Skip to main content
On Demand

Professional and Ethical Dilemmas in Litigation

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

Original Program Date:
Mar 23, 2023





David N. Lefkowitz, Esq., Program Chair; The Lefkowitz Firm LLC, Atlanta and Athens, GA









  Damon E. Elmore, Executive Director, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA



SESSION I (Provides professionalism and trial practice credit)


Hon. Nels S. D. Peterson, Presiding Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA 


Hon. Andrew A. Pinson, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA 


Hon. Robert C. McBurney, Judge, Superior Court of Fulton County, Atlanta, GA


William V. Hearnburg, Jr., Esq., Assistant General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Warren R. Hinds, Esq., Warren R. Hinds, P.C., Roswell, GA








SESSION II (Provides ethics and trial practice credit)


Hon. Sarah H. Warren, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Hon. Keith R. Blackwell, Justice (Retired), Supreme Court of Georgia; Alston & Bird LLP, Atlanta, GA


Hon. Sara L. Doyle, Presiding Judge, Georiga Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA


Hon. William M. Ray, II, Judge, U.S. District Court, Atlanta, GA


Andreea Morrison, Esq., Assistant General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA








SESSION III (Provides professionalism and trial practice credit)


Hon. John J. Ellington, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Soperton, GA


Hon. Verda M. Colvin, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Hon. Stephen Louis A. Dillard, Presiding Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA


Hon. Christopher S. Brasher, Judge (Retired), Superior Court of Fulton County, Atlanta, GA; Flink ADR, Alpharetta, GA


Jenny K. Mittelman, Esq., Deputy General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Christine L. Mast, Esq., Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP, Atlanta, GA








SESSION IV (Provides ethics and trial practice credit)


Hon. Brian M. Rickman, Chief Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA


Hon. Benjamin W. Studdard, III, Chief Judge (Retired), Henry County State Court, McDonough, GA


Hon. Kenneth B. Hodges, III, Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA


Paula J. Frederick, Esq., General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Peter Werdesheim, Esq., Werdesheim Law Firm LLC, Atlanta, GA








Colette Reed


Program Coordinator



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. 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. Robert Charles McBurney's Profile

Hon. Robert Charles McBurney Related Seminars and Products

Fulton County Superior Court

Judge McBurney has served on the Superior Court of Fulton County since April 2012.  He handles a split docket of civil and criminal cases.  He is also one of Fulton County’s Accountability Court judges, which means he has the opportunity to work with individuals who are serious about achieving a sustainable recovery from addiction.

Judge McBurney chairs the Mental Health Task Force, a joint city-county collaboration of criminal justice and public service agencies from Atlanta and greater Fulton County.

Before joining the bench, Judge McBurney worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in Atlanta.  As a federal prosecutor, he focused on cases involving public corruption, international terrorism, and child exploitation.

Judge McBurney received his B.A. from Harvard College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.  Prior to his years of public service, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.  Judge McBurney lives in Atlanta with his wife Courtney, an executive training officer at McDonald’s (yes, the burger place), two wonderful (and exhausting) boys, and two fuzzy dogs.

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. Hon. Sarah Hawkins Warren's Profile

Hon. Hon. Sarah Hawkins Warren Related Seminars and Products

Nathan Deal Judicial Center

Justice Sarah Hawkins Warren was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia by Governor Nathan Deal and was sworn in on September 17, 2018.  She previously served as Solicitor General for the State of Georgia under Attorney General Chris Carr.

Justice Warren earned a B.A. in Public Policy and Spanish, magna cum laude, from Duke University.  After graduation, Justice Warren served as Deputy Press Secretary for the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Justice Warren received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke University School of Law, where she served as Editor in Chief of Law and Contemporary Problems and on the Executive Committee of the Federalist Society.

Following her graduation from law school, Justice Warren served as a law clerk to then-Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and to the Honorable Richard J. Leon of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She also practiced as a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C., where she represented clients before state and federal courts and was outside counsel to Georgia in Florida v. Georgia, No. 142 Original (United States Supreme Court).

