James.qxp May June 2019 web - Page 11

Bingham’s Vidalia office; Fulton County Superior
Court Judge Shawn LaGrua; Decatur businesswoman
Anh Le; Savannah attorney Quentin
Marlin; Cartersville lawyer John
Mroczko; Augusta District Attorney
Natalie Paine; Darrell Sutton of
Marietta’s Sutton Law Group; Evans
lawyer Mack Taylor; former Deal execLaGrua
utive counsel Ryan Teague of the
Robbins rm; attorney Frank Turner Jr. of Covington;
Josh Waters and Brooke Newby of Walker, Hulbert,
Gray & Moore in Perry; and Kathleen Wilkinson of
Atlanta’s Hall Booth Smith office.
Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, although not a lawyer, is
assisted by his general counsel Regina Quick, a former
state representative and Superior Court judge.
Attorney General Chris Carr, a
former chief of staff to U.S. Sen.
Johnny Isakson, is the state’s top prosecutor. There are of course many
lawyers in the AG’s office who deserve
recognition but we single out Solicitor
General Andrew Pinson.
Ryan Germany, who was then-Secretary of State
Kemp’s general counsel, remains in that position for
new Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. State
School Superintendent Richards Woods is advised by
executive counsel Stacey-Suber Drake, who has served
in that position for a decade, while Ashley Sellers lls
that role for Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.
All state Supreme Court justices, as well as Court
of Appeals judges, must be recognized for the wideranging impact of their decisions. They are listed in a
separate chart accompanying this article. There are
also, of course, prominent Georgia federal judges
whom all have incredible impact on our lives due to
their decisions. Then there are various judges scattered across Peach State counties and cities who t
into the “inuential” category not just because of their
rulings but also because they “make things happen.”
James consistently places several lawyers in a
“Legendary Georgia attorney” category— colorful
trial attorney Bobby Lee Cook (who is reputed to be
the inspiration of the popular TV series “Matlock”
featuring a defense lawyer played by Andy Griffith);
M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 9
former U.S. senator and national defense expert
Sam Nunn; 1996 Atlanta Olympics
organizer and former Augusta
National Golf Club Chairman Billy
Payne; and retired state Supreme
Court Justice Conley Ingram.
There are 23 state House lawmakNunn
er/attorneys (ve of them newcomers)
and 11 in the Senate including one new senator. The
General Assembly’s most high-prole lawyer is state
House Speaker David Ralston (and the speaker’s counsel is Terry Chastain).
GOP attorneys serving Senate are Jesse Stone who
chairs the Judiciary Committee, Jay Powell who heads
the House Rules Committee and Macon lawyer John F.
Kennedy who leads the Senate GOP Caucus. Brian
Strickland, Bill Cowsert, Blake Tillery and William
Ligon are veteran legal eagles.
As for the House, the influential Judiciary
Chairman is Barry Fleming (who helped pass the
new electronic voting machine legislation). His lawyer colleagues are
Chuck Efstration, Trey Kelly, Bert
Reeves, and Bonnie Rich. And keep
an eye on Reps. Deborah Silcox and
Shaw Blackmon, a pair of the GOP’s
rising stars.
Democrat lawyers at the Capitol include House
Minority Leader Bob Trammell, Minority Whip
William Boddie and Reps. Mary Margaret Oliver,
Dar’shun Kendrick, Josh McLaurin, Beth Moore, Sam
Park, Mike Wilensky, Pam Stephenson and Brenda
Lopez. Then there’s veteran Scott Holcomb along with
David Dreyer, one of the caucus’s rising stars.
Democrats on the Senate side include Elena Parent,
Curt Thompson and loquacious newcomer Zahra
Karinshak. Sen. Jen Jordan raised her prole considerably and is probably eying higher elective office.
