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GTLA is the most active and influential group of lawyers in Georgia. Why is this? It is because we are motivated by our never-ending responsibility to protect the rights of every Georgia citizen. 

All Georgians are subject to the risk of serious injury or death that should have been avoided with the use of reasonable care. Consequently, we represent all walks of life, from doctors to CEOs to grocery store clerks to the unemployed. We are lawyers for the people, and that includes everybody.  

It is the breadth of our work that requires us as lawyers to do more than just represent our own clients one at a time. Mastering relevant law, investigation, insurance issues, trial preparation and trial skills is necessary to fulfill our duties to people with whom we have contracted to represent. But what happens if the law that forms the very basis of our clients’ rights is decimated by unwarranted legislation? We all know the answer, and so we must all work together to prevent legislative rollbacks.

While we have our own clients to represent in negotiations, depositions, pleadings and trials, by far the biggest case we have in our office is the one we work on together. We are co-counsel in the effort to protect the civil justice system from legislative threats.  

If we as lawyers do not fully engage in the legislative process, no one will step in to fight proposals to place caps on damages or caps on attorneys’ fees, the insurance industry’s quest to reduce the rights of the insured, medical malpractice "reform," product liability limitations and the effort to eliminate workers’ rights. Making and amending laws is a job for lawyers, not a job for the Chamber of Commerce, hospital corporations or insurance companies. If we do not make it our job, we can rest assured that those special interest proponents who believe they can profit from legislative enactments will.  

So what can we do? Reach out to legislators today. Establish relationships with legislators and let them know that we are here to help. All politics is local. All of us must take the responsibility to engage legislators in our own communities and to help them in any way, shape or form we can on a consistent basis, so that they will know we are truly committed to assisting them in their public service and sacrifice for our state.  

I am proud to serve you as President of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. We have all chosen to practice in an area of the law that can be personally rewarding and, at times, downright frustrating. Choosing to represent clients against the interests of insurance companies and other industries requires hard work and tremendous risk. But the risk we take is far offset by the reward of knowing that our work is honorable and for the advancement of the greater good. As always, we will meet these challenges together and with great purpose.

GTLA needs everybody, everywhere, all the time.  

Jay Sadd
GTLA President
Mayfield Medical-Legal Nurse Consulting, LLC
With more than 400 GTLA members in attendance, this year's Annual Convention was our largest yet!  

Thank you to our attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors—we could not have done it without you. Our event sponsors are listed below:

Welcome Reception
Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP

President’s Gala
Boone & Stone
Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith, Sistrunk & Sams PC
Forge Consulting
Henry Spiegel Milling LLP
Malone Law Office
ML Healthcare
Morgan & Morgan, PA
Oasis Legal Finance
Scherffius, Ballard, Still, & Feagle, LLP
Slappey & Sadd, LLC
Tate Law Group
The Orlando Firm, PC
Warshauer Law Group, PC

Tyrone Law Firm, PC

Berger Law Firm
Braun & Ree, LLP
Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC
Collision Specialists, Inc.
Dickinson & Associates
Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP
The Cooper Firm

New Lawyers Division Party Host Committee
American Association for Justice
Bird Law Group
Childers, Schleuter & Smith, LLC
Slappey & Sadd, LLC

Law Offices of Betty Nguyen Davis
Regional Medical Group

Carol W. Allen
N. John Bey
Josh Branch
Michael Geoffroy
Tedra Hobson
David Hodgins
Julie Oinonen
Laura Reis
Parag Shah
Adam Taylor
Trey Underwood
Joel Williams

For more information on your GTLA leadership for the upcoming year, ensuring you receive CLE credit and photos, check out the GTLA website.
The Guardian of Justice Award
Mr. Tommy Malone, Malone Law 

Thomas "Tommy" Malone is the founder of Malone Law. For more than 40 years, he has litigated cases involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death throughout the state of Georgia. He has obtained a multitude of jury verdicts in excess of one million dollars, including a verdict in excess of $49 million for a 23-year-old student who suffered catastrophic traumatic brain injuries as the result of a road wreck involving two commercial truck drivers on a two-lane highway in San Jose, Calif. His record-setting $45-million verdict changed the way managed care providers operate.

Tommy is a recognized pioneer in obtaining just awards for the seriously injured and loved ones of those who lost their lives at the hands of careless physicians, tractor trailer drivers and pilots as well as the manufacturers of dangerous products. Tommy was born and raised in Albany, Ga. He graduated from the University of Georgia and the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.

The Nestlehutt Award for the Courageous Pursuit of Justice
Ms. Velma Veasley
Mr. Mike Neff, The Law Offices of Michael Lawson Neff, P.C.

