It’s Who You Know

By Penny Shrum, Clerk of Court, Nashville

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Has anyone else noticed that there are a lot of owl commercials on TV?

Cold medicine, education, travel – apparently we need a wise owl to tell us what to do.

It’s no wonder that I immediately thought of the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

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Don’t get me wrong; “what you know” is still very important. But don’t forget to know who the contact person is for each judge. The right connection can provide dates for hearings and a resource for questions.

If you need dates for a hearing, please contact the local judge’s contact person, whether that be a staff attorney or a legal assistant, for available dates. A list of the judges and their contact person appears below.

  • Judge Addington (Gray): Traci Haynes, (423) 854-5163,
  • Judges Knott and Johnson (Knoxville): Kim Weaver, (865) 594-0312,
  • Judges Wyatt and Headrick (Chattanooga): Jodi Downs, (423) 634-2171,
  • Judge Durham (Cookeville): Brooke Griffith, (615) 253-6769,
  • Judge Tipps (Murfreesboro): Brooke Griffith, (615) 253-6769,
  • Judge Baker (Nashville): Sarah Byrne, (615) 741-4782,
  • Judge Switzer (Nashville): Jane Salem, (615) 770-1709,
  • Judges Phillips and Luttrell (Jackson): Tina Woods, (731) 426-0837,
  • Judge Seymour (Memphis): Rhoberta Orsland, (901) 543-7730,


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Those of you who already know Derrick Shorter as a contact for the judges, please congratulate Derrick on his promotion to a mediator at the Jackson office. Brooke Griffith in Nashville will be assuming some of his duties and is the one to know!


My favorite owl commercial is the classic Tootsie Roll Pop from the ‘70s. Mr. Owl knows all! Please know that you can also go old school and contact me, the Clerk, at (615) 253-4507 or




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