Director, Class of 2016
Paula Henderson is a skilled criminal defense attorney with twenty years experience. She is well-versed in the disciplines of trial preparation and litigation, dispute resolution, and settlement negotiations. She is an experienced litigator having prepared, tried, or otherwise resolved numerous cases involving narcotics, firearms, DUI, assault, robbery, burglary, theft, fraud, rape, and homicide.
After graduating with Highest Honors from the University of Tennessee in 1990, Paula went on to earn her Doctorate from The University of Tennessee Law School in 1993. Having already developed a keen interest in the field of criminal law through an internship with the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office, Paula was sworn in as an assistant district attorney in that office. From 1993 until 2005, Paula practiced exclusively in the field of criminal law in her role as a prosecutor, wherein she sharpened her trial skills and became very effective in her evaluation of cases and pertinent legal issues.
Paula resigned her position with the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office in order to pursue her interest in private practice. From 2005 until 2011, she was a solo-practitioner, whose caseload consisted primarily of criminal cases. While building her practice, she served as counsel for many indigent defendants, both adult and juvenile, earned her certification as a Rule 31 mediator in the area of family law, served on the Foster Care Review Board for Loudon County, and expanded her litigation skills to include cases involving orders of protection, divorce, and child custody. In January 2012, Paula was persuaded to join the Law Offices of James A.H. Bell, P.C. as a full-time associate, where she continues to devote her talents to defending the criminally accused.
Because a strong defense bar is essential to the preservation of individual constitutional rights, Paula is a member of several organizations which support and promote the defense attorney’s role in the criminal justice system. She is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, Loudon County Bar Association, Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In July 2013, Paula was elected to an Affiliate Representative seat on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.