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Judge Barry A. Steelman talks to prospective jurors for the Lookout Valley trial involving defendant Derek Morse on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

A local judge has been elected to an invitation-only, statewide legal association.

Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman was invited this year to join the Tennessee Bar Foundation, an association of 855 attorneys statewide, according to a Tuesday press release from the organization.

He was one of 32 attorneys to receive the honor during an annual dinner in May in Nashville, the release says.

"The Bar Foundation's purpose is twofold," the release says, "to honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the profession and community and to administer a grant making program."

That program, the release says, is called "Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts, or IOLTA, and has awarded over $21 million in grants for law- related, public interest projects.

A graduate of Carson Newman University and the University of Tennessee College of Law, Steelman practiced law in Chattanooga for 17 years, including a lengthy stint at the local district attorneys office, the release says.

Since 2006, Steelman has served as one of three Criminal Court judges in Hamilton County.

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