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Judge Kennedy was born and raised in Bristol, Tennessee. He attended Bristol, Tennessee High School and East Tennessee State University. The Judge graduated college in 1976 with a B.S. degree and was a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He was then accepted to Memphis State University's law school program where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi fraternity and graduated with his J.D. in 1979.
Judge Kennedy was admitted in 1979 to practice law in all Tennessee State Courts and was also admitted to the United States Federal District Courts for the Eastern District of Tennessee. He is member of both Bristol and Tennessee Bar Associations.
Judge Kennedy is presently Board Counsel for the Bristol Tennessee-Virginia Association of Realtors and Chairman of the Sullivan County Health, Educational and Housing Facilities Board. In the past, he has also served as: