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Livestream

Livestream - Professional and Ethical Dilemmas in Litigation


CLE Hours: 6 including 6 General, 3 Ethics, 3 Professionalism, 6 Trial Practice

Categories:
Ethics |  Professionalism |  Trial Practice

Dates


Tags: Litigation


Description

 

  • Speakers, session times and credit hours are subject to change.
  • Ethics | Professionalism | Trial Practice

 


This seminar will consist of four panels, each of which will consider a series of thorny hypothetical situations, which often arise in litigation. Each hypothetical will address at least one ethical, professional, or legal dilemma, which a litigator may face while representing a client. (A few examples: How soon must you disclose to a client that you have made an error? Can you restrict a client’s right to sue you for malpractice? How much can you charge a client for work done by a contract lawyer? What are the rules for splitting fees and referral fees? Can your fee agreement require that all disputes/claims be arbitrated? If you find an important internal memo drafted by your opposing counsel, can you read it and use it? Can you pay for your client’s medical bills? Can you threaten a lawyer with a Bar Complaint? How should you respond to a nasty on-line review?)

The panels will consist of appellate judges (Supreme Court and Court of Appeals), trial court judges, lawyers from the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar of Georgia, and experienced litigation attorneys. Attendees will be encouraged to participate in the discussions.


 

  • Presiding:
  • David N. Lefkowitz, Program Chair and Moderator; The Lefkowitz Firm, LLC, Atlanta and Athens, GA; Adjunct Professor, University of Georgia School of Law, Athens, GA

 

  • 8:00
  • In-person Registration

  • 8:25
  • Introduction
  • Colette Reed, ICLE Program Coordinator, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA

  • 8:30
  • SESSION I (provides professionalism credit) (provides trial practice credit)
  • Hon. Verda M. Colvin, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Brian M. Rickman, Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Alvin T. Wong, Chief Judge, DeKalb County State Court, Decatur, GA
  • William V. Hearnburg, Jr., Assistant General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Kim M. Jackson, Partner, Bovis, Kyle, Burch & Medlin, Atlanta, GA

  • 10:00
  • BREAK

  • 10:15
  • SESSION II (provides ethics credit) (provides trial practice credit)
  • Hon. Andrew A. Pinson, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Stephen Louis A. Dillard, Presiding Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Sara L. Doyle, Presiding Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. William M. “Billy” Ray, II, Judge, U.S. District Court, Atlanta, GA
  • Andreea Morrison, Deputy General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Warren R. Hinds, Warren R. Hinds, PC, Roswell, GA

  • 11:45
    Lunch

  • 12:15
  • SESSION III (provides professionalism credit) (provides trial practice credit)
  • Hon. John J. Ellington, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Soperton, GA
  • Hon. Keith R. Blackwell, Justice (retired), Supreme Court of Georgia; Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird LLP, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Jeffrey A. Watkins, Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA
  • A. Leigh Burgess, Assistant Grievance Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Christine L. Mast, Senior Partner, Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP, Atlanta, GA

  • 1:45
  • BREAK

  • 2:00
  • SESSION IV (provides ethics credit) (provides trial practice credit)
  • Hon. Carla Wong McMillian, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Shawn Ellen LaGrua, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Benjamin A. “Ben” Land, Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA
  • Hon. Benjamin W. “Ben” Studdard, III, Chief Judge, Henry County State Court (retired), Carrollton, GA
  • Paula J. Frederick, General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
  • Peter “Pete” Werdesheim, Werdesheim & Newcomb, LLC, Atlanta, GA

  • 3:30
  • ADJOURN

 

Version 1

 

Handouts

Speaker

Mr. David Neal Lefkowitz's Profile

Mr. David Neal Lefkowitz Related Seminars and Products

The Lefkowitz Firm LLC


David Lefkowitz graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. and earned his J.D. from Emory University School of Law. The Lefkowitz Firm, LLC, represents individuals and corporations in their claims for legal malpractice (legal negligence) and similar claims such as breach of fiduciary duty, executor misconduct and ethical misconduct by attorneys and other fiduciaries. The firm also represents attorneys and law firms with regard to risk management and attorney’s fee disputes. David is an adjunct professor of legal malpractice law, ethics, and risk management at the University of Georgia School of Law and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars. David has offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Athens, Georgia.   


