The Tennessee Bar Association and its Executive Committee have chosen Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr. as the 2017 recipient of the Justice Frank F. Drowota, III Outstanding Judicial Service Award. This award is given to a judge or judicial branch official of a federal, state or local court in Tennessee who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion and dedication to the improvement of the law, our legal system, and the administration of justice as exemplified by the career of Justice Frank F. Drowota, III. 


The award will be presented to Judge Susano at the Tennessee Bar Association’s 2017 Annual Convention in Kingsport on Friday, June 16th. Judge Susano has served on the Tennessee Court of Appeals since 1994, serving as Chief Judge from 2012 to 2014. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee College of Law. He began his legal career in 1963 as a law clerk for Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Hamilton S. Burnett. He later worked as a Knox County Assistant Attorney General and was in the private practice of law in Knoxville until he was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1994.


Judge Susano has received numerous awards and honors including the disABILITY Resource Center’s Spirit of the ADA Award, the Knoxville Bar Association’s Courage in the Face of Adversity Award, the American Board of Trial Advocates’ Appellate Judge of the Year award, and the University of Notre Dame’s Man of the Year award. He is a Fellow of the Tennessee and American Bar Foundations. Judge Susano is the editor of Remembering U.S. District Judge Robert L. Taylor and is a frequent lecturer and presenter to legal and community groups.


Judge Susano is active in his community, and his service includes the Rogers Foundation Board of Directors, disABILITY Resource Center Board of Directors, Shepherd Spinal Center (Atlanta) Advisory Board, Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the InterFaith Health Clinic, Board of Directors of the Knoxville Area Urban League, Project First Offender Board of Directors, Knox Area Mental Health Association member, and Board of Directors of Catholic Charities. He and his wife, Carolyn, reside in Knoxville and are the parents of three adult children, Stephen Susano of Brentwood, Maria Susano of Arlington, VA, and Charlie Susano, III of Knoxville, and have six grandchildren.