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Today will mark the end of Judge Rebecca Stern's 18 years on the Hamilton County Criminal Court bench.

"I'm feeling great and looking forward to tomorrow," Stern said Thursday morning.

Her docket today will contain the usual arraignments and perhaps a few pleas. Staff have planned a small going-away party for her at 11:30 a.m., but beyond that it looks like a typical day, Stern said.

By Saturday evening, Stern said, she'll be in Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, Stern's replacement has not yet been named.

Three finalists for the position will meet Monday with Gov. Bill Haslam. Assistant District Attorneys General Leslie Longshore and Boyd Patterson and Deputy Public Defender Mike Little were selected by an appointed panel after a round of public interviews in April.

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Judge Rebecca Stern speaks speaks from the bench in this file photograph from 2013.

Because it will likely be several weeks before an appointment, two senior judges from outside the county will be brought in to handle Stern's docket.

Judge Paul Summers, a previous state attorney general and judge for the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, will handle part of Stern's docket. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood, a former Circuit Court judge from Sommerville, Tenn., also will take over some of the docket.

Administrative Office of the Courts spokeswoman Michele Wojciechowski said no one person is scheduled to take all cases.

The successor appointed by Haslam won't be able to get too comfortable in Division II. They'll need to launch a campaign for re-election in 2016.

Contact staff writer Claire Wiseman at cwiseman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow her on Twitter @clairelwiseman.

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