Governor Lee Appoints Judge Kristi Davis to the Court of Appeals

May 28, 2020

Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the appointment of Judge Kristi M. Davis to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Eastern Grand Division to fill the Honorable Charles D. Susano Jr.’s vacancy.

“Kristi Davis has an extensive background in civil cases as both an attorney and judge, and she will be an exceptional addition to the Court of Appeals,” said Governor Lee. “I’m grateful for her willingness to serve and am proud to appoint her to this important position.”

Judge Davis has served as a circuit court judge in the Sixth Judicial District since 2014 when she filled a vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Dale Workman. Prior to her judicial service, she was in private practice with Hodges, Doughty & Carson in Knoxville where she specialized in civil litigation. She was named a partner in 2007. In addition to her civil litigation work, Judge Davis also handled many appellate cases. In that capacity, she argued 26 appeals before the Tennessee Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, the Tennessee Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Judge Davis grew up in rural northwest Knox County and first became interested in the law after participating in a mock trial program in high school. She went on to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she majored in broadcasting and received a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She went to law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law, from which she graduated magna cum laude in 1998. During law school she was a member of the Tennessee Law Review and the Jerome Prince National Evidence Moot Court Team. As a student, she received the John D. Baugh Award for Excellence in Oral Advocacy, the Gunn, Ogden & Sullivan Award for Excellence in Brief Writing, and the E. Bruce & Mary Evelyn Foster Scholarship.

Upon graduation, Judge Davis considered joining the United States Air Force JAG Corps, but made the decision to stay closer to home and clerk for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Joseph M. Tipton. After two years clerking, she joined Hodges, Doughty & Carson.

During her time on the Circuit Court bench, Judge Davis has also served as a Special Judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court Worker’s Compensation Panel and served on the Tennessee Board of Responsibility’s investigative panel.

Judge Davis sits on the Board of Governors of the Knoxville Bar Association and is a fellow of the Knoxville Bar Foundation. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, and is a member of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, the American Inn of Court, Hamilton Burnett Chapter, and the East Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.

Judge Davis has stayed active in the community as well, serving on the boards of several nonprofits, including Friends of Literacy and the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red. She and her family are active members of Sacred Heart Cathedral.

In her application for a position on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Judge Davis summarized what she loves most about being a judge.

“I truly enjoy the process of examining a legal issue, researching the existing case law, analyzing how the existing law applies to the facts presented, and communicating that analysis in a way that makes sense,” she wrote. “I also believe in the importance of public service, and I want to use my skills to be of service to the State of Tennessee and its citizens.”