AJMLS Alumni on the Move: Fall 2020

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) celebrates its alumni and their accomplishments. If you would like to submit information for our next Alumni on the Move piece, please click here to submit the form.

Diana Simmons, Class of 2009

Diana Simmons (nee Sturgis) won the run-off election on August 11, 2020, becoming the next State Court Judge in Cobb County. She ran against fellow AJMLS alumni, Mazi Mazloom and David Willingham, as well as candidates Trina Griffiths, Scott Halperin, and Joseph Atkins.

Ben Musgrove, Class of 2013

Musgrove was sworn in as a Magistrate Court Judge for Forsyth County on July 16, 2020 by Judge Lynwood D. Jordan, Jr., Probate Judge for Forsyth County. He was appointed by Judge Walker Bramblett, Chief Magistrate, on July 1, 2020 and confirmed by all judges of the Forsyth County Superior Court.

While continuing to serve his clients with their personal injury needs, Ben will be taking on the additional responsibility of holding a seat in the Magistrate Court and will be reviewing warrant applications, and presiding over certain criminal and small claims matters.

Amanda Perez, Class of 2009

Perez was appointed as part-time judge to the Magistrate Court of Cobb County. The appointment was made by Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan Murphy and unanimously confirmed by Cobb County Superior Court. 

Perez has been practicing law since 2009, with a focus in domestic, civil litigation, immigration and criminal defense work. She has a private practice in which she represents injured people who are seeking to recover payment for work and clients who want to negotiate with creditors.

Rita Cherry, Class of 1996

Cherry was appointed as part-time judge to the Magistrate Court of Cobb County. The appointment was made by Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan Murphy and unanimously confirmed by Cobb County Superior Court. 

Cherry previously served as a Magistrate Court judge in 2015. She practiced law in employment and labor cases, served as a defense attorney in the Cobb County Circuit Defender’s office, worked as an assistant district attorney in Fulton County and as a senior assistant city attorney for the city of Atlanta. 

Neera Bahl, Class of 2004

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced his selection of Neera Bahl to serve on the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

Erik Provitt, Class of 2016

Appointed to the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Bar Association for the 2020-2021 Bar Year.

Kyle M. Moore, Class of 2013

Helped a fellow lawyer obtain a 21 million dollar verdict in north Georgia federal court this year as a first run at being a trial consultant.

Nick Schnyder, Class of 2011

The Nick Schnyder Law Firm is hiring on a monthly basis, is in the third building in only four years of practice, and expanding the parking lot for the growing firm.

Kenneth French, Class of 2018

As Legal Counsel at T. Rowe Price, French was recently appointed to serve as a board member on the University of Maryland’s School of Law’s Diversity Scholars program. This initiative focuses on introducing UM Law students from diverse backgrounds into the day in the life of corporate counsel. In addition to mentoring the students, the students are also brought on site to participate in programs sponsored by participating firms. The students are identified and brought into the program by the Development & Alumni Relations department at the law school during their 1L year and many participate in the program throughout their time in law school.

Wellington Tzou, Class of 2012

Wellington founded Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP) of Georgia, where Taiwanese Americans and Americans, who are interested Taiwanese culture and professional development, joined to support one another. The organization started out with only about a handful of members, but now the Georgia organization proudly has over 100 members. Stemming from this success, Wellington was asked to join the National Taiwanese American Professional, where he now sits as the national President. Further since his tenure, TAP has hosted national conventions in Atlanta and led the initiative with voting rights, national census, and Asian community interests in the justice system. His success still continues on where he is frequently asked to join the Taiwanese government officials in Taiwan and hosts several Taiwanese leaders and politicians to Georgia to enrich the Taiwanese Americans’ lives in the United States and bridge the two nations together closer.

In addition to the development of TAP, Wellington was part of Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where he served as its Community Service Chair. During his tenure, he led the state-wide effort of serving the community at large by partnering with ServiceJuris, AVLF, Food Bank, and many other non-profit organizations.

Lastly, Wellington has led a successful professional career where he served corporate clients such as IBM, Coca-Cola, and WebMD as their counsel. Currently, he leads a global data privacy compliance team in Deloitte. Prior to COVID19 pandemic, Wellington frequently visited offices in China and New York working on global initiatives for Deloitte.

Fariba Bayani, Class of 2004

Bayani was invited and taught a personal injury CLE at a punitive damages seminar regarding DUI cases that cause accident and thus are subject to punitive damages. After graduating from John Marshal Law, I was immediately hired as a Prosecutor at Fulton County and prosecuted DUI cases, among other kind of criminal cases. After several years, I started Bayani Law Group in Sandy Springs. Since 2010, I have been practicing personal injury cases, criminal defense, and family law.

Michelle Reilly, Class of 2016

Michelle Reilly Law Group LLC – Opened in June 2020

Areas of practice: Personal Injury, Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law, General Civil Litigation

Michelle Cross, Class of 2019

Atlanta’s Law Firm – Opened in June 2020

Areas of practice: criminal defense, personal injury, contract dispute, incorporating businesses, and helping people get economic injury disaster loans through the Small Business Administration.

Gabrielle Bloodsaw, Class of 2016

Gabrielle graduated in 2016 and was quickly employed as a public defender for the city of Atlanta. A year later she achieved greater heights as a Public Defender in Fulton County working for the Metro Conflict public defenders. In January of 2019, she was accepted to be a JAG officer in the US Army. After completing basic training in Fort Benning, GA and graduating JAG school in Charlottesville, SC she was sent to Fort Hood, TX for her 3 year term. After only a few months LT Bloodsaw was promoted to CPT. Recently, she was deployed to assist in a mission overseas. In only a few short years since graduation, CPT Bloodsaw has dedicated her time to serving some of this county’s most vulnerable populations.

