Friends of retiring Circuit Court Judge Dale W. Young gathered to celebrate a portrait unveiled in his honor in the courtroom where he served for years.
The reception, hosted by attorneys of the Blount County Bar, was held Feb. 19 in Young’s former courtroom on the third floor at the Blount County Justice Center.
Judge Young thanked the lawyers for organizing the reception. “It is an honor beyond belief. They did such an outstanding job,” he said. “I’m so proud of the Blount County Bar, and I’m so grateful to them for what they’ve done. It an honor for me.”
General Sessions Judge Robert Gallegos said Young’s greatest impact has been through his understanding and professionalism. “He’s had such an impact on people who have come before him in the way he dealt with their cases,” he said.
Attorney and Alcoa City Municipal Judge Alan Bray said Young has shown 100 percent integrity on and off the bench. “He was straightforward about everything and that is good for the system,” he said.
State Criminal Court of Appeals Judge D. Kelly Thomas Jr. said Young took the bench shortly after Thomas became a lawyer. “He’s had a stabilizing effect,” Thomas said. “The way he was consistent and polite, and his personal and professional life was always appropriate.”
County commissioner Peggy Lambert said the judge set the example by his honor, integrity and honesty. “He’s a true Southern gentleman,” Lambert said.
Attorney Melanie Davis, president of the Blount County Bar, praised Young for his work in the justice system. “It was always a joy to practice law in his courtroom. You didn’t have to worry about the judge or the courtroom being a problem,” she said. “He was always such a gentleman. We’ll miss him.”
Amanda Nolan worked as an executive assistant to the judge for 10 years and said she appreciated the kind way he dealt with people in and out of court. “I loved to watch him do adoptions. It was a pleasure to see how happy it made him,” she said. “He always tried to make it a special event for the families.”