Haslam Appoints Nichols Criminal Court Judge in 30th Judicial DistrictReplaces retiring Judge James C. Beasley, Jr.
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today appointed Jennifer S. Nichols of Memphis as Criminal Court Judge for the 30th Judicial District, which serves Shelby County.
Nichols, 55, replaces Judge James C. Beasley, Jr., who retired effective December 31.
Nichols has been Deputy District Attorney General in Shelby County since 2014. In that capacity, she served as the first assistant to District Attorney General Amy Weirich and oversaw the day-to-day activities of the office.
Nichols joined the District Attorney General’s Office in 1991, serving as a prosecutor until 2003 when she left to join the law department of the United States Postal Service. She returned to the District Attorney General’s Office six years later and served as chief prosecutor for the Special Victims Unit from 2010-2014.
“Jennifer Nichols has a deep background of service in the 30th Judicial District and we are fortunate to have someone with her experience to serve as Criminal Court Judge,” Haslam said.
“I very much appreciate the governor’s confidence in me, and I look forward to serving the public in the 30th Judicial District,” Nichols said. “Judge Beasley has been on the bench a long time, and I will try to make the transition seamless.”
Nichols began her legal career in 1988 at the law firm of Taraska, Grower, Unger and Ketcham in Orlando, Fla. She received her law degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis School of Law since August 2012.
Nichols has a daughter, Austin, who serves as an assistant district attorney in Memphis.