Mariette Clardy-Davis, Class of 2013

Mariette Clardy-Davis was invited to be a panelists for AwareHealth’s CLOSING RACIAL DISPARITIES IN MENTAL HEALTH AT THE WORKPLACE.

Mariette will share her tips and recommendations as well as her personal journey as a black female attorney living and working with a bipolar depression diagnosis.

Alpa Amin, Class of 2012

Alpa Amin was named the Executive Director for Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network.

Paul Nam, Class of 2012

Job placement at InComm as Associate General Counsel in Oct 2019.

Sara Wardlow, Class of 2016

Cain Injury Law has hired Sara Wardlow as of counsel from the Rebbeca Kay Sapp Law Firm. Wardlow is handling all types of personal injury law at her new firm.

Naja Burroughs, Class of 2019

Job placement at Kenny Leigh and Associates in its Atlanta office.

Taylor Newell, Class of 2019

Job placement at Cohen and Sinowski, a Personal Injury Law Firm in Atlanta.

Nine AJMLS Alumni Elected to Serve State Bar of Georgia Board of Governors

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates its nine alumni that were recently elected to serve the State Bar of Georgia Board of Governors.

*The State Bar of Georgia is governed by a 160-member Board of Governors. The Board controls and administers the affairs of the State Bar. Members of the Board of Governors are the voice of the members in the circuit they represent. The Board is comprised of the Attorney General of Georgia, officer members, and elected and appointed Board of Governors members.

The nine alumni who were recently elected or are currently serving a Board term are:

NameAdmit YearPostTerm Expiration
Austin O. Jones 2003Alcovy Cir., Post 2 2022
Tracee Ready Benzo 2008Atlanta Cir, Post 6 2022
Eric Alvin Ballinger 1993 Blue Ridge Cir., Post 2 2021
Carl A. Veline Jr. 1974 Houston Cir. 2022
Mitchen McKinley Shook 1992 Middle Cir., Post 1 2022
Carl Santos Cansino 1996 Ocmulgee Cir., Post 1 2022
Barry E. King 1998 Piedmont Cir. 2021
H. Burke Sherwood 1999 Southern Cir., Post 3 2022
Matthew Jackson Hennesy 2004 Waycross Cir., Post 1 2022

Thank you to our alumni for serving our legal community and representing Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. We are thrilled to celebrate your accomplishments.

*State Bar of Georgia

2019 Alumnus, Captain Bryan Dayton, First Attorney Sworn Into the Bar of the Georgia Supreme Court Virtually

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates 2019 alumnus, Captain Bryan Dayton, for his momentous swearing-in this morning to the Bar of the Georgia Supreme Court. Capt. Dayton is currently with the Georgia Army National Guard and works with U.S Army Europe Command. He is deployed to Germany where he plans joint training missions with our NATO partners in Europe and Asia, and as such, became the first person to be sworn into the Georgia Supreme Court virtually.

Capt. Dayton is transferring from the Infantry to the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps to serve as an Army lawyer. To make the branch transfer, he is required to earn a certificate of good standing showing that he has been admitted to the highest court of the state. Capt. Dayton had two sponsors who participated in today’s remote swearing-in ceremony. One of his sponsors is Brigadier General Bobby Christine, who is also the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia in Savannah. Brig. Gen. Christine, a one-star general, has the distinction of being the only general officer in the Army National Guard JAG Corps. Capt. Dayton’s second sponsor is Colonel Brian Bischoff, who was recently appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to succeed Brig. Gen. Christine as the State Judge Advocate for the Georgia National Guard.

Upon his return to Georgia, Capt. Dayton will be taking a job with the law firm of Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert, and Prieto, LLC, specializing in recovery for victims of long-term-care negligence and elder abuse.

In 2008, Capt. Dayton received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. Last year, he received his Juris Doctor from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, graduating top 5 in his class.

Between his undergraduate studies and law school, Capt. Dayton spent six-years on active duty as an Army Infantry Officer. While on active duty, he deployed as a Platoon Leader to Kuwait, in support of Operation Spartan Shield. He also deployed to Latvia and Poland to support Operation Atlantic Resolve. As an Army Officer, Capt. Dayton earned a Ranger Tab, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Badge, Expert Infantrymen’s Badge, and many other decorations and awards.

Capt. Dayton made the most of his time at Atlanta’s John Marshall involving himself in several different on-campus activities. He participated in Law Review for a semester before joining the Mock Trial team. While on Mock Trial, he traveled to South Carolina and competed in the Palmetto State Classic hosted by the University of South Carolina. Additionally, he worked as a Lexis Nexus Student Representative, a student employee at the Michael L. Lynch Law Library, and led the Atlanta’s John Marshall Barbri Student Sales Team.

Capt. Dayton and his beautiful wife Kayt, who will be returning to the US this month to attend Georgia Tech’s Master in Architecture program, maintained a residence in Atlanta since 2016 while living in Wiesbaden, Germany for his work. Capt. Dayton’s hobbies include marathon-running, working out, travel, and reading.

Capt. Dayton shared, “The biggest lesson I learned at John Marshall was that every day I need to strive to be better than I was yesterday.” He sat for and passed the July 2019 Georgia Bar exam.

Congratulations to Capt. Dayton! Thank you for your service and we look forward to welcoming you back to Georgia very soon.

1996 Alumnus, Ben Miller, Jr., Appointed to Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates 1996 alumnus, Ben Miller, Jr., on his recent appointment as Superior Court Judge for the Griffin Judicial CIrcuit. Miller will fill the vacancy created by Mack Crawford’s resignation and was appointed on May 1, 2020.

When asked about his success, Miller remarked, “I am humbled. I think I was at the right place at the right time.”

