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Three candidates receive nod for upcoming chancellor vacancy

June 14th, 2013 10:06 pm by Becky Campbell

Three candidates receive nod for upcoming chancellor vacancy

Chancellor Richard Johnson is set to retire from his current position at the end of the month.

Two Elizabethton attorneys and one from Jonesborough got the nod Friday from the Judicial Nominating Commission for possible selection to fill the Chancery Court judgeship being vacated by Chancellor Richard Johnson at the end of this month.

Greg Bowers and Regina Shepherd received 10 votes in the first round of the selection process after nearly three hours of interviews conducted by 13 of the 17-member commission. John Rambo received eight votes in the first two rounds and 11 votes in the third round.

To be selected as one of the three names to be submitted to Gov. Bill Haslam, the applicants had to receive nine votes from the commission.

Johnson, whose eight-year term ends in 2014, announced his retirement in May. His official retirement date is June 30. The chancellor serves the four counties — Washington, Carter, Unicoi and Johnson — that make up the 1st Judicial District. 

Chancery Court handles civil matters, much of which is domestic, child support and child custody issues, adoption, divorces and contract/debt cases. The chancellor also hears probate cases in Washington, Carter and Johnson counties.

“I appreciate the service of the members of the commission. I know how hard it is for them to do their job,” Bowers said. “I’m very honored to be one of the three chosen to pursue the chancellorship. This district will be well served regardless of who the selection is.”

Shepherd and Rambo were likewise appreciative.

 “I’m happy to be on the list with two other exceptionally qualified candidates. I appreciate all the help and kind words from the public and legal community.”

Shepherd was one of three women who applied for the position. “I’m really humbled,” she said. “I’m still in a little shock. I think this is a great process.”

The three were up against five other applicants — Charles Keith Bowers Jr., 42, Elizabethton; Suzanne S. Cook, 44, Johnson City; James Collins Landstreet II, 62, Johnson City; William Larry Monk Jr., 38, Jonesborough; and Lois Bunton Shults-Davis, 55, Unicoi.

Greg H. Bowers, 50, Elizabethton, received his law license in 1987 and is a co-equal partner with his brother at Allen, Nelson & Bowers. He currently has an exclusively civil practice handling probate, real estate and general civil cases and serving as special master, successor trustee and attorney ad litem.

Rambo, 43, Jonesborough, received his law license in 1994 and currently serves as the county attorney for Washington County. Prior to that, Rambo had a private practice in which he worked under contract as the county attorney. While in private practice, he handled probate matters, domestic cases and personal injury cases.

Shepherd, 43, Elizabethton, received her law license in 1999 and practices civil law at Rice & Shepherd in both the 1st and 2nd Judicial districts. Shepherd primarily handles domestic law cases, including contested and uncontested divorces and custody disputes. 

For more information, click links below for two previously published Johnson City Press articles:

Applications being accepted to replace retiring 1st Judicial District Chancellor Johnson

Chancellor Johnson, presiding judge of First Judicial District, to retire from 'dream come true' June 30

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