Judiciary Mourns the Loss of Judge James Nidiffer

September 8, 2020

The Tennessee legal community is mourning the loss of Washington County General Sessions and Juvenile Judge James A. Nidiffer, who passed away on September 7, 2020 after a long illness. He was 66.

Judge Nidiffer was first elected as a general sessions and juvenile judge in 2006 and was re-elected in 2014. He served as a municipal court judge in Johnson City from 2000-2006 and was a private practice attorney in the upper east region of Tennessee for over 20 years before joining the judiciary.

Judge Nidiffer received his undergraduate degree from East Tennessee State University in 1976 and his law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1979.

Active in his community and co-founder of the Washington County Mental Health Court, Judge Nidiffer was recognized with multiple awards, including the Moral Kombat Hero Award, the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Model Project Award, the Heroes in the Fight Award, the Heroes in the Fight Community Supporter Award, and the Frank G. Clement Community Service Award.  

Judge Nidiffer temporarily stepped down from the bench in June 2020 to focus on his medical treatment. Governor Bill Lee appointed Janet Vest Hardin to serve as Special Judge in General Sessions Court while Judge Nidiffer was unable to serve.  

More information will be posted when available.