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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, February 14, 2020

Locals attorneys, chancellor apply for Court of Appeals opening




Three local jurists have applied to be considered for the Tennessee Court of Appeals opening in the eastern division created by the retirement of the Hon. Charles Susano, Jr.

Attorneys Joseph Christopher Clem and Samantha Lunn and Chancellor Pamela Fleenor of Chattanooga are among the 16 individuals from across the state the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments will consider when it meets to select nominees.

Clem, 51, is a partner at the law firm of Samples, Jennings, Clem & Fields in Chattanooga. He’s been with the firm since 2004.

A litigator, Clem primarily represents businesses, government entities and individuals. He notably defended three separate class action lawsuits that rose out of a highly publicized case involving a crematory in Noble, Georgia, that failed to properly cremate several hundred bodies.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Clem is a member of the Chattanooga and Tennessee Bar Associations and the Hamilton County Election Commission.

He was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly for House District 27 (Lookout Mountain) from 2000-2006. Clem has also served on various public commissions and committees.

“I’ve had a passion for public service since graduating from law school. My other passions are reading, writing and the law,” he wrote in his application. “This appellate court position would be a perfect blend of public service and composing legal opinions to resolve conflicts between parties. I can imagine nothing more exciting and professionally fulfilling.”

Clem coaches Little League Baseball and youth basketball and is a member of Signal Mountain Bible Church.

Fleenor, 60, is currently serving as chancellor in part one of the Chancery Court of the 11th judicial district. She became an attorney in 1986 and most recently practiced with Duncan, Hatcher, Fleenor & Hixson. Fleenor was elected chancellor in August 2014.

She is an alumnus of the Cincinnati College of Law and has served as an adjunct professor in the paralegal program at Chattanooga State Community College.

Born and raised in the Scenic City, Fleenor is a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga, a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation and a member of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute.

She’s also a member of several law organizations, including the local and state bar associations, the Southeast Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women and the Justices Ray L. Brock, Jr.-Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court.

Fleenor has served on the executive committees of the Tennessee Judicial Conference and the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, among other committees.

She’s a member of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church.

“I love the law, this great country and the freedoms we enjoy, and I want the people of Tennessee to continue to enjoy their freedoms,” Fleenor wrote in her application.

Lunn, 39, is a partner with Husch Blackwell in Chattanooga. Her areas of practice include general complex commercial litigation, class action litigation, insurance coverage litigation, while collar and compliance investigations and fiduciary.

Lunn is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law, a member of the local, state and federal bar associations, a participant in the Tennessee Leadership Law Program class of 2020 and a Mid-South Super Lawyers Rising Star.

In the Chattanooga community, Lunn is a member of the CWLI and the Junior League of Chattanooga. She attends St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

“I’ve come to a point in my legal career where I feel called to seek an opportunity to serve my community and take on a public role,” she wrote in her application.

The other applicants are: William Ailor, Knoxville; Jerri Bryant, Athens; Dail Robert Cantrell, Clinton; Timothy Wade Conner, Knoxville; Kristi Davis, Knoxville; Melanie Davis, Maryville; William Thomas McFarland, Kingston; Summer McMillian, Knoxville; E. Jerome Melson, Knoxville; Edward Trent, Knoxville; Joshua Walker, Knoxville; Jeffrey Ward, Greeneville; and Thomas Wright, Greeneville.

Susano’s retirement will be effective April 30. The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments will interview the applicants in a public hearing, which will be set in the near future.

The council is expected to vote immediately following the interviews and forward three names to Gov. Bill Lee for his consideration.

Source: Court of Appeals