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Staff File Photo / Judge Lila Statom

NASHVILLE — Hamilton County General Sessions and Mental Health Court Judge Lila Statom has become president of Tennessee's General Sessions Judges Conference after her peers across the state elected her to the post.

The conference, comprised of General Sessions Court judges, works with the Administrative Office of the Courts to provide continuing education opportunities for its members while providing assistance and support to other judges and local and state government officials to address legal and procedural issues affecting General Sessions Courts.

Before her election as the conference's head, Statom served as the judicial group's president-elect as well as East Tennessee vice president.

The judge stated in a news release that she was "deeply humbled" to be chosen by her judicial peers and thanked outgoing conference president Judge Lynda Jones of Metro Nashville for her service.

"I plan to work tirelessly with members of the judiciary, legislature, executive branch, local government as well as my colleagues to continue to make sure we have the best courts in the country," Statom said.

Then-Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Statom as a Hamilton County judge in 2012. She was elected by Hamilton County voters to a full term in 2014. Prior to her judicial appointment by Haslam, Statom had worked as an assistant district attorney, first in Metro Nashville and later in Hamilton County.

Since taking the bench, Statom has worked with community partners to address chronic mental illness and substance use among members of the criminal justice system. She has advocated for the expansion of recovery courts in Hamilton County and across the state. She announced in August she would seek reelection in 2022.

"As Tennesseans increasingly face the ravages of substance abuse, we need more judges with both an interest and the requisite experience to deal with citizens in need of mental health and addiction services," said Deborah Taylor Tate, director of the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. "Judge Statom's leadership in Hamilton County — and now as the president of the conference — will continue to raise the importance of educating our judges about both issues impacting 1 in 4 families, as well as the services that are available today."

— Compiled by Andy Sher

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