Thursday, October 31, 2013

Distinguished Alumni: Asst. U.S. Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen

Distinguished Alumni of the Appalachian School of Law: 

Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen

M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee in the Greeneville branch office. Suzanne represents the United States in a variety of criminal cases in the Greeneville Division of district, which covers the ten northeastern-most counties in Tennessee. The photo captures her swearing-in ceremony as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia on November 9, 2011. 

This ceremony occurred on the 100th Anniversary of the dedication of the Federal Courthouse in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Her great-grandfather helped build this courthouse, so she chose that date and location for her swearing-in ceremony.

Suzanne graduated magna cum laude from King University in Bristol, Tennessee, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music. In 2003, she graduated cum laude from Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. She was thereafter admitted to the Virginia State Bar.

During law school, she completed two summer internships in the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia in the Abingdon branch office. Suzanne also volunteered extensively with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program for the 29th Judicial District of Virginia while in law school.

Kerney-Quillen received numerous awards and honors while in law school, including five book awards, the Virginia State Bar Family Law book award, and a letter of commendation from the Virginia State Bar president for her work with the CASA program. She also received the Community Service Award each year in law school. Suzanne was a member of ASL's National Appellate Advocacy Team during the Spring of 2003, achieving a perfect score in the semi-final argument round of the competition. She also served as an Editor of the Appalachian Journal of Law and had an article published in Volume 3 of the Journal, entitled Fetal Abuse: The Societal Impact of Drug-Exposed Infants and the State’s Interest in Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect by Expectant Mothers.

Upon graduation, Kerney-Quillen served a one-year judicial clerkship for the Honorable Keary R. Williams, who was then the Chief Circuit Court Judge for the 29th Judicial District of Virginia. After her clerkship, she then joined the Buchanan County Virginia Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for one year. She also taught as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Appalachian School of Law from 2004-2005, teaching course in Legal Process and Appellate Advocacy.
Kerney-Quillen served as Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney for Wise County and the City of Norton from 2005 until joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2012. She also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia while still serving as the Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney for Wise County, from November 2010 - June 2012.

As a Commonwealth's Attorney, Suzanne presented regularly for the Commonwealth's Attorney's Services Council, teaching DUID courses across the Commonwealth of Virginia to prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Suzanne also helped form the 30th Judicial District Drug Treatment Court Program and co-authored the application for its judicial authorization to the Virginia Supreme Court. The Court approved the program  in October 2010.

Suzanne volunteers extensively in her community and currently serves as the Vice-President of the Symphony of the Mountains Board of Directors, an all-professional orchestra headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee. She is also a member of the Voices of the Mountains, which regularly performs with the Symphony. She has performed several solos with the Voices and the Symphony since joining the chorus in 2005.

She now serves on the Board of Trustees of the Appalachian School of Law.

She is married to Jeff Quillen.  They appear together in this photo at the Symphony of the Mountains Gala.

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