Derek K. Smith

Derek K. Smith

Derek K. Smith

Derek K. Smith was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam in 2011 as Circuit Court Judge and Chancellor for the 21st Judicial District, that includes Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties. The Circuit Court Judge has the responsibility for trying all types of civil and criminal cases. With respect to criminal cases, the Circuit Court Judge hears mostly felony (more serious) offenses. Regarding civil matters, the Circuit Court Judge hears and renders decisions on civil causes of action, including divorce and post-divorce matters, contract disputes, probate issues, personal injury cases, and orders of protection. The Judge also is responsible for hearing appeals from the juvenile court and general sessions court.

Prior to his appointment as Circuit Court Judge, Derek was a prosecutor for the 21stJudicial District for close to 20 years. During this time, Derek was the DUI Prosecutor, Drug Task Force Prosecutor, Tennessee Child Fatality Team Prosecutor and Child Protection Investigation Team Prosecutor.  As prosecutor, he served as an Assistant District Attorney General and the Deputy District Attorney General for the 21stJudicial District. As an Assistant District Attorney General and Deputy District Attorney General, Derek acquired extensive litigation experience. He has handled thousands of criminal cases, including cases ranging from homicides, sex offenses, narcotics, violent offenses and white collar thefts. Not only has Derek “handled” innumerable cases, he has tried cases before juries and judges in the 21stJudicial District, as well as in a multitude of other counties in Tennessee.

Additionally, Derek has served as Special ProsecutorDistrict Attorney General Pro-Tempore–for numerous districts and counties within Tennessee.

Derek is in private practice in the law firm of King, Turnbow, Smith & Vanzin, PLLP. Derek handles all criminal and DUI cases, divorce and post-divorce cases, juvenile cases and other family-related cases.

Derek is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law and Pepperdine University. Aside from practicing law, Derek believes in giving back to his community. Derek served in the United States Navy Reserves, and he stays involved in numerous civic and political organizations.

Former Circuit Court Judge and Chancellor

Former Deputy District Attorney General

Former Assistant District Attorney General

Former Special Prosecutor/District Attorney General, Pro-Tempore


Vanderbilt University School of Law, Juris Doctorate, 1992

Pepperdine University, Bachelor of Arts, 1989

Areas of practice:

Criminal defense

DUI defense

Family – Divorce and Post-Divorce

Child custody


Orders of Protection



Office: 615.794.5555

Emergency:  615.719.2354