Archive | Printer-Friendly | Send to a Friend | | Advertise June 2012
You may have read that the Georgia Chamber of Commerce held its annual Government Affairs meeting earlier this month on St. Simon’s Island. As reported by the Daily Report, the Chamber’s agenda included a discussion of their 2013 goals, including a panel on tort reform featuring a legislator from both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

Just as the Chamber is preparing for the 2013 legislative session, we too at GTLA must lay the ground work to protect against efforts to chip away at Georgians’ rights to trial by jury. In the 2013 session, we can expect a push for far-reaching legislation to shrink an insurance company’s duty to fairly settle claims, create medical "health care panels" to replace malpractice jury trials, and otherwise change the law to harm people, families, and small businesses. GTLA is more than 2,000 members strong and we can not and will not stand for compromising our fellow citizens' constitutional rights.

We can all do our part by:

•       Contributing to the PAC;
•       Participating in GTLA’s Directed Giving Program;
•       Reaching out to legislators through our 236 Project; and
•       Leading and working with your Local TLA.

My door is open – please do not hesitate to call me or anyone on the Executive Committee so we can discuss both your involvement in GTLA, and ways you can contribute to fulfilling our responsibility to preserve and protect the Civil Justice System in Georgia.

Jay Sadd
GTLA President
Mayfield Medical-Legal Nurse Consulting, LLC
Thanks to you and your hard work, GTLA has met its goal of reaching more than 2,000 members. This number represents more than simply a healthy membership roster; it represents over 2,000 lawyers willing to help each other and work together to make a positive difference for all.  

YOU can help our organization grow even stronger by recruiting others to join GTLA - and while you're at it, you just might win a free trip to the Auto Torts Workshop in Hilton Head!
The 2012 Annual GTLA Auto Torts Workshop will take place on July 26-28 at the Marriott Resort & Spa in beautiful Hilton Head, SC. This is one of GTLA's most popular events and we want you to attend for *FREE* by recruiting new GTLA members!
1.     Think of friends and colleagues who are not GTLA members. To check their status, click here.
2.     Ask them to join! Joining online is simple at
3.     Make sure they list you as their GTLA sponsor or send us the name(s) so that you get credit for your recruits.
As lawyers for people, families, and small businesses, we share the never-ending responsibility of protecting the civil justice system.  
As GTLA President Jay Sadd says, "To fulfill our mission, GTLA needs Everybody, Everywhere, All the Time."  
Recruiting colleagues and friends to become GTLA members strengthens our organization and is one of many ways that each of us can ensure that Georgia is a place where justice prevails for all. Get started today!
Thanks so much for your leadership in this effort, and good luck!
*Prize Details: The winner of this contest must be a member in good standing with GTLA. Qualifying referred members must not have been a member of GTLA within the past 3 years, and a fully paid membership must be received to GTLA by the end of the contest concluding on June 30, 2012. The prize includes one free registration to attend the 2012 Auto Torts Workshop on July 26-28 and three corresponding nights at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa. Minimum of 3 new members to be eligible for the contest.
Led by GTLA member Adrienne P. Hobbs who used a movie screening to raise money, Georgia's legal community contributed 612,497 pounds to the state's food banks in the inaugural Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, Attorney General Sam Olens reported.

Olens awarded the Attorney General's Cup to solo practitioner Hobbs, who raised 25,586 pounds of food, the most per capita statewide. Hobbs rented the LeFont Movie Theater and sold tickets to a showing of the movie "World's Smallest Airport," a documentary about her husband's grandfather and his brothers who were stunt pilots.
Congratulations to Adrienne and all the GTLA members that participated!
When the Republican National Convention convenes in Tampa, Florida in August, one of the delegates in the audience will be Macon attorney and Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) member Jason E. Downey.  Downey of Carr Downey, LLC, was selected as one of three National Delegates to represent the Eighth Congressional District of Georgia at this year's convention. 

"I’m honored beyond words to be voted as a representative of my District to be a National Delegate," said Downey. "I look forward to representing the Eighth Congressional District and the State of Georgia in Tampa at the National Convention." 
Since January of this year, Downey has served as Bibb County Campaign Chairman for Mitt Romney and plans to continue in that role through the Presidential Election in November. He is also running for a seat on the Bibb County Board of Education amidst a storm of controversy concerning the education system in Macon.
Since joining GTLA in January 2010, Downey has taken an active role as a trial lawyer. He is President of the Macon Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, and was installed as a GTLA Vice-President at the 2012 Annual Convention.

This August marks the 3rd annual ‘People’s Law School’ in Athens-Clarke County. The concept was initially launched in 1985 by some incredible attorneys, including former GTLA and State Bar President J. Vincent "Jay" Cook and Gene Mac Winburn, in 1985. Cook has explained the program originated to demystify the public’s perception of the law and that of lawyers’ and judges’ activities in the civil justice system.  It is also a chance for the public to have an opportunity to speak with judges and attorneys without having an immediate need for either while learning general concepts of the law from judges, practicing attorneys, and professors.

The classes this year will be held every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. during August at the Classic Center in Athens. The final session will feature a screening of the documentary "Hot Coffee." We averaged close to 50 attendees each session in past years. Participants are pleasantly surprised when they find out that there is no catch involved and we are truly there for the purposes described. One participant told me last year he worried the sessions would include information more akin to a pitch for timeshare sells by luring you in to a large destination locale. When he realized this was not the case, he shared his appreciation of what we were doing and even brought family members with him to later sessions.

As notions such as mandatory arbitration, caps on damages, and other constitutional violations are being promulgated by some of our country’s most influential groups and people, it continues to be important that the public have a better understanding of current events regarding their legal rights and the civil justice system.

I’d like to recognize the organizers and presenters of this event since its rejuvenation three years ago, including Chris Irwin with Cook, Noell, Tolley & Bates, LLP,  Josh Wages with Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, PC, Jimmy Hurt with Hurt, Stolz & Cromwell, LLC and Spence Johnson and Dustin Marlowe with Orr, Brown, Johnson, LLP. An incredible amount of gratitude also goes out to the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation who has generously sponsored this event. 

Josh Branch
Silver and Archibald, LLP




Earlier this month, the Civil Justice PAC held their Annual Strategic Planning Retreat at Lake Oconee.  

Led by PAC Board Chair Andy Childers and Executive Director Dawn Painter, the retreat was a full business day meeting to determine how to best raise and use funds from generous PAC contributors.

It was the first retreat for new board members Jonathon Pope, Audrey Tolson, Natalie Woodward, John Mroczko, and Curtis Dickinson.   

Others serving on the PAC board this year include Chair-Elect Stefan Turkheimer, Dan Snipes, Laurie Speed-Dalton, Lloyd Bell, Jason Branch, Frank Burns, Josh Carroll, James Fuller, Andrew Jones, Richard Jones, George Koenig, Glenn Loewenthal, and Darren Penn. 

The PAC supports those who uphold the promise of our Constitution of protecting and defending the civil justice system. For more than 20 years, the PAC has been a resource to legislators and a voice for the people of Georgia under the Gold Dome. 

You can support the Civil Justice PAC today by visiting



Thank You to Our Newest GTLA Champion Members!
Brandon Smith, Robert F. Glass

Welcome New GTLA Members!
Lee S. Atkinson, Paul Black, Adam Collins, Claire Gallagher, Paul Ghanouni, Christian Hunt, Felicia Johnson, Zachary North, Stacy Rushing, Cory P. Sims, Andre Townsend Tennille III, Timothy Wooten 

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.