Race for Judge in Rutherford County takes a turn

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ABOVE: Alleged flyer sent by Nathan Nichols campaign.

We have an update in the local battle for the seat of judgeship in Rutherford County. In the race, current Judge Barry Tidwell is running against Nathan Nichols.

Judge Tidwell has retained attorney Brad Hornsby with Bulloch, Fly, Hornsby and Evans, Attorneys At Law suggesting that opponent Nichols has made untrue remarks in a campaign flyer.

The flyer in question allegedly focused on a past case involving a ruling that could have affected a juvenile. Hornsby wrote, "In your mailer that arrived in mailboxes on or about April 20, 2018, you make the statement that a 'candidate for judge ruled that a child rapist could live in the same house as an 11-year-old girl.' You further state that 'liberal candidate for judge and former criminal defense attorney Barry Tidwell ruled that a man convicted of raping a 12-year-old child could share a house with an 11-year-old girl."

Hornsby went on to state, "These statements are false and misleading. In fact, Judge Tidwell ordered on February 23, 2018, 'Defendant's request to live in the home of his mother where an 11-year-old minor also resides is hereby DENIED."

The letter to Nichols that was said to be hand delivered, closed with the lawyer representing Judge Tidwell writing, "Clearly, as an experienced attorney you know that false and misleading statements are prohibited by the Judicial Code of Conduct."


I have been retained by Judge Barry Tidwell concerning some defamatory and untrue remarks made by his opponent, Nathan Nichols. The recent flyer sent out by his opponent was a misleading and false characterization of a ruling by Judge Tidwell in a particular case. Attached is my letter to Nathan Nichols that was hand-delivered to him shortly after noon today. I have not received a response and do not anticipate receiving one as he immediately left the office with the Smyrna City attorney on government time to apparently get advice concerning my letter.


The most important fact that Mr. Nichols fails to point out is that at the final hearing on February 23, 2018, the request of the defendant was DENIED. The ruling by Judge Tidwell was the individual was NOT permitted to live in the house (I have included the ruling also). Mr. Nichols also fails to point out that the DA's office initially did not even oppose the motion of the defendant (judges often rely on the positions of the DA's office who are generally very aware of the particular facts and law). The failure of Mr. Nichols to reveal these pertinent facts was either intentionally misleading or shows complete incompetence on his behalf as he is running for judge.

Typically individuals have run for office based upon their qualifications. Unfortunately, Mr. Nichols cannot rely on his meager qualifications as over 97% of the members of the Rutherford/Cannon County Bar Association believe that Barry Tidwell is qualified to be the judge. Unfortunately for Mr. Nichols, over two-thirds of the same members believe that Mr. Nichols is NOT qualified. This group of attorneys is not a group of liberal trial attorneys, but includes judges, divorce attorneys, prosecutors, public defenders, city attorneys, insurance attorneys, plaintiff's attorneys, and attorneys of all walks of life. Just like doctors know who the better doctors are, attorneys know the same. Attorneys want a judge who will treat them and their clients with respect and follow the law.


The puffery in Mr. Nichols' other advertisements are also misleading as to his qualifications. First, he claims to have been the "Chief Child Sexual and Physical Abuse Prosecutor". He held this job for a very short period of time when the previous prosecutor (Laurel Hemenway) was fired and the current prosecutor (Hugh Ammerman) was hired. He claims to be a "Vehicular Homicide and Assault Prosecutor" while in reality it would surprise me if he ever did more than one jury trial for vehicular homicide (J. Paul Newman is the primary homicide prosecutor). Finally, while he may have been an assistant DA, he utterly fails to point out this election is for a CIVIL position. I would doubt that Nathan Nichols has ever personally filed or defended a divorce, adoption, personal injury lawsuit, child support, workers' compensation lawsuit, or any of the other myriad of cases that find themselves before our civil judges. His experience in this area is so lacking, he puffs up his criminal experience and is misleading the voters about this election.

Barry Tidwell wanted this election to be based upon the qualifications of the candidates. Unfortunately, as Mr. Nichols has engaged in gutter politics with misleading and outlandish statements. Action has to be taken to educate the voters of the falsehoods being broadcast by Mr. Nichols.

Details of the information are below...

Read more from:
Barry Tidwell, Brad Hornsby, Judge, Murfreesboro, Nathan Nichols
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