Hon. Verda M. Colvin's Profile

Hon. Verda M. Colvin Related Seminars and Products

Supreme Court of Georgia


Justice Verda M. Colvin was appointed to the Supreme Court on July 20, 2021, by Gov. Brian Kemp. She is the first African-American female appointed by a Republican governor to the state’s high court.
Previously, she served on the Court of Appeals, having been appointed by Gov. Kemp in April 2020. Her time as judge also includes nearly six years as a Superior Court judge in the Macon Judicial Circuit, during which she served on the Council of Accountability Court Judges.

Justice Colvin discovered her love for trial work early in her career as an Assistant Solicitor in Athens-Clarke County. From there, she went on to serve as Assistant General Counsel to Clark Atlanta University and then as Assistant District Attorney in Clayton County. Before becoming a judge, Justice Colvin was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Middle District of Georgia, where she prosecuted a wide range of offenses from drug trafficking to white collar crime.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Justice Colvin attended Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in government and religion from Sweet Briar College in Virginia and her juris doctorate from the University Of Georgia School Of Law.

Judge Colvin is committed to service professionally and personally. In 2019, the Supreme Court appointed her to serve on the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC). Additionally, during her tenure as a Superior Court Judge she served on the CSCJ Bench & Bar and Legislative Committees and as a member of the Council of Accountability Court Judges (CACJ) where she was part of the Funding Committee, the Committee Chair for Accountability and Treatment Courts and a member of the CACJ Executive Committee. Justice Colvin was serving as co-chair of the Rules Committee for the Council of Superior Court Judges (CSCJ) at the time of her appointment to the Court of Appeals by Gov. Kemp.
She formerly served on Gov. Nathan Deal’s Criminal Justice Reform Committee and the Law Enforcement Task Force Committee. During her service on the Court of Appeals Justice Colvin served as a member of the Internal Operations Manual and the Continuing Judicial Education and In-house Continuing Legal Education for Staff Attorneys. She co-chaired the Strategic Planning/Court Futures Committee and was appointed to serve on the Continuing Judicial Education Board of Trustees. In her service on the Supreme Court of Georgia she currently serves as the Chair of the Access to Justice Committee.

Justice Colvin is a member of several organizations and boards: The Order of Barristers, Macon Bar Association, American Bar Association (ABA), Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA), Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL), Gate City Bar-Judicial Section, William A. Bootle American Inn of Court, Charles Weltner Family Inn of Court, Clarence Cooper Inn of Court, Clarke-Carley Inn of Court, the Downtown Rotary Club of Macon , Board of Trustees for Mount de Sales Academy (Chair of Board in 2021), Jack and Jill of America-Macon Chapter, Board of Directors for the Fuller Center for Housing of Macon (President 2018-2021), Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia Corporate Board of Directors, Macon Bibb Citizens Advocacy Board, Secretary (2021-Present), Co-chair of ONEMACON 2.0, Georgia Citizen Advocacy Board, Sweet-Briar College Board of Trustees, Goodwill Industries Board of Directors, Wesleyan College Board of Trustees, and Knight Foundation Advisory Board. Justice Colvin is a proud Leadership Macon 2010 graduate.

Among her numerous awards and honors are Justice Verda M. Colvin Month in honor of Women’s History Month in Macon-Bibb County (2022) by Mayor Lester Miller, Alaimo Award (2022) by Georgia Trial Lawyer Association (GTLA), The Leah Ward Sears Award for Distinction in the Profession (2021) by GABWA, The Young Lawyer Division of the State Bar of Georgia Distinguished Judicial Award (2020-21), The Honorable Debra Bernes Community Volunteer Award (2021) by GAWL, Tradition of Excellence Award as a Judge by The General Practice and Trial Section of the State Bar of Georgia (2019), Middle Georgia Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year (2019), The House of Hope-Women’s History Month Award (2019), NAACP President’s Award (2018), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Pearls of Service Award (2017), Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the Year (2016 and 2017), Career Women’s Network Woman of Achievement (2016), Georgia Orthodox Missionary Baptist Association Community Service Award (2015), and Leadership Macon’s Robert F. Hatcher Distinguished Alumni Award as a Community Leader.

