The American Bar Foundation (ABF) recently named Patricia Best Vital, principal of Vital Law Office & Dispute Resolution Services, as a Fellow.
Membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of the lawyers admitted to practice in the United States and its territories and to a limited number of lawyers in jurisdictions outside of the U.S. In addition to supporting the ABF’s groundbreaking research in law and social science, Fellows host and participate in special social events and educational programs at the mid-year and annual meetings of the American Bar Association (ABA) and at the state level.
The ABA founded the ABF in 1952. The ABF is now recognized as the premier institute in the United States for cutting edge social science research on law. ABF research is addressing critical questions at the intersection of law and society, such as: access to justice; how juries function; law and health; the careers of lawyers; the social costs of mass incarceration; diversity and social justice; legal education; law and globalization; and many other aspects of the legal system.
Tim Watson, assistant director of the Fellows, said Vital was particularly recognized for her professional achievements and efforts to improve the legal profession in the areas of mediation, arbitration, and other forms of dispute resolution. Her efforts in those areas include her listing as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil/Family/Domestic Violence Listed Dispute Resolution Neutral and as a certified mediator in the Eastern and Middle Tennessee Federal Mediation Programs. Vital has chaired the Dispute Resolution programs of the local and Tennessee Bar Associations and continues to serve on the executive council of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Tennessee Bar Association. She has led out in local and state efforts of the ABA.
Vital is an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and has been a “Protection from Harm” mediator for the State of Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration’s Division of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. She has received the local bar association’s Albert L. Hodge Volunteer Award, Beyond the Call of Duty Award, and President’s Award for her leadership in fee dispute arbitration and continuing legal education. She was co-author of the “Tennessee Alternative Dispute Resolution Handbook” originally published in 1997 by The Harrison Company, now a part of Thomson Reuters.
Vital holds a B.A. in English/American Language & Literature with Pre-Law Concentration, magna cum laude, from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Doctor of Jurisprudence as recipient of the Chattanooga Community Foundation Judge Frank Wilson Law Scholarship from the University of Tennessee College of Law.
Vital is law-licensed in Tennessee and Georgia, and focuses her practice in the areas of family law, mediation, arbitration, and general civil litigation.
Vital Law Office & Dispute Resolution Services is located in Suite 308 of the Historic James Building in downtown Chattanooga.
Source: Vital Law Office & Dispute Resolution Services