Governor Lee Announces Three Appellate Court Appointments

March 28, 2022

Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced appointments to three judicial positions across the state.

The following Tennesseans have been appointed:

  • Professor Jeffrey Usman– Court of Appeals, Middle Division
  • Judge Tom Greenholtz– Court of Criminal Appeals, Eastern Division
  • Judge Kyle Hixson– Court of Criminal Appeals, Eastern Division

 Each appointment is effective September 1, 2022, and subject to confirmation by the General Assembly.

“Each of these qualified Tennesseans will bring valuable experience to their respective roles,” Governor Lee said. “I am confident they will serve our state with the highest integrity, and I look forward to their service.”

Professor Jeffrey Usman an Associate Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law. Professor Usman has held judicial clerkships with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama and the Tennessee Supreme Court. Professor Usman has also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. He earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, LL.M. from Harvard Law School and bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

Professor Usman will succeed Judge Richard H. Dinkins.

Judge Tom Greenholtz is a Criminal Court Judge for the 11th Judicial District. Judge Greenholtz previously spent 13 years in private practice handling criminal and civil matters. Judge Greenholtz has also clerked for the Tennessee Supreme Court and served as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for 20 years. He earned his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law and bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Judge Kyle Hixson is a Criminal Court Judge for the 6th Judicial District. Judge Hixson has experience at every level of the state criminal justice process, serving twice in the Office of the Knox County District Attorney General and representing the State of Tennessee before multiple federal and state courts. Judge Hixson earned his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law and bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Judges Greenholtz and Hixson will succeed Judge Norma McGee Ogle and Judge D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., respectively.