Wednesday, January 04, 2006


A New Year. A New Adventure.

As I have intimated on this site over the past two months, changes are afoot in my career. Working for the State of Tennessee as it bungled the TennCare reform left a bad taste in my mouth, so, as October came to a close, I prayed for guidance as to where my wandering career path would lead. Amazingly, everything fell into place with surprising ease, and I am now the founder and sole attorney at The Huddleston Law Firm.

Established on November 9, 2005, I have a fantastic office at 213 E. Moody Avenue (about 100 yards from Chapman Highway, 1 mile south of the courts and Henley Street Bridge). The website domain name has been purchased, but the website is still in development. (I will link to the site off of VOLuntarilyConservative as soon as the firm site is ready, hopefully early next week.) Due to my employment with the State continuing until December 15th and the lease beginning on December 1st, the infrastructure of the firm has come together in one month. Happily, the first event at the firm was an organizational meeting hosted by Ed Bryant on December 17th (sadly, no pictures are available). While business is certainly slow right now, things fall into place a little each day.

There is a great deal to be said for owning your own business. With the exception of the National Rifle Association, I have always clashed with most business models, as most business rules and regulations were created by human resource folks and thus make little sense or are based on inefficient premises. (Nothing was more inefficient than the Tennessee Department of Human Services, which oversees the killing of the TennCare appellants, but more on that later.) Add to that vision my partaking in one of the most liberal professions in America, and the founding of my own firm was a natural progression. I certainly plan to expand in the future (a prosecutor in South Carolina, litigator in D.C., and a few associates at other firms in Knoxville come to mind as possible partners in The Huddleston Law Firm), but there is something to be said for running the show on my own for the time being.

Here’s a great example of why it is important to have independence. When the Bryant campaign consulted with me on a space to host a meeting, I initially didn’t believe my office capable of hosting such a function due a lack of adequate furniture in the conference room. I contacted my wife and asked if her firm would be interested in hosting a former congressman and several current officeholders for a brief meeting in one of their several conference rooms on that Saturday. Because there are a variety of political opinions and so many sources of input, they weren’t able to do so. I have no such limitations. I can also limit the practice so that I have time to work political campaigns. I don’t have to worry that putting out Christmas decorations will offend another partner, or that my choice of playing “The Legend of Johnny Cash” (available from through the links on the left sidebar) all day yesterday aggravated co-workers. The independence means more to me than the security of knowing where the next paycheck is coming from.

During my whirlwind founding of the firm, I came across several vendors who (ala Bill Hobbs) are begging for either praise or condemnation. First of these is Office Depot, who wasted approximately 19 hours of my time over one bookcase. The store on Broadway took over an hour to figure out that they didn’t have it, and the store in Alcoa – which had told the Broadway store that they had 3 bookcases – did likewise. Ordering the bookcase from resulted in a delivery date of December 23rd. The case was delivered on December 29th. Needless to say, I am not eager to give Office Depot another chance at redemption, although the hour wasted at Staples in Alcoa and the poor customer service at the Cedar Bluff Staples limits my shopping possibilities somewhat.

The second vendor worth mentioning is SunTrust, which, if it weren’t for the free business checking, would be the ex-financial institution for The Huddleston Law Firm. From the misrepresentation as to the ease of achieving a Letter of Credit for my utilities deposit to the changing of the shipping address – three times! – to other random addresses, including one in Orlando, SunTrust has been nothing but one big headache. Registration for their online banking failed 5 times before a customer service representative was able to fix the problem. However, their customer service has also been awful, as they can perform one function one day but can’t perform it the next day. I’m not sure if the free checking is worth the amount of Aleve that I will have to use for doing business with SunTrust.

It hasn’t been all bad, though. Not in the least. I can do nothing but rave about the great service I have received from Gentile Moving Company (865-982-3062) and the various on-line auctions that I frequented (The University of Tennessee, East Tennessee State University, and Knox County) and purchased various pieces of furniture and office equipment. BellSouth has also been quite helpful. Of course, no one has been more helpful than my parents and loving wife, who have offered help in many matters. I may be classified as a sole practitioner, but there is nothing solo about this team effort.

A new year. A new adventure. You can’t ask for much more than that.

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