Justice Colvin has served as an adjunct professor at Mercer School of Law and she is a member of First Baptist Church where she serves as a children’s Sunday school teacher and on the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team. She is the proud mother of two children, Weston and Taylor, and the wife of Nathaniel Walker with whom she shares two other adult children, Nathan and Nathalie.


Hon. Brian M. Rickman's Profile

Hon. Brian M. Rickman Related Seminars and Products

Georgia Court of Appeals


2015 – Present

Chief Judge Brian M. Rickman was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals in November 2015 by Governor Nathan Deal and took office on January 1, 2016.

 

Born in Madison County, Georgia, Judge Rickman was a jailer working in the Rabun County Detention Center before entering Piedmont College where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in 1998. He earned his Juris Doctor from The University of Georgia School of Law in 2001. While in law school he was a member of the Mock Trial Board and was involved in the Prosecutorial Clinic. Judge Rickman was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia on October 29th, 2001. He began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit and then the Mountain Judicial Circuit. In 2004 he left the District Attorney’s Office to become a partner in a small town law firm in Rabun County, Georgia. He was a partner at Stockton & Rickman. At Stockton & Rickman, in addition to taking on whatever clients came through the door, including several pro bono cases, he was involved in civil litigation and was defense counsel in several cases including murder cases. In 2008, Judge Rickman was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to be the District Attorney for the Mountain Judicial Circuit and this was the position Judge Rickman held prior to taking office at The Georgia Court of Appeals.

 

In 2004, Judge Rickman became an adjunct professor at Piedmont College. He has taught several courses, including, American Government, Criminal Law and Procedure, and Courts and Society. He is a member of the Piedmont College Board of Trustees.

 

Judge Rickman was involved in several Professional Organizations as District Attorney. He was a member of the Georgia Board of Public Safety. The Georgia Board of Public Safety has statutory oversight over the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Public Training Center. He was elected to be Secretary of the Georgia Board of Public Safety. Judge Rickman also served on the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council as the Board of Public Safety representative. Judge Rickman was elected by colleagues to serve on The Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Council has statutory oversight over the State budget and training of Georgia’s District Attorney’s Offices. He served as chairman of the Personnel Committee.

 

In 2008, Judge Rickman was a recipient of the Piedmont College Alumni Association’s Pacesetter Award. In 2013 he was named by the Fulton Daily Report as a “40 under 40 On the Rise,” selection.

 

Judge Rickman’s most important role is as husband to his wife, Maggie, and father to his two young children.




Mr. Kim Monroe Jackson's Profile

Mr. Kim Monroe Jackson Related Seminars and Products

Bovis Kyle Burch & Medlin LLC


Kim Jackson is a partner with Bovis, Kyle, Burch, & Medlin, LLC. His practice primarily focuses on defending attorneys and other professionals in malpractice claims and handling all forms of insurance coverage and bad faith disputes, though he has experience in all types of litigation. As part of his professional liability practice, Kim advices other attorneys and clients on the prosecution and defense of attorney fee claims involving allegations of abusive litigation, defends bar grievances, and testifies as an expert witness in matters involving legal malpractice and ethics questions. Kim successfully defended the constitutionality of O.C.G.A. 9-11-9.1, Georgia’s Affidavit of Merit statute, which resulted in an opinion by the Georgia Supreme Court, and the denial of cert by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Kim is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, where is serves as the Chair of the Insurance Coverage Section and Vice-Chair of the Extra-Contractual Section. Kim is admitted to practice law in three states: Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas. Kim earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky in 1994, Order of Coif, and received his Bachelor of Arts from Wabash College, in economics & mathematics, magna cum laude, in 1991.

 


Hon. Andrew Alan Pinson's Profile

Hon. Andrew Alan Pinson Related Seminars and Products

Supreme Court of Georgia


Justice Andrew A. Pinson was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia by Governor Brian Kemp and was sworn in on July 20, 2022.

Justice Pinson was born in DeKalb County, Georgia, and grew up in Lithonia and Lawrenceville. In middle school, he moved to Lincolnton, and he graduated from Briarwood Academy in Warrenton.

Justice Pinson is a “Double Dawg” with a Finance Degree from the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business and a law degree from the University of Georgia’s Lumpkin School of Law. He graduated at the top of his class in law school and interned with Governor Sonny Perdue, Jones Day in Atlanta, and Fortson, Bentley, & Griffin in Athens.

