Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Sep 1, 2020

Journal Issue Date: Sept-Oct 2020

Journal Name: Vol. 56 No. 9

he Tennessee Bar Association has two overseeing bodies: The Board of Governors and the House of Delegates. The Board governs, but what does the House do?

“The House of Delegates considers, debates and makes policy recommendations on matters of interest and concern to the legal profession,” according to its bylaws. “It acts on matters brought to it by the Board of Governors and can consider matters on its own initiative.” The House meets quarterly to conduct its business.

There are 73 seats in the House, led by a speaker, deputy speaker and secretary.

Meredith B. Humbert

The House selected new officers in June during the TBA annual convention, with Meredith B. Humbert, a partner with Hunter, Smith & Davis LLP in Kingsport installed as speaker. A graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, she concentrates her practice in the defense of health care liability actions. She also handles personal injury actions and premises liability actions.

Charlotte Knight Griffin
Shauna Billingsley

Charlotte Knight Griffin of Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division is deputy speaker. Shauna Billingsley, with the City of Franklin’s law department, is the House’s secretary.

“In my view,” Humbert explains, “the purpose of the House of Delegates is to consider and provide commentary on pieces of legislation that impact the practice of law in the state. As speaker, I will do my best to conduct orderly and efficient meetings, and I will ensure that each of our members has an opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions.”

Humbert says she anticipates that the group’s primary focus this year will relate to COVID-19 — both its impact on the practice of law, and on proposed legislation that attempts to minimize the negative impact of the pandemic on Tennesseans.  

“I look forward to serving as speaker,” she says, “and I encourage members of the TBA to reach out to me if they want to discuss any topics that relate to the work of the House of Delegates.”