Judge Childers was elected as Circuit Court Judge in 1984, and re-elected in 1990, 1998, 2006 and 2014 and served as a Special Judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers’ Compensation Panel and the Tennessee Court of Appeals.  Judge Childers is a frequent presenter in Tennessee and nationally on the topics of Mindfulness in the Law; Vicarious Trauma; QPR Suicide Awareness & Prevention Training; and Mediation.  In addition, Judge Childers served in the following leadership positions:

  • Past President of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, 1999-2000.
  • Past President of the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, 1991-1995.
  • Past Chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) 2007-2011, Commission member from 2000-2014.
  • Served as Commissioner on the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program Commission (TLAP) from its inception in 1999 to 2009.
  • Charter member, past President (2004-06) and Master of the Bench of the Leo Bearman Sr. American Inn of Court, 1995 - present
  • Chair, Tennessee Judicial Conference Civil Pattern Jury Instruction Committee since 1991 (member since 1984)( Committee publishes the TENNESSEE PATTERN JURY INSTRUCTIONS - CIVIL ).
  • Past Chair, Tennessee Domestic Violence State Coordinating Council, 1999-2007 (member from 1998-2012).
  • Past Chair, Shelby County (TN) Domestic Violence Council, 1999-2000.
  • Elected twice by fellow state court judges as Presiding Judge of the Thirtieth Judicial District, 1989-90 and 1997-98.

Honors and Awards:

  • Recognized as Outstanding Judge of the Year by the Memphis Bar Association in 1986, 1999, and 2006, and by the MBA Family Law Section in 2005.
  • Recognized as Outstanding Judge of the Year by the Shelby County Deputy Sheriffs Association in 1990.
  • Received the Judge Wheatcraft Award from the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence for outstanding service in combating domestic violence in 2001.
  • Received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Memphis in 2002.
  • Received the Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award from the Tennessee Bar Association in 2012.
  • Received the Hazelden Foundation Excellence in Legal Community Leadership Award in 2012.
  • Named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Memphis Rotary Club in 2007.
  • Received the William M. Leech Public Service Award by the Fellows of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 2017.
  • Received the inaugural Judge Robert L. Childers Wellness Award by the Memphis Bar Association, 2019.
  • Recognized as a Pillar of Excellence by the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law Alumni Association of the University of  Memphis, 2019.

He has been a faculty member at the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada-Reno, and the Tennessee Judicial Conference Judicial Academy, and has been a frequent lecturer and speaker at continuing legal education seminars (over 250) and before numerous schools, civic, church and business groups in Tennessee and throughout the nation.

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