Obama taps Nashville attorney Sharp for federal judgeship

Sharp was behind Nashville's Priorities, which lobbied against new convention center

President Obama nominated Nashville attorney Kevin Sharp to the seat on the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee vacated by Judge Robert Echols.

Upon the announcement of his nomination, senior Tennessee U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a statement,“I congratulate Kevin Sharp on his nomination by the president and look forward to meeting with him about the judicial confirmation process.”

Reached last night for comment on his nomination, Sharp declined. 

The seat has a history of contention: Former President George W. Bush's nominee, Nashville attorney Gus Puryear, ran into trouble when activists challenged him for his work on behalf of CCA, the Tennessee-based prison company that has received substantial negative press for alleged mistreatment of prisoners in the recent past. His nomination was eventually dropped. 

Sharp, who led the charge against the new downtown convention center as head of the group Nashville's Priorities, is a partner in the law firm Drescher & Sharp, where he focuses on federal litigation. Before co-founding the firm in 2003, he spent a majority of his legal career at the former Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree, where he was a partner from 2001 to 2003, and an associate from 1993 to 1996 and 1997 to 2001. He also served as an attorney in the Office of Compliance of the U.S. Congress from 1996 to 1997. 

Prior to college, from 1982 to 1986, Sharp served in the U.S. Navy, specializing in in-flight communications aboard the P-3 Orion. He received his J.D. in 1993 from Vanderbilt University School of Law, and his B.S. (summa cum laude) in 1990 from Christian Brothers College.