Judge Monte D. Watkins recently received the 2012 Z. Alexander Looby Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the legal community, academia and public service. Watkins has been a criminal court judge since 2003. Prior to his appointment, he worked as a private practitioner focusing on criminal defense, probate law and real estate.
Both Judge Keta J. Barnes and Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton received the 2012 J.C. Napier Trailblazer Award. The award recognizes the courage and resilience exemplified in their decisions to take the road less traveled. They were thanked for “blazing a trail of excellence that will serve as a map for future generations to follow for many years to come.”
Judge Keta J. Barnes was elected to serve an eight year term as the presiding judge of Smyrna Municipal/General Sessions Court. She became the city’s first African-American elected official and the first African-American female judge elected in Rutherford County.
Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton was elected to the Davidson County General Sessions Court in 2006. She was the first African-American woman elected to a judgeship in Nashville.