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News - Friday, November 11, 2016

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Why it’s hard to oust indicted politicians in Tennessee

Tennessee is lagging much of the nation when it comes to the ability to remove scoundrels from public office.

And, make no mistake, the Volunteer State has had its fair share of ne’er-do-well politicians who would likely have been thrown out of office if the proper procedures had been in place.

Chattanooga law firms earn top rankings

Five Chattanooga law firms have announced top rankings from Best Lawyers: Miller & Martin; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz; Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel; Husch Blackwell; and Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan.

Miller & Martin’s Banking and Finance Law and Real Estate Law practices are ranked on a national scale. The firm’s Metropolitan Tier 1 rankings in Chattanooga include: Arbitration; Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Litigation; Corporate Law; Criminal Defense – General Practice; Criminal Defense – White Collar; Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Employment Law – Management; Health Care Law; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Construction; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Labor & Employment; Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants; Mediation; Mergers & Acquisitions Law; Patent Law; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants; Real Estate Law; and Trademark Law.

CBA golf tournament results

The Chattanooga Bar Association held its annual golf tournament at The Bear Trace golf course at Harrison Bay on Nov. 4.  Here are the results:

First place team

Craig Allen

Rob Carden

John Hull

Ben Reese

Second place team

Todd Davis

Autumn Witt Boyd joins global referral network

The Law Office of Autumn Witt Boyd has joined Nextlaw Global Referral Network, enabling it to connect its clients to 18,600 attorneys in 160 countries.

“I can now access lawyers outside of Tennessee, where my clients might need legal assistance, or with lawyers who have other areas of expertise,” Boyd says. “As a solo attorney, I now have a resource to offer my clients who need services or guidance outside of my own specialties of intellectual property and business law.”

City of Chattanooga pension reform ruled constitutional

On Nov. 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a ruling by Senior United States District Judge Curtis L. Collier dismissing a lawsuit filed against the City of Chattanooga by a group of retired firefighters and police officers challenging a key aspect of the City’s recent reforms to its fire and police pension plan.

Vols hit home stretch with chance for East title

Be happy, Tennessee football fans.

November is here, and the Vols (6-3, 2-3 SEC) still have a chance to win the East Division.

It was hard to flush the 24-21 upset loss at South Carolina on Oct. 29, hard to explain star running back Jalen Hurd quitting UT’s team two days later and hard to get excited about last Saturday’s game against Tennessee Tech, which left Neyland Stadium with a 55-0 loss and a good paycheck.

Herman Walldorf & Co. first to become Realtor Safety Certified

Herman Walldorf & Co. is the first Chattanooga real estate office to earn the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtor’s Safety Certified Office certification. The company earned the certification by establishing safety protocols for its Realtors to follow.

Greater Chattanooga joins industry leaders to bring attention to real estate issues

Greater Chattanooga Realtors joined nearly 20,000 colleagues, industry leaders and real estate experts from the U.S. and abroad at the 2016 Realtors Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida from November 4–7. This year’s conference theme, “Educate, Innovate, Celebrate,” encouraged Realtors to educate themselves on market trends and key real estate issues, learn about the latest technologies and innovations affecting the industry, and celebrate another year of positive growth.

Meeting today’s standards for energy-efficient homes

If you ask car shoppers in the Chattanooga area to name the most important features they look for in a new or used vehicle, fuel efficiency will likely rank as high as price, performance and style.

Likewise, an increasing number of home buyers are comparing the energy-efficiency ratings of new homes. A nationally recognized system for measuring a home’s energy performance is called the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, which can determine a home’s overall efficiency with a score between 0 and 150.

Realtors should educate themselves on risks, rewards of short-term rentals

Home sharing is increasingly becoming popular among travelers and homeowners, and Realtors need to be aware of the opportunities and intricacies when helping their clients purchase property that’s intended for short-term rentals, according to a panel discussion last week at the 2016 REALTORS Conference & Expo in Orlando.

Partners for Places awards funding for neighborhood environmental efforts

Chattanooga is one of eight cities to be awarded funding for sustainability projects focused on low-income and diverse communities.

The city’s Sustainability Office worked with local non-profit green|spaces to apply for funding to expand the Empower program, which teaches low-income residents low-cost and no-cost ways to reduce their utility bills.

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ has guts, glory

“Hacksaw Ridge” begins with the phrase “A true story.” Not “Based on a true story,” but “A true story.” Director Mel Gibson wants people to know he didn’t have to apply a coat of Hollywood gloss to the life of Desmond Doss to make it more cinematic; Doss actually saved dozens of injured soldiers while serving as an unarmed combat medic on a horrifically bloody World War II battlefield. In telling Doss’ story as it happened (with some compositing to ensure a reasonable running time), Gibson has made a straightforward film with a simple message: when you stay true to your convictions, you can accomplish great things.


CPD Immersion Project Presentation

Chief of Police Fred Fletcher and the 2016-2 Cadet Class invite the public to attend the 2016 Community Immersion Project presentation.

The Community Immersion Project is designed to immerse future police officers in specific Chattanooga cultures, to learn from the community about that culture and then teach the community about that culture. The Cadets will be presenting their findings and lessons learned at a community meeting on Nov. 18, 3 p.m., at The Camp House.

How should you use retirement plan distributions?

During your working years, you are (hopefully) putting money into your IRA and your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. But once you’ve retired, how can you maximize the benefits you get from these plans?

First of all, you need to be aware of the rules governing withdrawals from your retirement plans. If you are older than 59½, you can withdraw money from your traditional IRA without paying penalties, though the withdrawals will typically be taxable. But once you reach 70½, you generally must start taking “required minimum distributions” (RMDs) from these accounts, with the annual amount determined by your age, the account balance and other factors. (The situation is different with a Roth IRA.

All a snake really needs is good PR

“Snakes, since the beginning of time, have accumulated a bad public image.” Thus begins Pete Ivey’s column, “Around the Old Well,” written in June 1975 for North Carolina newspapers. The title and subtitle go straight to the meat of the matter: “A Snake’s Not Evil – Snakes Need P/R Campaign to Improve Image.”