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News - Friday, December 13, 2019

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Craft’s practice spurs legal debate
Once accused of child sex crime, she now helps only clients she believes innocent

Criminal defense attorney Tonya Craft says there’s a line she’ll never cross as a lawyer: Represent someone she believes is guilty.

This might seem to fly in the face of the U.S. Constitution, which grants the accused the assistance of counsel in criminal prosecutions. It’s certainly rankled some of Craft’s colleagues, who she says insist she’s “not a real attorney.”


Mochel’s practice, building rebranded

Meredith Mochel’s life is best described not by a famous quote or celebrated poem but by a Whitesnake power ballad.

“Here I go again on my own,” she says, sounding a little like she wants to break out in head-banging song and dance.


Meeting legal needs during the holidays

Holiday cards typically contain a warm greeting or wishes for a happy new year. But the cards that adorn the Christmas tree on the first floor of the Hamilton County Courthouse contain a somber message.

Each card contains an active but unassigned case at Legal Aid of East Tennessee. Although the covers of the cards sport snowmen, snowflakes and other holiday trimmings, the inside of each card describes a civil legal need of someone who can’t afford to hire an attorney to handle it.


Two from Spears Moore make Best Lawyers list

Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams attorneys Lane Avery and Craig Allen have been selected for inclusion in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America.

Avery was recognized by his peers in Chattanooga as Lawyer of the Year in health care law.


Dean appointed to COAT board

Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean has been appointed to the County Officials Association of Tennessee board of directors.

Dean was named to serve a two-year term on the board at the 51st annual COAT convention held in late November in Gatlinburg. He serves as co-chair of the Tennessee State Court Clerks Association’s legislative committee.


Timing, training help former stay-at-home mom hit real estate goals

Ringgold, Georgia, native Jennifer Catlett forged a quick path to success when she became a Realtor in 2017.

A lifetime of living, working and volunteering in and around Ringgold and Chattanooga had given her an ample sphere of influence, and the tutelage of friend and fellow Crye-Leike Realtor Cindy Nabors provided both instruction and encouragement.


A look back at enjoyable presidency

As the end of the year approaches, I want to take a few lines to reflect on my year as the 2019 president of Greater Chattanooga Realtors. Time flies, and I think it’s important to look back at all the work we’ve done.

In February, I was honored to address the Hamilton County Commission to recognize two of our members – Robert Backer and Becky Cope English – for their outstanding leadership. These two Realtors are very engaged in the association, as well as our community and advocacy efforts. I’ve seen firsthand that this type of engagement makes a positive impact on homebuyers in our community.


How to design your home office for productivity

Chattanooga is known as Gig City and for connecting its residents and businesses to each other and the world at lightning speed, so working outside a traditional office setting is now a viable option for many in our area.

If you work remotely or are planning to do so in the near future, it’s important to customize a separate space in your home for maximum productivity with minimal distraction. If you need ideas to spruce up your home office or if you’re designing a space for the first time, consider the following tips.


Financial moves for life’s ‘inflection points’

You’ve probably heard or read about inflection points. The term has a specific definition in mathematics, but it’s also used widely to describe historical or technological events such as the Industrial Revolution or the creation of the internet – events that changed human existence in some important way.


Newsmakers: East Ridge council member completes leadership program

East Ridge City Council member Mike Chauncey recently completed the Local Government Leadership Program hosted by the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership, an agency of The University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service.

The city and county officials who attended the program in Knoxville were invited by the UT County Technical Assistance Service and the UT Municipal Technical Advisory Service, sister agencies of Naifeh Center.


HCSO authorizes 200th anniversary commemorative badge

Sheriff’s office personnel are wearing this commemorative badge in recognition of 200 years of service to the people of Hamilton County. Each badge was authorized by Sheriff Jim Hammond and purchased by his staff.

“From a bygone era of mounted deputies on horseback crisscrossing wagon trails to the use of modern technology and state-of-the-art vehicles, our deputies continue to honor our agency’s rich history and uphold the legacy and traditions of those who served before us,” Hammond says.