High-profile lawyer politicos
Outside of government, let’s focus on a wide range
of lawyers who move easily in the corridors of politics
and law “taking care of business.” Some are registered
lobbyists. Consider these high-prole lawyer/politicos:
The Atlanta office of Dentons—
the world’s largest law rm— remains
busy and its U.S. Co-CEO Jeff Haidet
can often be found there. He specializes on providing advice regarding
domestic and international commerHaidet
cial transactions, shuttling back and
forth between Georgia and California. Government
affairs attorneys include former ambassador to
Canada and Democratic Party stalwart Gordon Giffin;
one-time state attorney general Thurbert Baker; former aide to Gov. Zell Miller Keith Mason; ex-Atlanta
mayoral aide Steve Labovitz; former state attorney
general Sam Olens; ex-Atlanta mayoral counsel Sharon Gay; and Lem
Ward, one-time chief counsel of
Atlanta’s law department. Leading the
rm’s Georgia public policy practice is
former state lawmaker Edward
Lindsey. He was general counsel for
the 2018 Kemp and Duncan campaigns and he and
Ben Keane continue representing them. (By the way,
last year former Dentons lawyer Randy Evans was
conrmed as the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.)
John Hall heads the Hall Booth Smith rm with
managing partner Alex Booth. The expanding rm’s
Atlanta office includes ex-state lawmaker and author Matt Towery, onetime GOP state chairman Chuck Clay
and Brad Carver on its government
relations team. Also noteworthy
among the many HBS attorneys with
political connections are Mark
Wortham, appellate bar legend Scott Henwood and
former Columbus mayor and Republican-turnedDemocrat Teresa Tomlinson.
The Alston & Bird rm boasts of Peter Floyd,
Mark Moore and Michael Tennant . . . Baker
Donelson has Linda Klein (former president of the
American Bar Association) . . . Balch and Bingham has
Josh Archer, former state attorney general Mike
Bowers, Hugh McNatt and Righton Johnson Lewis . .
. Lobbyists Ragen Marsh and Robb Willis of
Troutman Sanders represent a long client list . . .
Former Atlanta City Councilman Aaron Watson and
Michael Coleman are with Thompson Hine.
The irrepressible former Gov. Roy Barnes in
Marietta hasn’t slowed down as a
legal/political advisor for many
Democrats and even a stray
Republican . . . Also in Marietta is former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr who heads the
Law Enforcement Education
Foundation . . . Another former
Georgia congressman, Buddy Darden, is with Pope
McGlamry . . . Atlantan Kevin Ross is a renowned
political consultant, having managed several successful political campaigns . . . The Bondurant Mixson &
Elmore rm is the headquarters of longtime liberal
champion Emmett Bondurant and Robert Ashe,
Jason Carter (the grandson of former President Jimmy
Carter) and Sachin Varghese . . .
Chalmers & Adams has a team consisting of
Doug Chalmers, Michael Adams, Steven Hardy and
former GOP state Sen. Judson Hill . . . Along with
the aforementioned Robert Highsmith (former
counsel to Gov. Sonny Perdue and former Atlanta
Mayor Kasim Reed’s attorney) at Holland & Knight
are Charles Johnson, Keith Wiener
and Jake Evans . . . At King &
Spalding is former Obama administration deputy U.S. attorney general
Sally Yates along with ex-U.S. attorney John Horn who began the
Atlanta City Hall corruption probe
(continuing under successor Bjay Pak). As for
Georgia’s two other hard-charging U.S. attorneys
they are Bobby Christine (Savannah) and Charles
Peeler (Albany).
The list goes on . . .
Atlanta’s Greenberg Traurig office has
Christopher Walker, Lori Cohen (who heads the
rm’s pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare
litigation) and Joel Katz, with his
celebrity clients. And Greenberg’s
Ernest Greer was the rst lawyer to
chair the Georgia Chamber of
Commerce . . . Former Public Service
Commission gady Bobby Baker is at
Miller and Martin along with the
international business-connected Tom Harrold . . .
Nelson Mullins heavy hitters include governmental education guru Glenn Brock, Stanley Jones,
Laura Lashly, Peter Munk, Helen Sloat and Suzann
Wilcox . . . Trial attorney Jennifer Little at Fried &
Bonder is now delving into political law . . . Perry
McGuire at Smith Gambrell Russell knows his way
around politically as do colleagues Marsha Ernest,
Benjamin Brooks and David Burge.
Josh Belinfante with Robbins, Ross, Alloy,
Belinfante & Littleeld has clout at the Capitol and
with the Kemp administration . . . Business, real
estate and election law attorney Ray Smith of Smith
& Liss is well-connected in GOP circles, as is Jack
Long in Augusta who has represented officeholders
and candidates.
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