Meet Tillman

Tillman Payne, is a decorated Air Force veteran, accomplished attorney, small business owner and candidate for Davidson County Criminal Court, Division IV Judge.

He is widely recognized for his bold willingness to lead – repeatedly developing, advocating, and implementing innovative and groundbreaking solutions to some of our judicial system's most challenging issues. 

Tillman understands that the law has a real effect on the lives of all Nashvillians, and he believes that all who enter the courthouse doors deserve not only equal justice but compassion. All citizens should be afforded a chance for equal justice in our court system. Tillman has the knowledge and experience our court system desperately needs.

He is married to the former Kimberly Renee Boyd of Riverside, California and they have two sons, Chase and Tillman IV.

Background, Education & Military Service

Tillman is a native of Smith County, Tennessee. The son of educators and proud Tennessee State University alumni Tillman understands the values of hard work, personal responsibility, the value of education, treating everyone with respect, and helping others along the way. 

He has remembered these experiences and used these values his entire life - from serving in our nation's armed forces, to raising his own family and starting a small business, to volunteering countless hours of leadership and service to the community.

Tillman attended college at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture. Upon graduation,Tillman was commissioned an Officer in the United
States Air Force and entered into active duty military service. Tillman was a detachment commander in Korea and “twice” hand-selected to serve as an Executive Officer to Top Level General Officers once at the Pentagon in Washington DC and later at the Defense Logistics Agency.  While in military service Tillman earned a Master’s Degree in Human Relations (MHR) from the University of Oklahoma, and his Juris Doctor’s degree from the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University, Arlington VA.

After twenty years of faithful service to the United States Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Payne retired from active duty in 2003.  

Upon retirement, Tillman returned to Tennessee accepting a position as an Assistant Public Defender with the 15th Judicial District Public Defender’s Office in Wilson County.

In 2009, he left the Public Defender’s Office and entered private practice of law where he currently has offices in both Carthage and Nashville.

Community Advocate

Tillman is the Guide Right Committee Chairman for the Nashville Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. providing mentorship to over 150 male students ranging from 7th to 12th grade through the Kappa Leadership Development League; Rites of Passage “Boys to Men” and the Young Men Of Valor program in coordination with Metro Nashville Public Schools.

He serves on the Board of Directors of the West Nashville Sports League which provides youth athletics to over 2000 children in five different sports from Kindergarten through 9th grade.

Tillman is a member of Bethel World Outreach Church where he has served in the Children’s Ministry, Greeting Ministry and as an Usher.

*Use of military images disclaimer: Tillman Payne is a veteran of the United States Air Force. Use of Tillman Payne's military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Air Force or the Department of Defense.