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Carolyn Wade Blackett

Criminal Court
Division IV


201 Poplar Avenue
Walter L. Bailey, Jr., Criminal Justice Center

5th Floor
Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Carolyn Wade Blackett was appointed Judge of Division IV of the Shelby County Criminal Court by the Governor of Tennessee in 1994 and has been currently serving in that position for over seventeen years. She was the first female Criminal Court Judge in Shelby County and the first African American female Criminal Court State Judge in the State of Tennessee.

Judge Blackett earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree in 1982 from St. Louis University School of Law in St. Louis. Upon graduation, Judge Blackett was a practicing attorney at the National Labor Relations Board, Federal Express Corporation and Waring Cox Law firm until she received the appointment by the late Governor Ned McWherter as Criminal Court Judge in September 1994. Judge Blackett has stood successfully for re-election twice in Shelby County and was overwhelmingly successful in victory for each race.

Judge Blackett was appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve two consecutive terms on the Court of Judiciary, was appointed by the Tennessee General Assembly to serve on the Judicial Council for two consecutive terms and also was appointed to serve as Treasurer of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. She also served as Chairman of Judicial Sensitivity and Fairness Committee and served as a Class Instructor for new judges during Judicial Orientation. Judge Blackett has also attended and successfully completed numerous courses at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada; the National Center for Justice and Rules of Law at Oxford, Mississippi and more recently the Lipscomb University Institute For Conflict Management in Nashville, Tennessee where Judge Blackett has been certified as a Mediator in the State of Tennessee.

Judge Blackett has served on the Board of Trustees for Lausanne Collegiate School and has been very active with a number of other community projects involving young people including the Advisory Board of Make-A-Wish Foundation, Domestic Abuse and Violence Council and Porter Leath Foster Grandparent Program. Other organizations include Neighborhood Watch, Inc., Crime-Stoppers, Harbor House, the Exchange Club Child Abuse Center, Boys and Girls Club of Memphis and she is a charter member and continues to serve on the Memphis/Shelby Crime Commission.

Judge Blackett has served as Administrative Judge for two consecutive terms and is currently the Senior Criminal Court Judge for the Thirtieth Judicial District.

Judge Blackett is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Memphis Links Incorporated and Sisters-In-Motion Runners Club.

She is also an active member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church and the AGAPE Sunday School Class. She is the mother of two adult children.

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