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Live Event

War Stories and Georgia Evidence Update

CLE Hours: 3 including 3 General, 1 Ethics, 1 Professionalism, 1 Trial Practice

Savannah Convention Center - Savannah, Georgia



Speakers, session times and credit hours are subject to change.

War Stories and Georgia Evidence Update

Thursday, June 8, 2023

2:00 p.m. – 5:25 p.m.

Savannah Convention Center

1:00       In-person Registration Opens                                                                                                 

2:00       Introduction

               ICLE, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA

2:05       Welcome and Program Overview

               David B. Bell, Program Co-Chair; Co-Chairperson, Bench and Bar Committee; David Bell Law Firm, Augusta, GA

               Hon. Robert W. Chasteen, Jr., Program Co-Chair; Co-Chairperson, Bench and Bar Committee, Chief Judge, Superior Court, Cordele Judicial Circuit, Fitzgerald, GA

2:15       Georgia Evidence Update [provides trial practice credit]

               Michael S. "Mike" Carlson, Executive District Attorney, Major Crimes Division, Atlanta Judicial Circuit, Atlanta, GA

3:15       Break

3:20       War Stories and Thoughts on the Rules of Professional Conduct [provides ethics credit]


               David B. Bell


               Darren W. Penn, Penn Law LLC, Atlanta, GA

                Jonathan A. “Jon” Pope, Hasty Pope LLP, Canton, GA

                Laura W. “Laurie” Speed, Speed & King LLC, Atlanta, GA

                Michael B. “Mike” Terry, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP, Atlanta, GA

4:20       Break

4:25       War Stories and Thoughts on a Lawyer’s Creed and the Aspirational Statement on Professionalism [provides professionalism credit]


               Hon. Robert W. Chasteen, Jr.


               Hon. Joe C. Bishop, Senior Judge, Dawson, GA

               Hon. Christopher J. McFadden, Presiding Judge, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta, GA

               Hon. R. Rucker Smith, Chief Judge, Superior Court, Southwestern Judicial Circuit, Americus, GA

               Hon.  Russell W. “Rusty” Smith, Chief Judge, Mountain Circuit Superior Court, Toccoa, GA

5:25       Adjourn

Hosted by the Bench and Bar Committee




Hon. Christopher J. McFadden's Profile

Hon. Christopher J. McFadden Related seminars and products

Georgia Court of Appeals

Presiding Judge Christopher J. McFadden was elected in November 2010 for a term beginning January 1, 2011 and reelected in 2016. He is a son of the late Isabel McFadden and the late Judge Donald B. McFadden, who served for twenty years as a trial court judge in Akron, Ohio.


Presiding Judge McFadden graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1980 and from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1985. He opened his own law office in 1988 and remained a sole practitioner until he joined the Court of Appeals. For most of that time, he practiced in Decatur and focused on appellate litigation. Before joining the Court of Appeals as its 74th judge, he appeared as appellate counsel before 26 of the judges who preceded him.


In 1996, along with the late Professor Edward C. Brewer and attorney Charles R. Sheppard, he published Georgia Appellate Practice through the Harrison Company of Norcross, Georgia. With Mr. Sheppard and attorneys Charles M. Cork, III, David A. Webster, Kelly A Weathers, and formerly with the late attorney George W.K. Snyder, Jr., Judge McFadden continues to update it for West, which now publishes it in annual editions.


With attorney Laurie Webb Daniel, he is a founding past Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Georgia. For twelve years, Judge McFadden served as an officer or director of the Atlanta Bar Association. He is a past chair of its Sole Practitioner/Small Firm and Judicial Sections and is a recipient of the its Distinguished Service and Charles E. Watkins, Jr. Awards.


Judge McFadden is a member of The American Law Institute. He presently serves as Vice-Chair  the Appellate Judges Conference of the American Bar Association and chaired its 2018 Appellate Judges Education Institute, which was held in Atlanta. He has served as a volunteer attorney for the Innocence Project and the Election Protection Project. In addition to the Atlanta Bar Association and American Bar Association, he is a member of the DeKalb Bar Association, Lawyers Club of Atlanta, Gate City Bar Association, Federalist Society, American Constitution Society, Saint Thomas More Society and of Oglethorpe University’s Stormy Petrel Bar Association. He served for more than six years on the State Bar of Georgia’s Committee on the Judiciary. He chaired a committee of the Judicial Council of Georgia that drafted the Superior and State Court Appellate Practice Act.


