Skip to content


We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Cooper has been awarded the 2023 Robert W. Ritchie Award for meritorious service to the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Bob Ritchie was an icon of service to the legal profession and one of the founders of TACDL. He was a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and served as Chairman of the ACTL Federal Criminal Procedures Committee. He served as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL), and the Knoxville Bar Association. He received the Governor’s Award from the Knoxville Bar Association, the entity’s highest honor, recognizing professional achievement and community commitment. Often named only posthumously, The Robert Ritchie Award was created by TACDL to honor him and his remarkable service to the organization. The organization bestows this award on members who have demonstrated the same dedication and service to criminal defense lawyers in Tennessee.

Jonathan is a career-long member of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) where has served in multiple capacities, including as its President during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. “Serving the profession has been a career-long and enormously satisfying endeavor for me. I am deeply appreciative of this recognition of my service to the TACDL,” says Cooper regarding his award. He is also an active member of the Knoxville Bar Association, where he has served on the Board of Governors, as Treasurer in 2023 and President-Elect in 2024, and Co-Chair of the Criminal Justice Section. An active master of the Hamilton-Burnett American Inn of Court, Jonathan has also served Knox County as Chair of the Ethics Committee, as well as on both the exploratory and advisory committees for the Knox County Mental Health Court. He is recognized as an AV Preeminent Peer Rated Lawyer at Martindale Hubbell, by Mid-South Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America, where he has been named the DUI Lawyer of the Year for Knoxville in 2023 and General Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year in 2021.

Conveniently located in downtown Knoxville, the law firm of Knox Defense is East Tennessee’s premier criminal defense firm. Our respected and experienced criminal trial lawyers bring more than 75 years of cumulative experience to the defense of citizens in both state and federal court. No matter what your criminal matter, we possess the capabilities to effectively and efficiently provide your matter the best outcome possible. We are Knox Defense and we are in your corner. Call us today at 865-269-9226 for more information.