A resolution honoring the late Judge Leon Ruben of Davidson County.

WHEREAS, it is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of the Honorable Leon Ruben on October 7, 2011; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben was an exemplary public servant and consummate jurist who worked assiduously to improve the quality of life for his fellow citizens in numerous capacities and he leaves behind an indelible legacy of integrity and probity in public life; and

WHEREAS, Judge Leon Ruben celebrated 25 years on the bench as a General Sessions Judge on January 26, 2006 and remained on the bench for 5 more years until his untimely passing; and

WHEREAS, Judge Leon Ruben was a graduate of Howard High School, and received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1956, and his law degree from the YMCA Law School (now known as Nashville School of Law) in 1962; and

WHEREAS, prior to becoming a judge, Judge Leon Ruben worked as an Assistant Public Defender for 8 years and was elected to represent the 35th district from September 1975 to January 1981 as a Metro Councilman and was eventually appointed as General Sessions Court Judge Division VIII by the Metro Council to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the late Dennis W. Summers and taking office on January 26, 1981, and re-elected in 1982, 1990, 1998, and 2006; and

WHEREAS, esteemed and admired by his judicial peers and colleagues and the attorneys and the citizens appearing before his court, Judge Ruben was a member of the Nashville Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference, Lawyer’s Association for Women, American Judges Association, American Bar Association; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben’s remarkable success was attributed to his reliance on the time-honored values of hard work and common sense and his uncommon ability to empathize with people from all walks of life; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben served as presiding Judge for the General Sessions Courts from 1984 to 1988, 1990 to 1991, 1996 to 1997 and 2000-2001, served for over twenty years as Secretary/Treasurer to the Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference and served on the American Judges Association Board of governors representing District 8 (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky & Tennessee) since 1995; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben has previously served on the Tennessee Court of the Judiciary for six years; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben was elected to the American Judges Association Court of Appeals for a five-year term expiring in 2006; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben was first appointed in December, 2000 by Mayor Bill Purcell to serve on the Davidson County Criminal Justice Steering Committee and provided significant input in addressing Metro’s jail population issues; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben was active in the community where he served as past president of the Tennessee General Sessions Conference (1993-1994), a member of the Bellevue Exchange Club, Murfreesboro Road Optimist Club, and Bellevue Chamber of Commerce; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben was a member of the Nashville Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, Tennessee General Sessions Court Judges Conference, Lawyer Association for Women and the American Bar Association; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben was a member of the West End Synagogue, married to Sandi (Gordon) Ruben and had four wonderful children, Herman Ruben, Susan Ruben Evans, Renee Ruben Geltzer, and Melinda Ruben Bimstein and was blessed with ten grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben was still in private practice when he first volunteered to be a special Christmas Day judge in Night Court in 1970, and didn’t miss a Christmas prior to this death; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben is Nashville’s most publicized collector of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. His collection began when he was a member of the Metro Council, and when no one seemed to be able to reach a decision on the issue of building a new Criminal Justice Center, Judge Ruben remarked, “Let’s quit Mickey Moussing around and get something done.” Before the next Council Meeting, someone discreetly placed a small figure of Mickey Mouse on his desk. Judge Ruben graciously donated this collection to the Tennessee State Museum in 2006; and

WHEREAS, Judge Ruben received the Bellevue Citizen of the Year award by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce in 1981, and the Service to Mankind Award in March 1991 from the Bellevue Sertoma Club; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council expresses and extends to the family of Judge Ruben their condolences upon his passing.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as honoring the late Judge Leon Ruben of Davidson County.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to the family of Judge Leon Ruben.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Sheri Weiner, Charlie Tygard, Duane Dominy, Fabian Bedne, Karen Bennett, Lonnell Matthews, Jerry Maynard, Edith Taylor Langster, Karen Johnson, Erica Gilmore, Frank Harrison, Steve Glover, Chris Harmon, Anthony Davis, Sean McGuire, Buddy Baker, Walter Hunt, Tim Garrett, Jason Potts, Phil Claiborne, Jacobia Dowell, Bill Pridemore, Doug Pardue, Tony Tenpenny, Sandra Moore, Ronnie Steine, Robert Duvall, Peter Westerholm, Carter Todd, Burkley Allen, Josh Stites, Scott Davis, Emily Evans, Jason Holleman, Brady Banks, Davette Blalock, Bruce Stanley, Bo Mitchell, Megan Barry, Darren Jernigan


Referred to: Rules & Confirmations Committee
Introduced: November 1, 2011
Adopted: November 1, 2011
Approved: November 2, 2011
By: mayor's signature