“However, I always practiced law with reverence to the profession and I believe that an attorney’s integrity and reputation are the most valuable traits that one can possess… and not to risk either for any case.”

Miller earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Georgia and has served as an attorney, solicitor, juvenile court judge pro tempore, municipal court judge, associate juvenile court judge, and presiding judge of juvenile court. He is a member of the Sixth Judicial District Alternative Dispute Resolution Board of Directors, Spalding County Collaborative Board of Directors, Thomaston Upson Arts Council, Upson Historical Society, and Thomaston First United Methodist Church. He is also a founding member of the Thomaston-Upson Community Foundation, Inc. and the chairman of the Upson-Pike County Eagle Scout Review Board.

“In a competitive selection process, Ben Miller, Jr. clearly stood out among the candidates, and I am honored to appoint him to serve on the Griffin Judicial Circuit Superior Court,” said Governor Kemp. “He has the right credentials, temperament, and willingness to serve, and I know that he will excel as a member of the Judiciary.”

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is thrilled to celebrate this appointment and wishes Judge Miller continued success on the bench.

Congratulations to Our Graduates and Award Recipients

The Law School is incredibly proud of its graduates. Your perseverance and resilience during this challenging time is a testament to your professionalism and work ethic. We look forward to following your careers and championing all your future successes.

Valedictorians

This award is given to the valedictorian from each of the school’s divisions (full-time and part-time).

J. Avery Archer, full-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Berry College

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Competing in the Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) mock trial competition.

After the Bar: I plan on starting a law practice immediately after passing the Georgia Bar. 

Fredis Romero, part-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Gwinnett College, University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Going out to celebrate with my classmates post final

After the Bar: I’ll be working as an Associate at the Drake & Estes Law Firm after passing the September bar. Long term, I hope to have my own firm and offer my services pro-bono for Immigration Law. 

Outstanding Graduate Awards

This award is given annually to one graduate in each of the school’s divisions (part-time and full-time) who best demonstrates standards of competence and professionalism, a strong social conscience, high ethical standards, and a commitment to the improvement of the legal system and society, as determined by the Faculty on recommendation of the Honors and Awards Committee.

Sydni Marshall, full-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Winning the title for the first ever Miss Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Pageant.

After the Bar: My plan after the bar exam is to continue my employment, as an associate attorney, with The Cochran Firm Atlanta and to become one of the greatest civil rights litigators in the country. I also plan to develop an organization for at-risk youth in my hometown, Richmond, Virginia, who want to pursue a career in law. The program would assist these students by providing them with internships, mentorships, and other resources to help them along the way. My ultimate dream, however, is to be happy and successful, all while remaining John Marshall Proud!

Bianca Taraschi, part-time program

Undergraduate Institution: Florida Atlantic University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Any and every story told by Professor Mears, and working at the library and always seeing and interacting with so many of my friends, classmates, and professors. Also meeting some of the best girl friends I could find and knowing that we will be friends forever

Plans after graduation: I am currently studying for the July UBE in South Carolina and am unsure of post-bar plans. I always said I never wanted to practice law, but more so go into a federal agency such as the FBI or DEA as a special agent or a federal attorney. Right now I just want to pass the bar and I trust that what God has for me next, He will make it very clear as to where I should be and what I should be doing. 

American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence

This award is presented to the student with the highest grade in a bankruptcy course or other area of bankruptcy scholarship.

Sasha Robinson

Undergraduate Institution: Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM)

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Law school orientation where I met some of my closest friends.

After the Bar:  I plan to work at a personal injury law firm, and eventually, start my own law practice. 

Excellence In Appellate Advocacy

This award is given to the outstanding student participant on a John Marshall Law School moot court competition team.

Kristen MacKenzie

Undergraduate Institution: Oglethorpe University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: During the construction of the building next door I was studying in the law library next to a window, there was a sudden explosive racket as a crane dropped a load of metal studs which landed on about the 4th or 5th floor of the new building with force. I jumped out of my chair and my study partner goes, “Well, there’s your tort hypo…” and goes right back to reading.

After the Bar: I would like to owe my own practice one day.

Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Custer-Tuggle Award for Excellence in Family Law

This award is presented to a student at each of the Georgia law schools who has exhibited outstanding achievement in the area of family law study and who plans on practicing family law upon graduation.

Maya Jeanpierre

Undergraduate Institution: Clark-Atlanta University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I have many favorite memories of law school, but two of the most empowering experiences were:

The first time I was cold-called in Professor Van Detta’s Contracts I class and I was able to articulate the elements of promissory estoppel correctly.
Working with Dean Ortega and Mr. Wilson in the Experiential Learning Program and learning so much about family law while gaining invaluable experience in the overall practice of law.

After the Bar: Someday I would like to own a Family Law and Estate Planning practice, but that is a goal much further down the road. Shorter-term, I am dedicated to expanding my knowledge of family law so that I can advocate for those in need of legal services. I also plan to resume activities from my pre-law school life; traveling and experiencing new cultures, enjoying time with friends and family, and restarting hobbies I haven’t had time to enjoy while in law school.

Excellence in Pro Bono

This award is given to those students whose pro bono hours are among the top 10% earned in the graduating class. This award is not merit-based.

Kathryn Emig

Undergraduate Institution: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Working in the Office of Admissions.

After the Bar: I plan on working at an immigration law firm and becoming certified in Spanish.

Breeahna Gresham

Undergraduate Institution: Clark Atlanta University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: When I started AJMLS during orientation, Professor Rapping spoke and he said what you came to law school to study would not be what you leave here wanting to do. I remember sitting there looking at him like he does not know what he is talking about and I will be a prosecutor. Little did I know he was talking directly to me. I became apart of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, took his classes, bombarded him during his office hours, and now I’m on the pathway to becoming a public defender and gained one heck of a mentor in Professor Rapping.  

