AJMLS Alumnus Named Co-Editor of Georgia YLD Newsletter

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus and 2011 graduate, Heather Riggs, was recently named Co-Editor of The YLD Review. The YLD is the State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division’s newsletter.

Riggs is the owner of MindMeld Marketing in Atlanta. MindMeld Marketing concentrates on providing assistance to clients with website content, blogging and social media. Riggs’ client base focuses on creating digital marketing plans for lawyers and law firms. Riggs started MindMeld Marketing following starting her own successful adoption law practice.

Riggs has previously served in many positions before within the American Bar Association YLD and the Georgia YLD. She is also a member of the YLD Leadership Academy Class of 2015. Congratulations, Heather!

AJMLS Alumnus Successfully Argues in Front of Supreme Court of Georgia

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus and 2008 graduate, David Willingham, successfully argued a reversal in front of the Supreme Court of Georgia. The Georgia Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in Zilke v. Georgia on June 20, 2016.

Willingham’s client, Bajrodin Zilke, was charged with two counts of driving under the influence and several traffic violations by a POST-certified police officer employed by Kennesaw State University. Notably, the traffic stop did not occur on or near KSU property. Willingham moved to suppress evidence of a breath test on the grounds that the KSU police officer lacked jurisdiction to arrest his client. The trial court granted the motion. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision.

The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision and granted Willingham’s Motion to Suppress.  This effectively reversed the Georgia Supreme Court’s 1984 decision in Glazner v. State and all subsequent rulings based on Glazner.

This was a huge victory for Willingham and his client. Congratulations, David!

AJMLS Alumnus Sworn in as Superior Court Judge

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus and 2008 graduate, Dustin Hightower, was recently sworn in to serve as a superior court judge in the Coweta Judicial Circuit. Hightower’s current seat was made vacant when Judge A. Quillian Baldwin, Jr. retired from the court earlier this year. On May 26, 2016, Governor Nathan Deal administered Hightower’s oath.

Hightower formerly represented the 68th district in the Georgia House of Representatives. He also served as a named partner at the firm Miller and Hightower, Attorneys at Law.

Congratulations, Dustin! We know you will continue to represent AJMLS well from the bench.

Alumnus Adam Malone Named Lawyer of the Year

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus and 2000 class valedictorian, Adam Malone, has been recognized by his peers and named Georgia’s 2016 Lawyer of the Year for Medical Malpractice Law – Plantiffs by Best Lawyers. Malone, a Partner at Malone Law, was also featured as a cover story, Rising to the Top, for the current issue of Best Lawyers magazine.

“Lawyer of the Year” recognitions are awarded to attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic location. Only one lawyer is recognized annually for each specialty and location.

After graduating from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Malone clerked for the Honorable G. Alan Blackburn of the Georgia Court of Appeals and was a prosecutor in the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office before joining his father in the practice of law. Malone also currently serves Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School on the Board of Directors.

Congratulations, Adam!

Congratulations to the December Graduates

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School congratulates its December 2015 graduates. Happy holidays!

 

 

 

 

Jacques Alpacino Barker
Chantiel Denise Bell
Anthony W Berry
Audra Braswell Bleecker
Michael Allen Bodiford
Shalena Mary Broadbelt
Garrett Michael Emmons
Carl Von Epps III
Robert Mason Frisbie
Corey Dwayne Givens
Noor Elizabeth Janho
Georgia Kasidakis
Tom Katusabe
Paul Christopher Kunst
Jennifer Marie McLaughlin
Douglas Mihalik
Kelly Leigh Morton
Joseph Grady Nickel Jr
Brandy L Porter
Amber Holly Reed
Alyssa Marie Sawicki
Jeffrey Sayer
David Morris Schlachter
Shana Leinaala Scott
Audrey Antoinette Simmons
Gina Renee’ Billingsley Smith
Lisa Sonoda
Tangelita Quiimaii Taylor
Adrienne Leigh Thornton
LeAnna Gail Wade
Corey DuWayne Woods
Jeremy A Yakle

Alumni Sworn Into U.S. Supreme Court

On Monday, November 30, 2015, Dean Malcolm L. Morris sponsored eight AJMLS alumni and two guests to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court (Court). In order to be sworn into the Court, an attorney must have been sworn into the highest court in the state in which they are licensed for at least three years and be in good standing with that court. Those who were sworn in were: Ginger Arnold (’11), David Blackburn and his daughter, alumni Lara Blackburn Carillo (’12), Jesse Kent (’09), Prof. Stacey Mitchener, Terrye Nash (’10), Hon. Ronald Ramsey, Sr. (’92), Heather Riggs (’11), Joshua Smith (’00), and Margaret Spencer (’05.)

The evening before the swearing in, everyone enjoyed a wonderful evening with their family and friends at a reception hosted by the Alumni Office at the esteemed Willard Hotel. They dined on delicious hand-passed hors d’oeuvres and sipped on refreshments from the bar. It was a lovely event in the beautifully decorated room called “The Nest.”

On the day of the swearing in, the soon-to-be admittees had breakfast with their guests in the East Conference room of the Court. It was a wonderful photo opportunity as a large picture of former Chief Justice John Marshall hangs over the mantel of the fireplace. After breakfast, the Clerk of the Court escorts the guests into the courtroom and the attorneys are ushered in just before the Court begins its session. After being sworn in by the Clerk of the Court, the newly admitted attorneys and guests remained in the courtroom to watch the first oral argument. Needless to say, they were happy they weren’t presenting a case that day!

Despite the rain on the morning of the swearing in, everyone enjoyed beautiful weather in Washington, D.C. and had a once in a lifetime experience. It is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss!

