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."

 


Marion County Democratic Party February Meeting

Chairman Jim Lewis announces the monthly meeting of the Marion County Democratic Party to be held at 10 a.m. CST at 534 Spears Road in Kimball, Tn. The agenda will include: TNDP Training; Democrat Candidates for Office; March 1 Primary; MCDP PAC; and Election Cycle Meeting Schedule. Everyone is welcome.  Light refreshments will be served beginning at 9:30 a.m. Central ... (click for more)

SCWN February Marketplace Luncheon

Scenic City Women's Network will hold their February Marketplace Luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 25 at Mountain City Club, 729 Chestnut St. Ardena Garth Hicks will be speaking on "Comfort Comes from Trusting God In and Through Everything" Networking will take place from 11:30 a.m.-noon, with lunch from noon-1 p.m. Reservations can be made at reservations@scwn.org, or by ... (click for more)

WWTA, Grimes, Clem Lambasted At Boyd Public Forum

Over 50 people turned out Tuesday night on a meeting called by County Commissioner Tim Boyd over issues with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA), and many took turns lambasting the agency, director Cleveland Grimes and attorney Chris Clem. Commissioner Boyd said at the end of the hour and a half session at the East Ridge Community Center, "If less ... (click for more)

City Facing Millions In Catchup Costs For Fire And Police Pension Fund

City Council members were told Tuesday they are facing millions of dollars in catchup costs for the fire and police pension fund. Pension fund officials said the city will need to invest some $1.6 million per year more with the fund to keep up with the latest state requirement. Frank Hamilton said the fund has been at a level of about 60 percent of obligations, but that needs ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Grab The Reaching Hand

Three of Tennessee’s largest four cities are now searching for school superintendents. Jesse Register retired last June and, after botching the first attempt, Nashville city leaders are intensely helping the Board of Education in a search for the best candidate. In Knoxville and Chattanooga the superintendents have resigned, both under a cloud, and now the leaders of the ‘2.0’ initiative ... (click for more)