Nathan Levy is a partner with Levy, Sibley, Foreman & Speir, LLC. Levy has practiced in the area of workers’ compensation defense since 1998. Levy earned his Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Auburn University in 1994 and his Juris Doctor degree from the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University in 1997. Levy is a member of the State Bar of Alabama and the State Bar of Georgia. Levy served as 2003 co-chairman of the annual Workers' Compensation Seminar. He was also a speaker in 2006 and 2013 on Case Law Update at the annual Workers' Compensation Seminar and presented at the 2016 seminar on The Escalation of Pain Medication in Workers’ Compensation Cases. Levy is a current member of the State Bar of Georgia Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee. Levy represents numerous insurers, self-insureds and third-party administrators. His areas of practice include general litigation, insurance defense and workers' compensation defense. Levy is a Martindale Hubbell A.V. pre-eminent rated attorney.
Michelle Thomas received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and her law degree from The Columbus School of Law at Catholic University.
She began her legal career as a claimant’s disability attorney in her hometown of Athens, Georgia. In 2000, she joined an insurance defense firm in Atlanta as a workers’ compensation associate. Thereafter, she spent several years working for an insurance company as part of their workers’ compensation defense team, before returning briefly to private practice in 2016.
In 2018, she joined the State Board of Workers’ Compensation as a mediator, helping parties to resolve issues and achieve settlement across the state. In 2019, in addition to her role as a mediator, she began serving as a Staff Attorney for the Appellate Division of the Board, assisting the Appellate Judges with their decisions in workers’ compensation cases on appeal. Michelle became the Division Director for the Settlement Division of the Board in 2022.
In her free time, Michelle enjoys baking, reading, and yoga. She is fluent in German and frequently travels to Germany to visit friends and family.
Holly Portier attended the State University of West Georgia and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English. She is a claimant’s attorney at Morgan & Morgan, she began practicing workers’ compensation in 2008 after graduating cum laude at Georgia State University.
While in law school, Portier competed on the school’s mock trial team; her team won first place at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NACDL, Competition. She clerked for Justice Hunstein, Georgia Supreme Court and for Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, Fulton County Superior Court.
Ann Baird Bishop graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University in 1973 and from Mercer University School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1976. At Mercer, Ann was a member of the Editorial Board of the Mercer Law Review, the Secretary of the Student Bar Association, a member of Phi Delta Phi and the Phi Delta Phi graduate of the year in 1976 as well as being on the Dean’s List and receiving the American Jurisprudence/Highest Grade Awards in Labor Standards and Administrative Law.
Since 1981, Ann has practiced almost exclusively in the area of workers’ compensation representing employers and insurers. Ann began practicing in the area of workers’ compensation at Swift, Currie, McGhee and Hiers before leaving with 21 other lawyers to form Drew, Eckl and Farnham where Ann was selected as the first female partner. Ann was the founding member of A. B. Bishop & Associates where she worked representing self-insured employers and insurance companies in the area of workers’ compensation before merging with Sponsler, Bennett, Jacobs & Adams on December 1, 2013, and creating Sponsler, Bishop, Koren & Hammer. Ann is delighted to have joined Hall Booth Smith P. C. where she continues to represent employers and insurers.
Ann is AV rated, the highest rating awarded by Martindale-Hubbell. Ann has served on the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia, was Section Chair for 2007-2008, has served on the Rules and Mediation Committee of the Chairman’s Advisory Council of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation for more than 25 years and was editor for the biannual newsletter published by the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Bar for three years. Ann has spoken myriad times on a wide variety of topics relevant to the defense of workers’ compensation claims.
Ann was on the Board of Directors for many years and is a past president of the Board of Kids’ Chance of Georgia, Inc., an organization in which she has been active as a volunteer since it began in 1988. Ann, also, served on the Board of Directors of Kids’ Chance of America and was president of the national organization for 2014-2016. In 2012, Ann was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and served on its Board. Ann served on the Board of Visitors for Mercer University School of Law to which she was elected Secretary in 2012 and Chair for 2017-2019. Ann was honored to receive the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia and is a 2018 recipient of the Justice Benham Award for Community Service. In 2019, Ann accepted an invitation to serve on the Board of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. Most recently, Ann was selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America.
Kimberly Boehm is an administrative law judge with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Atlanta office. Prior to joining the Board in 2017, she represented injured workers for several years and before that, had a defense practice representing employers, insurers, servicing agents, and group funds in Duluth. She graduated from the University of Georgia with an undergraduate degree in history and philosophy, and obtained her law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law in 1996. She is a member of the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary (NAWCJ) and Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA).
Josh Carroll is a partner in the Macon law firm of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill. His practice is evenly divided between handling workers’ compensation cases and personal injury cases, including cases involving automobile accidents, trucking accidents, workplace injuries and deaths, wrongful death negligence claims, medical negligence claims, long-term disability insurance disputes, and nursing home neglect cases.
