Press Releases

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jun 25, 2014

Wade honored at association's annual convention in Gatlinburg

NASHVILLE, June 25, 2014 – Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary R. Wade was honored with the Tennessee Bar Association's Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award for his outstanding and dedicated service to the courts and the legal community. The award was presented by outgoing TBA President Cindy Wyrick at a luncheon in Gatlinburg. Former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Drowota also was on hand to assist in the presentation.

Chief Justice Wade was recognized for his service, not just on the Tennessee Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals, but also in local government and nonprofit endeavors. Prior to appointment to the courts, Wade served as mayor of the city of Sevierville for 10 years and served for 14 years as city attorney for the city of Pigeon Forge. A Tennessee native, Wade also has been involved in a number of charitable and nonprofit endeavors across the state. His signature work, however, has been with a group he cofounded: Friends of the Smokies. For 20 years, Justice Wade has supported the work of the group – providing office space for the new effort in the early days, personally recruiting volunteers for the organization, giving countless hours of his own time and helping to raise more than $41 million to maintain and improve the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its programs.

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. Thanks to a recent donation by Justice Drowota and a matching gift from the Frist Foundation, the award now allows the recipient to direct a gift of $1,000 to the charity of his or her choice.

Chief Justice Wade has served on the state Supreme Court since 2006. He was named chief justice of the court in 2012. Prior to his appointment to the court, he was the presiding judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and spent eight years as managing partner of Ogle, Wade & Wynn in Sevier County. Wade earned his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Tennessee.

The 2014 Tennessee Bar Association Annual Convention was held June 11-14 in conjunction with several other legal organizations, including the Tennessee Judicial Conference and the Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women (TLAW). This joint meeting allows legal groups in the state to address common issues and concerns and offers opportunities for additional education, long-range planning, and recognition of attorneys who have performed outstanding legal work and community service.