Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, August 14, 2015

Raising The Bar

We’re all in this together

Pictured (L-R): Linda Norwood, Doug Campbell, Rick Marcus, Lee Davis, Robin Miller, the Hon. Jeff Hollingsworth, the Hon. Marie Williams, Misty Harris, and Tim Mickel. Not pictured: Bill Colvin. - David Laprad

Lynda Minks Hood, Executive Director

Chattanooga Bar Association


Back in April, the Circuit and Chancery Court judges asked the Chattanooga Bar Association Court Relations Committee to bring back the Judges Forum for the purpose of improving relations between the bench and the bar in Hamilton County. Tim Mickel (Evans Harrison & Hackett) was appointed Chair of this committee.

Committee members include: the Hon. Marie Williams and the Hon. W. Jeffrey Hollingsworth, judicial liaisons; Mickel; Rick Marcus (Franklin Cooper & Marcus), civil litigation and moderator; Doug Campbell (Campbell & Campbell), civil litigation; Bill Colvin (William G. Colvin, PLLC), civil litigation; Misty Harris (Lawrence & Lawrence). family law; Lee Davis (Davis & Hoss), criminal law; Scott Brown (Spears Moore Rebman & Williams), insolvency and collections; and Clerk & Master Robin Miller, Chancery Court, and Linda Norwood (Law Office of Linda Norwood), probate.

The proposed format of the Bench & Bar Seminar will be a moderated discussion between the Chancellors, the Circuit Judges, and the bar of both courts. Marcus will moderate the discussion with questions that have been compiled by the committee and the judges. By now, you should have received an email from me, with the list of proposed questions collected by the committee, asking you for additional questions. The questions have been broken down into eight categories: decorum; civility and professionalism; judicial preferences; practice pointers; local rule issues; discovery issues; jury issues; and being a judge.

The Bench & Bar Seminar will be held Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Hamilton County Commission Room. The three-hour seminar will begin at 1:15 p.m. and end at 4:30 p.m., with a reception (for attendees only) to be held at Universal Joint. This reception is at no charge, and food and drinks will be provided. The seminar will be approved for three hours DUAL CLE credit, which includes Ethics/Professionalism. The program is open to every attorney in Hamilton County; however, to obtain CLE credit, the cost for members and non-members is only $45.

Some of the committee members expressed to the Committee Chair that they, “felt the reinvigoration of these discussions was of crucial importance, particularly in light of the ever-increasing number of new lawyers who have begun practicing in our courts.”

In addition to this seminar, we are planning a swearing-in ceremony for the newly admitted attorneys. This ceremony will begin at noon, and will also be held in the Hamilton County Commission Room.

Our hope is that this initial program will be a footprint that we’ll duplicate for later use in Sessions, Criminal, and other Courts.

It is the vision from the Circuit and Chancery Courts judges that this seminar will foster good judicial relations and an exchange of concerns between the bench and the bar. After all, we’re all in this together!