The Tennessee Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (TCJFCJ) has named Judge Nolan R. Goolsby of Putnam County as recipient of the 2013 McCain-Abernathy Memorial Award.
This is the highest distinction conferred by the TCJFCJ. Judge Goolsby was nominated by his colleagues in recognition of decades of outstanding service and dedication to the improvement of juvenile justice for the benefit of children and families in Tennessee.
Judge Nolan Goolsby was first elected General Sessions Court Judge for Putnam County in 1996. He has served in leadership roles as secretary/treasurer, vice president, and is currently serving as the 2012-2014 president of the TCJFCJ. Other roles include serving as chairperson of the Tennessee Bench/Bar Relations Committee, General Sessions Judges Conference representative on the Tennessee Judicial Council, member of the Tennessee Supreme Court Task Force to study self-represented litigant issues, member of the Administrative Office of the Courts Self-Represented Litigants Work Group, and as member appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to the Committee to Implement Recommendations of the Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Commissions.
He currently serves as an appointee of Gov. Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Three Branches Institute, and by appointment of the Tennessee Supreme Court to the Juvenile Court Rules Rewrite Committee, the Judicial Records Committee, and the Juvenile Court Improvement Program Work Group, of which he currently serves as its chairperson. He is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
For 17 years before becoming judge, he devoted a substantial portion of his law practice to serving children, youth, and needy families in the juvenile and family courts in the Upper Cumberland area. He was one of the early volunteers to serve on the Putnam County Foster Care Review Board.
When not serving on the bench, Judge Goolsby teaches classes on a range of legal subjects at Nashville State Community College’s Cookeville campus. He also has served as adjunct professor at Roane State Community College’s Crossville campus, and at Tennessee Technological University. He is active in the community, serving 25 plus years as a member of the Cookeville Noon Day Lions Club, providing eye examinations for elementary school students and eye glasses for needy families in Putnam County.
Judge Goolsby received a degree in business administration at Tennessee Technological University and his Doctor of Jurisprudence at the Nashville School of Law in 1979.
A former member of the Tennessee Army National Guard, Judge Goolsby is married to Carol Clinton Goolsby, and is the father of two grown daughters, Amy Goolsby James and Megan Goolsby Monroe. He has served as a deacon and member of the Board of Trustees for the First Baptist Church of Cookeville.
The McCain-Abernathy Memorial Awardhas been presented every year since 1985 to a Tennessee judge with juvenile jurisdiction who has demonstrated outstanding service dedicated to the improvement of juvenile justice in Tennessee for the benefit of the children and families served by the state’s courts.
The award was named in memory of Judge Elizabeth McCain, Shelby County, who was active in the Council and served voluntarily as executive secretary of TCJFC for a number of years. In 1991 the membership voted to add Judge Jerome Abernathy’s name to the award. Judge Abernathy, Giles County, served as president to the Council in 1989-90.