Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Gary Starnes Receives Judge Leon Ruben Memorial Award for Excellence

March 16, 2022

Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Gary Starnes was presented the 2021 Leon Ruben Memorial Award for Excellence at the spring 2022 General Sessions Judges Conference.

This award is given out annually to a judge or judges who distinguish themselves through their outstanding service to the community, the conference, and the judiciary as a whole.

"I am blessed and honored to receive this distinguished award from my colleagues and our judicial conference,” Judge Starnes said. “I am also very humbled and appreciative that my colleagues think so much of me. Thank you so much."

Judge Starnes was elected to the Hamilton County General Sessions Court in 2012. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and his juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator and an Arbitrator in Tennessee. He previously served as president of the General Sessions Judges Conference and is currently leading the efforts to establish a Veterans Court in the Hamilton County General Sessions Court.

“Judge Starnes has extended his efforts to assist the conference in many ways during the time of his membership,” said Judge Lila Statom, who is currently president of the General Sessions Conference.

The Leon Ruben Memorial Award is named for Judge Ruben, who served as a sitting judge for 37 years in Nashville. He also served as a Metro Council Member and was known for his excellent contributions to the community.

Judge Lila Statom, President of the General Sessions Conference, presents the award to Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Gary Starnes.