President Barack Obama didn’t nominate a showboating, grandstanding ham when he tapped his nominee for the Middle District of Tennessee, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) told The Tennessean in a story published Sunday.
Jerry Martin, who was tapped March 25, is a “very quiet, down-to-earth guy,” Cooper told the newspaper. The U.S. Attorney nominee, 36, is a partner at Barrett, Johnston & Parsley and a former Cooper campaign staffer. Read more about him here.
“He’s a great up-and-coming attorney,” Cooper said. “But he’s not loud. He’s not showy. He’s just a Regular Joe.”
Though he is considered quiet, Martin has found himself in the spotlight before. He won oratory competitions as a teenager and President George H.W. Bush named him as one of the country’s “thousand points of light” at age 17 for putting up 1,000 birdhouses to help the environment.
Lawyers interviewed by the Nashville newspaper noted Martin’s hardworking mentality, which has come out in his work on complex civil cases. But there will be a learning curve for the U.S. Attorney nominee if the Senate approves his posting in Nashville: except for a summer working at the state attorney general’s office during law school, Martin, a former associate editor of the Stanford Law Review, doesn’t have prosecutorial experience or practice with criminal cases.
“(Martin’s) academic credentials are very impressive, and he has participated in the types of complex litigation that should serve him well as U.S. Attorney,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who specializes in judicial selections.
Martin would replace George W. Bush holdover U.S. Attorney Ed Yarbrough, who has served since 2007. The current U.S. Attorney told The Tennessean that Martin is a “very bright young man.”
“I knew that it would happen eventually,” Yarbrough said of his replacement. “I have let [Martin] know that I will do all that I can to help him transition into this position.”
The U.S. Attorney nominee declined to comment to The Tennessean.