The Circuit Judge of Part 1 presides over civil jury and nonjury cases.
Puckett estimates that at least 75 percent of his time is devoted to domestic relations cases within the district. He served as presiding judge of the 10th Judicial District for two terms and was instrumental in bringing the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Scales Project to the District in 2002.
He serves on the Pattern Jury Instructions (Civil) and Domestic Relations Committees of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. In addition to his trial court experience where he has tried more than 100 jury trials to verdict, Puckett has twice served on Special Supreme Court Worker’s Compensation Appeals Panels at the request of Chief Justice Gary Wade and Justice Sharon Lee. He has written three appellate opinions.
The judge is a lifelong resident of East Tennessee with more than 17 years of experience as a trial attorney in courts of the 10th Judicial District. He is now in his 17th year of service as district judge.
Prior to being elected judge in 1998, he served briefly as an assistant district attorney for the 10th Judicial District. In December 1997, after completing a merit review by the State’s Judicial Selection Commission, he was nominated by the commission and was appointed by Republican Gov. Don Sundquist to complete the term of the late Judge Earle G. Murphy.
He is seeking re-election to a third eight-year term which will begin Sept. 1, 2014.
Puckett was born May 7, 1951, in Bristol, Va. He is a 1973 graduate of Bryan College where he received his bachelor of arts in history. In 1979, he received his doctor of jurisprudence degree from Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law of the University of Memphis.
He has served on the board of trustees of Bryan College since 1987, and is a past president of the College Alumni Association and of the Cleveland Jaycees. He has been involved in numerous youth sports activities in Bradley County and has served as executive director of the Cleveland Express Track Club. He is also a past president of the Cleveland Middle School PTO.
Puckett is a charter member of the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as chaplain of the chapter for four years.
He attends Broad Street United Methodist Church. His wife, Patty Puckett, teaches English at Cleveland High School and college dual enrollment in conjunction with Lee University.
The Pucketts have three children, Andy, who works at Dell Computers in Nashville; Anna Carden, a nurse practitioner working in Cleveland; and Elizabeth Kubba, who is employed by Bradley County Schools, and a 5-month-old grandchild, Anna Love Carden.