GENERAL SESSIONS JUDGE CANDIDATE
1. Give personal background
I moved to Tullahoma when I was 13 months old. I graduated from Tullahoma High School in 1990 and from Vanderbilt University Graduated in 1994.
I am married to Dan Lynch who teaches 7th grade Math at East Middle School and coaches the TUllahoma Middle School Lady Cats Volleyball team. We have two daughters, Abby (14) and Maggie(11)
My parents, Bob and Sandy Lindeman, still in Tullahoma. My dad retired from AEDC in 2018 after 40 years being honored as a Fellow. My mom is a former Tullahoma Alderman and still actively involved in the community.
I have one sister, Dawn Azbell, who lives in Lynchburg with her husband, Shane, and daughter, Erica Durm. Her two adult children, Ashley Durm Gass and Justin Durm, also live in Lynchburg with their families.
2. Give work background
Upon graduation from Vanderbilt, I worked in management for an insurance company in Atlanta. Then I continued my corporate career working in Human Resources for staffing companies in Nashville, Atlanta and Amsterdam as a manager and the Director of Training. After training others in the area of employment law, I decided to pursue a law degree.
Beginning in 2005, I worked full time at a law office while attending Nashville School of Law at night. I gRaduated in 2009 with honors in the top 10% of my class and began practicing law in Tullahoma with Don Ray, Bill Rieder, Vanessa Jackson, Gerald Ewell and Jim Lane. In 2011, I had the honor of becoming a partner in our law firm, Hull, Ray, Rieder, Ewell, Lane & Lynch, PC. I have a very diverse law practice with extensive experience in criminal, collections, personal injury, contracts, juvenile, domestic, real estate, estates, and wills.
In July 2018, Judge Brock chose me to be the first Magistrate of the Juvenile Court for Coffee County. I preside over the two family recovery courts – the Safe Baby Court and the Family Treatment Courts. As these courts were new to the County, I developed the policy and procedures and handbooks for the courts. In addition, I am continuing to work with the State to bring additional recovery to the County for our youth and families. Additionally, I presided over Juvenile Court matters, both dependency and neglect and delinquency, as needed for the past 18 months as Judge.
I have been a member of the Tennessee Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges giving me the opportunity to collaborate with other Judges throughout Tennessee.
3. Why did you decide to run?
The untimely loss of Judge Brock was unexpected. Over the last couple years, he and I worked closely developing the family recovery courts, and we shared a vision as to the importance of all the recovery courts for our County. It was always my plan to run for General Sessions Judge in 2022 and continue the focus on recovery in our judicial system. I am humbled to be able to work for the citizens of Coffee County to help to make our community safer, stronger and more prosperous.
4. What are the positives about being a judge?
The people you meet and the families you are able to assist. To be able to effectuate positive change in the lives of our youths and families and to change generations to come is what inspires me to continue.
5. Negatives about the job?
Not all change is immediate or sustainable. It is difficult to accept that I am not able change all that I would like to change. in addition, as I make difficult decisions from the bench, those decisions stay with me as I leave the courtroom. It is important to keep a strong faith in the face of sometimes very negative circumstances.
6. Any changes you would like to make?
I am not opposed to change and in fact believe change is necessary to grow. However, until a proper assessment of needs and processes can be made, change should not be enacted just for change sake. In the judicial system, there are many parties to consider including law enforcement, clerks, attorneys, other judges, public defenders and the district attorneys. Each change can create a ripple effecting all of these parties so I would make a proper assessment of needs and strengths prior to suggesting any changes.
7. Tell people why they should vote for you
I am the candidate with the right experience and qualifications to be the next General Sessions Judge. I have served in the role of Magistrate for Juvenile Court for the last 18 months, deciding cases and have decided cases and effectively managing the courtroom. I have the experience and knowledge in criminal, civil and juvenile law and procedure which is necessary for General Sessions Court. I am uniquely connected to the issues effecting our youth through my involvement with the community and the school systems. I have the proven experience on the bench as a Judge making tough but fair and equitable decisions.