Faculty Profile: Justice Holly Kirby

Justice Holly KirbyTennessee Supreme Court
Previous Courses Taught (26)
  • Perspectives From the Bench: A Conversation with Chief Justice Holly Kirby & Justice Dwight Tarwater
  • Tennessee Supreme Court Boot Camp 2023
  • Litigation Law 2021: Appellate Practice Panel
  • Litigation Law Forum 2021
  • Labor & Employment 2020: Judicial Panel: Best Practices in the Tennessee Appellate Courts
  • POSTPONED: 24th Annual Labor & Employment Law Forum 2020
  • State of Tennessee v. Lemaricus Devall Davidson
  • In Re Robert Lee Vogel, BPR #023374
  • State of Tennessee v. William Whitlow Davis, Jr.
  • Adam Ellithorpe, et al. v. Janet Weismark
  • Ace American Insurance, et al. v. State of Tennessee
  • Valley Forge Insurance Company v. State of Tennessee
  • Old Republic Insurance Company, et al. v. State of Tennessee
  • American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania v. State of Tennessee
  • Chartis Casualty Company, et al. v. State of Tennessee
  • The Metropolitan Government of Nashville- Davidson County, TN v. The Board of Zoning Appeals of Nashville and Davison County, TN, et al.
  • Stephanie D. Turner v. Kevin D. Turner
  • The Tennessean, et al. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, et al. (Girls State SCALES @ Lipscomb University in Nashville)
  • In Re Carrington H., et al. (Girls State SCALES @ Lipscomb University in Nashville)
  • First Community Bank, N.A. v. First Tennessee Bank, N.A., et al
  • Lea Ann Tatham v. Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., et al.
  • Litigation: Effective Oral Advocacy 2015
  • Litigation Forum 2015
  • Tennessee Court of Appeals Boot Camp
  • The New Lawyer Experience:
  • Introduction to Appellate Practice

Justice Holly Kirby was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the Tennessee Supreme Court in December 2013 and was sworn in on September 1, 2014. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Kirby served for over 18 years on the Tennessee Court of Appeals. When she was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1995, she became the first woman ever to sit on that Court.
A lifelong Tennesseean, Justice Kirby graduated from the University of Memphis magna cum laude with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. She graduated from the University of Memphis School of Law in 1982 with high honors, and is the first graduate of the University of Memphis ever to sit on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Upon graduation, Justice Kirby served as judicial law clerk to Judge Harry Wellford on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She then joined the Memphis firm of Burch, Porter & Johnson, where she became the firm's first female partner.
While in private practice, Justice Kirby was appointed to the Tennessee Appellate Court Nominating Commission, and served as its Chair. During her tenure with the Court of Appeals, she served first for the Court of the Judiciary and then for the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the Tennessee Bar Foundation, and the Memphis Bar Foundation. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the Memphis Bar Association, the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women, and the Memphis Association for Women Attorneys.
Justice Kirby has received several awards: Outstanding Young Alumna for the University of Memphis, Outstanding Alumna for the University of Memphis College of Engineering, the Memphis Association for Women Attorneys' Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award, and the Women In Numbers Distinguished Leadership Award. The Tennessee Justice Center selected Justice Kirby as Community Mother of the Year.