Gary R. Wade

Supreme Court Justice

Gary R. Wade was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2006. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Wade served on the Court of Criminal Appeals for 19 years, and served as presiding judge of that court for eight years.
Before taking the bench, Justice Wade was in private practice for 15 years. He also served as mayor of Sevierville from 1977 to 1987.

Justice Wade received both his law degree and his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee.

Justice Wade was named Tennessee Appellate Judge of the Year in 2004. He served as president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in 1995-1996 and is the founder of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Bar Foundation.

An active member of the community, Justice Wade is co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and co-founder of Leadership Sevier. He also serves on the board of directors for the East Tennessee Historical Society and Sevier County High School Foundation.

Prior Judicial Experience

Judge, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals (1987-1998)
Presiding Judge, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals (1998-2006)
Justice, Tennessee Supreme Court (2006-Present)

Previous Employment

Ogle & Wade, P.C., Attorneys at Law, l973-l987
Mayor of Sevierville, l977-l987
City Attorney, City of Pigeon Forge, l973-87


The University of Tennessee, B.S., l970
The University of Tennessee College of Law, J.D., l973


  • Sevier County Mover and Shaker of the Year by The Mountain Press, l983, l984, l985, and 1997
  • Gary R. Wade Boulevard, l987
  • Sevier County High School Wall of Fame, 2004
  • Citizen of the Year, Sevierville Chamber of Commerce, 2004
  • Appellate Judge of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2004
  • Legion of Honor, Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, 2004
  • Judicial Excellence Award, Knoxville Bar Association, 2004
  • East Tennessee Regional Leadership Award, 2006
  • United States Department of Interior Citizens Award for Exceptional Service, 2007
  • Power100, Business TN, 2007-2008


  • Sevier County Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association - House of Delegates (1980-1988), Board of Governors (1995-1996)
  • American Bar Association - ABA Delegate (1995-1996)
  • Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association (l983-l987)
  • National Association of Municipal Law Officers (l983-l987)
  • Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund - Board of Directors and Treasurer (l985-l987)
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (1973-1987)
  • Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (1973-1984) - Board of Directors (l978-l984)
  • American Inns of Court (Master of the Bench)
  • Tennessee Sentencing Commission (1990-1994)
  • Fellow of Tennessee Bar Foundation
  • Tennessee Judicial Conference - President (1995-1996)
  • Commission on Future of the Tennessee Judicial System (1993-1996)
  • Member of Special Joint Committee (Senate Joint Resolution 477) on Special and Pro Tempore Judges (1996)
  • Tennessee Judicial Conference Foundation - Founder, Board of Directors and Secretary
  • Knoxville Bar Association - Board of Governors (2004)
  • Governor's Task Force on Sentencing (2004-2005)
  • Institute of Judicial Administration, NYU School of Law
  • Council of Chief Judges (1998 - 2006)
  • Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Fellow of Knoxville Bar Foundation
  • Fellow of American Bar Foundation

Community Involvement

  • Sevier County Heart Association - Chairman, 1984, l985, and l986
  • First United Methodist Church of Sevierville - Finance Chairman (l989-1994)
  • First United Methodist Church Conference - Finance Chair, Maryville District (1996-2000)
  • Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Co-Founder & President (1993-2005), Board Chair (2005-2006); Chairman Emeritus (2007- present)
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains, Honorary Chair 1996 Capital Campaign
  • Knoxville Zoological Gardens, Board of Directors (2000-2005), Vice Chair (2002-2004), Chair (2005-2006), Honorary Director (2006-present)
  • Leadership Sevier, Co-Founder (1996), Board of Directors, President (2001) 
  • East TennesseeHistorical Society Board of Directors (1998-2000) (2006-present)
  • Board of Directors, Sevier County High School Foundation (1998 - present)
  • SevierCountyLibrary Foundation – Co-Founder, Board of Directors (2002 – present)
  • 865-594-6121 (P)


505 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 444 (37901-0444)
Knoxville, TN 37902