In 2015, Justice Warren and her family returned home to Georgia, where she began service in the Office of Attorney General Sam Olens as Deputy Solicitor General and Special Counsel for Water Litigation.  In January 2017, she was appointed Solicitor General by Attorney General Chris Carr, and in that role served as the chief appellate lawyer for the State of Georgia and the primary constitutional law advisor to the Attorney General.  As Solicitor General, Justice Warren represented Georgia in multi-state litigation and in appeals before state and federal courts, including in an argument before the United States Supreme Court.

Justice Warren currently serves on the Duke Law School Board of Visitors, the Berry College Board of Trustees, and the Advisory Board for the Atlanta Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.  She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Blaise, and their three childre

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.    

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. 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. Christopher Samuel Brasher's Profile

Hon. Christopher Samuel Brasher Related Seminars and Products

Fulton County Superior Court

Former Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Fulton County when he retired from the bench in late 2022, Chris Brasher served on Georgia’s busiest trial court for nearly seventeen years. During his time on the Superior Court bench, Judge Brasher presided over more than 20,000 cases, ranging from commercial disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars, to catastrophic injury cases, to professional negligence and malpractice cases, to high-asset divorce cases, to complex and vexing custody matters, to capital murder and other violent felony cases. As a lawyer prior to his service on the bench, Judge Brasher tried cases in more than 130 counties in Georgia, as well as in all of Georgia’s Federal District Courts. As an appellate advocate, Judge Brasher argued more than forty cases in appellate courts, including before Georgia’s Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, as well as in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and in the United States Supreme Court. Judge Brasher has more than 70 reported decisions as lead appellate counsel.

On the bench, Judge Brasher earned a reputation as a hard-working, efficient, and effective jurist who was always prepared, patient, and fair. Judge Brasher’s court was known to be a place where disputes were resolved in an efficient way, where parties and counsel would be heard, and where professionalism and respect were expected and practiced.

As a colleague and in the community, Judge Brasher has served in leadership roles in local, county, and statewide organizations. Teaching and mentoring have always been a part of Judge Brasher’s efforts to equip others in their professional, academic, and personal lives. As a veteran trial judge with over two hundred jury trials, Judge Brasher knows what works and what does not before a jury. As a trained and certified mediator, Judge Brasher has honed the skills needed to assist in resolving disputes.

Ms. Jenny K. Mittelman Related Seminars and Products

Deputy General Counsel, SBG

State Bar of Georgia

Jenny K. Mittelman is Deputy General Counsel for the State Bar of Georgia where she investigates and prosecutes disciplinary cases and gives ethics advice. Ms. Mittelman went to work in the Office of the General Counsel of the State Bar in 1989 after working for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Ms. Mittelman is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Emory University School of Law. Ms. Mittelman is an active member of the National Organization of Bar Counsel and recently received the organization’s Presidents Award for outstanding service as a lawyer regulator.

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. 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.

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. 

Hon. Kenneth Bryant Hodges III's Profile

Hon. Kenneth Bryant Hodges III Related Seminars and Products

Georgia Court of Appeals

Kenneth (Ken) Bryant Hodges, III was elected to the Court of Appeals by the citizens of Georgia in 2018, winning every county in the state with wide bipartisan support in a contested election for a rare open seat on the Court. Judge Hodges took office on Jan. 1, 2019. With deep experience in diverse practice areas, Judge Hodges has served as a prosecutor, defended criminal cases, and been on both sides of a dispute in civil matters. He has been a court appointed receiver and a mediator. Judge Hodges is applying this experience on the bench to uphold the rule of law and ensure justice for all.

Judge Hodges was born and raised in Albany, GA. He graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA, and earned his B.A. from Emory University in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in English in 1988. While at the University of Georgia Law School, he participated in a clinical program with a public defender and was sworn in under the Third Year Student Practice Act to try cases. He earned his J.D. from UGA Law in 1991 and set out to become a litigator. After working with a litigation firm in Atlanta, he returned to Albany as an Assistant District Attorney.

