Administrative Law Judge Biographies

Aaron, Mark W.

Judge Aaron earned B.A. degrees in English Literature and Philosophy, magna cum laude, at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. At the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, he completed a dual-degree program for his J.D. and M.B.A. (Finance) degrees. He was the Articles Editor of Transactions, The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, and was recognized by the Phi Kappa Phi honor society for his academic performance in the M.B.A. program.

Judge Aaron began his career in state government as a Legislative Performance Auditor for the Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of State Audit. He then served as a Staff Attorney for the State Board of Equalization, where, in addition to determining the tax exempt status of hundreds of properties, he clerked for and drafted final decisions and orders of the Assessment Appeals Commission, streamlined in-house property tax exemption research, and completed a battery of property appraisal and assessment coursework. During the three years prior to his appointment, he conducted appeal conferences on state and local tax disputes for the Department of Revenue as an Administrative Hearing Officer.

Begley, Michael

Judge Begley began serving as an Administrative Law Judge in 2014. He received his J.D. from Ohio Northern University in 2006 and a B.S. in political science from Middle Tennessee State University in 2003.

Judge Begley is licensed to practice law by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He began his service for the State of Tennessee as an Assistant General Counsel with the Bureau of TennCare in 2007, and he has also served as Assistant General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Judge Begley has received training in special education due process hearings and mediations brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and T.C.A. §49-10-606 (b).

Judge Begley resides in Hendersonville, Tennessee with his wife, Erin, who is also an attorney practicing locally. They have two sons.

Cambron, Elizabeth D. 

Judge Cambron received her Bachelor of Arts from Emory University in 1994 and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1998.  She was licensed to practice law by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1998.

In 1999, Judge Cambron began her legal career with the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General, serving as Assistant Attorney General and later Senior Counsel with the General Civil Division.  In this position, Judge Cambron represented state agencies in civil litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Judge Cambron joined the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services as Deputy General Counsel in May 2011, where she remained until becoming an Administrative Judge in 2015. 

Judge Cambron has completed training in Administrative Law: Fair Hearing through The National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.  She has also completed the required training in special education law to conduct special education due process hearings and mediations brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and Tennessee special education laws and   has been trained as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator.  In addition to her Tennessee law license, Judge Cambron is licensed to practice law before the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western districts of Tennessee and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  

 Carter-Ball, Joyce

Judge Carter-Ball has served as an Administrative Law Judge since 2004.  She received her J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a B.A. in psychology from Hampton University.

Judge Carter-Ball is licensed to practice law by the Tennessee Supreme Court.  In 1999, she began her service with the State of Tennessee as an Assistant General Counsel with the Department of Children’s Services.  In 2000, she began working with the Bureau of TennCare as an Assistant General Counsel.

Judge Carter-Ball has been trained as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 general civil mediator.  She has received training in judicial practice from the National Judicial College.  Judge Carter-Ball has received the required training in special education law to conduct special education due process hearings and mediations brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and Tenn. Code Ann. Sec.49-40-601 et. seq.

In April 2008, Judge Carter-Ball was invited by the National Judicial College to serve as a Group Facilitator for Mediation for Administrative Law Judges. 

Judge Carter-Ball’s first novel, “As Soft As Cotton,” was recently published.

Cochran, Jerome

Judge Cochran has served as an Administrative Law Judge since 2015. He received his J.D. from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1999 and his B.A. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1995.

Judge Cochran maintained his own law practice in Elizabethton, Tennessee from 2000-2015, where he practiced criminal and civil law in federal and state courts. Judge Cochran is a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee, House Children and Family Affairs Committee, and the House Transportation Committee. He has served on various civic and non-profit boards.

Judge Cochran resides in Hendersonville, Tennessee with his wife, Sandy, who is a registered nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. They have four children. 

Collier, Mary M.

Judge Mary M. Collier, Assistant Director and Administrative Judge, has served as an Administrative Judge since 2004.  In 2016, Judge Collier was appointed as the Assistant Director for the Administrative Procedures Division.  She received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1991, and her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1988 (Major:  Mathematics; Minor:  Business Administration).  Judge Collier has been licensed to practice law by the Tennessee Supreme Court since 1991. 

Judge Collier has received extensive training in judicial practice from the National Judicial College, having completed the following courses:  Mediation for ALJs, Administrative Law:  Fair Hearing, Administrative Law:  High Volume, Traffic Adjudication for ALJs, Advanced Evidence, Evidence Challenges for ALJs, Ethics for the Administrative Law Judge, Administrative Law:  Advanced, and Best Practices in Handling Cases with Self-Represented Litigants.  Judge Collier has also served as a Group Facilitator for the NJC Administrative Law:  Fair Hearing course.  In 2010, Judge Collier was awarded the National Judicial College Certificate in Judicial Development for Administrative Law Adjudication Skills.  

