Shelley S. Breeding

  • Partner


Knoxville, TN



Shelley S. Breeding is prominent Knoxville family law, business law and civil litigation attorney with years of experience handling multi-million-dollar divorce and business cases in state and federal courts. She has argued numerous cases in front of the Tennessee Court of Appeals and cases in front of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Shelley represents individuals as well as corporations, handling everything from forming the corporation to drafting contracts to litigation for her business clients. Shelley's family law practice focuses on adoption and complex divorce cases, which often require expert witnesses for business valuations, commercial and residential property appraisals and frequently psychological experts related to child custody matters.

Shelley has years of trial experience, including both jury and bench trials across East Tennessee. She is skilled at handling all phases of litigation, from filing new cases through discovery and depositions to trial, and when needed, appeals. Shelley has taken dozens of depositions of expert witnesses and is well versed in all aspects of pre-trial motions and proceedings in state and federal courts. She has been lead counsel in hundreds of cases and is well-known in courts across East Tennessee.

In addition to her construction, divorce and business law practice, Shelley has handled complex adoption, termination of parental rights and surrogacy cases ultimately decided by the Tennessee Supreme Court. She has never shied away from those complex cases because she knows that a forever home for a child is at stake. She routinely handles step-parent, grandparent, foster care and related adoptions, whether contested by the biological parents or agreed upon by all involved.

Shelley is also a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 mediator for civil and family law and is often called upon to mediate cases. She is trained as a collaborative divorce attorney. Her mediation and collaborative divorce practices allow clients an alternative to protracted litigation, and often arrive at unique solutions without having court intervention.

For five consecutive years, Shelley has been voted as a "Top Attorney" by her peers and featured in Cityview Magazine for adoption and divorce/family law. She has been a featured speaker for continuing legal education seminars presented by the National Business Institute as well as the Knoxville Bar Association. At the University of Tennessee College of Law and Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law, she has served as a guest lecturer for numerous classes and seminars. Shelley is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, Virginia State Bar, and Knoxville Bar Association. Shelley is also admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Shelley is originally from Lebanon, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Tennessee as a Whittle Scholar, majoring in Political Science and Japanese and World Business. She worked in the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center as a Graduate Assistant while completing her J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law. While in law school, she studied abroad at Cambridge University in England, as well as spending time studying law in Buenos Aires, Santiago and Cape Town. After graduating from law school, she worked in the Office of Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia before returning to private practice in Knoxville. She started the firm in 2008 and has represented hundreds of clients since that time. Shelley is married with one young son and several rescued pets.

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

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

Past Employment Positions

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

Pro Bono Activities

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

Ancillary Businesses

  • Civil Mediation


  • English
  • Japanese