Miles also had not originally planned to work in family law. When she began looking for a job after law school, she wanted to return to north Georgia.
“There were very few women who practiced law in Gainesville,” she said. “I came and interviewed. They tease me now and say they hired me because I wore pearls to the interview. ... The first few years I practiced, I was signing my name under partners. No one in the firm did domestic work at that time.”
When someone came in wanting a divorce, Miles took the case so she could lead and not work under another attorney.
“I didn’t have to sign my name under a partner’s name,” she said. “I enjoy helping people. Every case is different. It’s never boring. I look at the clock every day and say ‘Please slow down.’ I fell by it naturally and because that area was not being held by anyone else in the firm.”
She has been with the same firm since July 1984.
“Gainesville is a lot like Dalton,” she said. “It feels like home.”
Tuggle said once he began practicing family law, he realized he loved having so much direct client contact.
“When I was doing commercial litigation or representing a developer, there wasn’t a personal interest in the case,” he said. “When you represent an individual, you have a great impact on a person’s life, their children, their money. It’s tight stakes. It makes it stressful but it’s also very rewarding.
“It’s a dynamic practice. It’s like trying to hit a moving target. I never get bored with it. Personalities are different. Situations are different.”
Tuggle’s wife, Amber, is a personal injury lawyer. They have a 10-year-old son, Will.