A resolution honoring the life and accomplishments of Nashville’s Public Defender Ross Alderman.

WHEREAS, Ross Alderman was an exemplary public servant who is remembered by his colleagues and close friends as a man of great integrity and a hard worker who cared about fairness, truth and ethics; and

WHEREAS, he served with acumen and alacrity as Public Defender of Nashville and Davidson County since November of 1999 until his untimely passing on August 9, 2008; and

WHEREAS, Ross Alderman was born and raised in Hardee County, Florida where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout; he graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1976, is survived by his wife, Patricia J. Cottrell, a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and the proud father of son Noah a graduate from Hillsboro High School; and

WHEREAS, prior to serving as Public Defender for Nashville and Davidson County, Ross was Deputy Public Defender for seven years and has worked in the Office as a lawyer for over twenty years and in addition to his work in the Office, his long career as a criminal law practitioner has included experience as an Assistant United States Attorney and as an Assistant Federal Public Defender; and

WHEREAS, a conscientious member of his profession, Ross Alderman has served on numerous committees related to criminal justice issues. He serves on the Mayor’s Criminal Justice Steering Committee and the Davidson County Community Corrections Advisory Board. He was Chair of the Davidson County Task Force on Improving Community Responses to Women Offenders and Chair of the Justice Integration Services policy committee, he has been President of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Criminal Justice Section and is a 2003 graduate of the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government; and

WHEREAS, under his leadership, the Public Defender’s Office has continued and built upon its long-standing tradition of providing quality representation and service to the indigent accused in Davidson County; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Alderman was the driving force behind establishing several new services in the public defender’s office, including programs that help clients with mental health and substance abuse problems, working with other agencies of the Davidson County criminal justice system to create a more efficient booking and court appearance process, and increasing the number of Spanish-speaking attorneys, investigators and support staff in an effort to improve the quality of representation to the growing Hispanic community; working with other agencies of the Davidson County criminal justice system to create the Mental Health Court program and the General Sessions Treatment Court; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council remembers the bountiful life of this exceptional public servant and human being, reflect upon his impeccable character and commitment to Nashville and Davidson County and express our condolences to the family upon the occasion of his untimely passing.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as honoring the life and accomplishments of Nashville’s Public Defender Ross Alderman.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to the family of the late Ross Alderman, Nashville and Davidson County’s Public Defender.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Charlie Tygard, Carter Todd, Mike Jameson, Phil Claiborne, Erik Cole, Jerry Maynard, Rip Ryman, Parker Toler, Tim Garrett, Jim Gotto, Bruce Stanley, Greg Adkins, Emily Evans, Buddy Baker, Randy Foster, Walter Hunt, Erica Gilmore, Sam Coleman, Vivian Wilhoite, Jason Holleman, Duane Dominy, Ronnie Steine, Keith Durbin, Karen Bennett, Sean McGuire, Jim Forkum, Edith Taylor Langster, Darren Jernigan, Bo Mitchell, Megan Barry, Eric Crafton, Carl Burch, Michael Craddock, Anna Page, Pam Murray, Robert Duvall, Jim Hodge, Lonnell Matthews, Frank Harrison, Sandra Moore


Referred: Rules & Confirmations Committee 
Introduced: September 2, 2008
Adopted: September 2, 2008
Approved: September 9, 2008