Posted on May 15th, 2017

The Honorable Robert L. Childers, Circuit Court Judge for the 30th Judicial District in Shelby County, has announced he will retire as of June 30, 2017.

Judge Childers was elected Circuit Court Judge in 1984, and re-elected in 1990, 1998, 2006 and 2014, and served as Presiding Judge of the 30th Judicial District, after being elected by fellow state court judges, from 1989-1990 and 1997-1998.  In addition, he has served as Special Judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers’ Compensation Panel and the Tennessee Court of Appeals.  He was in private practice from 1975-1984. 

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have served the citizens of Tennessee for the past 33 years as Judge of Division IX of the Circuit Court of Tennessee for the 30th Judicial District,” said Judge Childers.  “I am eternally grateful to the citizens of Shelby County for having the confidence to elect me to serve in this position in 1984, 1990, 1998, 2006 and 2014.  I am also grateful to my judicial colleagues across this great state, my judicial colleagues in Shelby County, my Administrative Assistant, the Circuit Court Clerk and his staff, and the many lawyers who have practiced before me.  I consider my service as judge as the pinnacle of my legal career.  I have been truly blessed.”

Among his many honors during his time of service include Outstanding Judge of the Year by both the Memphis Bar Association in 1986, 1999 and 2006, and the Memphis Bar Association’s Family Law section in 2005 as well as the Shelby County Deputy Sheriff’s Association in 1990.

Judge Childers also received the Judge Wheatcraft Award in 2001 from the Tennessee Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence for outstanding service in combating domestic violence, the Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award from the Tennessee Bar Association in 2012 and the Excellence in Legal Community Leadership Award in 2012 from the Hazelden Foundation.

Judge Childers has been a faculty member at the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada-Reno and the Tennessee Judicial Conference Judicial Academy, and a frequent lecturer and speaker at more than 250 continuing legal education seminars, schools, civic, church and business groups across Tennessee and the nation.

His many leadership positions include past president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, past president of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, past chairman of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP), Commissioner of the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP), charter member, past president and master of the bench of the Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court, past chair of the Tennessee Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council, past chairman of the Shelby County Domestic Violence Council and chairman of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Civil Pattern Jury Instruction Committee for more than 25 years.

The Trial Court Vacancy Commission will, today, announce plans to begin accepting applications for Judge Childers’ replacement.  The commission will present three names to the governor, who will then select one applicant to fill the seat.


Ellen Fite: I think we need an appeal on that decision to retire! But seriously, thank you for your diligent, humble and honorable service to the community, your excellent judicial demeanor, and your friendship to the bar. You always remembered that you were a lawyer before a judge and put others' needs before yours. Let me be the first to say, "Thank ya, thank ya very much." Our Elvis will never truly leave the building.

Beezie Wexler: Butch, All the best to you upon your retirement Your judicial career has been inspiring and serves as an example of grace and considerstion of all who have appeared before that should be a lasting model of how to run a court room Maurice Beezie Wexler

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