After graduating from law school, Justice Pinson served as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for then-Chief Judge David B. Sentelle, and later served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Clarence Thomas.

In private practice, Justice Pinson has twice worked for Jones Day, once in Washington D.C., between his two clerkships, and later here in Atlanta, after serving with Justice Clarence Thomas. At Jones Day, he was part of the firm’s Issues and Appeals Practice, and he handled a broad range of matters in both trial and appeals courts.

In 2017, Justice Pinson joined the Office of Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, and in 2018, he was appointed Solicitor General of Georgia. As Solicitor General, he led the State’s appellate and multistate litigation practice and served as the Attorney General’s chief constitutional advisor. He personally handled high-profile and complex appeals, including in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and several other courts in Georgia and across the country. And he oversaw matters of special importance to the State in all phases of litigation, including the successful defense of the State’s water resources in the critical “water wars” litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Pinson currently serves as an advisor to the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. He also serves as a Master of the Clarke-Carley Inn of Court and the Bleckley Inn of Court, and he serves on the Advisory Board for the Atlanta Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.

Justice Pinson and his wife Sara Beth live just north of Tucker in DeKalb County. Sara Beth earned a Ph.D. in Poultry Science from the University of Georgia and now works for a software company and as a professional dog trainer. They enjoy hiking in the North Georgia mountains and playing dog sports like Frisbee and agility with their three dogs (Nimbus, Goomba, and Elphie). They attend Embry Hills United Methodist Church.


Hon. Stephen Louis A. Dillard's Profile

Hon. Stephen Louis A. Dillard Related Seminars and Products

Georgia Court of Appeals


Presiding Judge Stephen Louis A. Dillard was appointed as the 73rd judge of the
Court of Appeals of Georgia on November 1, 2010, by Governor Sonny Perdue. Prior
to his appointment, Judge Dillard was in private practice with James, Bates, Pope &
Spivey in Macon, serving as chairman of the firm's appellate practice group; served
as law clerk to Judge Daniel A. Manion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit; and worked as an associate at Stone & Baxter in Macon, handling complex
civil matters.

 

In 2012 and 2018, Judge Dillard was elected by his fellow Georgians
to serve full six-year terms on the Court of Appeals. On July 1, 2017, Judge Dillard
was sworn in as the 30th Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia for a twoyear
term, which ended on June 30, 2019. Judge Dillard is also an active alumnus of
Samford University, and is currently serving as president of the alumni association.
Most importantly, he has been married to his college sweetheart, the former Krista
McDaniel, for over 28 years. They have three children and are active parishioners at
Saint Joseph Catholic Church.


Hon. Sara Lynn Doyle's Profile

Hon. Sara Lynn Doyle Related Seminars and Products

Georgia Court of Appeals


Presiding Judge Sara L. Doyle was elected to the Georgia Court of Appeals in December, 2008 and took office on January 1, 2009. In 2014 and 2020, she was elected to her second and third six- year term. From July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017, Judge Doyle was the Court’s Chief Judge where she was instrumental in implementing a historic jurisdiction shift of cases from the Supreme Court and the addition of a new fifth division adding three more judges to the Court, and funding

and design of the new Nathan Deal Judicial Center. Judge Doyle has also sat by designation on the Supreme Court of Georgia and on Georgia’s State-wide Business Court.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Judge Doyle lived in several states before entering the University of Florida where she graduated in 1990 with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.  In 1994, she graduated cum laude from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law where she was a member of the Mercer Law Review.  Judge Doyle was admitted to the Georgia Bar in June 1994 and began her legal career as a civil litigator with Wilson, Strickland & Benson, P.C. Just prior to taking office, she was an equity partner with the national law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP where she practiced law with a focus on education issues since August 2000.

