Chancellor Candidate Joe Manuel Cites His 35 Years Of Experience In Talk To Civitans

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Candidate for Chancellor Joe Manuel said to the Civitan Club on Friday afternoon, "An ideal chancellor should have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, and the steel in his spine of a good high school principal."

He said the position of Chancellor is important because Chancery Court deals with "issues that will affect everyone in Hamilton County, whether you've personally walked through the doors or not."

In 2013 alone, Chancery Court had 2,300 cases, dealing with everything from divorce to annexation.

He said, "Chancery Court is the court that from time to time is going to stand up and literally stretch out its hand to the government and say 'No.'"

He gave an example, saying recently, an area that had been annexed into the city 30 years ago was paying taxes but still not receiving city services such as sewer and water. Mr. Manuel said when the case came to Chancery Court, the Chancellor at that time ruled that those residents did not have to pay city taxes until they were given the services they had been promised.

He said, when Chancery Court protects people from the government, "I think it's their best hour."

Mr. Manuel also said voters needed to ask the question, "Has this lawyer distinguished himself in the practice of law?" A lawyer for the past 35 years, he said, "I have been very fortunate in my legal career to have been exposed to a broad breadth of cases."

He pointed out, "Trial lawyers are some of the most transparent people in the world. We're a little like baseball pitchers...When a trial lawyer loses a case, there's nowhere to hide."

In addition to working as a trial lawyer, Mr. Manuel also studied to become a mediator. He said he developed a pilot mediation program to reduce docket loads. Eventually, he became a Tennessee Supreme Court Mediator.

In 1992, he also became an arbitrator, acting to settle disputes. He called this "great training to become a Chancellor" because of the complex cases he sees regularly.

In 1995, he became a Civil Trial Specialist. Since that time, he has authored a book, "The Tennessee Alternative Dispute Resolution Handbook," which is still used today. He also taught online law classes, helping current lawyers to grow their careers.

He said because Chancery Court deals with such a wide range of cases, it is important the Chancellor is "not someone who is overspecialized in a particular area."

When asked what set him apart from his opponent, Mr. Manuel said, "You won't find them with 35 years of experience." He also pointed out his experience in mediation and arbitration. He is running against Pam Fleenor for the Republican Primary.

He said, "I'm not afraid to stand up and make difficult decisions, because there will be difficult decisions to make. It is not an easy job."

 


South Crest Road To Be Closed For 10 Weeks For Construction

South Crest Road, between East Crest Road and Peachtree Road, will be closed beginning   Monday, at 8 a.m. for the rebuilding of a retaining wall. Detours will be posted using Peachtree Road and East Crest Road with flaggers on site. This project has an estimated duration of 10 weeks. The closure will be daytime hours from   8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when weather permits. ... (click for more)

Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County: U.S. 27 (SR-29) reconstruction project from Manufacturers Road (Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River) to U.S. 127 (SR-8, Signal Mountain Road/Boulevard):  Weather permitting, the contractor may have lane closures throughout the project area on weeknights to perform road work.  They will also be working ... (click for more)

EPB Officials Huddle With Attorneys Over City Street Lighting Issue

EPB board members huddled with attorneys on the issue of billing for city street lights on Friday morning. EPB Chairman Joe Ferguson asked for the private session with attorneys Rick Hitchcock and Tom Greenholtz of Chambliss Bahner. Don Lepard, owner of Global Green Lighting, earlier filed a $10 million "whistle blower" lawsuit, claiming overbilling by EPB on street lighting. ... (click for more)

City Council Taking Applications From Those Interested In Serving On City IDB

The City Council is taking applications from those interested in serving on the city industrial Development Board (IDB).   There are four vacancies on the board that has been in the news for its controversial approval and re-approval of $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for developers of Aetna Mountain. Resumes are due by Sept. 29.   ... (click for more)

Walking Among Memories, The USS LST-325

I have walked among the head stones at Flanders Fields and have seen the entrenchment of soldiers with only bayonet tips sticking out of the earth. Later I traveled to Normandy where I stood on the sand and made scuff marks with my shoes on Omaha Beach and climbed the hill to the magnificent American Cemetery there. I again walked among the many, many tomb stones so neatly and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Troubling Jameis Winston

One of the greatest things about the American legal system is that each and every crime is judged on its own merits. Just because Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were each arrested for domestic abuse earlier this week, each National Football League football hero will be given an independent hearing and trial, if need be, ... (click for more)