Judge Brandon Gibson Named Chair of the Board of Judicial Conduct

November 2, 2018

Judge Brandon Gibson of the Tennessee Court of Appeals was recently named the new chair of Tennessee’s Board of Judicial Conduct.

The Board is responsible for investigating and, when warranted, acting on complaints brought against state and local judges. It is composed of 16 members from all parts of the State, including lawyers, citizens, and judges from all levels of Tennessee's court system.

Judge Gibson, who has been on the Tennessee Court of Appeals since 2014, is keenly aware of the responsibility that comes along with the Board of Judicial Conduct’s top position. “Serving on the Board and chairing it is an honor, as the public's confidence in the judiciary is one of the most important pieces of our democracy,” she said. “I don't take the task lightly, and I take very seriously the obligation to treat both the public and judges fairly.”

The Board of Judicial Conduct was formed in 2012 as a successor to the state’s Judicial Standards Commission and Court of the Judiciary, which were created in 1971 and 1979 respectively. It is tasked with upholding the integrity of state courts by investigating formal allegations of judicial misconduct, as well as complaints related to a judge’s general mental, moral, or physical fitness. State law lays out the scope of offenses that the Board can investigate (Tenn. Code Ann. § 17-5-302).

Complaints to the Board are first screened by a disciplinary counsel and then forwarded to a disciplinary panel made up of Board members. If the complaint alleges facts that, if true, would constitute judicial misconduct, then a preliminary investigation will be carried out. Depending on the results, a full investigation may then take place, which can result in a wide range of disciplinary action. Statistical information about the complaints that the Board receives, as well as any subsequent investigations, are included in quarterly reports issued by the Board.

Board members serve three-year terms and are appointed in various ways. Judge Gibson was appointed to the Board by the speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. She was then elected chair by her fellow Board members.

Judge Gibson was in private law practice for over 13 years before she was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to the Court of Appeals in December 2013. She was sworn in to that position in September 2014 upon the retirement of Judge David Farmer. In 2016, she was elected by the citizens of Tennessee to a full term on the Court of Appeals.

She was selected as a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation in 2013 and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Tennessee. In addition, Judge Gibson currently serves as chair of the Leadership Tennessee Advisory Council, as co-chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Public Service Academy, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, and the Crockett County Imagination Library Foundation. She is also a member of the Administrative Office of the Courts’s Technology Oversight Committee, the AOC’s Appellate E-filing Task Force, and the Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law Steering Committee.

Judge Gibson received her Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University and her law degree from Southern Methodist University.