The Bill Hotz and Associates Staff

Knoxville lawyer Bill Hotz

Bill Hotz, Attorney

Bill Hotz was born in Santa Monica, California, growing up blocks from Beverly Hills and the Pacific Ocean. He attended high school with the stars, including Bonnie Raitt and many others. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his law degree from Santa Clara University. After hitchhiking the world (Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, London, Tunis, New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston) for nearly a year, Bill finally found home in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Bill has been practicing law in Knoxville for more than 35 years. He is the founding father of Bill Hotz and Associates, a local firm that has obtained tens of millions of dollars in compensation for injury victims in the greater Knoxville area.

Read more about Bill here.

gary adkins Knoxville attorney

Gary Adkins, Attorney

Gary Adkins was born and raised in Knoxville. After graduating from Central High School, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee, majoring in Mass Communications. Gary’s college education was interrupted by military duty. He served in the U.S. Navy as a journalist in Australia.

After completing his military obligation, Gary returned to UT and obtained his degree in Communications. For the following 10 years, he worked in radio and advertising in the Knoxville area. In addition to working for WOKI-FM and other area radio stations, he also booked and promoted large arena concerts for bands such as Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Blue Oyster Cult and others.

In 1982 Gary decided he was probably having too much fun and went back to school to pursue a law degree. He graduated with Honors from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1985. He has been practicing law in East Tennessee ever since. His practice has been primarily limited to representing people against big insurance and big business. All his life he has enjoyed sticking it to the man.

Gary has two sons, Greg (and wife Jessica) and Adam. He also has two wonderful grandchildren, Connor and Claire.

Read more about Gary here.


Haley M. Newton, Attorney

Haley has been a member of Bill Hotz & Associates since 2010. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of Tennessee. She subsequently obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Lincoln Memorial Duncan School of Law. Now an associate attorney with the firm, her primary area of focus is Social Security Disability. As a Knoxville native, she finds the opportunity to represent the underserved population of East Tennessee to be very gratifying. She is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, Tennessee Association for Justice, Knoxville Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association and American Bar Association. Additionally, Haley is a Rule 31 Listed Mediator in the field of General Civil Mediation. Her personal interests include cooking, volleyball, and University of Tennessee athletics (GO VOLS!).

Zach Tenry

Zach Tenry, Attorney

Zachary B. Tenry joined Hotz and Associates, P.C., as the head of our litigation department in 2018. A Tennessee native, Zach grew up in Knoxville and received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the firm, Zach spent the first part of his career with a prominent insurance defense firm in Knoxville. He went on to open his own law firm, where he focused his practice on representing those injured in accidents.

Throughout his career, Zach has practiced as a trial attorney across Tennessee in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, premises liability, construction, products liability, consumer protection and contract. Zach has represented multiple national, state and local insurance companies and their insureds, both in the litigation context and with matters of coverage and loss prevention. Zach has also represented real estate brokers, appraisers and auctioneers in courts across the state and before various professional responsibility commissions.

Zach is a member of the Tennessee and Knoxville Bar Associations and is licensed to practice in all Tennessee state and federal courts. Zach has also been admitted to represent numerous clients in matters outside of Tennessee. Zach can be reached at (865)247-5689 if you would like to discuss your case.

Stephanie Helton

Stephanie was born and raised in Knoxville. After graduating from Carter High School, she thought she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. One bad day in human anatomy lab and Stephanie decided the legal field might be a better choice for her. After completing the Paralegal Program at Pellissippi State, she began her legal career with Hogan & Hogan, working in insurance defense. She now has more than 21 years legal experience in everything from insurance defense, corporate and labor law, personal injury and workers’ compensation. She is our senior paralegal and office manager. Stephanie and her husband Lance have been married for 21 years and have a son, Landon, who is a Senior at Central High School. In addition to the law, Stephanie enjoys the lake, the New York Yankees and the Central High School Bobcat football team.

Sheila Lay-Shirk

Sheila was born and raised in Anderson County and graduated from Clinton High School in 1982. She worked in her family’s restaurant as a teenager and continued working as a restaurant manager through her early adult life when she decided to pursue a career as a paralegal. She graduated from Pellissippi State’s Paralegal program in 1998 and has been doing plaintiff’s work ever since. Her career as a paralegal has been in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice and Toxic Tort litigation, Social Security Disability, Personal Injury and Family Law. Sheila has been married for three years and has four dogs which are considered to be her children.

Amanda P. Wolfe

Amanda was born and raised in Knoxville, TN where she graduated from Fulton High School in 2008 and later received two Bachelor of Art Degrees in Applied Psychology and Sociology from Carson Newman University in 2013. She worked as a Case Manager within Knox County throughout her career when she decided in 2016 she wanted to pursue a career within the legal field. She has worked as a disability paralegal/legal assistant since May 2016. She has one son named Dennis Eli, who is the light of her life! Amanda recently joined our team, and is very excited to be a part of Bill Hotz and Associates, P.C.