Tennessee Court Talk is an educational podcast from the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts, bringing together the very best law experts to discuss topics affecting judges, attorneys, law students, and the people of Tennessee. The intended audience for each episode varies and is announced during the introduction.

Episodes can be found and downloaded on the player of your choosing.



Episode 1
In Tennessee Court Talk's premier episode, Judge Butch Childers (Ret.) and Nashville Attorney John Day, two members of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Pattern Jury Instructions Civil Committee, discuss the importance of jury instructions and how critical they can be to the outcome of a case, the evolution of the committee and advice to judges on giving instructions to a jury.

Episode 2
Episode 2 focuses on appellate practice in Tennessee from start to finish. Guests include Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Tim Easter, Court of Appeals Judge Neil McBrayer, and Clerk of the Appellate Courts Jim Hivner. Topics include everything from tips on filing a notice to appeal to brief writing to preparing for oral argument. 

Episode 3
In July 2019, the Centers for Disease Control released the most recent opioid overdose mortality rates, which showed a decrease for the first time in a decade at the national level. Unfortunately, that trend did not hold true for Tennessee, where overdose rates rose a modest 4.8 percent. In this episode, Special Agent Tommy Farmer from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Dangerous Drug Task Force and Dr. Robert Pack, Professor of Community and Behavior Health at East Tennessee State University, discuss the most recent statistics, where the state is showing improvements as well as new trends like the increase of heroin and fentanyl and the resurgence of meth.

Episode 4
In this episode, Judge Duane Slone, Judge Tim Brock and Mr. Jeff Smith, the Project Director for the eighth judicial district of New York discuss the court’s response to the opioid addiction epidemic beyond implementing traditional drug courts. 

Episode 5
Living in an environment with drugs can have devastating consequences for children. In this episode, we learn about the work of the Tennessee Alliance for Drug-Endangered Children from Tabatha Curtis with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and Amy Coble, State Director of Investigations for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.
Judge Tim Brock, who presides over the state's only family drug court and one of the state's first safe baby courts, explores how agencies and the courts work together to protect children when a caregiver is struggling with addiction.

Episode 6
In this episode, Judge Ana Escobar of Nashville, Judge Robert Philyaw of Chattanooga, Assistant Disctrict Attorney Sarah Wolfson of Nashville and Jerry Redman, executive director of Street Grace in Chattanooga, TN  discuss how human trafficking and domestic violence intertwine and the steps both the court system, outside organizations and communities are taking in order to help recognize and solve human trafficking in Tennessee. 

Episode 7
We turn our attention to discuss the criminal side of jury instruction. Judge Chris Craft of Shelby County, Judge Dee David Gay of Sumner County and Judge Mark Ward of Shelby County, all members of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Pattern Jury Instructions Criminal Committee, discuss the importance of jury instructions and how critical they can be to the outcome of a criminal case, the evolution of the committee, and advice to judges and attorneys on giving instructions to a jury. 

Episode 8
About 25 percent of state judges in Tennessee are female, which places Tennessee 45th out of 50 states for women in the judiciary. In this episode, we sit down with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Connie Clark, Court of Appeal Judge Carma Dennis McGee, Chancellor Jerri Bryant and Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton to discuss the importance of diversity on the bench, why they decided to run, and how they balance campaigns and work with family and other obligations. 

Episode 9 & 10
Episodes 9 and 10 feature two panel discussions we recently attended at Lipscomb University with the three former and the three current female justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The conversation was enlightening and lively and it stands for itself. The recording featured in this episode is from the afternoon panel for students and features the justices journeys to a career in law, changes they have witnessed and advice to students. Thank you to Lipscomb University and Professor Randy Spivey for allowing us to record it.

Episode 11
In this episode, we take a deep dive into chancery courts in Tennessee. Find out the origins of chancery court, what types of cases chancery court can hear and tips for attorneys entering chancery court for the first time.  Guests include Chancellor J.B. Cox of the 17th Judicial District, Chancellor Pam Fleenor of the 11th Judicial District, Chancellor John Rambo of the 1st Judicial District, Chancellor Micheal Morse of the 6th Judicial District and Chancellor Tony Childress of the 29th Judicial District. 

Episode 12
In this episode, we discuss self represented litigation in Tennessee and across the United States by exploring the meaning and definition of a pro se litigant as well as provide advice on how pro se litigants can use state resources to gain more access to the court system and seek free legal advice. Guests include Justice Connie Clark of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Buck Lewis is the founder of Free Legal Answers,  Professor Cat Moon is the Director of Innovation Design at Vanderbilt University Law School and Judge Fern Fisher who is now a professor at Hofstra University School of Law. 

Episode 13
On this episode, Judge Vicki Snyder of Henry County, Judge Dan Michael of Shelby County, Judge Tim Irwin of Knox County, and Judge Christy Little of Madison County discuss the mission of juvenile courts in Tennessee and the various dockets that they see every day. From rehabilitation, to reuniting families and keeping children safe, the judges also discuss privacy within juvenile court and advice to new lawyers entering a juvenile courtroom.

Episode 14
The pandemic has created stresses across the court system like never before. Supreme Court Justice Roger Page, former Chief Justice Janice Holder, Judge Russ Parkes and Judge Mary Wagner discuss how to use data and technology as well as alternative dispute resolution strategies to keep courts open and dockets moving.

Episode 15
In this episode, we take a deep dive into Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 13 and court-appointed work. Our guests Lacy Wilber, Assistant General Counsel, and Amy Park, Support Analyst, for the Administrative Office of the Courts, discuss the ins and outs of filing fee claims. Lacy reviews specific rules surrounding expenses and experts, and Amy details the process of filing for reimbursement. This episode is intended for attorneys.

Episode 16
Wellness is critical for both judges and attorneys, who can struggle with demanding careers and lifestyles. Court of Criminal Appeals Judges Tim Easter and Jill Ayers join Chancellor Jerri Bryant and Tennessee Lawyer Assistance Program Executive Director Buddy Stockwell as they discuss wellness strategies and tips. 

Episode 17
General Sessions courts are often referred to as "the court of first resort," or "small claims court." In Tennessee, General Sessions courts have broad jurisdiction over civil claims and play a key role in almost every criminal prosecution in the state. Join Judges Lee Bussart (Marshall County), Lynda Jones (Davidson County), Alex McVeagh (Hamilton County) and Kee Bryant-McCormick (Sumner County) as they discuss the role of general sessions courts in the Tennessee judicial system. 

Episode 18
In this episode we take you to the investiture ceremony of Justice Dwight E. Tarwater to the Tennessee Supreme Court at the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville on September 5, 2023.

Episode 20
In this episode, Court of Appeals Judge Frank Clement Jr., Chancellor Anne Martin of Davidson County Chancery Court, Part II, Chief Deputy Clerk Lisa Marsh and Ian Dinkins remember Judge Richard Dinkins for his integrity, fairness, and humbleness while becoming a luminary in the law community.