Barbara Holmes ’86 appointed federal magistrate judge for Middle District of Tennessee

Oct 12, 2015

Barbara Holmes '86Barbara Holmes ’86 was sworn in as a federal magistrate judge at a ceremony Oct. 7 in Nashville.

Holmes started work as a magistrate judge in August. She replaced Magistrate Judge Juliet Griffin, who retired July 31.

Holmes previously practiced as a partner with Harwell Howard Hyne Gabbert & Manner, where she headed the firm’s commercial bankruptcy and reorganization practice group. Before joining H3GM, Holmes worked with the U.S. Trustee’s office. She has more than 25 years of experience with restructuring and insolvency matters and commercial litigation in state and federal courts.

She is a master in the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court and a Fellow of the Nashville and Tennessee bar foundations. She served as president of the Nashville Bar Association in 2002 and on the NBA’s board of directs from 1999 to 2002 and from 2010 to 2015.

Originally from Colorado, Holmes moved to Nashville in the early 1980s to attend law school at Vanderbilt. An avid hockey and baseball fan, Holmes presented her investiture speech in the form of a letter to her two young grandchildren and used a baseball metaphor to explain her frame of mind as she begins work as a magistrate judge.

“I think what I learned from baseball will serve me well on the bench,” she said. “You don’t always know whether something is foul or fair right away. Sometimes the difference between the right and wrong call, a strike or a ball, is a matter of inches.”