Haslam Appoints Smith Criminal Court Judge in 20th Judicial District

November 14, 2018
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam today appointed Jennifer L. Smith of Nashville as Criminal 
Court Judge for the 20th Judicial District, which serves Davidson County. Smith replaces Judge Seth 
W. Norman, who retired in August.
 
In addition to maintaining a regular criminal court docket, Smith will work with Judge Norman, who 
remains a senior judge, to operate the Davidson County Drug Court Program.
 
Smith, 52, is currently the associate solicitor general in the Office of the Attorney General of 
Tennessee. She has served in various roles since joining the Attorney General’s Office in 1994, 
including as deputy attorney general for the Law Enforcement and Special Prosecutions Division.  
She has also worked in private practice in Nashville and with the Davidson County Public Defender’s 
Office.
 
“Jennifer brings a commitment to service and extensive criminal law experience to this position,” 
Haslam said.“I am grateful for her willingness to serve in this new role and appreciate her work 
for the State of Tennessee.”
 
Smith has handled numerous criminal justice-related cases before the United States Supreme Court, 
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Tennessee Supreme Court, Tennessee Court of 
Criminal Appeals, and the Tennessee trial courts.
 
Smith serves as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve and holds the rank of 
commander. She has been deployed on active duty to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring 
Freedom, as well as to Bahrain. She has served in the Navy Reserve since 1999 and has been awarded 
the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine 
Corps Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, and National Defense Service 
Medal.
 
“I am grateful to Governor Haslam for giving me this opportunity and for the confidence he has 
placed in me,” Smith said. “It is humbling to step into a role long held by a distinguished jurist 
of the Nashville legal community. I am truly honored to carry on Judge Norman’s legacy, and I am
looking forward to serving the citizens of Davidson County.”
 
Smith received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Mississippi. She also 
earned a master of science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University.
 
She is actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America with her two sons, Thomas and Daniel, and in 
the Hillsboro High School Band Boosters. She is a member of the St. Patrick Catholic Church in Nashville.