As a practicing attorney, Judge Doyle received an A.V. peer-reviewed rating from Martindale Hubbell. She was selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer from 2004 to 2008, and in 2006 and 2008, was named one of the top 50 female attorneys in Georgia. She has also been recognized as one of Georgia’s legal elite by Georgia Trend Magazine. Additional honors include:

  • Atlanta Bar Association Professionalism Award, 2013
  • University of Florida Women’s Inaugural Leadership, 2011
  • Honorary Member, Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, 2009
  • ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Leadership Academy, 2006 to 2007
  • Atlanta Regional Commission Leadership Institute, 2004
  • Leadership Midtown, 1999

Judge Doyle is involved in many professional, civic, and religious organizations. She is an active member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Judicial Council of Georgia, the American Bar Association, the Atlanta Bar Association, the National Association of Women Judges, the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), the Gate City Bar Association, the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA), and the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, where she held the position of President in 2012-2013 and was a member of the club’s executive committee from 2003 to July, 2013. Additional and more specified activities include:

Mercer University

  • Board of Trustees, 2015 to 2020
  • Search Committee for Dean of Walter F. George School of Law, 2017
  • Board of Visitors, Walter F. George School of Law, 2012 to 2015

Emory University

  • Board of Visitors 2010 to 2013
  • Executive Board, 2011 to 2013
  • Lamar Inn of Court, Master, 2009 to present
  • Executive Board, 2014 to 2018
  • Law School Trial Advocacy Professionalism Programs Faculty

State of Georgia Appellate Jurisdiction Review Commission, October 2015 to January 2016

Georgia Supreme Court/Judicial Council of Georgia

  • Strategic Plan Implementation Committee
  • Chair, 2014 to 2016, July 2019 to present
  • Co-Chair, July 2017 to June 2019
  • Access, Fairness & Public Trust & Confidence Committee, February 2016 to June 2018
  • Commission on Dispute Resolution, 2010 to 2016
  • Court Reporting Matters Committee
  • Chair, July 2013 to June 2015
  • Search Committee for the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, 2015
  • Next Generation Courts Commission, 2012 to 2014

State Bar of Georgia

  • Law Related Education Committee, Member, July 2009 to June 2017
  • Chair, 2014 to 2017
  • Bench and Bar Committee, 2015 to 2017
  • Commission on the Unlicensed Practice of Law, August 2007 to August 2013
  • Vice Chair, September 2008 to October 2011
  • Chair, October 2011 to August 2013

Atlanta Bar Association, 1999 to present

  • Innovation Study Group Standing Committee
  • Co-Chair, August 2019 to present
  • Judicial Section, 2008 to present
  • Chair, 2014 to 2015
  • Editorial Board, July 2008 to June 2014
  • Co-Chair, 2011 to 2014
  • Membership Committee, 2013 to 2016
  • Bard Show, 1999 to present
  • Assistant Director

National Association of Women Judges, 2008 to present

  • District 5 Chair, October 2016 to October 2018
  • Annual Conference Co-Chair, 2016 to 2017

Gate City Bar Association, 2008 to present

  • Judicial Section Executive Board Member-at-Large, 2013

Georgia Association of Women Lawyers

  • Advisory Board member

Lawyers Club of Atlanta, 1999 to present

  • Executive Board Member, 2003 to 2014
  • President, July 2012 to June 2013

Judge Doyle has also participated as a Hands On Atlanta Day team leader, an American Cancer Society Neighborhood fundraiser, as co-chair for her law firm’s United Way Committee and a volunteer for the Georgia Volunteer Lawyer for the Arts. Recently, she has acted as a team leader for the Court’s participation in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy and volunteers at her children’s schools.

Judge Doyle is married to attorney, Jay Doyle, and they have two children, Mary Donovan and Davis.

 


Hon. William McCrary Ray II Related Seminars and Products

US Attorney's Office Northern District of Georgia



Mr. Warren Raymond Hinds's Profile

Mr. Warren Raymond Hinds Related Seminars and Products

Warren R. Hinds PC


Warren R. Hinds has over 30 years of experience practicing in California and/or Georgia and is a member of various professional legal organizations.

A resident of Georgia since 1992, lawyer Hinds is committed to serving his community with excellent legal service. To stay current and networked in the legal community, Hinds is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association, the American Bar Association's Center for Professional Responsibility, the Lawyers' Club of Atlanta, and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

Prior to opening his own firm, Warren Hinds graduated cum laude from the Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida.

Warren R. Hinds, P.C., represents clients in cases of legal malpractice, bar complaints, malpractice insurance, and civil litigation.


