During more than 40 years of practice, Rick Hitchcock has learned the businesses of a broad range of clients operating in fields ranging from startups to health care, from telecommunications to petroleum marketing, from energy supply to local governments, and from real estate to trade associations. He serves these clients with the tools appropriate to their legal needs. For some he applies his broad experience in environmental law, in energy and telecommunications, and in the organization and operation of local governments and non-profit associations. For startups and more mature businesses, he provides counsel on business organization, finance, and growth. For others, he uses his litigation experience to resolve disputes and, if necessary, to defend business decisions or vindicate wrongful acts. For all of his clients, he looks for solutions – for ways to solve clients' problems and to enable them to achieve their goals.
Rick has served as counsel to local governments on contract, regulatory, and organizational issues. He has represented major health care institutions on regulatory, governance, business, and compliance matters. He has worked with municipal and cooperatively-owned electric and communications utilities on a wide range of legal issues, including legislative, regulatory, strategic planning, business, and operational issues. Rick has worked closely with entrepreneurs and startups for more than two decades. He regularly counsels public agencies on public records issues and has represented clients in key cases defining the scope of the Tennessee Public Records Act. He has represented emergency communications districts that serve more than a quarter of the citizens of the State. Rick served as counsel to the most recent Chattanooga charter study commission, and he was a principal drafter of the City's current charter framework.
Rick has played a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Chattanooga. He served as chairman of the regional transit authority, CARTA, for nearly two decades and led the creation of the nation's most successful electric shuttle system. Rick has helped lead the community's efforts to leverage the nation's fastest Internet to spur innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital equity. He is a member of the boards and executive committees of The Enterprise Center and CoLab and is a member of the steering committee for Chattanooga's Smart City Collaborative. Rick regularly teaches startup business principles. He is a regular presenter to participants in UTC's Veterans Entrepreneurship Program.