having professional experiences as a mental health counselor, civil attorney, prosecutor and gang task force coordinator, as well as 36 years of residing in Hamilton County, has allowed me to engage a wide variety of our citizens, not only regarding 1) the legal issues of their criminal cases, but also 2) the reasons why they commit the crimes and 3) what programs and services can help them find other ways to meet their needs.

Samuel Francis Robinson III: Robinson runs a solo law practice in Chattanooga. He said “I have a solid foundation in criminal defense, at all stages of the proceedings, which will provide me with the knowledge and experience necessary to be an effective and thorough judge with the ability to keep the docket moving smoothly, and while providing all persons who come before the Court with equal justice under the law, as guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Thursday's 9 a.m. meeting at the Reed House is open to the public.

The council is expected to make its selections and forward the names to Gov. Haslam for his consideration.
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