After the Bar: My plan after the bar is to work in the public defenders office and become apart of Gideon’s Promise.

Chelsie Hinton

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Southern University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I have two. The first is getting to meet Stacy Abrams and hear her speak at the fundraiser for the Georgia lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society. The second is participating in Professor Burch’s civil liberties seminar in education law. That course provided me the opportunity to meet with various community leaders, practice brief writing, and most importantly make a lasting impact on the young people we were helping.

After the Bar: My wildest dream is to be a co-host on The View and have the lawyer chair like Sunny Hostin or Star Jones (I love discussing politics). In the meantime I plan on practicing family law or being a real estate closing attorney.

Robert Leone

Undergraduate institution: University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Getting to know the students, faculty, and staff at AJMLS. Everyone I met was awesome and I made many new friends.

After the Bar: Practice criminal defense in North Georgia

Sydni Marshall

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Winning the title for the first ever Miss Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Pageant.

After the Bar: My plan after the bar exam is to continue my employment, as an associate attorney, with The Cochran Firm Atlanta and to become one of the greatest civil rights litigators in the country. I also plan to develop an organization for at-risk youth in my hometown, Richmond, Virginia, who want to pursue a career in law. The program would assist these students by providing them with internships, mentorships, and other resources to help them along the way. My ultimate dream, however, is to be happy and successful, all while remaining John Marshall Proud!

Marie Wofford Sussenbach

Undergraduate Institution: Kennesaw State University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: So thankful for our evening division and the incredible bond we created together during this journey. My favorite moments were spent over-analyzing EVERYTHING in our GroupMe, in and out of school. 

After the Bar: Continuing to work on federal litigation cases, likely in the area of Intellectual Property. Eventually I’d also like to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem on child abuse cases – the area of interest that brought me to law in the first place. 

Traci Trippe

Undergraduate Institution: Kennesaw State University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: When I got the email requesting my participation in the peer mentor program, I realized that no matter how far we have come, how much or how little we have, we always have something to contribute. That request marked a change in the direction of my career and sense of community at John Marshall. Service is inherent in the legal profession, and the most important work I will do as both an attorney and a member of the community. 

After the Bar: I plan to work in public service.

Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Outstanding Graduate Award

This award is given to a woman from each Georgia law school based on academic accomplishments and contributions to women’s issues.

Teana Overton

Undergraduate Institution: Longwood University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: It is a difficult task to pick just one memory as my favorite. Earning awards, winning titles, and learning complex material were all memorable. However, nothing will compare to the lifelong friendships I have made with my AJMLS family. 

After the Bar: I plan to work as an attorney representing injured persons while continuing my education. This fall, I will start graduate school part-time to earn my masters in Social Foundations of Education. Eventually, I plan on earning my Doctorates degree in education and establish a program to assist and mentor first generation students like myself.

Edward J. Henning Award for Excellence in Dispute Resolution

This award is given to an outstanding ADR student at each of the state’s five ABA-accredited law schools. These awards are given in memory of Ed Henning, one of the “founding fathers” of mediation in Georgia.

Chelsie Hinton

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Southern University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I have two. The first is getting to meet Stacy Abrams and hear her speak at the fundraiser for the Georgia lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society. The second is participating in Professor Burch’s civil liberties seminar in education law. That course provided me the opportunity to meet with various community leaders, practice brief writing, and most importantly make a lasting impact on the young people we were helping.

After the Bar: My wildest dream is to be a co-host on The View and have the lawyer chair like Sunny Hostin or Star Jones (I love discussing politics). In the meantime I plan on practicing family law or being a real estate closing attorney.

The Honorable Harold R. Banke Advocacy Award

This award is given to the outstanding student participant on a mock trial competition team.

J. Avery Archer

Undergraduate Institution: Berry College

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Competing in the Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) mock trial competition.

After the Bar: I plan on starting a law practice immediately after passing the Georgia Bar. 

Bryce Bell

Undergraduate Institution: University of the Cumberlands

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Competing in the Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial competition in Washington D.C.

After the Bar: I plan on working for a criminal defense attorney in downtown Atlanta.

Hunter Burkhalter

Milissa Fisher

Undergraduate Institution: Southern New Hampshire University 

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Studying for finals with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. John Marshall Proud!

After the Bar: After passing the bar, I plan to open my own firm, and to continue my pro bono work within the community. 

The Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears Pro Bono Award

The highest award is given to the student whose pro bono service had the greatest impact or who completed the highest overall pro bono hours.

Teana Overton

Undergraduate Institution: Longwood University

Favorite AJMLS Memory: It is a difficult task to pick just one memory as my favorite. Earning awards, winning titles, and learning complex material were all memorable. However, nothing will compare to the lifelong friendships I have made with my AJMLS family. 

After the Bar: I plan to work as an attorney representing injured persons while continuing my education. This fall, I will start graduate school part-time to earn my masters in Social Foundations of Education. Eventually, I plan on earning my Doctorates degree in education and establish a program to assist and mentor first generation students like myself.

National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award

This award is given to a third-year law student who who best exemplifies the following characteristics:

  • Contributes to the advancement of women in society
  • Promotes issues and concerns of women in the legal profession
  • Exhibits motivation, tenacity, and enthusiasm
  • Demonstrates high academic achievement
  • Earns the respect of the faculty and administration

Jessica Swords Burton

Undergraduate Institutions: Gainesville State College, University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: I can’t just pinpoint one event. I’m going to have to say first semester. Very exciting and new. I got to meet really good people who grew to be friends, and I had never worked so hard in my life, and that was very fulfilling. 

