Chief U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier presides over a naturalization ceremony in this file photo.Photo by Angela Lewis
U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier, of Chattanooga, will be succeeded as chief judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee on Monday by Judge Thomas A. Varlan, of Knoxville.
Collier has served as chief district judge for the seven years, according to a news release from the U.S. District Court. The chief judgeship rotates every seven years to the next-senior judge under age 65.
The Eastern District is the largest federal district in Tennessee, with 41 counties and 2.5 million people. The chief judge serves as the administrative judge for the district.
There are three other active judges — Thomas W. Phillips, Knoxville; J. Ronnie Greer, Greeneville; and Harry S. “Sandy” Mattice Jr., Chattanooga — and one senior judge, Leon Jordan, Knoxville.
Varlan has been a member of the Judicial Conference since 2010. He has been on the federal bench since 2003, and he is the first person of Greek descent to be appointed to the federal judiciary in Tennessee, the release said.