Administrative Office of the Courts

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) provides support to the Tennessee Supreme Court and the entire state court system. The director, appointed by the Supreme Court, is administrative officer for the courts and oversees the AOC.

Duties of the office include:

·Preparing the court system’s annual budget
·Providing computers, other equipment, training, and technical support for judges and other court personnel
·Assisting judges with case assignments
·Administering payroll accounts for the court system
·Conducting orientation for new judges and staff members
·Administering the official state criminal court reporters system
·Providing assistance to judicial committees
·Compiling court data
·Managing and disbursing funds to court-appointed attorneys representing indigents

News

January 6, 2022
The Jackson, Nashville, and Knoxville Supreme Court Buildings will be closed on Friday, January 7, 2022, due to inclement weather conditions. Governor Bill Lee has also closed state office buildings...
December 15, 2021
The Tennessee Supreme Court announced today that Deputy Director Michelle Long will become the next Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Long was appointed Deputy Director in...
December 2, 2021
Tate is credited with historic innovations, modernization of the court system, child welfare reforms and innovative national pilot projects Deborah Taylor Tate, Director of the Administrative...
October 13, 2021
U.S. District Court Judge Waverly Crenshaw welcomed to Nashville a banquet hall full of female judges from across the United States and far-off corners of the world to the 43rd Annual National...
September 9, 2021
The Tennessee Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts, Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the Tennessee Department of Human Services, and the Tennessee Housing...
July 2, 2021
Tennessee lawmakers passed several key pieces of legislation this year that will improve and impact the state’s court system. From the creation of new three-judge panel to hear certain constitutional...
June 23, 2021
The new Tennessee State Library & Archives is a treasure trove for judges and attorneys searching for historical information related to court cases, legislative history, or personal records that...

Contact

Administrative Office of the Courts
511 Union Street
Suite 600
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 741-2687
(800)-448-7970
Fax: (615) 741-6285 

Administrative Director

Deborah Taylor Tate is the Administrative Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Tate was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court in January 2015 to oversee the administrative functions of the state court system. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is an office of approximately 75 people who provide training, legal education, technical, finance and other support to the trial and appellate judges and courts across the state.

In addition to serving as chief operating officer, she is currently serving as co-chair of the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators National Opioid Task Force and on the COSCA Board of Directors, the Juvenile Justice Task Force, the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System Board of Trustees, the Information Systems Council, the Human Trafficking Advisory Council, the Three Branch Institute, and the Tennessee Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council.

A former FCC Commissioner, Tate, who was twice nominated by President George W. Bush and unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate to the FCC, began her professional career in Tennessee state government. She served as assistant legal counsel and senior policy advisor to two former Tennessee governors: Don Sundquist and Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Tate also served as both Chairman and director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, led the health facilities commission and was a director at Vanderbilt University Institute of Public Policy.

Tate has remained active at the international level in her role as the first Special Envoy to the International Telecommunications Union and was recognized as a Laureate for her work with child online issues. Nationally, she serves as a director of Healthstream, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTM); and is the Centerstone Research Institute’s National Policy Co-Chair for Mental Health Advocacy.

Tate, a licensed attorney, is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed Mediator, Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow, and served in private practice representing families and juveniles in juvenile court as a guardian ad litem. She was also president of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) board. Previously, she coordinated both the Juvenile Justice Commission and the Title 33 Commission, which rewrote the entire mental health law for the state of Tennessee. In 2009, she was introduced before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

She is alumnae of Leadership Tennessee and Leadership Nashville.

Tate has received numerous awards, including the Janice M. Holder Access to Justice Award; Tennessee Human Trafficking Impact Award, End Slavery Tennessee; Outstanding Public Service Award, Women in Numbers; Outstanding Public Service from Common Sense Media, the Good Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America, the Carol Reilly Award from the New York State Broadcasters Association, the D.C. Policy Leader award from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the YW Award from the Academy for Women of Achievement, and the Jerry Duvall Public Service Award from the Phoenix Center for Advanced Public Policy Studies. She received the prestigious Mary Harriman award from the Association of Junior Leagues International (both Martha Ingram and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor are recipients).

Tate received both her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and also studied at Vanderbilt University Law School while working as a law clerk to Governor Alexander.

A fifth-generation Tennessee native, Tate is a committed volunteer, giving generously of her time and talent to many, including Common Sense Media, Centerstone of Tennessee, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and Renewal House, an organization she helped found. She serves as an elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church and lives in Nashville with her husband, William H. Tate, who is a partner in the law firm of Howard, Tate, Sowell, Wilson, Leathers & Johnson. They have adult children and one grandson.