Hon. John J. Ellington Related Seminars and Products

Supreme Court of Georgia


In 1991, Justice Ellington became one of the youngest trial court judges in Georgia when he was appointed State Court Judge of Treutlen County. In addition to serving as State Court Judge for more than six years, Justice Ellington served as a Superior Court Judge by designation in five judicial circuits (29 counties) throughout South Georgia. He also served as Municipal Court Judge in Soperton, Lyons, Reidsville, Glenwood, Mt. Vernon, Ailey, and Uvalda, Georgia.

Justice Ellington graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.B.A. in Accounting in 1982, and from the University of Georgia School of Law with a J.D. in 1985. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and graduated with degrees in Business and Political Science. At ABAC, Justice Ellington served as President of the Student Government Association, and he received the George P. Donaldson Award as the outstanding graduate in the Class of 1980.

Justice Ellington has served in many capacities in business, professional, civic, and religious organizations in South Georgia and metropolitan Atlanta. An Eagle Scout, Justice Ellington served as Eagle Scout Alumni Chairman for Troop #56, Boy Scouts of America. He is a past President of the Vidalia Rotary Club, and he is a Paul Harris Fellow Rotarian. He is former Chairman of Four Rivers Ducks Unlimited, past President of the Soperton Lions Club, and former President of the Treutlen County Sportsman’s Club. He served as a Director of Swainsboro Technical College. Justice Ellington is a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and a fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia.

In 2000, Justice Ellington was named to Georgia Trend’s “40-Under-40,” recognizing 40 leaders throughout Georgia under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to the state. He was a member of the 2001 Class of Leadership Georgia.

In 2001, 2006, and again in 2007, Justice Ellington was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Judicial Service Award by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, recognizing his outstanding service as a judge and his commitment to improving the practice of law. In 2016, Justice Ellington received the Robert Benham Award for Community Service from the State Bar of Georgia.

Justice Ellington was named the Outstanding Young Alumnus at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1994. He is a member of the Presidents’ Club at ABAC and serves on the ABAC Foundation. Justice Ellington is a member of the First Baptist Church in Soperton, where he has taught Sunday school and is a former Chairman of the Board of Deacons.

Justice Ellington was born in Vidalia, Toombs County, Georgia, the son of the late Charles E. Ellington, Sr. from Laurens County, Georgia, and Nan Davis Ellington from Johnson County, Georgia.


Hon. Keith Robert Blackwell's Profile

Hon. Keith Robert Blackwell Related Seminars and Products

Alston & Bird LLP


Former Justice Keith R. Blackwell is senior counsel with Alston & Bird LLP in Atlanta, where he represents clients in high-stakes litigation and appeals. He previously served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and a Judge of the Court of Appeals of Georgia. He clerked for Judge J.L. Edmondson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and is a graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. Born and raised in Cherokee County, he and his family now live in Cobb County.    


Judge Jeffrey Alan Watkins Related Seminars and Products

Cherokee Circuit Superior Court


Judge Jeff Watkins is a lifelong resident of Georgia and a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, previously serving on the Statewide Judicial Evaluation Committee, and the Cartersville Bar Association, and is a member in good standing of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and the Old War Horse Lawyers Club.

After being appointed by Governor Brian Kemp, Judge Watkins left the practice of law to become a Superior Court Judge for the Cherokee Judicial Circuit on July 10, 2019. During his time on the Superior Court bench, Judge Watkins displayed professionalism and courtesy to all and was always mindful of the consequences of his rulings. His courtroom demeanor, fairness, and careful decision-making made him a respected and valued member of the bench. Judge Watkins also served on the Council of Superior Court Judges Legislation Committee, Bench and Bar Committee, and Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee.

Judge Watkins is actively involved in his community, having been a member of the Bartow Rotary Club, including serving as a past member of the Board of Directors and receiving the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He is a past member of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, including service as a former member of the Board of Directors and Executive Board and former Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee. Judge Watkins is also a past member and Chairman of the Georgia Highlands College Foundation Board, and a current member of the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is also a graduate of Leadership Bartow.

Judge Watkins lives in Cartersville, Georgia, with his wife and three children.

After four years of service as a Superior Court Judge, Judge Watkins was honored to be appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to the Georgia Court of Appeals and was sworn in on July 11, 2023. Judge Watkins' next election will be in 2024.



