Judges

Sessions Court Judges Don Arnold, Janet Harding and Robert Lincoln

Sessions Court Judges Robert D. Arnold, Janet Vest Hardin and Robert Lincoln

 

Janet Vest Hardin was appointed Sessions Judge on Aug. 27 2020 by Governor Bill Lee and formally appointed by the Washington County Commission on Oct.26, 2020 to finish the term of the late Judge James Nidiffer.

Prior to her appointment, Judge Hardin worked as a defense attorney with Gene Scott after retiring from the District Attorney's office in 2019. There, she served as Assistant District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District from 1988-2019 and the 6th Judicial District from 1987-1988.

She has also held roles as an adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University and at Ritchie, Fels and Dillard. Hardin earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and her Bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University.

Robert Lincoln was elected Sessions Judge in 1998. A Kingsport native, Lincoln graduated from McCallie High School in Chattanooga and earned his undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Va., in 1984. Lincoln served two years on First District Congressman James H. Quillen's staff in Washington, D.C. before attending law school at University of Memphis's Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where he graduated in 1989.

Lincoln received his Tennessee law license in 1989 and practiced civil and criminal law as a partner in a local firm before his election to the judgeship. He was re-elected in 2006.

Lincoln has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Heroes in the Fight Award; a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Model Project Award in 2007 for his role in creation of the Washington County Mental Health Court; and a Frank G. Clement Community Service Award.


 
Robert D Arnold was appointed Sessions Judge in 2013 by the Board of County Commissioners. A Tennessee native, Arnold graduated from East Tennessee State University and went on to pursue his law degree at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he graduated in 1967.

Arnold received his Tennessee law license in 1967 and was in practice with a private local firm from 1967 until 2011.

Arnold has been a member of numerous associations and served in various capacities throughout his career.  Member of the Tennessee Bar Association 1968-present, serving in the House of Delegates in 1980. Served on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association 1985-1988.  Served as President of the Washington County Bar Association 1972-1973.  Member of the Federal Bar Association 2007-2011.  Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates 2000-2010.

Member of the Johnson City Board of Commissioners 1975-1979.  Served as Mayor of Johnson City 1977-1978.  Elected to the Tennessee State Senate 1986-1990. Member of the Public Building Authority Board of Directors 1998-2005 and appointed by the Johnson City Board of Commissioners to serve as Chairman 2003-2005.  Member of the Johnson City Housing Authority Board of Directors 1993-2003 and appointed by the Johnson City Board of Commissioners to serve two terms as Chairman.