On December 15, 2011, Governor Bill Haslam appointed Derek as the Circuit Court Judge of the 21st Judicial District.
Derek, 45, was born and raised in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, where his family still lives today. After graduating from Beech High School in 1985, Derek attended Lipscomb University for the 1985-1986 year before transferring to Pepperdine University. Derek pursued his bachelor’s degree at Pepperdine University with a double major in Political Science and Humanities, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1989.
After graduation, Derek returned to middle Tennessee to attend Vanderbilt University School of Law. In the fall of 1989, Derek began his first year of law school at Vanderbilt. He graduated from Vanderbilt School of Law in May 1992.
In 1992, Derek began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the District Attorney General of the 21st Judicial District. In 1999, Derek was promoted to Deputy District Attorney. As Deputy District Attorney, Derek worked closely with the District Attorney to manage the office and handle administrative issues that arose. Derek has prosecuted cases in all four counties of the 21st Judicial District, cases ranging from simple theft, rape, burglaries, complex white collar crimes, child molestations, rapes, and capital murder. He has spent thousands of hours in the courtroom during his 19 years of service with the District Attorney’s office. He enjoyed mentoring the new employees in the intricacies of the court system and procedural matters as well as working with the college interns during the summer to help them understand the duties and responsibilities of the District Attorney’s Office.
In 2000, Derek decided that he wanted to serve his country so he joined the U.S. Naval Reserves. He served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserves for eight years before receiving an Honorable Discharge.
Derek has always enjoyed debating, so he became active with the Mock Trial competition. He has coached the Franklin High School team for several years now.
One of Derek’s key personal and professional initiatives is service to the community. He currently participates in the Williamson County Boys and Girls Club, serving on their advisory board. Past civic participation includes the Franklin Civitan Club, Mock Trial Coach at Franklin High School, and a former judge for the Vanderbilt First Amendment Moot Court Competition.
Considered a thought leader by his peers, Derek has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Williamson County Task Force against Domestic Violence. Other honors include the Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Contributions in Drug Law Enforcement, the Certificate of Merit for Exceptional Dedication and Service (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and training certificates ranging from international terrorism to capital litigation.
Derek is a conservative Republican who believes in keeping the citizenry of the 21st Judicial District safe.
Derek is married to the former Ginger Owens of Leoma, TN. They currently reside in Franklin, TN.