Bone McAllester Norton attorney I’Ashea Myles is running to succeed retiring Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle.
Myles announced her entrance into the race days after Lyle said she would not seek re-election in 2022. Her campaign treasurer is Brenda Gadd, a co-founder of Emerge Tennessee and a longtime local political operative.
Myles’ practice at Bone is largely focused on construction, business and real estate litigation. She attended Belmont University and the Belmont University College of Law, from which she graduated in 2014. During law school, she clerked with the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Tennessee Attorney General’s Office and the district attorney’s office in Rutherford County.
After law school, and before joining Bone in 2018, Myles practiced with Hagan Law Group and Leitner Williams Dooley & Napolitan.
Undergraduate studies at Belmont first brought Myles to Nashville from her hometown Cincinnati. After college and before attending law school she worked as a musician and in marketing and sales roles for various companies, private-sector experience that she said would help her rule on some of the technical business cases that frequently come before chancellors. She said she frequently practices in the chancery court, especially in construction law cases.
“I understand what it’s like to be the only person of color in a deposition,” she told the Post. “My desire is that the law is applied to everyone equally, no matter their race, their gender. … I’m not a politician. I have a real passion for wanting to make sure every person who comes through the doors of our court has access to justice, that they feel like the law is for them.”
Lyle is retiring after more than two decades on the bench, during which time she ruled on several controversial cases, including a gay marriage ballot petition and voting procedures during COVID-19. Though Lyle was first appointed by a Republican governor and has in several cases ruled in favor of Republican interests, Tennessee Republicans sought to remove Lyle from the bench after the voting decision.
Myles said she has been seriously considering running for a seat on the bench for around six months, and Lyle's announcement sped up the decision-making process.
"I don't see minority women at the trial level in the civil courts," she said. "When the announcement was made it seemed like all things came together for me, so we made the move."