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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, October 9, 2020

Chancellors enthusiastically tap Miller for 2nd term as clerk & master




Chancellor Jeff Atherton administers the oath of office to Hamilton County Clerk & Master Robin Miller in Chancery Court Part 2 as Chancellor Pamela Fleenor holds the Bible. - Photographs provided

It took two chancellors two minutes to agree to appoint Hamilton County Clerk & Master Robin Miller to a second term.

Chancellors Pamela Fleenor and Jeff Atherton met this summer to discuss Miller’s first six-year term, which began in July 2014, and decide whether or not to invite her to continue her work. They quickly and unanimously decided to offer her another term, to which Miller agreed.

“Robin has elevated the office,” Fleenor says. “She’s an excellent manager of her staff and she’s very good with the attorneys who come in. We’re pleased she’s accepted a second term.”

“I was very pleased with Ms. Miller’s performance during her first term,” Atherton says. “Her efficiency in running the office, the improvement in service to the public and the improvement in coordination with county government were impressive.”

Atherton says he’s also delighted with the mediation services Miller has extended to low income litigants.

“Statute requires the parties in domestic relations cases to undergo mediation. For most folks, this is done through a private mediator, which costs money. However, we have litigants who can’t afford private mediation. When that’s the case, Ms. Miller makes herself available.”

Atherton also noted Miller’s success in keeping the Clerk & Master’s office open during the pandemic and for smoothly implementing email filing to help people conduct business without leaving their home or office.

“We could not have a better person in that spot.”

Fleenor and Atherton swore in Miller on Sept. 9 in the Chancery Court Part 2 courtroom. To present a united front, Fleenor held the Bible on which Miller placed her hand and Atherton administered the oath of office.

Miller redirected the praise intended for her to her staff, which she called “phenomenal.”

“The clerks are experts in the area of the law in which they are managing the files,” she said. “Our office is not a place where someone files a case and then it sits on a shelf. The clerks keep up with the cases and learn a great deal of substantive law. They do amazing work.”

Despite Miller’s humility, Criminal Court Judge Marie Williams insists her friend deserves commendation, as well as a second term.

“Robin was an outstanding trial and estate lawyer when she was in practice, and she’s done an excellent job as clerk and master,” Williams says. “She’s a calming and inspirational presence in the courthouse, she has a huge heart, and she uses her social worker skills to help people navigate difficult situations.

“Reappointing her for a second term was very appropriate and a smart move by the chancellors. It would have been a great loss to the legal community and the community as a whole for her to not continue in that position.”

For her part, Miller says she has “loved every minute of this work.”

“Serving as clerk and master is a different kind of stress from practicing law, but it’s still stressful,” she says. “But we have the opportunity to help people, whether it’s helping someone figure out how to redeem their property or helping someone through mediation, we love to see people leave with their matters settled. It’s the most rewarding aspect of this job.”

As Miller begins her second term, she’s focusing on launching digital filing. Her office has been working on the project for over two years and is waiting on approval from the Tennessee Supreme Court to begin testing.