Supreme Court Recognizes Attorney General Herbert Slatery For His Service To The State

The Tennessee Supreme Court recognizes Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, who was appointed for an eight-year term in 2014, for his public service to the State of Tennessee. General Slatery’s term ends August 31, 2022, and the Supreme Court has named Jonathan Skrmetti as his successor.

“The Tennessee Attorney General serves as the state’s top legal officer and is appointed by the judicial branch, represents all executive branch state officers and agencies, and defends laws passed by the General Assembly,” Chief Justice Roger A. Page said.  “The Attorney General is the one official in the State who must have his or her finger on the pulse of all three branches of government — navigating relationships, anticipating policy shifts, and serving as a confidant and counselor. It is a position that requires extreme professionalism, humility, and leadership, and the Court is grateful for the tremendous job General Slatery has done during his eight years of service.”

After an extensive application process, General Slatery was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court as Attorney General in August of 2014. Prior, he had served as chief legal officer to then-Governor Bill Haslam, beginning in 2011. Before embarking on public service, General Slatery was in private practice in Knoxville with Egerton, McAfee, Armistead & Davis, P.C., where he served as president from 1998-2007, and chairman from 2008 to January 2011. He practiced in the areas of finance (both private and local government), corporate governance, capital formation, real estate, and acquisitions and sales of businesses.

As the chief legal officer of the state, the Attorney General and Reporter represents state officers and agencies and manages a staff of approximately 340 employees working in five offices across Tennessee. The Office of the Attorney General represents the State in criminal appeals and defends the State in civil actions in state and federal court. The Office also has the authority to investigate and prosecute civil actions for environmental enforcement, antitrust violations, Medicaid fraud, and consumer fraud. The Office has four major divisions - Civil Litigation (Civil Law, Environmental, Real Property & Transportation), Criminal Justice (Criminal Appeals, Federal Habeas Corpus, Law Enforcement & Special Prosecutions), State Services and Litigation (Education & Employment, Financial, Health Care, Public Interest, Tax) and Public Protection (Bankruptcy, Consumer Protection, Tobacco Enforcement). 

In addition to his duties as Attorney General, General Slatery also served the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) as Co-Chair of the Charities Committee and Co-Chair of the Finance Committee. In 2021, NAAG presented General Slatery with the Kelley-Wyman Award, the organization’s most coveted annual award. He is only the second Tennessean to win the award in its 65-year history. General Slatery also served as chair of the Southern Region of Attorneys General, which stretches from Texas to Virginia.

“While his work on the national and state level has been recognized, General Slatery also has a well-established reputation for being an outstanding personal friend, mentor and colleague, including serving as a terrific mentor to the Court’s newest Justice, Sarah Campbell, and to his successor, Jonathan Skrmetti,” Chief Justice Page said. “He leaves his office in an excellent position and has served his state well. The Court wishes him the best in his future endeavors, which we hope includes some well-earned relaxation with his family.”