Richard Chancey, known locally as Rick, is a lifelong resident of Lee and Russell Counties. He attended Woodland Christian School and Glenwood School in Phenix City and graduated from Smiths Station High School in 1987. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in history, Rick attended and in 1994 graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa. After graduation, he returned to Phenix City, where he has practiced law since then.
Rick’s areas of practice include domestic relations, probate and estates, business, criminal defense and general civil practice. He currently is an approved attorney for the Russell County Department of Human Resources, focusing on Adult Services, is the City Attorney of Smiths Station, Alabama, and is also attorney for the Russell County Water Authority and local counsel for Alabama Power Company.
Apart from his law practice, Rick is a member of Smiths Station Baptist Church, , and serves on the Disaster Assistance Team for the Russell County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Rick is married to the former Tracie Evans, who teaches U. S. History and Advanced Placement History at Smiths Station High School, and they have two children. Their son, Caleb, attends Auburn University and their daughter, Caitlyn, is a Senior at Smiths Station High School.
Jennifer Cooley is a native of Columbus, Georgia, graduating from St. Anne School and Pacelli High School. Ms. Cooley is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a BA in Speech Communication where she was a member of Delta Zeta Sorority. She is also a graduate of Clemson University with a M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance. Ms. Cooley obtained her J.D. from Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.
While in law school, Ms. Cooley was an active member of the Mock Trial Team, President of the Future Trial Lawyers Association, and First Year Honor Justice.
Ms. Cooley is a member of the Alabama Bar Association since 2004 and a member of the Georgia Bar Association since 2011. In 2010 she was admitted into practice before the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Cooley is a former Senior Assistant District Attorney for the Violent Crimes Unit in the Muscogee County District Attorney’s Office and prosecuted numerous murder cases.
She is sustainer in the Junior League of Columbus, volunteer for The Truth radio station, member of the St. Anne Church Finance Coumcil, former member of the Parish Council for St. Anne Catholic Church, former board member for St. Anne Outreach program, former President of the Russell County Bar Association, former President of St Anne School PTO, former President of Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (Columbus Chapter), former board member of the House of T.I.M.E., and former volunteer for Ronald McDonald House. Ms. Cooley has two children, Hunter and Morgan. Hunter attends middle school and enjoys gaming, golf, and running. Morgan,a licensed real estate agent, is married to Neal Amos and they have one fur-baby, Bailey.
Melissa Thomas is a native and resident of Lee County. She graduated from Opelika High School in 1986 and then earned a degree in Business Administration (Accounting) from Auburn University in 1989. She then attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. She graduated from Cumberland and was then admitted to the Alabama State Bar in September 1992, and subsequently began practicing law in Phenix City.
After practicing law in Phenix City for 24 years, she began a corporate career in Montgomery, Alabama, but quickly realized her true calling was in the private practice of law and returned to Phenix City.
Throughout her years in private practice, Melissa has developed expertise at representing her clients in areas including domestic relations, adoptions, juvenile court, civil litigation defense, criminal defense, personal injury, and probate matters. It is through this experience that she has gained considerable knowledge and expertise in negotiations and trials.
Melissa and her family reside in Lee County. She has been married to her husband, Thomas McEntire, for over 20 years, and together they have one son, Bryan. Thomas has worked in Columbus, Georgia for over 19 years, and Bryan attends school in Opelika. Additionally, Melissa has been a lifelong member of First Baptist Church in Opelika.