2015 Alumni Supreme Court Swearing In 2015 Alumni Supreme Court Swearing In 2

AJMLS Father Daughter Alumni Team Featured in Daily Report

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Alumni, Michael Puglise (’93) and Brooke Puglise (’14) of Puglise Law Firm, are featured in today’s Daily Report.

The article, Suit: UGA Cop Fired for Following ‘Amnesty Law’ for Overdose Calls, details their representation of Jay Park, the former University of Georgia police officer who filed suit in Fulton County last week.

Read the full article featuring the AJMLS alumni duo here: Suit: UGA Cop Fired for Following ‘Amnesty Law’ for Overdose Calls

Two Alumni Selected for 2015-2016 GTLA LEAD Program Class

The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association has announced that John Marshall Law School Alumni Thomas Lyman of the Mulholland Law Firm and Kyle Moore with the Lazenby Law Group have been selected for the 2015-2016 Leadership Education & Advanced Direction (LEAD) Program. Now entering its third year, the widely-acclaimed LEAD Program serves to train and equip GTLA members who have been identified as potential leaders in the Association with the necessary tools to take the next steps in their legal careers, both in and out of the courtroom.

In order to qualify, applicants must have less than 10 years of legal practice experience or be 35 years of age or younger. After an exhaustive application review and selection process, at total of 16 attorneys were chosen to participate in the 2015-2016 GTLA LEAD Program.

“For three years now, the GTLA LEAD Program has helped identify many of the best and brightest young lawyers in our state and prepare them for long and successful careers as leaders in the courtroom, their communities and our Association. I am proud to see that tradition continue with the selection of this year’s class,” remarked Darren Penn, President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. “The qualifications of this year’s applicants were remarkable, and I am eager to work alongside this outstanding group of young leaders throughout this year’s program and for many years to come.”

The 2015-2016 LEAD Program will consist of six sessions, and begins on November 20-21 in Athens, Georgia. The program concludes with graduation at the GTLA Annual Convention & President’s Gala in Atlanta on April 28-29, 2016. Sessions will also take place in Savannah and Macon, as well as at the State Capitol and the Georgia Judicial Building.

“As graduates of the GTLA LEAD Program, we have seen first-hand the profound and lasting effects that the program can have on members’ legal careers,” continued LEAD Program Co-Chairs Jennifer Coalson and Yvonne Godfrey. “The stellar qualifications, diversity of experience and impressive professional backgrounds of this year’s applicants not only made the selection process quite difficult, but also reassured us that this program will continue to thrive for many years to come. With rising stars like Thomas and Kyle climbing the ranks of GTLA, the future of our Association is brighter than ever.”

About GTLA: Founded in 1956, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) is dedicated to strengthening and upholding Georgia’s Civil Justice System and protecting Georgia citizens’ Constitutional Right to Trial by Jury.

Original Press Release provided by Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Media Contact: Chris Kelleher (770) 355-6052.

Alumnus David Lee Windecher Publishes Book, Credits Law School

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Alumnus, David Lee Windecher (’12), has chronicled his extraordinary life journey of going from defendant to defense attorney in his soon to be released book* “AmerIcan Dream: HisStory in the Making”. He hopes to utilize his personal story to inspire others to overcome challenges and pursue their dreams.

“John Marshall gave me an opportunity to redefine my life,” said David. “They believed in me. JMLS gave a poor kid from the hood an opportunity to engage his passion and realize his American dream.”

David Lee Windecher became a leader of his class at John Marshall Law School. Windecher was elected President of the Sports and Entertainment Society and was voted Peer Mentor of the Year in 2011.

Today, David Lee Windecher is a practicing criminal defense attorney at Atlanta firm Arora & LaScala and the founder of RED, Inc. (Rehabilitation Enables Dreams), a non-profit organization which sponsors GED programs for young juveniles that are facing non-violent criminal charges who are capable of rehabilitation through an education. RED, Inc.’s mission is to decrease recidivism and increase literacy amongst America’s youth.

“My career, my success… John Marshall was instrumental in it all,” said David.

Congratulations, David!

 *A book release party is planned for Thursday, May 21, 2015 in Buckhead. For more details email: americandreampress@gmail.com.

Family of Alumnus Judge G. Alan Blackburn Establish Memorial Scholarship

As printed by AJC.com on May 11, 2015:

Chief Judge Gerald Alan Blackburn, 76, of Marietta, died on May 9, 2015. He was born May 6, 1939 in East Bend, North Carolina. After serving four years on active duty in the United States Air Force, returned to Atlanta and entered John Marshall Law School and later received his LLM degree from the Virginia School of Law. He engaged in the private practice for twenty years and served as Administrative Law Judge for the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance, before being elected to the Court of Appeals in 1992. He was a member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Georgia Association of Administrative Law Judges; the American Bar Association, State Bar of Georgia, and the Cobb County Bar Association. He served as chairman of the Cobb County Salvation Army Advisory Board; chairman of the Board of Directors of New Horizons Ministries and served on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse- Ga Chapter. Survivors include his wife, Linda Blackburn and their four children, Daughters, Jennifer (Ralph) Alewine, Merideth (Dylan) Manning, Elizabeth (Evan) Watkins; Son, Christopher Blackburn; and Grandchild, Ward Manning. Other surviving daughters include, Susan Winger, Jackie Carver, Sandra Blackburn and their families. The funeral will be at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church on May 13, 2015 at 11 am with a reception following the service. Interment will be at 1:30 pm in Arlington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to Atlanta’s John Marshall Alumni Association/ Judge Blackburn Scholarship 1422 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta Ga 30309, where a building has been named in his honor. Sandy Springs Chapel is overseeing the arrangements.