After the Bar: I hope to work in criminal defense, and hopefully work my way into focusing on post-conviction appellate work, especially for indigent defendants. 

Pro Bono Distinction

This distinction is given to students who have completed 75 hours or more of pro bono work during their law school career.

Paige Duncan

Undergraduate Institution: The University of South Alabama

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Barrister’s Ball

After the Bar: My plan after the bar is to work in the area of corporate/business law in Georgia. 

Ekram Ismael

Undergraduate Institution: University of Colorado Denver

Favorite AJMLS Memory: All the good laughs and inside jokes I experienced with my evening cohort.

After the Bar: I plan to pursue a career in Entertainment Law or as a Criminal Defense Attorney after passing the September bar.

Fredis Romero

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Gwinnett College, University of North Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Going out to celebrate with my classmates post final

After the Bar: I’ll be working as an Associate at the Drake & Estes Law Firm after passing the September bar. Long term, I hope to have my own firm and offer my services pro-bono for Immigration Law. 

Bryce Stephens

Undergraduate Institution: University of Georgia

Favorite AJMLS Memory: Barrister’s Ball

After the Bar: My dream after the bar exam is to practice with immigration law or international dispute resolution in Georgia.

December 2019 and May 2020 Graduates

Nikita Ali
Jarrett A. Archer, summa cum laude
Amber R. Austin
Mahjula Bah-Kamara
Joseph McCarroll Banks
Brittany Elizabeth Bard
Bryce A. Bell
Jonathan S Blackwell
Keona M. Blunt
Gregory W. Bowen Jr., cum laude
Brittany M. Bromfield
Hunter M. Burkhalter, cum laude
Jessica Swords Burton, cum laude
Jada S. Butler, cum laude
Mayara Q. Carvalho
Carol Chapman
Elizabeth G. Chapman
Sana A. Cheema
Jayla Cooley
Angela M. Cross
Austin Christopher Dabney
Logan F. Dale
Stephanie J. Dennis
Abhish Desai
Somalia D. Dixon
Paige Duncan
Rosa Dunkley
James D. Elliott
Kathryn E. Emig, cum laude
Angelica L. Evans
Thomas W. Farmer
Melanie N. Fenley, cum laude
Milissa M. Fisher, cum laude
John L. Gibson
Shaniqua C. Golding
Breeahna H. Gresham
Ashley D. Hamby
Robert M. Hamilton
Breana L Hampton
Isaiah I. Harry
Cassie N. Hartpence
Jeremy P. Harville
Dallas L. Hawkins
Aisha A. Hill
Taneris T. Hill
Chelsie C. Hinton
Jeremy B. Holmes
Vladimir Holmes
Kiyana Hunt
Ekram Ismael
Maya Jihan Jeanpierre
Terence D. John
Bethany N. Johnston
Jessica Kortman
Robert Leone, magna cum laude
Margaret J. Long
Joseph E. Lynch
Dillon R. Mackel
Kristen L. MacKenzie
Awa F. Marenah
Sydni S. Marshall
Sabrina Martin
Ashley Mashburn
Pamela McCloud
Melissa J. Mckinney
Hali R. Minter
Alix Orlando
Teana S. Overton
Ariel M. Patrick
Nicholas Pope, magna cum laude
Belinda Ramon
Courtney N. Rickles
Chanceity Robinson
Rasheda Robinson
Sasha S. Robinson
Sydney Robinson
Fredis Romero, cum laude
Marta Romero
Cierra Nicole Shope-Rushton, cum laude
Christopher James Smith
Shauki Smith
Rebekah A. Sprayberry
Bryce A. Stephens
Lauren B. Tapp
Bianca L. Taraschi
Lauren E. Thompson
Traci E. Trippe, cum laude
Sydney Tucker
Angel S. White
Marie Wofford Sussenbach

2011 Alumna, Ashley Gholamhosseini, Appointed Fulton County Magistrate Judge

Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk (left), Judge Ashley Gholamhosseini (right)*

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Ashley Gholamhosseini, Class of 2011, for her recent appointment as a Fulton County magistrate judge.

Gholamhosseini, who was appointed to the Fulton County Magistrate Court bench on May 8, 2020, said “This opportunity to serve the citizens of the county where I was born and where I proudly live means the world to me. I am humbled by the task before me. There is work to be done, and I am grateful for the trust Chief Judge Cassandra Kirk has placed in me.”

An Atlanta native, Gholamhosseini graduated in the top 15 of her class at Atlanta’s John Marshall. She was a member of the moot court team where she competed nationally and also served on the Atlanta’s John Marshall Law Journal where her legislative summary was published in 2011. She also received the CALI Award for Immigration Law and received academic scholarships from Just the Beginning Foundation and the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers Foundation. In 2011, She and four other students were named Peer Mentors of the year for mentoring 1L and 2L students at AJMLS. During law school, Gholamhosseini externed under the Third Year Practice Act at the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

The future Judge Gholamhosseini began her legal career as a prosecuting attorney for Georgia’s two most populous counties. As a criminal prosecutor, she gained a significant amount of trial experience and helped thousands of crime victims. Her trial experience let to her joining Bey & Associates’ litigation department as a trial attorney in their Atlanta office. She later joined Bader Scott Injury Lawyers as a trial attorney and attorney captain in their personal injury department.

Gholamhosseini is a member of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL). She successfully completed the prestigious ATLA Ultimate Trial Advocacy Course: Art of Persuasion at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, MA and was a featured panelist at the American Association for Justice, Women’s Caucus in Denver Colorado.

Gholamhosseini resides in Atlanta with her husband Michael Drake, Esq.

The Law School is so proud of Judge Gholamhosseini and we look forward to following her career on the bench!