In addition, Judge Collier has been trained as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator.  Judge Collier has also received the training in special education law required to conduct special education due process hearings and mediations brought pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and the Tennessee special education laws.

In 1996, Judge Collier began her service with the State of Tennessee in the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General.  As an Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel with the Civil Litigation and State Services Division, she gained state and federal trial and appellate court experience in a variety of subjects.  Such subjects include employment law, ADA access, bid protest and contract litigation, and state administrative review.  Prior to joining the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General, Judge Collier was in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee, for five years.  While practicing law, Judge Collier was admitted to practice law before the United States District Courts for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Third, and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.  Judge Collier is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association.

Collier, Richard

Judge Collier, Chief Administrative Law Judge and Director, began serving as an Administrative Law Judge in 2011. He was initially assigned to the State Board of Equalization to hear appeals involving real and personal property tax assessments. Prior to his appointment, Judge Collier was employed as General Counsel with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority for thirteen years. While at the TRA, he served as a Hearing Officer in numerous utility rate and contested case proceedings. In his twenty plus years with the State of Tennessee, Judge Collier has also been an Assistant Attorney General representing state agencies and a state university in federal and state court actions and has worked with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.

Before coming to Tennessee, Judge Collier was a member of a major law firm in Miami, Florida where he litigated insurance defense cases for nine years. He has been licensed to practice law in Florida since 1978 and received his law license in Tennessee in 1992. He has been admitted to practice law before the United States District Courts for the Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee and the Southern District of Florida.

Judge Collier earned his B.S. (magna cum laude) in Criminology from Florida State University in 1975 and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1978. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree with honors from Vanderbilt University.

Judge Collier resides in Hendersonville, Tennessee with his wife, Bonnie, who is a Registered Nurse. They have four daughters and three sons-in-law.

Darnell, Stephen R.

Judge Darnell has served as an Administrative Judge since 2003. He is an alumna of the National Judicial College which has awarded him Certificates in Judicial Development in both Dispute Resolution Skills and Administrative Law Adjudication Skills. He is certified as a Rule 31, General Civil Mediator by the Tennessee Supreme Court. He has also completed required training to mediate and adjudicate special education cases (IDEA) as required by T.C.A. §49-10-606(b).

From 1991 to 2003 he was engaged in the practice of law specializing in civil litigation. From 1996 to 2006 he was certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Commission on Continuing Education and Specialization.

He received his B.B.A. from Austin Peay State University in 1988, his J.D. from the University of Memphis in 1990, and a Master of Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013. He is currently a candidate for the Doctorate of Judicial Studies (Ph.D.) at the University of Nevada, Reno with an expected graduation in May 2016.

Hilliard, Phillip R.

Judge Hilliard has served as an Administrative Judge since 2016. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee in 1998 and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Memphis School of Law in 2001. Judge Hilliard was licensed to practice law by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2001. He is also admitted to practice law in the United States Courts of Appeal for the D.C. and Sixth Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Tennessee.

Judge Hilliard is a career-long public servant, having begun his legal career prosecuting criminal cases for Tennessee’s 26th Judicial District as an Assistant District Attorney. Judge Hilliard joined the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in 2002 as an Assistant Attorney General, later becoming Senior Counsel, where he represented the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, as well as other state agencies, in both state and federal courts.

Judge Hilliard has completed training in conducting administrative proceedings (Administrative Law: Fair Hearing) at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. In addition, he has been trained to hear cases brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator.

Judge Hilliard resides in Williamson County, Tennessee, with his wife and children.

LaFevor, J. Randall

Judge LaFevor has served as an Administrative Judge since 1999.  He received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee in 1976, following his undergraduate studies at Middle Tennessee State University and active military duty as a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.  He has completed additional legal training at the Criminal Trial Practice Institute and the National Judicial College, and is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator.  Before joining the Administrative Procedures Division, Judge LaFevor was a Senior Assistant Public Defender in Davidson County until 1984, was engaged in the private practice of law in Nashville for eight years, and served as a Senior Referee of the Davidson County Juvenile Court from 1992 through 1998.

Pogue, Leonard F.

Judge Pogue began serving as an Administrative Judge in 2005. Prior to this, he was engaged in the practice of law in Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee for 17 years. He has completed the training to serve as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator as well as training in special education due process hearings and mediations pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act.

He completed his undergraduate education at the University of the South (Sewanee) in 1980 and earned his J.D. in 1987 from the University of Tennessee.

​Stovall, Thomas G.

