published Thursday, September 4th, 2014

New chancellor, Pam Fleenor, collapses in court in Chattanooga

Chancellor Pam Fleenor collapsed Wednesday during the first argument of her first case on her first day on the bench.

Early in the argument, she interrupted an attorney and motioned to the bailiff that she had grown uncomfortable, sticking out her tongue. A few seconds later she hit the floor with a thud.

The bailiff ran to the podium, an attorney dashed from the room to get help and deputy city attorney Phil Noblett called 911.

Court officials helped Fleenor to her feet a few seconds later and pulled her from the room, as the judge reassured the crowd that she was "just hot."

Fleenor returned about 10 minutes after the incident.

"These robes get hot," she said, and continued hearing cases.

Fleenor won the Republican primary contest for the open chancellor seat with 11,297 votes over opponent Joe Manuel, who received 4,438.

She began her law career in 1986 and worked in areas such as personal injury, civil rights violations, employment defense, breach of contract and complex commercial litigation.

The judge earned her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law after graduating with her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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