Blount County Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young, announced on Sunday, after the swearing-in of Governor Bill Haslam, that he is retiring.
On Monday, Judge Young, who serves as Division I judge, said that while he does have some health issues, his decision to retire was a matter of the timing "just being right."
"At age 72 and after 32 years of credited service, I just feel like it's time to move on," Judge Young said. "I wanted to wait to be certain a Republican governor would appoint my successor, and now I want to just rest up and enjoy retirement."
Judge Young said he was going to stay in Maryville and enjoy the things he loves to do. "I like all kinds of artwork, and especially doing watercolors. I especially love being with my friends, and I have a host of them who check on me every day. I look forward to spending more time with them because we just have a ball!"
The process of selecting a replacement for his position is one where applications will be considered and members of a state judicial nominating committee will submit three names to the governor, Judge Young said. The governor can select from those three names or ask the committee to send more names.
In 2007, when Judge D. Kelly Thomas was named to the state Court of Appeals, vacating his position as Division II Blount County Circuit Court Judge, 11 members of the Tennessee Judicial Selection Committee accepted applications, did interviews and submitted three names -- Craig Garrett, Mike Meares and Stacey Davis Nordquist, all of Maryville, to Gov. Phil Bredesen. Bredesen chose Meares, who served until elections in September of 2008, when the Republican candidate David Duggan won the judgeship.
Judge Young was educated in the Maryville School System, graduating Maryville High School in 1956. He received a B. A. Degree from Maryville College and an L. L.B. and JD (Doctor of Jurisprudence) Degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1963. He attended Security and Exchange schools, several banking schools and was graduated from the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Judicial Academy.
Judge Young engaged in the private practice of law for some 8 years before joining
The Winfield Dunn for Governor Campaign as East Tennessee Manager in 1969.
While in private practice, he served on several boards and commissions for the City of Maryville, for County Government and the Blount Chamber of Commerce. He was a member (“Squire”) of the Blount County Quarterly Court (Blount County Commission).
After returning home from Nashville, Young served as House counsel for a bank holding company and was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the Honorable James H. Jarvis who was elevated to the Federal Bench.
Judge Young said that while he has enjoyed all of his work, he does have a favorite part.
"For years we have had what we call Adoption Day where we do 20 to 30 adoptions on each of those days, most of them for the state of Tennessee," Judge Young said. "But we also did adoptions as a matter of course throughout the docket year, and those all gave me so much pleasure. It was so wonderful to be see children who needed good homes go to good homes where they would be cared for and loved."
In addition to Judge Young, Blount County judges are David Duggan, Circuit Court Division II; Mike Gallegos, General Sessions Division 1; William Terry Denton, General Session, Division II; William R. Brewer, General Sessions Division III; and Robert Headrick, General Sessions Division IV.