*Photo courtesy of Timothy Ezell

1996 Alumna, Angela Duncan, Appointed Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates 1996 alumna, Angela Duncan, on her recent appointment as the 11th Superior Court Judge for Gwinnett County. Gwinnett County is Georgia’s second largest county and this position was created by Governor Brian Kemp to assist in the increasing caseload. It is speculated that Duncan will be Gwinnett’s first openly gay Superior Court judge as she joins a handful of other officials who are members of the LGBTQ community and hold high profile positions in the county.

Judge Duncan has worked as a Gwinnett County Magistrate Court judge for the past 15 years and is the current chief judge for the city of Chamblee’s municipal court. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from North Georgia College and served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1987 to 1995.

Duncan attended AJMLS part-time attending both day and night classes while also maintaining a full time job. Throughout her study, she sought to experience different areas of law by working at a different firm each year of law school. She learned every aspect of private firms, from working in the file room to becoming a law librarian assistant and court runner. She also experienced many different law practices prior to graduation, from labor law and appellate work to personal injury and criminal defense.

It was during her third year of study, and work at the former Gambrell and Stolz, that her interest was piqued in serving on the bench. Irwin W. Stolz, Jr., who served on the Georgia Court of Appeals from 1972-1977, was an excellent mentor and teacher during her employment at the firm.

When asked if she had advice for the Atlanta’s John Marshall community, she noted:

“Whatever it is you want to do, find a passion in it- it’s a lot less like work.”

Duncan also remarked to her University of North Georgia alma mater,

“I have always been open about who I am. My wife and children have accompanied me and are a huge part of my success.”

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to celebrate this appointment and wishes Judge Duncan much success as she takes the bench in the New Year.

1996 Alumna, Tasha M. Mosley, Appointed Clayton County District Attorney

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates 1996 alumna, Tasha M. Mosley, on her recent appointment as District Attorney of the Clayton County Judicial Circuit.

Mosley has served Clayton County as their Solicitor General since 2009, and previously served as Assistant Solicitor General in Henry County as well as Master Assistant Solicitor General from 2004 to 2006, and Assistant Solicitor General from 1998 to 2004 in the Clayton County Judicial Circuit.

After graduating from AJMLS, Mosley was the sole practitioner of the Tasha Mosley Law Firm in Jonesboro before beginning her career in public service.

An active community leader, Mosley has received numerous professional awards, including the 2013 Clayton County Bar Association Community Service Award, 2015 and 2018 Freddie L. Groomes-McClendon Caring Awards, 2018 Angela M. Williams Humanitarian Award, 2018 Regina Crothers from the Heart Award, and 2018 Thompson-Jones Award. She also is a member of the State Bar of Georgia‘s Statewide Judicial Evaluation Committee, Rainbow House Executive Board, and Calvary Refuge Center Executive Board. She is the former Vice Chair of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, Vice President of the Clayton County Bar Association, and President of the Solicitor General Association of Georgia.*

When asked of the appointment, Governor Kemp remarked:
“For many years, Tasha has worked tirelessly to serve the Clayton County community as a strong advocate for her constituents, both in and out of the courtroom. She is beloved by her neighbors and peers, highly regarded and respected in the legal profession, and ready to take on this new adventure,” said Kemp. “She has the perfect background and personality for this opportunity, and I know that she will excel.”
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School celebrates its alumni and wishes District Attorney Mosley all the best in her new chapter.

2013 Alumnus, Judge Ethan Pham, Named to Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Judge Ethan Pham, Class of 2013, for his recent honor of being named one of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40. The 40 individuals were selected by the Georgia Trend staff from more than 400 nominations by readers throughout the state. Judge Pham is a Partner at the Law Firm of Nguyen & Pham LLC and an Associate Judge for the City of Norcross and City of Morrow.

Georgia Trend’s article notes,

Ethan Pham began his law career working for a private firm that represented municipalities around the Atlanta airport. As an assistant city attorney, he advised local governments on the legality and the constitutionality of their actions.

Pham, who immigrated from Vietnam at age 11, says that experience gave him a deeper understanding of the word freedom. “Freedom is not just freedom from oppression from a foreign country, but freedom is also freedom from oppression from your own government,” he says.

Pham is passionate about community service. He is the vice chair of the Gwinnett Transit Advisory Board; a member of the Gwinnett Police Foundation; serves as legal counsel for the Atlanta International Night Market; and is the co-founder of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Georgia.*

Pham earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Business Administration with a minor in chemistry. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked as a tax software developer and dabbled in entrepreneurship via acquisition of a poultry operation. Prior to co-founding Nguyen & Pham, LLC, Pham worked as an assistant city attorney for a private law firm practicing local government law and serving public entities.** Recently, he came in third in last year’s U.S. House District 7 Democratic primary election.

The Law School is proud of Judge Pham’s continued success and we look forward to celebrating with him for many years to come.

2011 Alumnus, Nick Schnyder, Employs Fellow AJMLS Graduates at Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumnus, Nick Schnyder, has only hired passionate legal minds from his alma mater since opening his firm, Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC, in August of 2016. Schnyder’s firm experienced rapid growth and turning to his fellow AJMLS alumni for support has enabled the firm to continue taking on difficult and rewarding cases.

The Nick Schnyder Law Firm was pleased to hire Rebecca Rae, Class of 2012 in 2017, and Matthew Nestrud, Class of 2012, in 2019. Prior to attending law school, Rae accumulated over a decade of legal experience as a legal assistant and paralegal, and is also the co-founder of the non-profit, Flashpoint Artists Initiative, Inc., which has donated approximately $100,000 to local charities over the past 13 years. Nestrud graduated top ten in his class from AJMLS, was the Executive Legislative Editor on Law Review, and competed on the Moot Court Team.

