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News - Friday, February 24, 2017

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Is law school worth it?

Aspiring barristers have no shortage of options when it comes to Tennessee schools, colleges and universities offering Juris Doctor programs. 

But how to vet them? How much tutition can you afford? How far will you have to go into debt?  


Attorney serves clients, community with equal zeal

For a brief and not-so-shining moment, George Hixson was going to be an engineer. Then he realized he had an aptitude not for designing and building things but for creating structure.

At first, Hixson focused on numbers. After studying engineering for a year at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), he switched his major to business when he realized he had a talent for accounting. Three years later, he graduated from UTC and began working at the Dalton branch of Decosimo.


Lawmakers shrug off voters' voices

Johnny and Julie Erwin don’t look like typical protesters, but the senior couple joined the “moral Mondays” ruckus recently at the State Capitol, Johnny wearing his Air Force cap and Julie holding a list of social legislation they oppose.


More bang for the buck at UT Law

Not every law student aspires to be a flamboyant court-room lawyer such as the late Joe Jamail, the notorious firebrand whose well-earned nickname was the “King of Torts.”

And obviously, keeping rdebt to a minimum is a concern for most law school students.


Leitner Williams welcomes associate Ryan Tombul

Attorney Ryan Tombul has joined the Chattanooga office of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan. Tombul’s practice focuses primarily on general civil defense litigation.

Before joining the firm, Tombul received his Juris Doctor from The University of Tennessee College of Law in 2016. During his time in law school, Tombul participated in the Tennessee Legal Advocacy Clinic, where he represented both juvenile and adult clients in criminal litigation.


Brad Davis promoted to shareholder

The law firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel has promoted attorney Brad Davis to shareholder.

Davis is a member of the firm’s litigation group and has extensive trial and appellate experience representing businesses in commercial disputes and regulatory matters. He has represented private and public corporations on a wide variety of matters, including class action defense. Davis has worked on cases at the state and federal levels in multiple jurisdictions, including Tennessee, Georgia, California, Massachusetts and New York.


Leitner Williams attorney Michael Newton achieves recertification in civil trial law

Michael Newton of the law firm of Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan has achieved recertification as a civil trial advocate through the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). Newton has been a NBTA member in good standing for 10 years.

Newton graduated with his Bachelor of Science from Birmingham-Southern College in 1989. He went on to graduate from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law with his Juris Doctor in 1992.


NWGC takes property owner concerns to Capitol

Realtors serve clients in ways that extend beyond the march to the closing table. For example, members of the Northwest Georgia Council (NWGC) of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors on Feb. 14 traveled to Atlanta to meet with elected officials and discuss issues identified as problems for property owners. These include the cost of the HOA closing letter, imminent domain of blighted property and other topics of concern.


Inventory shortage drives prices to record highs

The relative shortage of available residential homes for sale has driven home prices to record highs in the Greater Chattanooga region.

As I reported in this space last week, the average home sold for $202,894 in January – an all-time record high. This price represented an 11.2 percent increase over January 2016 and was a sharp contrast to December 2016, when homes closed at an average price of $189,067.


Growing rift between housing availability and affordability

Existing-home sales are forecast to expand 1.7 percent in 2017, but a new housing affordability model created jointly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and realtor.com suggests homebuyers at many income levels could see an inadequate amount of listings on the market within their price range in coming months.


Laurena Morehead returns to Crye Leike

Realtor Laurena Morehead of Chickamauga, Georgia, has joined Crye-­Leike Real Estate Services. She is affiliated with the firm’s East Brainerd office.

Morehead brings over four years of real estate sales experience to Crye-Leike. Previously, she was affiliated with Sherlin Realty Group in Cleveland, Tennessee.


Snapshot: Women's Council of Realtors Chattanooga

Laura Covington of Covington Appraisal and Consulting and Cathy Gibson of Title Guaranty Trust and Escrow sample the products on display at the Locals Only booth during the February business networking luncheon of the Women’s Council of Realtors Chattanooga (WCR). Locals Only assembles gift boxes consisting of products made by local companies. Covington and Gibson are affiliate members of the WCR.


