DEBRA C. POPLIN
SWORN IN AS U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge, is pleased to annouce the appointment of Debra C. Poplin to the position of United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Magistrate Poplin was sworn in today by Chief Judge Varlan during a private ceremony that took plance at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Courthouse in Knoxville. Judge Poplin's term of office will begin on February 13, 2018. A public investiture ceremony will be held at a later date.
The U.S. District Judges of the Eastern District of Tennesee appointed a seven-member Merit Selection Panel to review applications, interview prospective candidates, and recommend to the District Judges the candidates they deemed best qualified for the position.
Ms. Poplin, who has served as Clerk of Court for the Eastern District since January 2012, replaces Magistrate Judge Clifford C. Shirley, Jr., who is retiring after sixteen years with the Court.
In announcing Poplin's selections, Chief Judge Varlan said, "The district judges were pleased to select Judge Poplin from a group of extremely well-qualified magistrate judge candidates. She has served the Eastern District in excellent fashion as Clerk of Court, and we are confident she will continue to do so as a magistrate judge. We also express our appreciation and thanks to Judge Shirley for his 15 years of service as magistrate judge and most recently as chief magistrate judge for the district."
Judge Poplin said, "I am honored to have been selected by the district judges as the next magistrate judge for the Eastern District, and I look forward to continuing my pubic service in this new judicial role."
Ms. Poplin is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Upon graduation from law school in 1990, she joined the City of Knoxville Law Department, and returned to the law department as Deputy Law Director in 2001 following two years of practice with the law firm of Ritchie, Fels & Dillard. In 2008, then-Mayor Bill Haslam appointed Ms. Poplin as City Law Director, making her the first (and only) woman to serve in the post in the city's history. Ms. Poplin served with distinction as Law Director until her appointment as Clerk of Court in 2012.
United States Magistrates Judges are appointed by the District Judges of the U.S. District Court for a term of eight years and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms. Matters before Magistrate Judge Poplin will be conducted in the Howard H. Baker Jr. U.S. Courthouse in Knoxville.
Contact Lori Gibson at 865-329-4674
Download the Press Release.
There is a “Mother’s Room” located on the 3rd floor of the City-County Building (down the hallway marked 311) that is available for anyone who needs to express milk in private while at the City County Building. The space is open to employees of the building and the general public, so if you, or anyone who works with you or one of your clients, needs to pump breast milk in private while at the City-County Building, the space may be used on a first come, first serve basis. The space has a freezer, microwave sterilizer, large comfortable chairs and lockers have general breastfeeding supplies (tissues, nipple pads, freezer bags for milk, etc.). Mothers are welcome to leave their coolers or bags while they are in court or have business in the building.
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January 25, 2018
JOHN MEDEARIS APPOINTED CLERK OF U.S. DISTRICT COURT
Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan announced the appointment today of John Medearis of Chattanooga as Clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, effective February 13.
Medearis succeeds Debbie Poplin, who has been appointed a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, effective February 13, succeeding the retiring Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley.
Medearis has served as Chief Deputy Clerk of the district for the past 17 years. The Eastern District of Tennessee covers 41 counties in this region of the state. The court has offices in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Greeneville.
Medearis holds a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. From 1984 to 1987, he served as a law clerk for the late U.S. District Judge H. Ted Milburn and continued as a law clerk with Judge Milburn when the judge was appointed to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 1987, Medearis joined the Chattanooga law firm of Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel, and in 1991, he returned to the court as Manager of the Clerk’s Office in Chattanooga. Later, he was promoted to Operations Manager for the district, and was appointed Chief Deputy Clerk in 2001.
Medearis has been active in the Chattanooga chapter of the Federal Bar Association and formerly served as president of the organization and as a member of its board of directors. In 2013, he received the chapter’s Outstanding Service Award. Medearis is a frequent speaker on federal practice and procedure and has organized a number of seminars.
Medearis is married and has one son.
Lori P. Gibson, Paralegal/Judicial Assistant to the
Honorable Thomas A. Varlan
Chief United States District Judge
800 Market Street, Suite 143
Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: (865) 545-4762, Ext. 2, or (865) 329-4674
Cell: (865) 318-9843 Facsimile: (865) 545-4532
The Knoxville Bar Association and Lawyer Referral & Information Service will closing at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16th due to inclement weather.
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