By Cillea Houghton
NASHVILLE, TN — There are two words central to Frank Mondelli, Sr.’s campaign for Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge in Division X: honesty and experience. Mondelli has spent 27 years practicing law in Nashville with his firm, Mondelli Law, focusing on the areas of personal injury, probate, civil and criminal cases in General Sessions, and family law in both Juvenile and Divorce Court.
“My mission is to instill integrity and honesty and equal justice in that seat,” Mondelli said, who believes his vast range of experience provides him with an applicable skillset to be a judge. “It’s a diverse mix, so I have something going all the time and I love the diversity of that. And that is a good mixture of what general sessions is like. Most of those people in General Sessions Court I can relate to them because of what my general practice is, so I’ve been there, I have seen it and feel like I’m the best candidate to represent that division.”
Through his 27-year law career as an attorney in Nashville, Mondelli has spent countless hours in the Justice A.A. Birch Criminal Court Building working on preliminary hearings, civil actions and trial cases, in addition to his involvement with state, plaintiff and defendant arguments, seeing the law from all sides of the courtroom. “I’ve practiced in every one of those courts at some point in time over the last 27 years, so I feel like I’m familiar and understand the law and will apply it as needed in each case,” he said.
Mondelli explains that some of the most gratifying moments in his law career come from having a positive impact on a client’s life, knowing that he stood by them through the challenges, exemplified by their sense of gratefulness at the end of a case. “So it’s not monetary, it’s what you do for the people. If you do for the people, everything else takes care of itself, so that’s kind of why I’ve been doing this,” he said.
A key element Mondelli hopes to bring to the bench is the ability to listen, wanting each individual who’s case comes before him to know their issue was carefully considered and applied with fair justice. “I think the most important thing is I want people to know that when they come into the courtroom that they’re going to get my undivided attention. This is the most important day for those people and they should be taken that way by the people who sit on that bench,” he said. “That I gave my undivided attention to their issues that went before the bench, that I applied the law and I used what I’ve learned in the practice of law to resolve their issue whether it’s a criminal or civil matter. And just so that people can come into the courtroom and feel that they’ve gotten a fair and equal justice under the law.”
Mondelli views his campaign for the judge’s seat in Division 10 as a way of giving back to the city that has given so much to him. “This community has been awful good to me,” he said. “And that’s why I’m running in this race.”
Judge Sam Coleman, who was appointed to the seat in 2017, and Tillman W. Payne, III are also campaigning for the judge’s position in Division 10. The election takes place May 1.