Memphis Judge Receives Judicial Service Award

Judge Robert Childers honored for work with lawyer assistance programs

NASHVILLE, June 12, 2012 -- Memphis Circuit Court Judge Robert L. "Butch" Childers was honored with the Tennessee Bar Association's Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award at the group's annual meeting in Memphis on Friday.

The Drowota Award is given to a judge or judicial branch official of a federal, state or local court in Tennessee who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion and dedication to the improvement of the law, the legal system and the administration of justice as exemplified by the career of former Supreme Court Justice Frank F. Drowota III -- the award's first recipient.
 
Judge Childers was recognized for his work with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) -- a confidential service for attorneys struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety, stress and burnout, anger or grief.
 
Childers was one of the first commissioners appointed to the TLAP management board when the Tennessee Supreme Court created the program in 1999, and he served on the commission for 10 years. He has been a consistent supporter of the statewide program, as well as local and national lawyers assistance programs. On the national level, he is immediate past chair of the American Bar Association's Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and has been member of the commission since 2000. 
 
Judge Childers has been a circuit court judge in Tennessee since 1984. He is a past president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference and the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, and has served as a special judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Tennessee Court of Appeals. He is a charter member, past president and master of the bench of the Leo Bearman Sr. Chapter of the American Inns of Court. He also has chaired the Tennessee Judicial Conference Civil Pattern Jury Instruction Committee since 1991, and is a past chair of the Tennessee Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council.
 
Childers has been recognized as Outstanding Judge of the Year five times since 1984 (in 1986, 1990, 1998, 2005 and 2006), and received the Judge Wheatcraft Award for outstanding service in combating domestic violence in 2000.  He also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Memphis in 2002 and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Memphis Rotary Club in 2007. He has been on the faculty of the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada Reno, and has been a frequent lecturer and speaker at continuing legal education seminars in Tennessee and throughout the nation.
 
Judge Childers started practicing law in Memphis in April 1975. He earned his law degree in 1974 from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
 
The 2012 Tennessee Bar Association Annual Convention was held in conjunction with four other legal organizations -- the Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers (TABL), the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women (TLAW), the Tennessee Association for Justice (TAJ) and the Tennessee Judicial Conference. This joint meeting structure allows the groups to address common issues and concerns. It also offers opportunities for additional education, long-range planning, and recognition of attorneys who have performed outstanding legal work and community service. 
 

The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is the largest professional association in Tennessee with more than 13,000 members. Founded in 1881, the TBA provides opportunities for continuing legal education, professional development and public service. The TBA’s dedication to serving the state’s legal community is evidenced by its membership roll, which represents the entire spectrum of legal practice: plaintiff and defense lawyers, corporate counsel, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, government lawyers and legal services attorneys.