Critic's Corner Without a disease, there is no cure

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Paris, a little theater called Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol specialized in graphic entertainment.

Grand Guignol plays were little more than an excuse to shock audiences with gory special effects. In one, an insane patient hammered a chisel through his doctor’s skull; in another, two hags from an insane asylum used scissors to blind a pretty, young fellow inmate.


BALA predicts top design trends

Curious about the latest home design trends making their way to the Chattanooga and North Georgia areas? At the start of each year, the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) recognizes dozens of new projects from this past year that featured the most innovative layouts and eye-catching design elements.


Fire Department burns down house in live training

The Chattanooga Fire Department (CFD) turned a chilly February morning into a swelter as it incinerated a donated structure as part of its live fire training for its current class of recruits. The conflagration quickly reduced the wood and stone structure, located at 6825 Robin Dr., to ashes and rubble and gave the CFD’s 35 trainees an opportunity to receive hands-on experience.


Interactive light project coming to Chattanooga

Green|spaces and Glass House Collective are bringing an interactive light project called The Pool to the Highland Park, East Chattanooga and East Lake neighborhoods in April.

“We are very excited to be a part of the Chattanooga community and especially these neighborhoods,” says sculpture artist Jen Lewin, creator of the project. “In the ten years we have been traveling the world with this installation, we’ve never had the opportunity to get deep into the communities and really interact with neighborhoods.”


Events: Transforming darkness into light

Transforming darkness into light

Award-winning journalist Ruth Ebenstein will come to Chattanooga to tell her story, “How to Laugh (and Cry) Through Breast Cancer,” during a brunch on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. at the Jewish Cultural Center (5461 North Terrace).


Use your tax refund wisely

It’s tax time again – which for many Americans means that a tax refund is on its way. If you’re going to get a refund this year, how can you use the money to your best advantage?

Of course, it’s always tempting to spend the check from Uncle Sam on something fun. But a tax refund could be sizable – the average amount in 2016 was $2,857, according to the IRS – so putting this money to work could help boost your progress toward your financial goals.


40 years: Where'd they go? I don't know

Reality, as it has a bad habit of doing to most of us, hit me squarely between the eyes this weekend.

And as I sit here staring at the proverbial blank sheet of paper, I don’t know whether to thank the folks at UT-Chattanooga for bringing back all the wonderful memories of one of the greatest weekends of my life or to curse them for reminding me that it happened 40 years ago.


Arnold faces high expectations

Caylan Arnold never met a challenge she didn’t like, and she’s taking on a new one almost every day this spring.

The 2016 Maryville High School graduate has emerged as one of the top pitchers for Tennessee’s softball team, ranked No. 15 in both major preseason polls.


New construction underway in Alton Park

City and county officials have broken ground at the former Charles A. Bell Elementary School site, kicking off construction that will turn a long-vacant site into a gathering place for the neighborhood.

The former school closed in 1989. An eyesore and potential safety concern, the county-owned structure was finally demolished in 2011. After the city took over the site in 2014, Alton Park neighborhood leaders along with Councilman Chris Anderson and the city’s Department of Economic & Community Development held a community engagement process to create a new green space.


Keep on good terms with hiring manager

Sometimes, interviews can be the worst. I mean, truly. Doesn’t the hiring manager realize that you have a job, life, spouse, children, and existing commitments?

You spend months and months trying to get your foot in the door for a job interview. You spend all your time filling out applications and updating your resume. You call your references, and update your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.


Why saying 'no comment' hurts your company

How can two words speak volumes?

Think of the words “I do.” Say those two words, and you enter a lifelong contract. Say “no comment” during a media interview, and you catapult your company into crisis mode.

Why is that? How can silence cause havoc and send your company into immediate damage control? Oh, but you weren’t silent, and you did say something. In fact, the phrase “no comment” has many unintentional meanings. What does your audience think when they hear or read this seemingly harmless phrase?



Tennessee Press