Schnyder also graduated top of his class, passed the bar, and began his journey of becoming a personal injury civil litigation attorney in 2011. His determination to fight for justice is both professional and personal as his own family was injured by medical error in three separate incidents giving him common ground with the clients he serves. Since founding his firm, Schnyder became a member of the Georgia Bar Association, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the Cobb County Bar Association. He has also won numerous awards including Top 40 Under 40 from National Trial Lawyers and Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite.

The Law School is proud of the success of its alumni at the Nick Schnyder Law Firm and is pleased to share their work fighting on behalf of Georgia’s injured families.

About Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC – Established in 2016. Experienced personal injury and catastrophic injury attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia.

Are you an AJMLS graduate with exciting news or honors to share? Please email us at marketing@johnmarshall.edu.

*Image courtesy of Nick Schnyder Law Firm

2018 Alumna, Calvana Cedant, Has Turned Her Dream Into a Reality

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) 2018 alumna Calvana Cedant has a purpose on this earth to advocate for others, inspire future leaders, and grow organizations she truly believes in. Her path to law school began early on and she has since worked hard to achieve her goals. She was a part of the pre-law magnet program in high school, obtained her undergraduate degree from Clark Atlanta University, and then transitioned to AJMLS where she became actively involved with the school and the community. Through hard work and dedication she was able to turn her dreams into a reality and now works as an Assistant Public Defender for the Henry County Public Defender’s Office.

When asked about her path to law school, her career, and her favorite part about what she does, Calvana stated:

I come from a single mother household of five children. I saw many people from the community I grew up in be processed through the Criminal Justice System and did not understand or know their rights in regards to the criminal court system. I did not grow up knowing one attorney or anyone in the military, and so I set out in life to be both. I have felt this purpose since I was twelve years old and have not deviated from this path since I realized I wanted to be an attorney. I attended Fort Lauderdale High School, a school with a Pre-Law magnet program. In the magnet program, I took Pre-Law courses and I joined the debate team. I graduated with a pre-law high school diploma and moved on to Clark Atlanta University.

Clark Atlanta University would be my next milestone in life, almost 900 miles away from Pompano Beach, Florida and no family in Atlanta, Georgia; I was ready to conquer the unknown. I went from being freshman class secretary to the Vice President of the Political Science Association. During college in February 2012, I joined the United States Army in hopes of graduating from law school and becoming part of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Joining the Army has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I was the first person in my family to serve in the military and I am currently the only member of my family serving in the military. I enjoy the Army because it gives me a sense of purpose and usefulness.

After graduating from Clark Atlanta University I quickly transitioned to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS). During my matriculation through law school, I went from being Student Body Representative for the Criminal Justice Honors Program to being the President of the Veterans Law Student Association. I enjoyed the student organizations at AJMLS because of the diversity of each organization. I was a member of the Criminal Law Association, the Black Law Student Association, and I became a member of Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity. I was fortunate enough to work as a student coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs. In the office I was able to work closely with the Street Law Program at Booker T. Washington High School preparing students for a mock trial, and personally mentoring students throughout the program.

While in law school I saw how difficult it was for some students to complete the first year. So during my third year of law school I served as a peer mentor to three first year law students, two of which I am now providing guidance for the July 2019 Georgia bar examination. At AJMLS, I also enjoyed volunteering with the Fort McPherson Veterans Clinic assisting Veterans who needed legal assistance in civil and criminal matters. It’s not a surprise that most of the work that I have done so far in my life has been in the best interest and advancement of someone else. In May 2018, I graduated from AJMLS and began preparing for the Georgia bar examination. In October of 2018 I graduated from the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorney’s professional development academy. The academy provided intensive professional and personal development training for people in the legal profession. Also, in October 2018 I passed the Georgia bar and made my dream come true. I was sworn in to practice law and also selected for the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

In December 2018, I accepted a position with the Henry County Public Defender’s Office and I am still with this office. My current job as an Assistant Public Defender is to be an advocate for indigent clients that deserve zealous representation. I analyze all assigned felony cases, and preform legal research to help advance my client’s case or legal position. I also advise clients of identified defenses and recommend appropriate course of actions for their case. Through our office I have the privilege of being a part of the Henry County Veterans Court team. I assist clients who served in the United States Military be considered for the program. If accepted their mental health or drug dependency issues are addressed and their successful completion of the program can be in lieu of confinement. I have many more duties as an Assistant Public Defender but my favorite part about my career is being an advisor and educator to my clients. I truly enjoy the attorneys and staff I work with. I am challenged and learning something new every day.

My current hobbies consist of traveling when I can and mentoring young girls with aspirations of becoming an attorney. My advice for aspiring lawyers and law students is to be intentional! When you set a goal, when you make a plan, and when you make a life decision always be intentional. Law school is not easy but it is not impossible. Where I am in life is solely because I had faith and was intentional about my life choices and decisions. I am living proof that your dreams can become reality!

The Law School is proud of the work and dedication Calvana has, and we look forward to celebrating her continued success!

Alumna Nicole Fegan Sets a New Tone for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Got Proof?* Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) 2013 alumna Nicole Fegan was recently featured in the Atlanta Attorney at Law Magazine, which discussed her success, relationship with clients and the community, and her image as “the new generation of criminal defense law.” This success and reputation stems not only from her hard work and dedication, but from her ability to reach potential clients through social media and her trademark slogan, Got Proof?*. Her passion, zeal, and devotion to her clients mixed with her reputation help set her apart from other attorneys.

In 2011, Fegan received her undergraduate degree from Drexel University. Then, in 2013, she received her law degree from AJMLS and a year later started her own law firm, Fegan Law, LLC, specializing in criminal defense. She is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has recently started her own nonprofit, Proof Period, Inc. which helps individuals in the justice system complete their required community service hours.

