Chris Hinson is considered one of the top estate planning attorneys in the state of Alabama. Originally from Texas, Chris is also a Certified Public Accountant (“C.P.A.”). She obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) degree at St. Mary’s School of Law and then made a pitstop in New York City to get a LLM degree (Master of Law) in tax from New York University. There, she met her husband (and also long time law partner!), James “Bob” Hinson. Chris and Bob have been practicing law together for many years here in Bob’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama. Their firm, Hinson and Hinson, is highly respected throughout the state. I enjoyed catching up with Chris as I haven’t talked to her in a long time. You’ll hear us talk about youth swimming for reasons that will become apparent, in addition to her life in the law. I think you will like hearing her story.
Attorney Andy Sieja is one of those people that has never met a stranger. As we discuss in this podcast, he grew up in a military family and as the son of a Navy Pilot. His family moved multiple times during his formative years and, with constantly being required to meet new people, he was virtually forced to become an extrovert. Even after initially arriving in Huntsville, Alabama, Andy would not stay for long. After he graduated from high school, he went to college in Ohio and then moved to Texas to start working. He ultimately found his way to law school there as well. Andy practiced law for a while in Texas but then made his way back to Huntsville. Andy is a partner with the highly regarded law firm of Lanier Ford. When you listen to this podcast, you will quickly understand why Andy is so well liked and respected. He comes from a great family that I know personally from our church, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Andy is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Texas. His law practice involves business and corporate law, probate and estate planning with an emphasis on probate and commercial litigation. I enjoyed sitting down with Andy to get to know him better and learn more about his background.
Rebekah McKinney is a talented and tenacious lawyer and is always listed in the various published lists of the top lawyers in the State of Alabama. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Alabama School of Law. Her law firm is Watson McKinney, LLP and she has been involved in many different type cases throughout the State of Alabama. She founded her firm, Watson McKinney, LLP, with her father, the legendary and preeminent Alabama lawyer, Herman “Buck” Watson. Her family has a number of lawyers in it, to include her brother, Jake Watson, who is also featured at Episode 48 of the Next Lawyer Up podcast. I found Rebekah to be humble, smart and perceptive, along with a good sense of humor – no wonder why she always has prospective clients lined up trying to retain her! I enjoyed speaking with her on this podcast and believe you will enjoy listening in.
I can’t imagine that there are many people in North Alabama who aren’t familiar with attorney Cliff Hill. Cliff was a network news anchor for several years prior to attending law school and his law school journey was not an easy one. He would leave the news station immediately after the evening newscast and then go to law school in Birmingham five days per week. This went on for several years. Talk about dedication to the law! Cliff is one of those people who studied virtually every aspect of the law and is very conversant on a broad spectrum of legal topics. Now, though, he dedicates his law practice primarily to personal injury cases and social security disability. The name of his law firm is Hill and Jordan. Cliff is very gregarious and one of those people who has never met a stranger. I hadn’t talked to him much since our oldest sons played high school football together a number of years ago. Cliff was, of course, the president of the high school football booster club. It was great to catch up with him and learn more about his background and entry into the legal profession.
In this episode of “Next Security Clearance Expert Up”*, I was fortunate to be able to discuss security clearance issues with Jeffrey W. Bennett who is very well respected in this field. In addition to having a combined 25 years of experience in the National Industrial Security Program, Jeff is a former Army officer with military intelligence experience and he also speaks three languages!
Jeff’s primary area of expertise is in the field of industrial security. He has really mastered this area and eagerly shares his knowledge. In fact, he is so prolific on this topic that he has his own publishing arm, a blog and a podcast!
Also, since turnabout is fair play, I did this podcast with Jeff after he was kind enough to have me on his podcast discussing Security Clearance Problems and How to Solve Them. I had never met Jeff in person prior to doing this podcast and it was great to get to know him. He really is an important and integral contributor to our industrial security community.
* I should note that this is the really the second episode of the “Next Security Clearance Expert Up.” See Episode 31 for my podcast featuring Stan Miller.
