B.S., University of Tennessee
J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law
Gary R. Wade was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2006 and served as Chief Justice from September 1, 2012, to August 31, 2014. Prior to his appointment, Justice Wade served on the Court of Criminal Appeals for 19 years and served as Presiding Judge of that court for eight years.
Justice Wade was named by the American Board of Trial Advocates as the Tennessee Appellate Judge of the Year in 2004 and the Southeastern Appellate Judge of the Year in 2014. Last year, the Tennessee Bar Association awarded Justice Wade the Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award. He served as president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in 1995-1996 and is the founder of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Foundation, which awards 20 need-based scholarships per year at the various law schools in the state.
In July of 2015, Justice Wade announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. Shortly afterward, Lincoln Memorial University announced that Justice Wade had accepted an offer to become Dean and Vice President of the Duncan School of Law.
Before taking the bench, Justice Wade was in private practice for 15 years. He also served as mayor of Sevierville, Tenn., from 1977 to 1987. Justice Wade received both his law degree and his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee.
An active member of the community, Justice Wade is co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which, since its founding in 1993, has raised more than $50 million to fund historic preservation, wildlife management, environmental education and more in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Justice Wade is also a co-founder of Leadership Sevier.
Justice Wade and his wife, Sandy, have three children: A. Zachary Wade, Katherine Wade, and Elizabeth Wade. They are also the proud grandparents of six wonderful grandchildren: Taegen, Claire, Gretchen, Chaz, Reagan, and Sidney.