Ms. Christine Lupo Mast's Profile

Ms. Christine Lupo Mast Related Seminars and Products

Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP


Christine Mast is a senior partner at Hawkins Parnell & Young in Atlanta. She is a go-to attorney for legal professionals faced with malpractice claims, lawsuits, disciplinary, licensing, and ethics issues. 30 years’ experience defending lawyer claims gives Christine a unique Jack-of-all-trades knowledge base coupled with deep understanding of legal standards of care and ethical requirements, enabling her to swiftly assess each situation, drawing on her expertise in her clients’ specific practice area, to develop an effective and appropriate defense and resolution strategy. Her wide range of subject matter experience also specially positions Christine to provide skillful defense to insurance agents and brokers, appraisers, surveyors and real estate professionals. Christine creatively counsels and advises clients in diffusing, avoiding or mitigating claims, often persuading the opposition of the lack of a viable claim altogether. When litigation is inevitable, Christine is called upon for her strong advocacy on behalf of her clients, guiding them through trial while minimizing the impact on her clients’ reputations and livelihoods. Her candor and straightforward manner is a proven asset to Christine’s attorney clients in both trial and appellate advocacy and dispute resolution with party opponents.

 

Christine also devotes significant time to representation of clients in premises and products liability cases, commercial litigation disputes, and insurance coverage.  A testament to her skillful, pragmatic handling of serious and sensitive claims, Christine’s former litigation opponents seek out her advice, counsel, and when necessary, her defense when they find themselves on the wrong end of a claim. A natural complement to her defense of legal and other professionals, Christine defends litigants and their counsel against sanctions and protects professionals in licensing and disciplinary matters.

 

Her successful representation is evident in a long list of appellate decisions affirming favorable rulings for her clients. Most notably, Christine argued and won a landmark case before the Georgia Supreme Court in Leibel v. Johnson, resulting in a unanimous decision limiting expert testimony in legal malpractice cases and reversing a multi-million-dollar judgment against her lawyer-client.

 

Christine was included as one of Georgia’s top 100 lawyers in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by Super Lawyers and was selected by Best Lawyers as Lawyer of the Year for Legal Malpractice Defendants in 2015 and 2022 and for Professional Malpractice Law Defendants in 2021. 

 

Christine also dedicates herself to service within Hawkins Parnell and she has the distinction of being the first woman elected to the compensation committee, the executive committee, and in 2020 to the role as Hawkins Parnell’s managing partner. 




Hon. Benjamin Arthur Land's Profile

Hon. Benjamin Arthur Land Related Seminars and Products

Georgia Court of Appeals


 

2022 – Present

 

Benjamin A. Land was appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeals on July 20, 2022.

A lifelong resident of Columbus, Judge Land graduated with Highest Honors as a First Honor Graduate, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Georgia in 1989, finishing with a 4.0 grade point average.  He also graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1992, finishing second in his class of 202 students.  While in Law School, he received numerous academic awards, served on the Editorial Board of the Georgia Law Review, clerked for the Georgia Supreme Court, and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Following Law School, Judge Land had a private law practice in Columbus, focusing on civil litigation and trial practice. During his nearly 26 year career as a private practice attorney, he represented plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of cases, obtained several record setting verdicts, and played a key role in the defense of numerous nationwide class action lawsuits. During those years, Judge Land engaged in significant complex litigation, tried cases to jury verdicts, earned the respect of his colleagues, and thoroughly enjoyed being in the courtroom.

Judge Land left the private practice of law on February 7, 2018 when Governor Nathan Deal appointed him to serve as a Superior Court judge for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. Judge Land was elected to continue in that position on June 9, 2020 and continued to serve as a trial judge until his appointment to the Court of Appeals. During his time on the Superior Court bench, Judge Land was known for his fairness and impartiality, his efficiency and work ethic, his courage and compassion, and his unquestioned integrity. While a trial judge, Judge Land served on the Council of Superior Court Judges Budget Committee and Pattern Jury Instructions Committee, and he was asked to speak to his fellow judges at their judicial training conference.

