The 12-member Tennessee Court of Appeals has elected D. Michael Swiney of Knoxville as chief judge.
The chief judge has been responsible for assigning cases, ensuring that legal proceedings advance in a timely manner and other administrative duties. The term has been set to last one year.
Swiney was engaged in private practice from 1979 to 1999, when then-Governor Don Sundquist, a Republican, named him to the appeals court bench.
Swiney last year wrote the opinion reinstating a defamation lawsuit against former Republican state Senator Stacey Campfield for publishing false information on his blog about a Democratic candidate in 2008.
Swiney wrote in the opinion that "Contrary to the vintage Cole Porter song, `Anything Goes' will not suffice when it comes to publishing factual falsehoods about political rivals."