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Best Lawyer
Joel Gerber
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A repeat win this year for this personable and effective local attorney at the firm of Brannen, Searcy & Smith, LLP. Joel’s specialty is the lower-profile but still very essential world of real estate closings. It’s a bit less glamorous than the big criminal trial lawyers and personal injury attorneys, but a role just as vital.

“There are so many moving parts in putting together a closing,” says Gerber of his specialty, which involves working closely with the area’s very best Realtors. “There are a lot of parties involved, from the buyer, to the seller, to their agents and the lender. My job is to work with all of them to ensure a perfect closing.”

Gerber says the real challenge is making that magic happen over and over to the satisfaction of the parties involved.

“It’s not enough to just do one great closing – we have to bring those moving parts together every time on a consistent basis,” he says.

Runner-up: Chris Steinmetz