Judge Land has been active in his profession and his community. He has served on numerous community and law-related boards, has spoken on the topic of trial advocacy at statewide continuing legal education seminars, and has spoken to numerous civic groups, bar associations, and legal and judicial conferences. During his law practice, Judge Land was presented with the William B. Spann, Jr. Award for Pro Bono Advocacy for his efforts on behalf of a pro bono client whose case he handled from the trial court level until its successful conclusion in the Georgia Supreme Court. Judge Land is a graduate of Leadership Columbus and has served as the President of the Columbus Bar Association, President of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Bar Association, President of the Columbus Inn of Court, District Representative for the State Bar of Georgia’s Younger Lawyers Division, member of the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Inn of Court, and member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. He currently serves by appointment of the Governor on the Georgia Child Support Commission and the Judicial Nominating Commission, the statewide body responsible for providing recommendations to the Governor concerning judicial appointments. At the Court of Appeals, he chairs the Rules Committee and serves on the Legislative Committee.

In addition to his law-related activities, Judge Land has served as a board member for the Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity, a volunteer and board member for the Pine Mountain Trail Association, and a youth sports coach. Judge Land, his wife, and their three children reside in Columbus and are active members of St. Paul United Methodist Church, where Judge Land has served on the Administrative Board, the Finance Committee, and the Staff Parish Relations Committee.


Hon. Benjamin W. Studdard III's Profile

Hon. Benjamin W. Studdard III Related Seminars and Products


 

Ben W. Studdard was Chief Judge of the State Court of Henry County, Georgia, from its inception in 1999 until his retirement in August, 2021.  He is a frequent lecturer at judges’ seminars on criminal law and other subjects.  He is the author of Daniel’s Georgia Criminal Law Practice, Daniel’s Georgia Criminal Evidence, and Daniel’s Georgia Criminal Law Practice Forms, the standard reference books on Georgia criminal law published annually by Thomson Reuters West.

 

Judge Studdard is a former President of the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia and has chaired numerous committees and projects designed to improve court processes in the state, including use of trial juries (State Bar of Georgia, Court Futures Committee, 1997-2003); a study of judicial selection (State Bar of Georgia, Court Futures Committee, 2003-2005); jury composition (Supreme Court of Georgia, Jury Composition Committee, 2003-2012); strategic planning (Council of State Court Judges, 2006-2007); and improvements to judicial education (Next Generation Courts Commission and Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, 2011-2014). In 2002, he helped organize the Georgia Jury Summit, where state leaders and national experts met to discuss improvements to the Georgia system. Judge Studdard’s efforts were instrumental in passage of the Jury Composition Reform Act of 2011, which created the first comprehensive, state-wide, computerized, and inclusive process for creation of jury lists in Georgia.

 

Since 2017, Judge Studdard has helped to lead a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State wherein judges from the State of Georgia are providing training to judges from the nation of Georgia on judging and court processes, especially the implementation of criminal jury trials.

 

Prior to his election as judge, Judge Studdard had a general law practice in McDonough for over 14 years. He is a five-time finalist for positions on the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals.


Ms. Paula J. Frederick's Profile

Ms. Paula J. Frederick Related Seminars and Products

State Bar of Georgia


Paula Frederick is General Counsel for the State Bar of Georgia, a unified bar organization with 54,000 members. As general counsel, Frederick is responsible for interpreting the ethics rules for lawyers, prosecuting lawyer discipline cases, and providing legal advice to the officers and directors of the organization. She has served in the Office of the General Counsel for 35 years, and was Deputy General Counsel for Discipline before assuming the General Counsel role.

 

Frederick is a 1982 graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Law and a 1979 graduate of Duke University. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, she spent six years as a staff attorney with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society handling civil legal matters for low-income people.

 

Frederick is a past president of the Atlanta Bar Association and the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys. She is also an active member of the American Bar Association, where she is chair of the Center for Professional Responsibility.  In the past she has served the ABA as chair of its Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, chair of the Standing Committee on Lawyer Regulation, as a member of the Board of Governors, and as chair of the Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity. 



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The information presented is solely for educational purposes. The opinions expressed by the faculty in their materials and presentations are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the State Bar of Georgia, its officers, directors and/or employees. The faculty is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and these presentations and publications are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. All publications and presentations were created to serve the continuing legal education needs of practicing attorneys.

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