One Contested Race to be Decided in at June Meeting

The 2014 YLD Annual Meeting & Elections will be held Friday, June 13, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern in Gatlinburg at the Park Vista Hotel. The hotel is located at 705 Cherokee Orchard Rd., Gatlinburg 37738 and may be reached by calling (865) 436-9211.

Pursuant to Article VII, Section 4 of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Bylaws, contested elections will be decided by secret ballot at the division's annual meeting. A successful candidate must receive a plurality (the greatest number) of votes. In the event of a tie vote of the membership, the YLD Board elects the candidate. In the event of a tie vote of the board, the YLD president breaks the tie.

Members will consider one contested election at the meeting. Candidates* are listed below in alphabetical order.

No Photo Provided

Candidate: John Billings
Hometown: Knoxville / Office Location: Oak Ridge
Firm: Appalachian Underwriters Inc.
Law School: Appalachian School of Law (2006)

John L. Billings is associate general counsel for Appalachian Underwriters Inc. in Oak Ridge, along with its other corporate subsidiaries/affiliates. Prior to joining Appalachian, he was a solo practitioner successfully obtaining judgments across East Tennessee courts in matters of creditor litigation. Billings represented a diverse clientele of health care, banking and financial institutions. Prior to going solo, he was a staff attorney in the Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee where he assisted in the administration and compliance of over 6,000 Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases and disbursement of over $70 million dollars to creditors in addition to investigating debtors by thoroughly questioning and reviewing their financial background to determine their ability to successfully complete a reorganization plan.

Before joining the Trustee’s Office, Billings was an associate attorney with Wilson and Associates, PLLC in their Knoxville office where he managed and litigated a high volume caseload representing Fortune 100 clients’ financial interests in state and federal bankruptcy court under Chapters 7, 11 and 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Billings received his undergraduate degree in Communications with a minor in General Business from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (2002) and his law degree from Appalachian School of Law (2006) in Grundy, Va., where he was named to the Dean’s List while also serving as a student ambassador.

Billings was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 2006 and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in 2008. He is a member of the Tennessee and Knoxville Bar Associations and the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP). He also is working toward an associate in Regulation and Compliance (ARC) designation from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters. Billings has been active in pro bono projects such as the Wills for Heroes clinic sponsored by the TBA YLD in Knoxville.


Candidate: Bryce McKenzie
Hometown: Sevierville
Firm: Lewis, Law Office of Bryan Delius
Law School: University of Tennessee College of Law (2008)

Bryce W. McKenzie grew up in Franklin, Tenn., and moved to Knoxville in 2001 to attend the University of Tennessee. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee College of Business in 2005. He then graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2008, and remained in Knoxville for a two-year clerkship with the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge James Curwood Witt Jr. After the clerkship, he began practicing law with Bryan Delius in Sevierville. The practice consists primarily of criminal defense in state and federal court, but also includes personal injury representation.

McKenzie moved to Sevier County in the summer of 2012 after marrying Laura. He is a member of the Sevier County, Knox County and Tennessee Bar Associations, as well as the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Tennessee Association for Justice and these organizations' national counterparts. He also serves as an attorney for the Southern States Police Benevolent Association.  McKenzie sits on the board of directors for the Love Kitchen, a soup kitchen in Knoxville that serves and distributes meals to hundreds of homeless and homebound people.

Over the last year, McKenzie has served as the District 2 Representative for the TBA YLD.  He has helped the YLD with its outreach to libraries for and LIFT.  McKenzie planned and participated in Sevier County's first Wills for Heroes clinic in the district. He has been a volunteer for the YLD's state mock trial competition for several years.  He represented TBA's YLD at a conference of social studies teachers where he offered educators information about the TBA's law-related education and civics programs and promoted participation in the YouTube essay competition. McKenzie further participated as a presenter in the TBA YLD's Continuing Legal Education Program on Depositions, where he provided an hour-long presentation suggesting how to respond to hypothetical scenarios in depositions.

* Tommy Norton with the Norton Law Office in Gatlinburg had qualified to run for this office but withdrew from the race on May 1.