Haslam names new Memphis judge (a past Shelby GOP chair)

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed Mary L. Wagner of Memphis as circuit court judge for the 30th Judicial District, which serves Shelby County.


The vacancy was created by the retirement of Judge Donna M. Fields.

Since 2011, Wagner, 32, has been at the Memphis law firm Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, where she has worked in general practice with an emphasis on family law and non-profit/business organization and defense.  Other areas of her practice there have included personal injury and probate.


While at the firm, she taught at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis from 2012-2014 as an adjunct professor, teaching second-year law students advanced skills in legal writing and oral advocacy and first-year students legal writing, research and analysis.


“With her extensive background in Shelby County, Mary Wagner is well prepared for a seat on the circuit court in the 30th Judicial District,” Haslam said. “We are fortunate to have someone with her experience, and we are pleased to announce this appointment.”


“I would like to thank the governor for his confidence in me,” Wagner said. “I am deeply humbled and honored by this opportunity. I look forward to serving the citizens in the 30th Judicial District.”


Before joining Rice, Amundsen & Caperton, Wagner was at the Leitner, Williams, Dooley and Napolitan firm from 2010-2011. She was a law clerk from 2009-2010 for Judge Steven Stafford of the Tennessee Court of Appeals, law clerk for Judge Robert L. Childers in the Shelby County Circuit Court from 2008-2009 and worked as an extern in 2008 with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Tennessee. Wagner was a research assistant in 2007 for Prof. Andrew McClurg during law school.


She has been a member of the Post Conviction Defender Oversight Commission since June 2015.


Wagner received her law degree from the University of Memphis in 2009. She received a bachelor’s degree in 2006 from the University of Colorado, majoring in political science.


Wagner has also been active in her community, including membership in the Germantown Kiwanis Club since 2011 and a member of the Hermitage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution since 2013. Wagner has been a member of the Christ United Methodist Church since 2015 and was previously a member of Germantown Baptist Church.


Wagner is married to Tom Owen, and they have a son, Benjamin.

Note:  She’s also the past chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, resigning the position earlier this year, reports Jackson Baker.

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