Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel Attorneys Receive Special Honor
Three attorneys with Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., have been honored as Client Service All-Stars by BTI Consulting Group in its 13th annual review of outstanding lawyers recommended by the nation’s leading corporations. William P. Aiken, Richard W. Bethea and William H. Pickering are among an exclusive group of 330 attorneys recognized for providing exceptional service and value to their clients. Only one other Tennessee attorney was named as an All-Star by BTI.
Aiken, Bethea and Pickering were also part of a select group named by BTI as Client Service MVPs—lawyers who have received All-Star recognition for two or more consecutive years. Pickering was honored as a 4-Year MVP and was one of only three attorneys in the nation to be named as an All-Star for four consecutive years. Aiken was one of only 12 attorneys honored as a 3-Year MVP, and Bethea was recognized as a 2-Year MVP.
“A recognition like this, based exclusively on client nominations, is truly an honor,” said Dana Perry, president and managing shareholder of Chambliss. “We strive every day to act as partners with our clients and to provide the best value and service possible. This distinguishing acknowledgement is a pat on the back for the entire Chambliss team and an exceptional honor for these three attorneys.”
Aiken was recognized by BTI for his work in commercial contracts and business transactions. His practice also includes corporate and securities law and mergers and acquisitions for clients in several business and manufacturing sectors. Aiken is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions and has been honored by that publication as the Chattanooga Corporate Law Lawyer of the Year.
Bethea was recognized for his work in product liability defense. He focuses his practice on the trial of complex business cases, with particular emphasis on product liability defense, manufacturers' risk prevention, patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and commercial and consumer finance claims. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Product Liability Litigation and other complex litigation.
Pickering was recognized for his work in labor and employment law. He serves as labor counsel for some of the Chattanooga area's largest manufacturers and has been lead counsel in complex business and employment litigation in several states. Pickering is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Labor and Employment Law and Labor and Employment Litigation.
The BTI Client Service All-Stars List is the only continuous, independently researched benchmark study of client expectations and needs in the legal industry. Attorneys are selected for their exceptional commitment to client service, including the lawyer’s focus on the client’s needs, innovation, understanding of the client’s business, exceptional legal skills, outsized value and outstanding results. With self-nominations forbidden, the only way to be honored as an All-Star is to be nominated by a client in an unprompted manner. BTI conducted nearly 300 individual interviews with corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and other major corporations in more than 15 industries to develop this year’s All-Star list.
This announcement comes only weeks after Chambliss’ recognition for stellar customer service on BTI’s Client Service A-Team for the fourth consecutive year.
To learn more about The BTI Client Service All-Stars, visit www.bticlientserviceallstars.com.
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Last Update on March 31, 2015 07:27 GMT
THE DAY AHEAD
UNDATED (AP) -- Standard & Poor's is due to release the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices later this morning.
And the Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for March.
In Berlin, Germany will release unemployment figures for March.
The U.S. unemployment figures for March will be released on Friday.
In February, employers added 295,000 jobs, the 12th straight monthly gain above 200,000. And the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent. But the rate declined mainly because some people out of work stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.
UNITED STATES-CLIMATE CHANGE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- People briefed on the plans say the United States will offer a roughly 28 percent emissions cut as its contribution to a major global climate treaty nearing the final stages of negotiation.
The U.S. plans to formally make the highly anticipated announcement today, the informal deadline for nations to submit their contributions to the United Nations. The goal of 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025 isn't new -- President Barack Obama first unveiled it last year during a trip to Beijing. But the U.S. proposal has drawn intense interest from the vast majority of countries that have yet to announce how deeply they'll pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions as part of the treaty.
Obama's pledge constitutes the opening offer by the U.S. as world leaders strive to reach a climate deal powerful and ambitious enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. In the works for years, the treaty is set to be finalized in Paris in December. If it's successful, it will mark the first time all nations -- not just wealthier ones like the U.S. -- will have agreed to do something about climate change.
The individuals briefed on the proposal say the U.S. will also assert that its contribution is both ambitious and fair.
BEIJING (AP) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is pressing Chinese leaders to suspend proposed curbs on foreign security technology and says a Beijing-led regional bank should work in partnership with existing institutions.
The United States and Europe say Beijing is improperly blocking market access with the curbs in proposed anti-terrorism and banking security measures. The measures have prompted an unusually high-level response, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other Cabinet officials writing to Beijing opposing them.
The bank rules take effect tomorrow, though institutions have until 2019 to have at least 75 percent of their information infrastructure certified as "secure and controllable" by the government. Suppliers worry that might require them to disclose how their products work or shift ownership of their intellectual property to Chinese entities.
Chinese officials said they were delaying implementation of the bank rules, according to a senior U.S. Treasury official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Communist leaders are uneasy about China's reliance on foreign encryption and security technology and are trying to build up their own suppliers.
