Honorable Joseph Boyles Jones Memorial Resolution

Memorial Resolution

Honorable Joseph Boyles Jones, Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals

Joseph Boyle Jones was a faithful servant of the law and for the citizens of Tennessee. His untimely death on May 1, 1998, was a great loss for us all.

Joe. B., as he was affectionately known, was born to loving parents on July 12, 1939, in Memphis. He was educated at Christian Brothers High School and St. Bernard College in Culman, Alabama, where he met his wife, Glenda Carol King. He studied law at the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1965.

Joe B. was in the private practice of law from 1965 to 1980, when he assumed the duties of Deputy Administrator for the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office. Among his duties were handling appeals in the appellate courts, consulting with staff attorneys concerning matters of procedure, evidence and trial strategy, and supervising the in-service training program for lawyers and investigators.

Joe B. did not limit his professional interests to the practice of law. He was a constant lecturer on legal issues. He was known as the “walking Tennessee Code Annotated.” He taught at the Cecil H. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis in the areas of criminal procedure and appellate practice.

Also, Joe B. was a prolific writer, publishing many articles in professional magazines. He received the Joseph W. Henry Memorial Award from the Tennessee Bar Association for the best article in the Tennessee Bar Journal. He was particularly proud of his book, Tennessee Criminal Trial Practice Forms, published in 1982 by The Harrison Company and presently in its third edition. He was nearly finished with a book on Tennessee appellate practice when he died.

Joe B. was active in legal organizations and applied his energies to the betterment of the justice system in Tennessee. He spent countless hours working through these organizations to improve the quality of legal representation that the citizens of Tennessee were receiving. Joe B. was president of the Memphis Trial Lawyers Association. He was president of the St. Thomas More Guild of West Tennessee. He was vice-president of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association. He was president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

On November 13, 1986, Governor Lamar Alexander appointed Joe B. to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lloyd Tatum. Joe B. was elected in 1988 for the balance of the unexpired term and was elected in 1990 for an eight-year term. He served as presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals from November 12, 1995 until his death.

Joe B. was tireless in his endeavors as a judge. He was known to work days, nights and weekends doing the business of the Court of Criminal Appeals for the benefit of the citizens of Tennessee. He wrote nine hundred seventy-nine majority opinions plus many separate opinions during his eleven and one-half years on the court and while sitting specially with the other appellate courts in Tennessee. One can count upon his opinions being thorough, scholarly written, and reflecting a just and fair result – Joe B. was never shied away from making the tough decision. Moreover, he not only strove to insure that justice had been done, but also that justice was perceived to have been done. He cared deeply about his work.

Joe B. was devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. He reveled in the lives and accomplishments of his children Sharon, Joe and Shannon. It should be noted that he dedicated his forms books to his wife and children with a quote, “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” One of his absolute joys was spending time with is grandchildren.

Joe B. loved his family, the law, and the citizens of Tennessee passionately. His life work contributed immeasurably to society through the system of justice. We grieve his passing, but we celebrate having known him. He made life better for so many.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that his memorial resolution be adopted and spread upon the minutes of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in honor of his memory and in recognition of this life, service to the law, and service to the people of Tennessee.

Joe B. Jones, P.J. was Sharon’s father, and my father in law.  His self-proclaimed nickname was, “Home of the Big Boy.”  A delight, he generously mentored me early in my career.