Valerie Epstein grew up in Chattanooga and attended the Girls Preparatory School. She graduated Emory University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. During the summers she worked at Hutcheson Memorial Hospital as a physician assistant. After college she was at the Miller Eye Center (Erlanger) as the director of Miller Eye Bank. While at Erlanger she assisted Dr. Fred Gregg and Dr. Deborah DiStefano with eye surgeries. She was adjunct faculty for the University of Tennessee Medical College. However, surrounded by lawyers — her grandfather, an aunt, her fiancé and her soon-to-be father-in-law — she decided to attend law school.
She was accepted to and attended the University of Tennessee Law School in Knoxville, Tennessee. While in law school she married Eron H. Epstein, who was practicing law in Chattanooga as a bankruptcy attorney. She and her husband lived in Athens, Tennessee and each commuted as their first son was born in the summer of her second year of law school. During one summer she was a clerk at Miller & Martin law firm. She graduated in the top half of her class despite having a newborn and an hour-long commute to and from law school. Upon graduation she was hired as in-house counsel for Unum/Provident insurance company where she did litigation/business and corporate work. Her civic duties included the Junior League of Chattanooga where she was asked to be on the board and where she helped launch their first successful golf tournament and she worked with the Westside and College Hill Courts to build a community garden. For her efforts she was awarded the Scenic Cities Beautiful Commission Award.
Upon the birth of her third child she took some time off from the formal practice of law and concentrated her practice on arbitration and mediation. She started her company Arb-Med, LLC in 2001. This company was successful and assisted many individuals with arbitration, mediation and complex independent medical reviews. She also practiced law during this time and served on numerous boards. She became the secretary/treasurer of the Chattanooga Bar Association (CBA) and she ran the CBA fee dispute committee helping many lawyers resolve disputes with their clients. For her service she was awarded the Albert Hodge volunteer of the year award by the CBA. She was also asked to serve on the board of Reflection Riding, Legal Aid of East Tennessee and Southeast Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. She is a member of the Tennessee Bar association (serving as chair of the ADR section), the American Association for Justice, the Tennessee Trial Lawyers and the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. She has had numerous speaking engagements in the areas of ERISA, Bridge the Gap for new lawyers and ADR in Construction for the homebuilder’s association. She is licensed to practice law in all of the local courts (Chancery, Circuit, Sessions and Criminal), including Federal court and the courts of Georgia as she is licensed in both Tennessee and Georgia.
Currently she owns her own firm concentrating her practice in the areas of civil litigation, wills and estates, arbitration/mediation and business. She has been a practicing Rule 31 mediator for over 10 years and she has been a commercial arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association for over 15 years (by invitation only). She was awarded a contract with the State of Tennessee to perform Independent External Reviews and she is a neutral for the American Health Lawyers Association. She has had numerous cases in Chancery, Circuit and Sessions court in Hamilton County representing both plaintiffs and defendants. She recently conducted and won a Chancery court case and has successfully won a jury trial.
Her recent civic service includes being the vice-chairman for Hamilton County’s public television station, WTCI. She has also held additional board positions with the Chattanooga Theatre Center, the Community Kitchen. She also served as an invited participant in the University Of Tennessee Chancellor’s Roundtable helping to shape the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She actively participates in the Grateful Gobbler and Susan G. Komen walks. She has been married to Eron H. Epstein for 25 years who together are blessed with three wonderful children.