Shelley Suzanne Breeding

Shelley Suzanne Breeding

Knoxville, Tennessee

Shelley Breeding was born in Bristol, Virginia, and grew up in Lebanon, Virginia. She graduated from Council High School, where she was part of a graduating class of 20 students. Shelley was a Whittle Scholar at the University of Tennessee where she majored in political science, Japanese and world business. While in college, Shelley interned at Grandsoul Nara in Utano, Japan, the first private medical facility in Japan.

During law school at the University of Tennessee, Shelley was president of the International Law Society, member of the Jessup International Law Moot Court team and a member of the Moot Court Board, among other activities. She worked as a graduate assistant for the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, working with student-athletes while studying law. Shelley also studied international law at Downing College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, as well as studying international law abroad in Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Cape Town, South Africa.

After law school and admission to the bar, Shelley worked in the Coordinating Office for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, as part of the federal Presidential Management Fellows program. She returned to Knoxville to practice law in 2006 and opened her own firm in 2008. She is a Rule 31 Family and Civil Mediator and trained in the collaborative divorce process.

Shelley Breeding is married to John Payne, a professional engineer with Rogers Group, Inc., in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She enjoys spending time with family, which includes her son, Jack, her two cats and three dogs, including Bentley, a rescued English Mastiff.


Areas of Practice

  • Mediation
  • Contracts
  • Collections
  • Construction Contracts
  • Construction Liens
  • Wills
  • Family Law
  • Adoption
  • Alimony & Spousal Support
  • Child Support
  • Childrens' Rights
  • Collaborative Law
  • Custody & Visitation
  • Divorce
  • Domestic Violence & Neglect
  • Juvenile Law
  • Paternity
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Complex Litigation
  • Federal Trial Practice
  • State Appellate Practice
  • State Trial Practice
  • Premises Liability -- Plaintiff
  • Slip and Fall -- Plaintiff
  • Probate & Estate Administration
  • Estate Administration
  • Trusts
  • Real Estate Law
  • Landlord/Tenant

Litigation Percentage

  • 90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee, 2007


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • J.D.
    • Honors: Order of the Barristers
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • B.A. - 2002
    • Honors: University Honors Program
    • Major: Japanese and World Business
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • Japan's Health Care System: The Rise and Fall of a Once Great System, The Hiragana Times, Japan, September, 2001

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member, 2006 - 2014
  • East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women, Member
  • Knoxville Bar Association, Member, 2006 - 2014

Past Employment Positions

  • Howard & Howard, P.C., Associate Attorney, 2006 - 2008
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005 - 2006

Pro Bono Activities

  • Volunteer, High School Mock Trial Competition, 2007 - 2008
  • Volunteer Coach, UT Law Jessup Moot Court Team, 2006 - 2008

Ancillary Businesses

  • Civil Mediation