He is a parishioner at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Decatur, Georgia and has served as a lector since 1988. Judge McFadden is married to Dr. Linda Hyde, Professor of Biology at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia. They have a son.

Hon. Joe C. Bishop Related seminars and products

Senior Superior Court Judge Joe Bishop was appointed to the Pataula Circuit Superior Court bench on May 16, 1991 and served over 27 years. He was Chief Judge for 23 years. He was appointed as a Senior Judge on January 9, 2019.  He created and presided over the Pataula Felony Drug Court from 2001 until his retirement. He served as President of the Council of Superior Court Judges in 2000. Judge Bishop grew up in Southwest Georgia where he practiced law, raised his family, and still lives. He has been married to Dr. Carol Bishop, DBA, for 45 years. They have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren. Judge Bishop received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Speech Communication from Valdosta State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Hon. R. Rucker Smith Related seminars and products

Southwestern Circuit Superior Court

Mr. Michael Scott Carlson's Profile

Mr. Michael Scott Carlson Related seminars and products

Fulton County District Attorney's Office

Mike Carlson holds a Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating of “AV Preeminent,” reserved for “attorneys who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers.” Carlson’s legal career has seen accomplishments as a trial and appellate advocate, lecturer and teacher, and in legal writing and scholarship.


After graduating with an A.B. degree from the University of Georgia, Carlson attended Washington and Lee University School of Law, receiving his J.D. degree in 1992. Among the distinctions Carlson earned during law school was the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Award for his “excellence in demonstrating the talents and attributes of the trial advocate.”


Originally engaged in private practice where he focused on civil litigation and media law, Carlson began his public service career in 1997, working as an assistant district attorney in the Augusta, Atlanta, Stone Mountain, and Cobb Judicial Circuits, prior to his return to Fulton County in 2021. Leadership positions that Carlson has held include chief and deputy chief assistant district attorney and, most recently, chief counsel and ethics officer for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Also, in 2015, Governor Nathan Deal appointed Carlson to the Georgia Court Martial Review Panel.


Currently, Carlson serves as the Executive District Attorney for the Major Crimes Division at the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney. Among Carlson’s duties in that role is the supervision of six (6) elite prosecution teams to include Appeals, Capital & Cold Cases, Civil Forfeiture, Gangs, Major Case (homicide), and White Collar Crime. Additionally, Carlson maintains his own trial and appellate caseloads.


Throughout his over twenty (20) years as an assistant district attorney, Carlson has successfully prosecuted a wide array of high-profile trials and appeals. This includes, for example, jury trial victories in death penalty, gang, infant, elder, domestic violence, and vehicular homicides, as well as murder-for-hire, narcotics trafficking, and spousal rape cases. Carlson’s prevailing appellate arguments range from groundbreaking decisions interpreting Georgia’s Evidence Code to the opinion establishing the constitutionality of Georgia’s anti-gang laws.


Carlson actively addresses Georgia’s bench and bar on the law of evidence, trial practice and procedure. Moreover, Carlson has served as adjunct faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Emory University School of Law, and as a mentor and lecturer at the Gary Christy Memorial Trial Skills Clinic, formerly held at the University of Georgia School of Law.  


Annually updated books co-authored by Carlson, along with his father, University of Georgia Professor of Law Emeritus Ronald L. Carlson, include Carlson on Evidence, Carlsons’ Guide to Evidence Authentication, Trial Handbook for Georgia Lawyers, and Successful Techniques for Civil Trials. Carlson’s evidence law treatise, Carlson on Evidence, has been authoritatively cited in over sixty-five (65) Georgia appellate opinions. Articles co-authored by Carlson have been published in both academic and practice-concentrated legal journals. 


Listed as a “Georgia Trailblazer” by the Daily Report in 2019, the impact of Carlson’s commitment to the positive development of the justice system is well-known. Carlson has penned columns, made broadcast media appearances, and participated in legislative efforts pertaining to a variety of justice issues and reforms, to include Georgia’s evidence code.