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's top government spokesman says Tokyo has no plan as of now to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters today that Japan is still seeking answers about how the regional financing institution would be governed.
Beijing has set a March 31 deadline for founding members to express interest in joining the AIIB.
The U.S. maintains that the Beijing-based regional bank should work in partnership with existing institutions such as the World Bank. It contends the bank might extend credit without adequate environmental, labor and social safeguards.
But it has found itself isolated on the issue as other major Western countries have indicated they plan to join.
Suga denied reports Japan was seeking more time to decide on the issue.
IBM-INTERNET OF THINGS
NEW YORK (AP) -- IBM is investing $3 billion to build an "Internet of Things" division aimed at harnessing the massive trove of data collected by smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances and using it to help companies better manage their businesses.
IBM estimates that 90 percent of all data generated by mobile and "smart" devices is never analyzed. The Armonk, New York, company hopes to change this by teaming up with companies like Twitter and the Weather Co., the owner of the Weather Channel, and developing cloud-based data services and tools for app developers.
Glenn Finch, Big Data and Analytics Lead at IBM Global Business Services says IBM is training more than 2,000 consultants, researchers and developers to help businesses come up with new ways to use the vast amounts of data that are now available. This could mean combining Twitter data with economic and weather data to predict what someone might be interested in buying.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A state board has approved a $361,000 fine against CSX Transportation for a 2014 derailment in Lynchburg that spilled Bakken crude oil into the James River.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality proposed the fine in a consent order that CSX approved. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the State Water Control Board approved the civil penalty on Monday.
CSX also agreed to complete restoration of the river bank in the area of the derailment and monitor the river for any long-term environmental impacts from the incident.
The consent agreement also calls for CSX to pay more than $18,500 for DEQ's investigative costs.
Seventeen cars derailed on April 30, 2014, with three going into the river and one catching fire.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- The BNSF railroad says it has started taking additional safety measures for crude oil shipments because of four recent high-profile derailments in the U.S. and Canada.
Under the changes, BNSF is slowing down crude oil trains to 35 mph in cities with more than 100,000 people and increasing track inspections near waterways. The Fort Worth, Texas, based railroad also is stepping up efforts to find and repair defective wheels before they can cause derailments.
BNSF spokesman Michael Trevino says these additional safety efforts were imposed last week in response to the recent derailments, including one involving a BNSF train earlier this month near Galena, Illinois, and the Mississippi River.
In February, a 100-car Canadian National Railway train hauling crude oil and petroleum distillates derailed in a remote part of Ontario, Canada. And less than two days later, a 109-car CSX oil train derailed and caught fire near Mount Carbon, West Virginia, leaking oil into a Kanawha River tributary and burning a house to its foundation.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The University of Michigan, defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. and a foundation helping Appalachian children all own stakes in an overseas investment fund backed by two major Chinese companies, which recently froze their stocks and missed financial reporting deadlines.
The American organizations invested in the $1.4 billion fund -- managed by New York banking giant Morgan Stanley -- for their endowments or retirement funds, parts of which could be at risk amid news that auditors have yet to sign off on the Chinese companies' books.
Those delays sometimes mean accounting troubles are ahead, which could put the investments in jeopardy. But the companies declined to explain the reasons for the unusual delays, and would say only that the auditors' work wasn't finished.
DETROIT (AP) -- Volvo Cars is planning to build its first-ever U.S. assembly plant as part of a push to increase sales in this country.
The $500 million plant will be Volvo's first car plant in North America.
The Swedish automaker says it has a short list of possible locations but didn't reveal them Monday. The company is expected to announce the location in the next few months.
Volvo has been owned by Chinese automaker Geely Holding since 2010. It currently has two plants in Europe and two in China.
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the decision to open a U.S. plant highlights Volvo's long-term commitment to the U.S. market.
Volvo has sold cars in the U.S. since 1955, but the brand struggled after its sale to Ford Motor Co. in 1999. Its products got old and couldn't compete with newer rivals from Audi and others. Geely bought Volvo from Ford for $1.8 billion, a fraction of the $6.4 billion Ford had paid to acquire it.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsiipras says his country will be unable to repay massive bailout debts without eventually restructuring them. His statement came as pressure from lenders mounted on Athens to produce viable cost-cutting reforms to unlock emergency funds and prevent default.
Tsipras told Greek lawmakers late Monday that his two-month-old government had not abandoned its pledge to seek a debt settlement and push for more generous deficit targets.
Greece's reserves are running low on money needed to repay debts and keep the country running after troubled negotiations with lenders and early general elections in January stalled the payout of more than 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) left in bailout funds for months.
In Brussels, an EU Commission spokesman said a deal with Greece requires a lot of technical work even after hours of meetings to discuss the Tsipras government proposals over the weekend.
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