Memphis Criminal Court Judge Chris Craft was recently recognized by the Tennessee Lawyer’s Assistance Program as the group’s JAG Judicial Volunteer of the Year.
This is the first year of the award, which was presented at TLAP’s annual retreat at Montgomery Bell State Park.
The Judicial Assistance Group (JAG) is a network of judges from across the State of Tennessee who volunteer their time to reach out to other judges and to lawyers when needed to ensure TLAP’s consultation, intervention, expertise, or other assistance is available. JAG members have received training to help them in their volunteer work. JAG members have also given informational presentations, which are approved for CLE credit, to groups such as the Tennessee Judicial Conference, Tennessee Bar Association and the District Attorneys General Conference as well as local bar associations throughout the state.
Judge Craft has served as Shelby County’s Criminal Court Judge since 1994. He helped intervene and assist attorneys with mental health and substance abuse issues well before TLAP was created in 1999.
“As a TLAP volunteer and JAG member, Judge Craft has developed both a firm but understanding reputation in dealing with attorneys who are struggling with problems that may be impairing their ability to practice in the courtroom. Many attorneys have received treatment and are alive today due to Judge Craft’s dedication and commitment,” said Laura McClendon, executive director of TLAP, in a release.
The JAG members in Tennessee have been an integral part of TLAP’s reputation, leading TLAP to be consistently recognized as one of the top three state Lawyers Assistance Programs in the United States.