Now that the yearly display of alleged satisfied customers and the buying of advertising in the local Chattanooga newspaper has been concluded for another year with the announcement of the “Best of the Best” in our community, I would like to expand the limited categories in the legal field to what I believe are the “Best” lawyers but “least recognized.”
It should be pointed out that in the four days following the “Best of the Best” on September 29, 2017, approximately fifty-two (52) first place winners showed their appreciation to the newspaper by purchasing ads ranging from 1/8 to a full page extolling their selections in the Times Free Press and its standalone publication, Chatter Magazine.
Here is my partial list of the “Best” lawyers:
1. The 99.9% of attorneys in our state who still believe that hard work and vigorous representation of clients are still the best way to project the proper image of the legal profession;
2. Those who believe in the separation of Church and State to not quote biblical scripture in any legal solicitations advertisements;
3. Those who perform pro bono work for their church, local charities, schools, or other entities of the community without making it a media event;
4. Those, who when purporting to be an attorney, do not demean the image of lawyers by dressing in ridiculous attire that would best be displayed at the last rites of the Barnum and Bailey Circus;
5. Those who do not stand on the top of tractor trailers and claim expertise in handling cases involving the same a few days after a fatal accident in order to avoid the thirty (30) day no solicitation of accidents in Tennessee but hope to solicit the cases of injured parties in said unfortunate accidents;
6. Those who in website interviews don’t claim to be the only lawyer who cares about an injured party who doesn’t have anyone to represent them except that individual lawyer;
7. Those who accept appointments as guardians and conservators in the courts to protect the rights of those needing an attorney to represent them who have limited financial resources;
8. Those who accept appointments to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases in juvenile court, general sessions court, and criminal court knowing that they will be poorly compensated for their efforts;
9. The members of the Pro Bono Committees of the Chattanooga and Tennessee Bar Associations who regularly represent the interests of those who cannot afford to hire counsel;
10. Those who serve on the panel of the East Tennessee Legal Services Corporation and continue to support the agency in hope that the present administration in Washington does not reduce funding for this necessary and very important organization that represents low earning individuals and families;
11. Those that do not claim that because they are Board Certified that they are better qualified to represent anyone in a legal matter;
12. Those that do not buy an expensive listing in one of the 1,200 “The Best” legal categories in order to display an emblem on their website or advertisements;
13. Those who do not claim to be the “Best Law Firm in Town” but regularly try cases and/or reach settlements that fairly represent the full value of the case;
14. Those who donate money to help the needy without making it a media event or physically handing over sums of currency before the television cameras to the needy and less fortunate;
15. Those lawyers and their families and staff who participate in many of the charities in the area as volunteers but do not seek any publicity for their efforts.
These “Best of the Least Recognized” will probably make less money than the “self-appointed experts” but they better project the image of what members of the legal profession should be----to protect the rights of their clients rather than using catchy gimmicks and deceptive representations to further financial interests of a small minority of lawyers.
Lastly, I would nominate the lawyers who perform excellent services in the fields of bankruptcy, social security, criminal law, estate planning, corporate law, etc., but for some unknown reason don’t even qualify for consideration for the “Best of the Best” in the local newspaper, but instead who must compete with the newly created “Best Law Firm” established only two years ago to benefit one of the largest advertising law firms.
I encourage you to buy local products and hire local, reputable attorneys!