First Judicial District

Tennessee's First Judicial District: Big Mandate, Big Job

Tennessee's First Judicial District encompasses the counties of Washington, Unicoi, Carter and Johnson. The Criminal, Circuit and Chancery court judges who serve Washington County also serve the other counties of the district. The District Attorney and Public Defender's offices, both headquartered in Washington County, also service all four of these counties.


The district holds elections for two Criminal Court, two Circuit Court and one Chancery Court judge, all of whom serve eight-year terms. The other elected officials in the district are the District Attorney, who oversees prosecution of cases, and the District Public Defender, who is charged with providing defense for citizens who can't afford counsel.

District Attorneys & Defense Attorney

The District Attorney (DA) General's office, under the leadership of Steve Finney, currently includes 17 attorneys, two of whom specialize in child support cases. Three attorneys are assigned to Carter County and one each to Unicoi and Johnson Counties. The other 10 assistant DAs are assigned to Washington County. They prosecute criminal cases of all kinds, in both Criminal and Sessions courts. Finney's office can be reached at 423-753-5020.

Finney's counterpart on the defense side is Jeff Kelly, who also employs a sizable group of public defenders and support staff. Kelly's office can be contacted at 423-434-6845.

Additional Information

Further information, and biographies, on the attorneys of the district is available by visiting the attorney's section. Information on the judges is available under their respective courts.