By Mike Steely
Since 1986 Geoffrey P. Emery has served at Knox County Sessions Judge Division II. He announced his retirement and December 31st will be his final day on the bench. On Friday he was honored in a ceremony in the small assembly room of the City-County Building and people were lined up all the way to the main hall hoping to see and chat with Judge Emery. He is also on the Knox County Commission agenda to be recognized and honored.
“Over the years you have made significant contributions to our community. Knox County has been fortunate to benefit from your wisdom and experience,” Congressman Tim Burchett said in a letter read by his Knoxville Office Director Jennifer Linginfelter.
“You, Judge Emery, are the epitome of the true public servant,” the congressman’s address said. The retiring judge was then presented with an American flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol.
The staff and judges of the sessions courts also made a presentation to Judge Emery “in love, admiration and respect.”
“I’m proud of our court, we have good judges. In sessions court it takes a lot of people every day. We have people who are patient and kind.”
Judge Emery said he and his wife, Suzann Turner Emery, plan to travel after retirement. The Emerys have two grown sons and five grandchildren. Aside from travel he wants to spend some quality time with his family, Judge Emery told the large crowd who were anxious to shake his hand and chat. He referred to a cardiac incident he had had and how thankful he was to the medical staff who helped him.
Emery was in private practice briefly before being elected as Sessions Judge. The Maine native is a graduate of UT with a political science degree and a graduate of the UT College of Law. He served as the county’s full-time deputy law director.
The judge was re-elected five times and while judge he served with the Tennessee General Sessions Judicial Conference Executive Committee and as conference president. He is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, and the Tennessee General Sessions Judge Conference.