Administrative Law Judge, Administrative Procedures Division, Office of the Tennessee Secretary of State. B.A. Earlham College; J.D. University of Tennessee. He has been trained as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 general civil mediator and has received extensive training in judicial management and practice from the National Judicial College and the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ).

Judge Stovall has also received the required training in special education law to conduct special education due process hearings and mediations brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 49-40-601 et. seq. Judge Stovall is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Central Panel Directors Conference and NAALJ. Judge Stovall is the current chair of the Administrative Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) and is also currently a member of the TBA Task Force on Judicial Conduct Rules.

He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the NAALJ. Judge Stovall has spoken on administrative law and special education topics before the TBA, Nashville Bar Association, and Tennessee Attorney General’s continuing legal education seminars, and the Tennessee Association of Administrators of Special Education. He has also been a panelist at numerous NAALJ national conferences. Judge Stovall is a former instructor of administrative law at the Southeastern Paralegal Institute and is the author of Alternative Dispute Resolution of County-Urban Growth in Tennessee, Spectrum, Vol. 75, No. 1, Winter 2002.

Summers, D. Kim

Judge Summers has served as an Administrative Judge since December 2011.  Judge Summers received her B.S. degree in Finance and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Maryland.  She was licensed to practice law in Tennessee in 2000.  She has received training from the National Judicial College in high volume judicial practice and self-represented litigants.  In addition, she has been trained to hear cases brought pursuant to the IDEA and as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator. 

Judge Summers began her career as a Tennessee state employee in 1999 with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. Thereafter, she worked as Deputy Legal Counsel to Governor Sundquist, Legal Counsel at the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, and Assistant / Deputy General Counsel with the Department of Human Services.

Judge Summers is married to Senior Judge Paul Summers. 

Thompson, Brook K.

Brook Thompson began serving as an Administrative Law Judge in 2009 and is assigned to the State Board of Equalization to hear real property and personal property tax appeals. A twenty year veteran of state government, he has served in a variety of capacities in the Department of State including Director of Charitable Solicitations and Director of Business Services. From late 1995 until early 2009 he served as the State Election Coordinator in Tennessee overseeing and supervising all elections conducted within the state.

Waterhouse, Rachel

Judge Waterhouse earned her B.A. from the University of South Carolina (Journalism major) and her J.D., cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law where she was an editor of the Stetson Law Review and member of the Honor Court.

Judge Waterhouse completed a two-year Federal Court clerkship in Nashville, and has both law firm and government legal experience. Prior to becoming an Administrative Judge, she had broad experience as a civil litigator in various Tennessee and Federal courts, and before agencies. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney/Civil Chief, she prosecuted and defended a wide range of Federal cases, including healthcare fraud, torts, employment discrimination and medical malpractice. Judge Waterhouse previously served as Deputy Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court where she dealt with attorney ethical issues; and Deputy General Counsel with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, where she supervised issues ranging from consumer affairs to insurance and securities. She was appointed as an Administrative Judge in 2014.

As a trained Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 general civil mediator, Judge Waterhouse has experience mediating cases. She has an active Tennessee law license and is admitted to practice law before several Federal courts. As a practicing attorney, Judge Waterhouse retained an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. She has been a Board or committee member of numerous bar association, civic and community organizations.

Williams, Mattielyn B.

Judge Williams has served as an Administrative Judge since February 1996. She received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1982 and B.A. in Psychology from Yale University in 1979.

Judge Williams has been trained as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 general civil mediator and is an alumna of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Judge Williams has received the required training in special education law to conduct special education due process hearings and mediations brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and Tenn. Code Ann. Section 49-40-601 et seq.

Judge Williams began her career in State government with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, working with Geier desegregation lawsuit matters, as well as staffing a host of enrichment programs, from Eisenhower Mathematics and Science grants to the Minority Teacher Education Fellowship Program.

Judge Williams is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and Napier-Looby (affiliate of National Bar Association.) Bar Association. Judge Williams was the first African-American and first State-employee member of the Editorial Board for the Tennessee Bar Association Journal. Judge Williams co-chaired the TBA’s Diversity Committee, 2012-2014. Judge Williams has served as a panelist at Nashville Bar Association CLE and NAALJ programs. 

Wilson, Rob

Judge Wilson has served as an Administrative Judge since 2001. He received his J.D. from the Nashville School of Law and his B.A. from Temple University.

Judge Wilson has been trained as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 general civil mediator. He has received extensive training in high volume administrative hearings from the National Judicial College and the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ). Judge Wilson has received the required training in special education law to conduct special education due process hearings and mediations brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act (IDEA) and Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 49-40-601 et. seq.

Judge Wilson is a member of the American Bar Association, American Health Lawyers Association, and the National Association of Administrative Law Judges.