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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam on Friday named Ooltewah attorney Tom Greenholtz to fill the Criminal Court judge's seat left vacant by the retirement of Rebecca Stern.

NASHVILLE -- Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed attorney Tom Greenholtz of Ooltewah as Criminal Court Judge, filling the vacancy in the 11th Judicial District, which serves Hamilton County.

Greenholtz, 42, replaces Judge Rebecca Stern, who retired June 1.

"I am pleased to appoint Tom Greenholtz to this important position," Haslam said in a news release. "His background, experience and involvement in the community all help qualify him, and the 11th Judicial District will benefit from his service on the bench."

Greenholtz is a shareholder with the law firm Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel where he has worked since 2006. He was previously with Shumacker Witt Gaither & Whitaker from 2004-2006 and Summers & Wyatt from 2002-2004.

His areas of practice areas have included criminal defense, civil and criminal appeals, municipal and government law; business, commercial, and banking advice and litigation; labor and employment law as well as ant-trust compliance.

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Judge Rebecca Stern
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He has also been an arbitrator and an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he taught classes on presidential powers, federalism and the First Amendment. He was a law clerk for Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William M. Barker from 1999-2002.

In a statement, Greenholtz said, "Recognizing the importance of this position to the people of Hamilton County and to our system of justice, I am humbled at the confidence expressed by Governor Haslam in making this appointment."

He said he is "committed to ensuring that this court remains a place where people are treated with fairness and dignity, while maintaining respect for the rule of law."

Greenholtz received his law degree in 1999 from the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville, where he graduated summa cum laude and was executive editor of the Tennessee Law Review. He received his bachelor's degree in 1996 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, graduating magna cum laude majoring in public administration.

He has been active in his community, where he has served as board president of the Orange Grove Center; chair of the board for the Chambliss Center for Children; board member of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga; allocations committee member of the United Way of Greater Chattanooga; member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga; board member of St. Peter's Episcopal School; member of the Tennessee Bar Association's Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility; chairman of the Tennessee CLE Commission; and member of the disciplinary committee of the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.

Greenholtz and his wife, Kate, have two children, Caroline and Michael. 

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