Retired Judge Monte D. Watkins has joined Neal & Harwell, PLC, as Of Counsel, announced Ronald G. Harris, Chief Administrator of the firm.

“We are excited that Judge Watkins has decided to join the Neal & Harwell team,” said Harris. “Our entire community has been fortunate to have had him serve as a criminal court judge for so many years. We have always admired the wisdom of his judgments as well as the respect and fairness that he showed to all sides during his time on the bench. We look forward to working with him and believe his knowledge and experience will be invaluable to our firm and its clients.”

Watkins was previously appointed to the court by former Governor Phil Bredesen in 2003 where he served as judge for Division V of the Tennessee 20th Judicial District Criminal Court. Prior to his judicial appointment, Watkins practiced law for 19 years as a sole practitioner with an emphasis on criminal defense, probate law and real estate. Watkins received his J.D. from North Carolina Central University and earned his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Psychology from Tennessee State University.

During his career, Watkins has been named a Life Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Past President and Life Member of the Napier-Looby Bar Association; Life Member of the National Bar Association; Life Member of the National Bar Institute; Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation; Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation; Fellow of the Napier-Looby Bar Foundation; a Master in the American Inn of Court; Life Member of the Tennessee State University Alumni Association; and Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.