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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, October 16, 2020

Mochel, Cox find synergy in combined law practice




Chattanooga criminal defense attorney Meredith Mochel, left, and family law lawyer Tracy Cox, right, have combined their practices to create a new local firm. - Photograph provided

After three years of working down the hall from each other, criminal defense attorney Meredith Mochel and family law lawyer Tracy Cox have combined their solo practices in order to extend their legal services to more clients.

Since 2017, Cox has leased an office in Mochel’s Market Street building, where she has largely represented divorce clients as a solo practitioner. Now Cox has joined Mochel’s practice in an of counsel capacity.

The idea came to the two friends and colleagues during a recent hike.

“I’ve been turning down divorces because I’m too busy with my Tennessee and Georgia criminal practice to learn family law, and I have no time to commit to civil court,” Mochel says. “So, I’ve been thinking it would be great to have someone bring in civil work and help me with the criminal side.”

While walking along a physical trail, Mochel and Cox turned down a metaphorical one as they discussed working together.

“We thought it would be great if she brought her divorce work to my practice and used her prosecutorial experience to help me with criminal cases,” Mochel explains.

“It felt like a natural evolution,” Cox, a former prosecutor, adds. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to serve more clients by taking our relationship to the next level.”

Rain clouds that had gathered above the women christened the idea before they reached shelter. “We did not look at the weather ahead of time,” Mochel laughs.

Mochel and Cox both say their new partnership is based on high mutual esteem.

“Going through a divorce [in 2019] made me realize what people want in their attorney,” Mochel says. “When I thought there was going to be a fight, I consulted a ton of people – older colleagues, younger colleagues, pit bulls, hand holders – and what I now believe people want and need is someone who will listen to them and work toward their objectives.

“Tracy listens to people and cares about what they want, and she’s tough and tenacious when she needs to be.”

“It’s important to have all the tools that should be in the toolbox,” Cox notes. “There are lawyers whose strength is their ability to negotiate, or being aggressive in court, but the best divorce lawyers have all those skills. I’m excited to bring that to Meredith’s practice.”

Cox is also looking forward to working with a woman for whom she holds tremendous adoration.

“I’m impressed with Meredith as a lawyer and a person. She’s very supportive of other women in the profession, and I love being in the presence of a woman who is about lifting up other women.”

Although Cox will continue to focus on family law, she brings several years of criminal experience to her practice with Mochel.

A Chattanooga native, Cox began her legal career as a prosecutor in North Carolina, where she tried homicides, death penalty cases, rapes, child abuse and more. She then spent a year as a public defender near Knoxville before returning to Chattanooga.

Cox cut her teeth on family law at Legal Aid of East Tennessee, where she worked as a domestic violence attorney. While operating under a grant, she was able to try cases at her discretion; this freedom laid the foundation for her divorce practice.

“When you’re representing clients under a grant, you have incredible power to go to trial because money is no object,” Cox recalls. “I was in court with many lawyers and learned at warp speed.”

Since entering private practice 10 years ago, Cox has focused mostly on divorces.

Cox says joining Mochel’s practice – which is now called The Law Offices of Meredith Mochel – will allow her to draw on all her versatility as she continues to represent clients in divorces and expands her practice into the criminal realm.

Above all, Cox is looking forward to working with a close friend and a lawyer she admires.

“It’s a good fit. We’re very compatible.”

Learn more at www.mochellaw.com or call 423 393-9836.