Josh currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Executive Council of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA), and is a former Chairman of GTLA’s Civil Justice PAC. He serves on the Legislative Committee of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Chairman’s Advisory Council. Josh has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Workers’ Compensation Claimants’ Lawyers (WCCL) section of GTLA since 2017, and is a past president of the Macon Trial Lawyers’ Association. He is a 2015 graduate of GTLA’s LEAD (Leadership Education & Advanced Direction) Program.
Josh was selected for SuperLawyers in 2022 and 2023, and was previously named a “Georgia Rising Star” by SuperLawyers from 2012 to 2020. He has also been included in the “Legal Elite,” published by Georgia Trend Magazine.
Preston D. Holloway defends workers’ compensation claims on behalf of employers, insurers, self-insureds and third-party administrators throughout Georgia. For more than 10 years Preston has represented clients in the insurance, construction and quick-service restaurant sectors. He is also experienced in handling workers’ compensation challenges that are unique to staffing agencies. For example, he works with those whose employees can disproportionately hail from troubled backgrounds, who lack training needed to meet heavy-duty job requirements and who receive insufficient supervision. Preston advises clients to manage risk and resolve disputes in a quick and economical manner, including weighing the costs of litigation against posturing for a favorable settlement. He is experienced in all phases of dispute resolution, having deposed a wide range of witnesses, including medical professionals. In addition to defending claims at the hearing level, he also realizes the value that alternative dispute resolution can have in certain matters. Before beginning his legal career, Preston studied broadcast journalism and honed many of the skills necessary to effectively understand and litigate workers’ compensation claims, including investigation, research and the ability to leverage that information to communicate a compelling narrative. His priority is to positively position his client in the legal matter, and to that end, he ensures they are well-informed throughout the case to best understand their legal options. Preston brings a service-oriented approach to his practice, providing adaptive and organized legal counsel in the most challenging of cases.
Trial Lawyer Bobby Johnson is proud to call Cobb County his home for over 33 years. He attended Harrison High School before obtaining his undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia. At UGA, he earned a degree in Political Science with a minor in Archaeology.
Following college, Bobby worked for several years as a paralegal. He then attended Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. While at Stetson, Bobby won the campus mock trial competition.
After graduating law school, Bobby worked at Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers as an associate, representing employers and insurers in workers’ compensation claims.
In July 2010, Bobby decided he would rather represent injured workers and plaintiffs than continue representing insurance companies. He joined a small Marietta plaintiff's firm as an associate. For 7 years, Bobby represented injured workers and victims of negligence. Bobby tried numerous cases to verdict and tried countless workers compensation claims.
In September of 2017, Bobby formed a partnership with his good friend John Alday. John and Bobby represent the residents of Cobb County and the state of Georgia in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.
Bobby and his wife, Samantha are residents of Marietta, Georgia. He has two adorable children, Mary Wells and Winn. He and his family are members of Marietta First United Methodist Church and enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching UGA football and fishing. He also plays bass guitar in two bands, Bellwether Station and Better by Daylight. Bellwether Station won the Atlanta Bar Association’s Law Jam twice and has released two albums (you can find them on spotify and i-tunes).
Bobby recently graduated the Leadership Cobb program and volunteers for various Cobb-based charities. He also coaches the Marietta High School Mock Trial Team.
Nicole Tifverman is an Administrative Law Judge with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Savannah, Georgia. Prior to her appointment as a judge in 2011, she practiced workers’ compensation law in Atlanta for 24 years. She received a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law
Neil Thom is the Managed Care and Rehabilitation Division Director for the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Prior to this, he provided legal support to the three-member Board in its role as an appellate body in litigated workers’ compensation claims. Before joining the Board staff, he spent 25 years in private legal practice, representing injured workers, employers, and insurers in workers’ compensation claims.
Neil is a member of the Chairman’s Advisory Council, has authored numerous articles on workers’ compensation, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and continuing education programs. He obtained his law degree as a Hatton Lovejoy Scholar and his Bachelor of Arts as a Foundation Fellow, both from the University of Georgia.
Outside of professional activities, Neil’s interests include serving on the board of Trinity United Methodist Church, Atlanta, and managing an online community for francophones learning English.
Neil can be reached at (404) 651-7831; ThomN@sbwc.ga.gov; State Board of Workers’ Compensation, 270 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta GA 30303.
Attorney Andre’ C. Ramsay joined The Cochran Firm Atlanta in 2016 where he specializes in the practice areas of Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury. Mr. Ramsay aggressively represents many injured workers in acquiring all income and medical benefits available to them to the full extent of the law. Andre’ earned a bachelor’s degree in Management of Information Studies, with a minor in Business Administration from Florida State University and later earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.
Alissa Atkins is the Managing Partner at Atkins David, LLC. For more than twenty years, she has practiced exclusively in the area of workers’ compensation defense, representing employers, insurance carriers, and third-party administrators throughout Georgia. She handles all aspects of workers’ compensation claims and is often brought in to resolve difficult matters and close lingering claims.
