Chattanooga Legal Community To Increase Efforts To Meet Underserved's Legal Needs

Monday, February 5, 2018

An estimated one million Tennesseans face some type of civil legal issue each year; one in three people go without professional legal assistance, because they are unable to afford a lawyer or qualify for low-income assistance.  Others may simply not recognize they have a legal issue that requires the help of an attorney.  Last year Legal Aid of East Tennessee formed new partnerships with other legal aid assistance groups in an effort to bridge the gap for those who can’t access legal assistance for a variety of civil legal issues.  Area places of worship have been the focus of those efforts.  

In 2017, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Tennessee Faith and Justice Alliance, Christian Legal Society, and Chattanooga Gospel Justice Initiative hosted more than 10 legal aid clinics in churches around the Chattanooga area including: White Oak United Methodist Church in Red Bank, Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in East Ridge, South Soddy Baptist Church in Soddy Daisy, the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, and the Samaritan Center in Ooltewah.  More such partnerships are in the works. The Southeast Tennessee Veterans Coalition has joined in these efforts in order to reach more military veterans with legal and other needs.  A full slate of additional clinics is planned for 2018, including a clinic specifically for veterans.  Another clinic will offer specific help and assistance to individuals looking for legal assistance in starting a small business.  The current dates of those events are as follows: 

Feb. 8 - Small Business Start-Up Workshop 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (Part 1 of 2)
White Oak United Methodist Church, 2232 Lyndon Ave.
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415 

Feb. 15 - Small Business Start-Up Workshop 5-7 p.m. (Part 2 of 2)
White Oak United Methodist Church, 2232 Lyndon Ave.
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415 

Feb. 17 - GJI Advanced Health Care Directives Breakfast 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 
White Oak United Methodist Church, 2232 Lyndon Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37415 

Feb. 19 - Military Veteran’s Legal Aid Partnership Clinic – 1-4:30 p.m.
Family Justice Center at Eastgate
5705 Uptain Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37411 

March 6 - Partnership Legal Aid Clinic – 1-3 p.m.
Samaritan Center of Ooltewah
Lee Highway, Ooltewah, Tennessee 37363 

March 7 - Partnership Legal Aid Clinic – 5-7 p.m.
Location TBD

March 17 - GJI Office Hour Clinic – 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.
White Oak United Methodist Church
2232 Lyndon Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37415
Appointments are recommended and can be made by visiting the Gospel Justice Initiative website at www.gji.org/chattanooga 

April 5 - Partnership Legal Aid Clinic – 5-7 p.m. 
Jones Memorial United Methodist Church
Rossville Blvd, East Ridge, Tennessee 

April 21 - GJI Office Hour Clinic – 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 
White Oak United Methodist Church
2232 Lyndon Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37415
Appointments are recommended and can be made by visiting the Gospel Justice Initiative website at www.gji.org/chattanooga 

The clinics are open to anyone with a civil legal issue or question who can’t otherwise afford an attorney.  People interested are advised to call in advance so that attorneys with an expertise in the specific area of concern can be available to assist. 

Improving equal access to justice was declared a priority by the Tennessee Supreme Court, and the Access to Justice Commission was formed in 2009 in an effort to expand equal access to justice across the state.  The Access to Justice Commission created the Tennessee Faith and Justice Alliance on the premise that many individuals with legal issues will first seek assistance at their local houses of worship.  The TFJA offers training of local pastoral leadership to bridge the legal gap and build better legal referral networks. 

Attendees will be screened to determine if they are eligible for Legal Aid of East Tennessee. If they are eligible for LAET there is no charge. If they are not eligible for LAET, a $30 administrative fee will be charged through the Chattanooga Gospel Justice Initiative, but no other fees will be required to consult with an attorney. A receipt will be provided for administrative fees paid, and those monies go to support Gospel Justice Initiative efforts here in Chattanooga.  Walk-ins are also welcome but will be served on a first-come basis.  More information about the Chattanooga Gospel Justice Initiative and information about registering for events can be found on the website www.gji.org/chattanooga

For more information about these events or the partnership, please contact Paige Evatt, Pro Bono director at Legal Aid of East Tennessee at 402-4758 or email at pevatt@laet.org.  You can also reach Nancy Cogar with the Chattanooga Gospel Justice Initiative at 521-5410 or email at Chattanooga@gji.org.  More information on Gospel Justice Initiative is available at www.gji.org/chattanooga.




Chattanooga Police Department Sponsors Crime Prevention Training For Business Owners And Managers

The Chattanooga Police Department is sponsoring free crime prevention training primarily designed for business owners and managers who are interested in making their facility and employees as safe as possible. A nationally-accredited Crime Prevention specialist from the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center will cover the following topics during the four-hour ... (click for more)

TVA Opens Public Comment Period On Scope Of Integrated Resource Plan Update

The Tennessee Valley Authority kicked off a public comment period on Feb. 15, related to the initial process phase for updating its Integrated Resource Plan, the agency’s long-term energy resource strategy.  To ensure that the full range of issues and a comprehensive portfolio of energy resources are addressed, TVA invites members of the public, customers, businesses, employees, ... (click for more)

City Files Petition To Turn Confederate Cemetery Over To Sons Of The Confederacy

The city of Chattanooga has filed a petition in Chancery Court asking that management of the Confederate Cemetery be turned over to the Sons of the Confederacy. The Sons of the Confederacy, a group that has long taken care of the cemetery, joined in the petition. The cemetery is located by the UTC campus. It is beside the Citizens Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery on the old ... (click for more)

Candidate For County Commission District 5 Lives In District 7; Election Office Says Geter Plans To Move Prior To August Election

A candidate who qualified to run for County Commission District 5 currently lives just across the line in District 7. The election office said Katherlyn Geter advised that she plans to move into District 5 prior to the Aug. 2 general election. She is running against District 5 incumbent Greg Beck in the May Democratic primary. Ms. Geter lives in a neighborhood near Silverdale ... (click for more)

Reflections On Billy Graham

Sandra and I are saddened this morning after learning of the death of Billy Graham. We rejoice today, because Mr. Graham once said "It will be reported that Billy Graham has died, but that won't be the truth. He said the truth is that he had only moved to a new location".  I remember when we named 15th Street as Billy Graham Avenue, his daughter Gigi came for the dedication ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Me & Billy Graham

For several years in my life it seemed my bad arm and I spent more time at Mayo Clinic than we did in my own house. I hold the record for the most different infections in an elbow at the same time, and my medical charts never had my name on them, instead I was simply, “Mr. Complication.” One morning in particular I spent a horrible three hours in the “nerve conduction lab” with ... (click for more)