AG names former judge as ‘special counsel’ in Memphis

News release from the attorney general’s office

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced James R. Newsom III of Memphis as lead attorney in the Memphis regional office. In his role as Special Counsel for the Memphis office of the Tennessee Attorney General, Newsom will assist on a broad range of cases.

“It is important that our Memphis office is managed by someone with deep roots in the community, as well as someone with extensive knowledge and experience. Jim brings that and more to the table, and we are fortunate to have him serve in this role,” Attorney General Slatery said.

Most recently, Newsom served as Chancellor in the 30th Judicial District, which serves Shelby County. (Note: Appointed to the bench last year by Gov. Bill Haslam, Newsom was defeated in a bid for a full term by Joedae Jenkins in August.)

His prior experience includes serving as special master of the Chancery Court for the 30th Judicial District as well as more than 30 years in private practice. Newsom was a member of the Memphis law firm Harris, Shelton, Hanover, Walsh, PLLC from 2005 to his appointment by Governor Haslam to the Chancery bench in 2015. He practiced with that firm’s predecessor, Hanover, Walsh, Jalenak & Blair, PLLC from 1979-2004.

“General Slatery and his entire staff are highly regarded by their colleagues and our judiciary as skilled advocates for the interests of the people of Tennessee,” Newsom said. “I am thrilled to join his exceptional team. I look forward to this exciting opportunity to be of further service to my neighbors in Memphis and West Tennessee.”

A native of Memphis, Newsom received his bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College in 1976 and law degree from Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville in 1979.

Newsom is actively involved in the Riveroaks Reformed Presbyterian Church, where he is a ruling elder. He and his wife, Debra, have three grown children and two grandchildren.

Note: The position was previously held by Ross Dyer, now serving on the state Court of Criminal Appeals, according to Harlow Summerford, spokesman for the AG.

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