NASHVILLE, TN — The Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County General Sessions Court Judges have elected Judge Melissa Blackburn to serve As Presiding Judge Over the Davidson County General Sessions Court effective until September 1, 2018. Blackburn succeeds Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton following the appointment of Judge Dalton to Division II of the Criminal Court for the 20th Judicial District.
Melissa Blackburn is Judge of Division II of the Nashville, Davidson County General Sessions Court, having been elected to the bench in 2014. In addition to the duties of a General Sessions Judge, she also presides over the Mental Health Court and Veterans Specialty Treatment Court for Davidson County.
Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Blackburn worked in private practice primarily focusing on protecting the rights of sexual abuse victims. During her time in private practice, she served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
A Nashville native, Judge Blackburn is a graduate of David Lipscomb High School and Lipscomb University. She attended the Nashville School of Law to earn her law degree. Blackburn and her husband, Nashville Attorney Gary Blackburn, have raised four children in Nashville.
Judge Blackburn currently serves as Co-Chair of the Nashville Bar Association Veterans Court Committee. She is a past Chair of the Downtown YMCA Board and a past Chair of the Nashville Bar Association General Sessions Court Committee. Judge Blackburn is a member of the Downtown Nashville Chapter of Rotary International, a fellow of the American Inns of Court and participates in organizations supporting women engaging in both public policy and the business community through memberships in Nashville Cable, Women in Numbers and the Women’s Political Collaborative.
“I am honored by the trust of my colleagues and particularly honored to follow a distinguished Judge in Angelita Blackshear Dalton,” Blackburn said. “I look forward to the months ahead as we work to ensure the rights of every person who passes through the courthouse doors are guaranteed and respected. Faith in the integrity of our judicial system is a bedrock requirement of a strong community. The excellent men and women on the bench of Nashville’s General Sessions Courts are committed to honoring that faith.”