Judge Hodges was elected District Attorney of the Dougherty Judicial Circuit in 1996 at the age of 30. Within the first two years, he cleared out a backlog of eight death penalty cases and took them to trial. He formed trial teams which effectively ended unnecessary delays in moving cases forward, and focused on laws and programs to better protect children in the county. This included a child prosecution unit, a child advocacy center, a truancy program to target unauthorized school absences, and he also established a sexual assault unit. In his second term, he was named District Attorney of the Year for the State of Georgia. During his 12 years as District Attorney, Ken was committed to managing an efficient office, which operated under budget every year. He was elected President of the DA’s Association and also served as Chairman of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council; he was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes as Chairman of the Legal Loan Forgiveness Task Force and as a member of the Certainty in Sentencing Commission.

In 2008, he returned to private practice, working in transactional law and then litigation. In 2015, Ken started his own law firm, Ken Hodges Law, based in Albany and Atlanta with a focus on commercial litigation. Judge Hodges was elected President of the State Bar of Georgia (2018-2019), the first judge to lead the organization in its history. He currently serves on the State Bar’s Office of General Counsel Oversight Committee, is Chairman of the Advisory Board for Truist-Albany, and is Vice-Chairman of the Albany-Dougherty Airport Commission. Ken also serves on the Board of Advisors of University of Georgia’s State Botanical Garden and the Board of Directors of the Southwest Georgia Legal Self-Help Center, a non-profit that works to improve access to justice for low-income people in the region. Ken is a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club, the Emory Board of Visitors, and is a member and past-President of the Dougherty County Bar Association.

Judge Hodges has published articles in various legal and main stream media outlets, he has been a legal commentator on local and national television and radio programs, and has lectured at every law school in Georgia. He is a frequent presenter at legal education courses for practicing attorneys, and teaches classes for law enforcement personnel across the state. He has been named a Legal Elite, a Super Lawyer, and has earned the highest possible rankings with AVVO and Martindale-Hubbell, the preeminent attorney rating organization. He is a past Trustee and graduate of Leadership Georgia, a graduate of Leadership Albany, past Secretary and board member of The Urban League of Greater Atlanta, past President of the Artesian City Sertoma Club, former member of the Albany Rotary Club, past Chairman of the Easter Seals of Southwest Georgia, past Chairman of the Southwest Georgia Chiefs and Sheriffs Association, past board member of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the boards of the American Heart Association and the Albany Civil Rights Institute. Ken was named a “40 under 40” by Georgia Trend.

As an attorney, he was admitted to practice with the United States Supreme Court, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Northern and Middle Federal District Courts of Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the Georgia Court of Appeals. He is a Master with the Bleckly Inn of Court and the W. Louis Sands American Inn of Court, and is a Fellow with the Lawyer’s Foundation of Georgia. Judge Hodges has been widely recognized for his legal and civic accomplishments during his more than 27 years as a practicing attorney, including as the recipient of the State Bar’s Commitment to Equality Award, the Justice Benham Award for Community Service, and The Eagle Award from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for his work on behalf of crime victims.

Ken and his wife, Melissa, married in 2004 and have two children, Margaret and Jack, and a field spaniel, Buzzy. They are parishioners at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Albany and remain active in their community. The family cherishes time together and enjoy being active, whether it’s time spent in the beautiful southwest Georgia outdoors or exploring the state, visiting friends and family. An avid pilot, Judge Hodges is commerical, instrument, and multi-engine rated and enjoys being up in the air, like his father and grandfather, a Naval aviator, before him.

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.

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. William McCrary Ray II Related Seminars and Products

US Attorney's Office Northern District of Georgia

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.

Important Information

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.

Clicking the Add to Cart button signals acceptance of ICLE’s registration guidelines.

You can find FAQs here.