First female to oversee city court
Mt. Juliet's first female city judge was appointed Monday night.
Long-time local attorney and community advocate Carolyn Christoffersen will replace Andy Wright, who conducted court nearly six years. He recently turned in his resignation.
It was a bittersweet and "super tough decision" for commissioners because they said the two candidates for the part-time position were "refreshingly excellent." Trey Marshall was the other candidate. Both he and Christoffersen filled in for Wright in his absence.
The commissioners had to nominate who that wanted to be the next city judge and said they wished the candidates could be co-judges, because they didn't want to make a decision. However, Christoffersen was nominated first and appointed after a unanimous vote. However, in an unprecedented move, Marshall was appointed deputy city judge. Both will be sworn in on April 11 at the 6:30 p.m. city commission meeting.
'Opportunity to serve the community'
After the vote, a humble Christoffersen spent some time with The Wilson Post.
She's been practicing transactional law out of her Mt. Juliet office for 11 years. She's also part owner of Legends Title.
She was inundated with calls and said her head "was still spinning" with the news.
"I'm excited and humbled," she said. "I think it's an honor to have been considered, and I love my community."
She said she was approached about her possible interest in the position and didn't have to think twice since she'd conducted court in Wright's absence and enjoyed the process. She submitted a letter of interest.
"For me it is an opportunity to serve my community, and I have no aspirations at this time in my life to be a full-time judge. I want to practice law and serve the community. To me it's a natural progression. I think the world of the Mt. Juliet Police Department."
In essence, the city judge conducts traffic court once a week, both adult and juvenile.
"I enjoyed when I oversaw the court, especially the juvenile court," she said.
"As you know, I have a very maternal instinct!"
Indeed. Married to Marcus, they have three children (all boys) with another due the week of May 23.
"Yes, another boy!" she said.
Stephen, 9, Jacob, 6, and Noah, 3, are the lights of her life, she noted.
This busy mom and businesswoman said she would meet with MJPD Chief James Hambrick to work out transition details to the job, such as what night to hold court. Currently, it's held on Thursday nights.
A civil servant
Christoffersen is well known in the community for her advocacy and volunteerism. She belongs to the Mt. Juliet Noon Rotary Club, serves on the Mt. Juliet Chamber and City Parks boards, is a board member at the Mt. Juliet Senior Center and graduated from the Leadership Wilson 2015 class. And that's just the beginning.
How does she do it all?
"I have a very supportive husband, and I think I'm just really organized," she noted.
Her husband is a coach and teacher and Mt. Juliet High School and was not present during her appointment because he was at home watching the three boys.
"We work well together," she said. "We juggle our schedules. Tonight I made dinner, drove to city hall and he served dinner and took one of the boys to practice!"
In her not-so-spare time anymore, she loves to cook and entertain. And before children, she loved to read because there was time.
Writer Laurie Everett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.