She graduated magna cum laude from Suffolk University in Boston with an honors degree in History. She received her J.D. from Georgia State University School of Law, where she served as Vice President of the Moot Court Board. Alissa is a member of the Workers’ Compensation sections of the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association, where she also serves as a Board member.
Fred Green is a trial attorney with over 29 years experience in workers’ compensation and civil litigation.
After 27 years as a defense attorney, including 20-plus years as a partner at a prestigious Atlanta defense firm practicing workers’ compensation, civil litigation and professional malpractice, in 2021, Fred opened his own firm and is now represents injured workers and others who suffered harm as the result of someone else’s negligence.
Fred is also a mediator at BAY Mediation & Arbitration Services and regularly mediates workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. As a mediator, Fred is patient during the mediation process and is very effective at developing rapport with the parties which increases the likelihood of reaching resolution.
Throughout his career, Fred has spoken at numerous industry and client seminars in the areas of workers’ compensation, ethics and professionalism. Fred speaks proficient German and is AV®Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated¹ by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. In addition to his professional pursuits, Fred was involved from 1997 through 2015 in the State Bar of Georgia’s High School Mock Trial Competition as an attorney coach for the highly successful Milton High School and Chattahoochee High School
Mock Trial Teams.
Fred received his J.D. from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and his A.B. from the University of Michigan
Melodie Belcher is an Administrative Law Judge for the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. After spending nearly 10 years as a flight attendant, Melodie attended Georgia State University College of Law where she was an editor on the law review and graduated cum laude. Melodie then went to work for Swift, Currie, McGhee and Hiers, an Atlanta firm, where she represented employers and insurers in workers’ compensation claims. In 1999, Melodie joined the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. She served as the chief judge from 2009 until 2012. Melodie is actively involved with the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators and previously served as SAWCA’s president. She served on the Board of the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary (NAWCJ) and was inducted into their initial Hall of Fame class. She has also been inducted as a fellow in the College of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys. Melodie speaks frequently on workers’ compensation issues in Georgia and nationally. She lives in Lagrange, Georgia.
Tina Trunzo Lute grew up in Boca Raton, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida. She attended St. Thomas University School of Law in Florida, where she earned her Juris Doctorate and her LLM in Intercultural Human Rights. While in law school, she served as the Editor in Chief of the Intercultural Human Rights law review. Tina has practiced workers’ compensation defense since 2015. Tina, her husband, and their son enjoy traveling and gaming.
Ken Thaxton was born and raised in Roberta, GA. When Ken was a child, his father started a trucking business, which Ken ultimately spent over ten years working with through his late teens and twenties. Ken graduated from Houston County High School in Warner Robins, GA in 2001 with a 4.0 GPA. He then studied Business and Information Technology at Macon State College, ultimately graduating with a 4.0 GPA in 2004. After graduation, Ken continued to work with his father’s trucking company, and in late 2005, Ken and his father started an aircraft charter company, Southern Jet, Inc., under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Ken served as President of Southern Jet from 2006 until 2010, when he and his father sold the company. Ken is a Commercially Licensed Instrument, Multi-Engine Pilot. While serving as President of Southern Jet, Ken started Law School at the University of Georgia School of Law in 2009. Ken focused primarily on business and civil law, including Workers’ Compensation, while at UGA. He graduated Cum Laude and was in the top 25% of his class from UGA Law in 2012. Ken is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia, and he is also a licensed neutral (mediator) in the State of Georgia. Ken represents small businesses in transactional matters and business conflicts, and he also represents injured workers and Plaintiffs injured in cases of negligence, as well as Employees in Employment disputes. Ken has a particular focus on workers' compensation cases dealing with complex fact patterns and/or cases involving Staffing Companies/PEOs. During his spare time, Ken enjoys swimming, cycling, sporting clays, and fishing. He also does charity work with a national scholarship fund.
Judge Tasca Hagler has been an Administrative Law Judge for the Ga State Board of Workers’ Compensation for the past 34 years , serving 22 counties in the Columbus area. She graduated from Mercer University with a BS degree in Economics. She received her law degree from Mercer University where she served as President of her legal fraternity and Treasurer of the Student Govt Association. Upon graduating from law school, she entered the practice of law as an assistant district attorney , prosecuting felony cases throughout the five county Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. Following eight years as a prosecutor , she entered the private practice of law focusing on criminal defense and family law. She was appointed an Administrative Law Judge in 1988. While at the Board she served as past chairman of the Annual Workers’ Compensation seminar, has written numerous articles on various aspects of Ga.’s Workers Compensation law and is frequently a guest speaker at various seminars throughout the State. Along with hearing cases she also mediates cases at the Board. In her spare time she has served on the Board of the Urban League, past president of the Springer Theater board, and board member of the local American Cancer Society. She currently serves as a deacon in her church and volunteers at the Seneca Pro life center.
Please be advised that your credit will not be reported to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department until after you have completed the steps necessary to earn credit for that program.
Self reporting is required for all other jurisdictions.
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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