Former judge Matt Sweeney, shareholder in the Nashville office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, was recently named chair of the National Judicial College (NJC) board of trustees. Sweeney has been a member of NJC’s board of trustees since 2011.
“I was fortunate to attend The National Judicial College General Jurisdiction course as a young judge. By far, it was the best and most useful judicial education I ever received. I am honored to now serve as board chair, which allows me to further advance the college’s mission. The NJC supports and sustains the American judiciary by providing ongoing training and education to underpin the rule of law and promote public confidence in the judiciary.”
Founded in 1963, The National Judicial College is the nation’s leading provider of judicial education. The first to offer programs to judges nationwide, the NJC continues to work with the judiciary to improve productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges to achieve judicial excellence. The College serves as the one place where judges from across the nation and around the world can meet to improve the delivery of justice and advance the rule of law through a disciplined process of professional study and collegial dialogue. By offering an average of 90 courses/programs annually with more than 4,000 judges attending from all 50 states, U.S. territories and more than 150 countries, the NJC seeks to further its mission of education, innovation and advancing justice. With the growth of online education, more than 4,000 judicial officers are accessing 30 to 50 web events each year.
For most of his career Sweeney has been a business trial lawyer. With a background in white collar criminal defense, he has concentrated his practice on complex, class action and shareholder derivative, and franchise litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Currently, his practice is focused on ADR as a mediator and arbitrator of hundreds of cases mostly throughout the Southeastern United States. Mr. Sweeney is also Baker Donelson’s Conflicts Counsel and advises attorneys on questions of legal ethics and professional responsibility. He is a former Circuit Court Judge in Nashville and was Presiding Judge of the district's Trial Courts. He has taught trial practice as an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt Law School and civil procedure as a lecturer at the Nashville School of Law; and he is a regular speaker and panelist in continuing legal education programs on trial practice, ADR, and ethics and professionalism. He incoming Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Committee on the Judiciary and is a master bencher and executive committee member in the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court.