Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 2, 2021

Smith elected president of TN Public Defenders Conference

Public defenders in Tennessee have chosen Steve Smith to serve as president of the Tennessee District Public Defenders Conference.

The conference is a statewide system of popularly elected district public defenders from each of Tennessee’s 31 judicial districts. There are 441 attorneys within the 31 districts who carry out the statutory and constitutional duties inherent in representing the indigent accused.

An executive committee led by the president helps public defenders across the state discharge their duties. That committee also advises the legislature regarding laws and procedures necessary for the effective administration of justice.

As president, Smith is the principal executive officer responsible for supervising the business and affairs of the conference.

Smith is the elected district public defender for the 11th Judicial District, a position he’s held since 2014.

During his first term, Smith expanded the number of attorneys in his office from 13 to 21. He also assisted in the creation and establishment of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Mental Health Court. His office staffs many recovery courts which divert suitable clients into treatment and rehabilitation, with the aim of reducing recidivism. Prior to 2014, Smith served as an assistant district attorney.

He earn a degree in geology from UTC and his JD from the Cecil C. Humphries School of Law at the University of Memphis.

Smith is a board member of the Chattanooga Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association Board of Governors and the Bachman Community Center.

He is also a barrister member of the Brock-Cooper Inns of Court, a gardener, sailor, musician and Big Brother.

Source: Steve Smith