Professional awards and recognition that Carlson has received include: the Eagle Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a state-level attorney by Georgia’s three (3) United States Attorneys; Faculty Medallion from the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia for consistently outstanding presenter ratings; Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia’s J. Roger Thompson (now Thompson-Jones) Award for training beginning level prosecutors; selection as a Master in the Joseph Henry Lumpkin (now Clarke-Carley) Inn of Court; and named by James magazine as a “legal legend” and one of “the most influential lawyers in Georgia.”


In his personal life, Carlson has been married to his wife Elizabeth Maria Carlson for over thirty (30) years and is the proud father of their daughter Marika and son Michael.

Mr. Michael Brian Terry's Profile

Mr. Michael Brian Terry Related seminars and products

Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP

Mike Terry handles complex trial and appellate matters.  He was on the plaintiffs’ trial teams for the two largest verdicts in Georgia history.  He has been on the winning side on appeal for the largest verdict in Georgia ever reversed, and the largest verdict in Georgia ever affirmed on appeal.

Mike was recognized as the Lawyer of the Year for Georgia (2021) by American Lawyer Media and by the Fulton County Daily Report. Mike has been ranked by Chambers USA for General Commercial Litigation since 2008.

Mike has been recognized as a Georgia “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers five times, in three subject matter areas (Appellate Litigation, Antitrust Litigation, and Banking Litigation). Mike was a Top 10 Georgia “Super Lawyer” in 2022, and has been in the Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyers for the last 15 years.

Ms. Laura Wilson Speed's Profile

Ms. Laura Wilson Speed Related seminars and products

Speed & King LLC

Laurie Speed is a trial attorney and co-founder of Speed + King Law Firm


Laurie is a trial lawyer with over 20 years of experience representing seriously injured victims of negligence. Ms. Speed’s litigation expertise includes medical malpractice and personal injury cases. She regularly tries cases in all Georgia courts.  In 2015, she was part of the trial team that secured an $11 million dollar verdict against Philip Morris for a former smoker whose respiratory disease required two lung transplants. She is equally proud of her smaller verdicts and obtaining justice for her clients in court.

Laurie served as the 76th President of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL) in 2004-2005 and President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) in 2018. In 2019 Laurie was the proud recipient of the Lady of Justice Award for dedication to GTLA and to the pursuit of justice.  In 2016 she received the Kathleen Kessler Award - GAWL’s most important award given annually to a female attorney who exhibits the highest degree of professionalism and dedication to service in the legal community.  She is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), which dedicates itself to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment, which guarantees the right to civil jury trials. Members in this invitation-only group must have tried a minimum of 10 civil jury trials to conclusion. Laurie is a Georgia Super Lawyer and annually makes the Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyers and Top 50 Women Georgia Super Lawyers lists. 

Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Laurie moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University for both college and law school.  While in college, Laurie was captain of the varsity swim team and earned both All-American and All-Academic honors.  She was also awarded an NCAA post graduate scholarship.  While in school, she worked as an intern at The Carter Center and for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games.  Laurie received her BA in 1996 with a double major in English and Women's Studies, graduating magna cum laude.

At Emory Law, Laurie served as Director-in-Chief of the Moot Court Society and was also honored with the James C. Pratt Memorial Award, which is given to the most outstanding third-year student in the Emory Moot Court Society.  Additionally, she was the first recipient of the Kessler/Eidson Scholarship, given to a student who demonstrates excellence in advocacy. 

Mr. Jonathan Andrew Pope's Profile

Mr. Jonathan Andrew Pope Related seminars and products

Hasty Pope LLP

 Jon Pope earned his undergraduate degree from The Citadel and his law degree from Georgia State University.  Since then, he has been named to the Top 100 attorneys in Georgia in Atlanta Magazine’s Super Lawyers® edition ten times. He has been recognized by Georgia Trend’s “Legal Elite” and the National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100. Jon has tried more than 50 jury trials and is the President-elect of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association; he has helped secure lifetime medical care for clients in need’ and earned multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements to alleviate financial difficulties of his clients. What keeps Jon going is getting results that change people’s lives and secure a better future for their families.  


Savannah Convention Center

1 International Drive, Savannah, Georgia 31421, United States

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.

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