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."

 


Storm Sewer Inspection Project Scheduled For 2 Intersections This Week

A storm sewer inspection project is scheduled for Tuesday, through Friday, at the intersections of Hampton Street and Palmetto Street and Hampton Street anad East 3 rd  Street.   All work will be performed in the evenings from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m.  The project will include single lane closures with flaggers. In order to view a map of these closures, visit:  ... (click for more)

Hunter Museum To Host Jazzanooga Brunches This Fall

The Hunter Museum of American Art will host a special series of brunches this fall featuring live jazz in partnership with Jazzanooga, a citywide celebration of jazz co-founded by Shane Morrow and James McKissic. The Hunter Museum has been a partner with Jazzanooga since its 2011 inception. This year they are expanding the partnership beyond the April events to include a series ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Insurance Burden Should Not Fall On The Teachers

I have attended several Hamilton County School Board meetings over the past few months, including the recent special called meeting" to vote on teacher insurance changes. First, let me say I am very impressed with Superintendent Rick Smith and his staff at the Central Office.  Mr. Smith is a very dedicated public servant, working hard to provide services to our community ... (click for more)