After her home security company failed to warn her about seven prior alarms that went off in her home and then gave her false and misleading information about the cause of the eighth alarm, Velma Veasley suffered a horrific attack by a home intruder. She successfully withstood both the attack and the trial in which defense counsel subtly sought to blame her. Ms. Veasley showed tremendous courage in agreeing not to settle because she wanted the security company to learn their lesson. She and attorney Mike Neff were successful at the trial level. The case is currently on appeal with the Court of Appeals.

The Outstanding Community Service Award
Mr. Andy Cash, Cash, Krugler & Fredericks LLC

Andy Cash is currently President-Elect of the Georgia Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which has achieved the honor of Board of Distinction. He serves on the Executive Committee and formerly headed the Nominating Committee. Andy is co-chairing the 2012 Hope for a Cure Gala and has been actively involved in securing continued funding for the Special Diabetes Program through visits to Georgia congressional offices on Capitol Hill. He also supports Camp Kudzu, which is a summer camp exclusively for children with Type I diabetes. Andy has two sons with Type I diabetes and has shown what being a true advocate for them is about.

W. Fred Orr II Memorial Scholarship Winner
Mr. Andrew (Andy) Weiner, The Weiner Firm LLC

Andy Weiner is not a new lawyer, but he is new to plaintiff’s practice and is also a relative newcomer to Georgia. Andy is an extremely skilled and accomplished attorney. He graduated from Emory University and then attended the University of Chicago Law School. For almost a decade, his practice has included the representation of employers and employees in litigation matters before state and federal courts and agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Andy and his wife relocated to Atlanta a year ago and he spent a brief time working for a local employment defense firm before leaving to launch his own firm. He believes that clients are entitled to competent representation, consistent and informed communication and access to our courts. His experience and expertise will make him a tremendous asset to the plaintiffs’ bar and to GTLA.
In 2011, Macon TLA had a banner year. They met 11 times and averaged approximately 25 attendees at each meeting. Speakers included GTLA leadership, GTLA members, judges and state legislators.

Last spring, Macon TLA members hosted a mixer to help launch the newly formed Mercer Student TLA group. Last fall, the Macon TLA donated $2,000 to the Leadership Macon 2011 program to help build a playground at Lynmore Estates in Macon. This project was done in conjunction with Macon Area Habitat for Humanity and was a $60,000 capital project with a build day in October 2011. Several Macon TLA members even helped build the playground.

Their annual December luncheon hosted all of the area judges from the various courts around Middle Georgia. More than 50 people attended to have the opportunity to socialize with State, Superior and Federal Court Judges from the Macon and Houston Judicial Circuits.

The group also participated in Macon Day at the Georgia Legislature in February 2012 and served ice cream while speaking with more than 250 legislators and aides.

A great number of members participate and stay active in political races by giving money to the GTLA PAC at all levels, and donating money directly to such legislative candidates. Macon TLA has developed close and strong ties to our local legislative delegation as advocates for civil justice.

Congratulations to the Macon TLA!
Thank You to Our Newest GTLA Champion Member!
Frank A. Ilardi

Welcome New GTLA Members!
Sarah Adle, Michael William Barber, Carrie Bootcheck, Jeffrey Bowman, Winston Briggs, Miguel Castro, Carim Charles, J. Blair Craig, Brian Cunha, David Dekle, Robert DeMetz, Ada Egbufor, James M. Evangelista, Stephen R. Fowler, Bobby L. Giddens, Tina Hudson, Amanda L. Jones, Michael Kaufman, Troy Kiber, Salu K. Kunnatha, LeRyan Paige Lambert, Jennifer  Little, Ross Moore, II, Robb Ortman, Anitra Price, Benjamin Price, LaKeisha Randall, Jeri B. Robinson, Glenn Edward Roebuck, III, Michael Ruppersburg, David Selby, Sarah Elisabeth Stottlemyer, Ryan Strickland, Gilbert M. Taylor, Wayne Toth, Jane Vincent, Andrew Weiner, Ivetta Williams, Nathan E. Woody
Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, Inc.
Empire Settlement Funding
Donovan Reporting PC
Fast Funds, Inc.

Founded in 1956, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) is dedicated to strengthening and upholding Georgia’s civil justice system and protecting the rights of Georgia citizens and consumers.

GTLA works in the legislative, political and media arenas to ensure that Georgians know and understand the importance of their rights to justice and to make certain that these rights, which are at the very core of what it means to be American, are safeguarded and protected.

Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
101 Marietta Street, NW
Suite 3350, Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone (404) 522-8487 | Fax (404) 522-3705

We would appreciate your comments or suggestions. Your email will be kept private and confidential.