Retired Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Lyle Reid began his legal career in his hometown of Brownsville, Tennessee in 1957, after graduating from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the University of Tennessee College of Law. He served as General Sessions Judge of Haywood County in 1960-1961 and as Assistant State General in Nashville, 1961-1963. While in private practice, he was also Haywood County Attorney from 1964-1986.
Judge Reid was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance in 1986 by Governor Ned R. McWherter. He was appointed Associate Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in 1987 and then elected in 1988. From 1990 to 1994 he served as Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court , and continued to serve on the Supreme Court as Justice until 1998.
In 1998, Judge Reid became Vice-President Litigation for Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation. He was associated with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs from 2000 until he joined the Law Office of J. Houston Gordon in February, 2002. He was President-Elect of the Conference of Chief Justices, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts from 1994 to 1997.
Before becoming a judge, he served as a member of the Appellate Court Nominating Commission, the Commission on Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Commission on Continuing Legal Education, a hearing officer for the Board of Professional Responsibility, Chairman of the Tennessee Bar Association House of Delegates, member of the Board of Governors of the Tennessee Bar Association and President of the Haywood County Bar Association. Judge Reid received the American Judicature Award for the Effective Administration of Justice following his tenure as Chief Justice. He received the National Center for State Courts Distinguished Service Award in 1998.