Roy B. Herron

Roy Herron at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose

Roy Herron at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.

This experienced trial advocate has represented many injured victims and defended many businesses wrongly accused.  Herron brought the case for a wonderful teenager devastated by negligence and, after a month-long trial, the jury awarded a West Tennessee record $15.2 million.  He litigated a wrongful death case on behalf of a close friend’s widow and children and ultimately settled the case for a confidential amount believed to be an area record.  On the other hand, Herron recently defended a company falsely accused of wronging a former employee and after a week-long jury trial won a defense verdict.

EDUCATION.  Roy Herron graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with highest honors.  He became a Rotary Scholar at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, achieving first class honors in New Testament.  He then earned both a M.Div. and a J.D., becoming one of Vanderbilt University’s first two joint Divinity and Law graduates.

WORK.  Roy was ordained a Methodist minister and admitted to the Tennessee bar.  Before entering public service, he worked part-time as a minister, but has made his living primarily as a lawyer.

TEACHING.  At Vanderbilt, Roy taught both law and divinity students in courses he created on Religion and Law, Religion and Politics, and Justice Ministry and Advocacy.  At Vanderbilt Law School, he taught a Legislation Seminar.  At the University of Tennessee at Martin, Roy taught political science and criminal justice courses.  He also founded the Governor Ned McWherter Center for Rural Economic Development to help student leaders.

WRITING.  Roy is the author of dozens of articles and opinion essays and three books: Things Held Dear: Soul Stories for My Sons, Tennessee Political Humor: Some of These Jokes You Voted For (with Cotton Ivy) and God and Politics: How Can a Christian Be in Politics?

PUBLIC SERVICE.  Roy was elected to Governor Ned McWherter’s seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives, then to the Tennessee Senate where he became Floor Leader and Caucus Chair.  Roy worked in a bipartisan way to author dozens of laws strengthening ethics requirements, enabling health care, attacking crime, helping victims, and protecting children, workers, small businesses, whistleblowers and freedoms.  He held over 1,000 listening meetings, more than any other Tennessee legislator.  He attended almost 1,300 floor sessions, every session for 26 years except the day his youngest son was being born.

PERSONAL.  His “bride” of 29 years, Nancy, is another Divinity and Law graduate and was until 2015 a Tennessee Claims Commissioner.  She and Roy are the thankful parents of three Eagle Scouts. The Boston Marathoner has completed more than 30 marathons and ultra-marathons.  Last fall, he completed his seventh 140 mile Ironman Triathlon, each time swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and completing a 26.2 mile marathon.