A native of Carter County, Teresa attended Elizabethton public schools and graduated from Elizabethton High School. Thereafter, she attended E.T.S.U., receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in 1975. She was also named the outstanding student in the pre-law program that year. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1977.
Teresa practiced law briefly in Elizabethton before being hired as an Assistant District Attorney General for the First Judicial District. For ten years, she tried cases in the General Sessions Courts, Juvenile Courts and Criminal Courts as an Assistant District Attorney in Washington, Carter, Unicoi, and Johnson County. While there, she helped form the first multi-disciplinary law enforcement team for investigating serious physical and sexual child abuse cases.
From 1989 until 2008, Teresa served as a prosecutor for Sullivan County, where she prosecuted cases ranging from minor traffic offenses to homicides. She also served on the Child Protective Investigation Team, the Fatal Incident Response Support Team, and headed the Front Line Domestic Violence Task Force. She retired from the District Attorney's office as the Division Chief for General Session's Court and after training of hundreds of young prosecutors through the Tennessee District Attorney Generals Conference New Prosecutor’s Academy. Additionally, she has taught numerous in-service classes for local law enforcement agencies; has served as a guest lecturer at Walter’s State Community College’s Police Officers Standards & Training Academy; and was honored to be asked to serve as the legal instructor at the United States Police Canine Association National Convention.
Teresa is licensed to practice in all Tennessee state Courts, and also licensed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Teresa is married to Lanny D. Smith, a retired Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition to his law enforcement career, Lanny recently retired after a number of years as an Assistant Professor at Northeast State Community College, where he taught history and criminal justice. She is a member of St. Peter the Apostle Anglican Church, Kingsport, TN, the National Rifle Association, the Bristol Bar Association, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Kingsport Republican Women’s Club. When not at the law office, she may be found chasing a golf ball or doting on her family.
Teresa's decades of experience as well as her instantly recognizable leadership skills make her a valuable asset for all of our clients.