Hamilton Herald Masthead Hamilton Herald

Editorial


Front Page - Friday, July 19, 2019

Right path finds Roebuck at Chambliss




Roebuck

Growing up the oldest of five siblings gave Jed Roebuck plenty of opportunities to cultivate his debate skills. But instead of becoming a litigator, he’s developed an award-winning transactional practice.

On any given day, the 35-year-old Roebuck could be elbow-deep in a merger, acquisition or joint venture involving a health care entity – the legal arena that became his bread and butter after he moved from a small local firm to Chambliss Law in 2013.

As a member of the firm’s business, health care and startup sections, Roebuck might also have his hands in a standard business deal.

Although Roebuck works at Liberty Tower on Chestnut Street, his practice has no geographical boundaries. Rather, his clients range from businesses within walking distance of his office to companies located several states away.

“I’ve been privileged to work with a couple of national players in the health care world but also enjoy staying connected to my hometown through the work I do locally,” he says. “I feel fortunate to work for a firm with clients both in Chattanooga and other markets across the country.”

Likewise, Roebuck’s work has been recognized by his colleagues down the hall and elsewhere in the country.

Mike St. Charles, managing shareholder at Chambliss, calls Roebuck a natural leader and commends his drive to succeed.

“Jed has been instrumental in growing the firm’s health care and mergers and acquisitions practices. He’s gained the confidences of our clients, who rely on his industry knowledge and legal skills to point them in the right direction and accomplish their objectives. He knows when to lead and when to be a contributing team member. And he’s genuine, thoughtful and dedicated.”

Mark Cunningham, a member of Chambliss’ executive committee and a former chair of the firm’s health care section, also extols Roebuck’s work with clients.

“Our health care practice involves a wide array of professionals and personalities. Jed is adept at understanding and navigating the different personalities, what motivates them and what they want to accomplish.”

Validation from outside Chambliss came in 2018, when Roebuck was named a Mid-South Super Lawyer and Rising Star in health care.

Despite doing work that’s a snug fit for his abilities, there was a time when Roebuck couldn’t envision himself handling private equity transactions and corporate restructurings; rather, his years studying English, history and philosophy at the University of Georgia stirred in him a desire to advocate for justice.

“The notion of engaging in a healthy debate and moving toward consensus with a group of people led me to believe I’d be a good fit for the law,” he says.

Internships with World Harvest Missions in Nairobi, Kenya, and Empower-a-Child in Kampala, Uganda, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, only reinforced Roebuck’s intentions.

So did his internship with the Mississippi Innocence Project during law school. The organization, which handles post-conviction claims of innocence, sent Roebuck to prisons in lower Mississippi to conduct interviews with potential clients – an important step in determining whether or not the nonprofit would take someone’s case.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so law school was a good way to try on a few things for size,” he explains.

After graduating from the University of Mississippi School of Law, Roebuck spent two years in courtrooms rather than conference rooms. But instead of seeing that period as time wasted walking down the wrong path, he acknowledges his days as a litigator were part of the process that led him to where he is today.

“I didn’t realize I had a business bent in me until I started litigating and then found myself more and more drawn to transactional work,” Roebuck remembers.

Roebuck was already transitioning from litigation and transactional work when he moved to Chambliss. He credits the firm with allowing him to continue to do both until he had a better feel for the latter.

“They graciously let me choose a path, and I eventually let go of litigation,” he says. “The freedom to do that was one of the things that attracted me to the firm.”

Even though Roebuck has put his days as a litigator behind him, he remains an active advocate of his community and the broader world. A former board member of the Chattanooga Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Empower a Child, he’s currently serving on McCallie School’s Chattanooga Alumni Council.

Roebuck also is gearing up to participate in the 2019-20 class of Leadership Chattanooga, a program of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce that enables class members to connect with the local community while learning about leadership.

Nominated by his firm, Roebuck is looking forward to being exposed to parts of Chattanooga which are currently unknown to him.

“The best way for me to contribute to this city is to be a good steward of what I’ve been given, and part of that is learning about its inner workings,” he continues.

“I’m also hoping Leadership Chattanooga will show me how I can become more involved locally. You can become myopic about what you do, and I’d like to be more plugged into what’s going on.”

Cunningham says Leadership Chattanooga will be a catalyst for Roebuck’s impact on the city. “Jed is fiercely loyal to our clients and holds an unwavering ability to protect their interests. This transitions well to his civic and philanthropic aspirations.

“He’s dedicated to making the Chattanooga community a better place and embodies the entrepreneurial spirit inherent within Chattanooga’s rising generation of leaders.”

While Roebuck has become quite comfortable at the negotiating table, the husband and father of three is just at ease on a horse or in the seat of a tractor.

A native of the Georgia side of Lookout Mountain, Roebuck lives with his wife, Lollie, and their three young sons on the sprawling 150-acre farm on which he grew up. There, he spends his weekends hunting, horseback riding and working in a vegetable garden.

“When my wife and I thought about how we wanted to raise our boys, it was important for us to give them a chance to be outside as much as possible,” he says.

Roebuck is also a woodworker. Some of his projects have included built-in bookcases, heart pine coffee and end tables and a dining room table for a family member. Roebuck also builds wood panels for his wife’s oil paintings.

When the weekend yields to Monday morning, Roebuck is back in his office, enjoying his latest transition: going from a new attorney who’s finding his footing in a demanding profession to a seasoned lawyer who enjoys tackling the challenges each day brings.

“When you’re a young attorney, you’re so concerned about doing things the right way, you don’t stop to appreciate the challenges, but as I’ve grown older and more experienced, I’ve come to appreciate that side of things,” he says. “To the extent that you can have fun practicing law, it’s not a bad gig.”