Jeffrey Maddux says the close-knit legal community in Chattanooga is one of the benefits of practicing law here, and he's looking forward to seeing people out and about again.
"Being in Chattanooga, it's not a massive city where you may never come across the same attorneys," says Maddux, who is president of the Chattanooga Bar Association for 2021. "We see each other a lot more on the streets and in the courtroom, and that's slowly opening back up, and it's good seeing those people again."
A Chattanooga native and shareholder at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, Maddux grew up hearing his father, attorney Lee Maddux, talk shop. After earning an undergraduate degree in finance and economics from Lipscomb University, the younger Maddux went on to earn a law degree and a master's in business administration from the University of Memphis.
"I knew I wanted to do some form of litigation, but also with some type of the business side of things," says Maddux, who is a litigator specializing in business disputes. "I'm fortunate we have a firm that has a lot of different types of areas, including litigation."
The work is fun, he says, despite the fact that fun may not be the first thing that comes to mind in describing business litigation.
* Personal: His wife, Emily Maddux, is a nutrition science professor at UTC. They have an 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.
* Fun fact: Maddux grew up playing soccer, played in college, and still “attempts to play” in adult leagues.
"It's something where you can really help your clients out and help them get a resolution that may not be perfect, but it really helps them and their business going forward," Maddux says. "If you ask most businesses, I think they'd say the last thing they want to do is hire a lawyer, but it's good to help them get back to what they want to be focused on."
The Chattanooga Bar Association acts as a broad resource and fosters connection across the local legal landscape, but cohesion took a hit during the pandemic, Maddux says. As courts reopen and in-person gatherings begin to be an option, he's looking forward to helping restore some sense of normalcy, he adds.
"I think that's something that we as a board are really focusing on this year," Maddux says. "In our world, you're really face to face with people a lot, and we're trying to get back to doing events, doing things where we can as a local bar association create that sense of community."