Nashville is now considered the “Bachelorette Capital” of the United States. In that same vein, if there is a “national” hub of bankruptcy in our country, Nashville would have to be considered one of the front runners in this field as well. It also turns out that, with respect to bankruptcy filings, Tennessee usually leads the nation, year after year, in chapter 13 cases. At the center of this bankruptcy hub stands Henry E. “Hank” Hildebrand III. Hank is the standing chapter 13 and chapter 12 trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee based in Nashville. He is really the embodiment of someone who has mastered his craft and there really is not an issue with regard to consumer bankruptcy where Hank is not considered the preeminent expert on the topic. In fact, his commentary and thoughts on various decisions that are issued throughout the country are always eagerly awaited by everyone in the field of bankruptcy law. I have talked to Hank on occasion at various CLEs over the years so I was happy to be able to spend some one on one time getting to know about his life both in and outside the practice of law. Interestingly, Hank thought early on in his legal career that he would end up practicing “beer law,” until that job offer took an unexpected turn! In any event, I was recently at a hearing in Hank’s town so it was good to spend some time with him at his office in “Smashville.” That last sentence is really meant for me since I just wanted to say the word I kept seeing while I was there in the city!
For anyone who travels on South Memorial Parkway/231 in Huntsville, you can’t miss attorney Russ Crumbley’s building. Talk about location, especially now that the Parkway construction has been completed! Russ is a highly respected and well known attorney. He and his lawyers handle cases that cover a wide range of law. Russ has a tremendous and admirable work ethic, which is evident when he talks about changing careers from working in the medical field to deciding to attend law school. I had never really gotten to know Russ prior to this podcast so I was happy to be able to sit down with him and get an opportunity to learn about him and his life in the law.
Jake Watson is a well-known and highly respected lawyer. Though he is based in Huntsville, he practices throughout the State of Alabama. Jake represents folks facing complicated criminal defense matters. He handles the defense of clients charged with murder, manslaughter, white collar criminal offenses, DUI, and other serious matters. He also handles personal injury and car wreck cases, along with family law matters. In addition to Alabama, Jake is licensed to practice law in Montana. He explains his Montana connection during his younger years in the podcast along with the love of all things out west! In fact, he attended law school at Gonzaga University in the State of Washington. It is not too far of a stretch to say that Jake comes from Alabama “legal royalty,” as the son of the legendary and preeminent Alabama lawyer, Herman “Buck” Watson. I enjoyed getting to know Jake and his history on this podcast.
The biggest fear and unknown for every landlord of residential or commercial property is whether their tenant will timely pay his or her rent. For all but the most financially affluent landlords this is, of course, a very big deal. Most landlords have their own obligations to worry about which is why late or no payments on rental property can wreak havoc on their own financial lives. On top of this, it is possible, under existing landlord-tenant laws, for tenants to stay in a rental property for a long time without paying for it. Fortunately, for landlords and property owners in Alabama, attorney Sarah Taggart has mastered the art of eviction law and practices throughout the state. She is smart, compassionate and can get through an eviction process, which is stressful for both the landlords and tenants alike, in a quick and expeditious manner. I never really talked to Sarah before this podcast but I have seen her work in court and her demeanor, professionalism and knowledge in dealing with potentially volatile eviction proceedings is both impressive and noteworthy. I know one thing: If I owned rental property anywhere in the State of Alabama, and had any concerns at all about getting paid, I would have Sarah Taggart on my speed dial! I enjoyed getting to know her on this podcast and I think you will like getting to learn about her story.
I was fortunate to be able to sit down recently and catch up with attorney Matt Hancock. Matt has been on my list to talk to for a long time and I am glad that we were both able to finally schedule this podcast. Matt practices with the highly regarded law firm of Wolfe Jones. Their offices are located in Huntsville and Athens but their law practice reaches throughout the state of Alabama. Matt practices in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial law and creditors' rights. Matt is one of those lawyers that has mastered his areas of practice while, at the same time, remaining humble, down to earth and easy to talk to. He is a sought after CLE speaker with regard to these areas of practice. Creditors are very well represented when Matt is their lawyer and I say this with in-depth knowledge since Matt practices law for the "other side," against the clients we represent. He is respected by both sides of the bar for his excellent work over the years. It was a lot of fun to catch up with him on this podcast.