Arkadelphia's Chaney Law Firm Built on Family Ties

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jul. 8, 2013 12:00 am  

Last month, Arkadelphia attorney Don Chaney celebrated with his two adult sons a ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a $1 million jury verdict for their client.

Those sons, Nathan Chaney and Taylor Chaney, are attorneys at his firm, the Chaney Law Firm PA, and worked on the case for their client, James Bradshaw, who was injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2006.

“We’ll all … celebrate a firm victory as a family,” said Nathan Chaney’s wife, Hilary Chaney, who is also an attorney and also works at the family firm. “And that’s really a fun thing to do. Most lawyers don’t get to go home and have dinners with their partners and celebrate a nice victory.”

While it’s not all that unusual to have a parent practicing law with an adult child or a husband-and-wife attorney team, it is unusual for a law firm to be made up of four attorneys who are all related. What’s more, office manager Terri Chaney is Don’s wife and mother to Nathan and Taylor.

The family connections have worked for the firm, which practices on the second floor of the two-story U.S. Bank building on Main Street in Arkadelphia.

In April, the Chaney Law Firm received the Outstanding Trial Lawyers of the Year award from the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, marking the first time the award was given to a firm rather than an individual attorney.

“We couldn’t narrow it down to one person in the firm,” Matthew Hass, executive director of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, told Arkansas Business last week. “It’s the whole firm that made it happen.”

No one case stood out for the firm in earning it the award, Hass said. The firm, however, has a history of “going to the mat for their clients,” Hass said.

The Chaney practice mainly handles personal injury and intellectual property cases and Social Security disability appeals.

There’s a downside to having the work life spill over into the family life, though.

While at home, “there are definitely times when somebody says, ‘OK, it’s time to stop talking about work,’” said the older son, Nathan Chaney, 33, who, along with his family, recently talked to Arkansas Business.

Taylor Chaney, 30, said working together and being a family means “we can have an impromptu firm meeting at just about any time.”



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