To view the full feature and learn more about Fegan’s work and her nonprofit, click the picture below:

For more information on Nicole Fegan and her firm, visit feganlaw.com. Congratulations Nicole on all that you have accomplished!

 

*Fegan Law, LLC

**Featured image courtesy of the Attorney at Law Magazine Cover

Alumna Neera Bahl Recently Appointed to the Cobb County Board of Elections

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumna Neera Bahl was recently appointed to the Cobb County Board of Elections. In 2000, Bahl received her Juris Doctor degree from AJMLS and has since demonstrated a strong commitment of leadership and dedication towards helping society and her community. She is actively involved with many volunteer projects and professional organizations. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from AJMLS.

Repost from the Marietta Daily Journal:

“Cobb Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd has appointed Marietta attorney Neera Bahl to the Cobb County Board of Elections.

Bahl is the founder and managing partner of One Path Legal. She will replace current Republican Party appointee Joe Pettit, whose term expires June 30.

“Neera brings with her not only a vast amount of experience in the law, but a zeal for growing the Republican base in Cobb County,” Shepherd said in a news release. “I want to thank Joe Pettit for his service on the board, but given what I expect will be a contentious 2020 election, I felt we need someone with the experience and legal skills (that) Neera Bahl will bring to this position.”

A native of India and naturalized U.S. citizen, Bahl received her master’s in English from Punjab University, India; bachelor of education in psychology from D.A.V. College, India; and bachelor of science in chemistry and biology from D.S. College, India.

After moving to the United States, Bahl spent more than 20 years in medical and scientific research before graduating from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2000. She is a graduate of the 2018 class of Leadership Cobb and was appointed to the Judicial Nominating Commission by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019.

“I am honored to be appointed to the Board of Elections for Cobb GOP and will do my best to ensure that the elections are administered with utmost fairness and accuracy,” Bahl said. “I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve in this capacity.”

Cobb GOP Outreach Ambassador Jeff Souther said, “Neera Bahl is a natural fit for the Cobb Board of Elections. Neera’s professional experience as an immigration attorney combined with her life experience as a naturalized citizen drives her passion for civic engagement. She is committed to ensuring every citizen has their voting rights accessible and protected.”

In addition to her legal work, Bahl is a volunteer for the Truancy Intervention Project and with Raksha Inc. helping victims of domestic violence. She is the current president of the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce-South East Chapter.”

To learn more about Neera Bahl and her law firm, One Path Legal, visit their website here. Congratulations, Neera on all that you have accomplished!

*Featured image courtesy of Marietta Daily Journal

2018 Alumna, Jennifer Magruder, Paves Way by Starting a Law Firm

Being a native of Atlanta, Jennifer A. Magruder graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Marketing and Public Relations. However, she has always had an interest in the law and decided to pursue her true passion by attending Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS). In 2018, Magruder received her Juris Doctor degree and graduated with Criminal Justice Honors. She then went on to take the Georgia bar exam that July and was admitted to practice law in October of 2018. About a month later, after working with a few other solo practitioners, Magruder decided to take a leap of faith and opened her own law firm focused on Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Immigration. Her favorite part about owning her own firm is that she is able to pace herself with her case flow and control the amount of time allotted to each case that comes through her firm. She hopes to continue to provide the same mentorship and guidance to AJMLS students she had received throughout her law school journey.

Congratulations on all that you have accomplished Jennifer! We look forward to celebrating your continued success.

Alumnus Burl Finkelstein Featured in the Daily Report

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumnus, Burl Finkelstein, was recently featured in the Daily Report on Law.com. The article, Georgia GC Discusses White House Meeting With Trade Officials, was featured in the April 15th edition as a full story on p. 5. You can also find the article online here.

The article is a worthy read that goes into detail on the Coalition of a Prosperous America annual trade conference at the White House. One person in particular that attended this event was Finkelstein, who later went on to speak with Corporate Counsel on his history with the coalition and his biggest takeaways from the event. This conversation included Finkelstein’s take on what attracted him to the coalition, the industries represented at the conference, conversation highlights, discussions on tariffs, and his biggest revelation during the meeting.* In this article, Finkelstein does a great job at providing an insider’s insight to the conference and conveying overall messages.

When asked about his involvement, Finkelstein mentioned that:

“Being a lawyer made many differences in my life and effectives in business. My legal training and business background helped me understand trade law so I could meaningfully engage the policy makers.”

Finkelstein attended AJMLS in the part-time evening program and graduated in 2005. He passed the bar on his first try that following July. Currently, he is the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Kason Industries Inc. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished in your career thus far and all that you are set to accomplish in the future!

*Law.com

AJMLS Alumna, Antonette Igbenoba, Accepts Position at Global Corporation

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) 2016 alumna, Antonette Igbenoba, recently accepted a position at Ernst & Young (EY) with a focus in data privacy, an area of law she is most passionate about.

After receiving her Theatre B.A. from Penn State University, Igbenoba began the next journey towards her career: law school. Her degree along with her passion for public service helped drive her towards attending AJMLS. While at AJMLS, Igbenoba became actively involved in her courses and extracurricular activities. Outside of classes, she taught Sunday school to elementary kids, did community service projects at Atlanta Mission through the Christian Legal Society, and was a member of the Black Law Students Association. In addition to her volunteer work, she actively networked with data privacy professionals in order to learn more about the industry and how she could excel in her career. Igbenoba obtained an externship with a technology law firm where she was exposed to new legal experiences and, as a result, fell in love with the data privacy and cybersecurity law industry.

“My favorite part about the job and data privacy law is the creativity that my position allows,” said Igbenoba. “Data privacy in many ways reminds me of art, it is flexible and there is always new technology being created and new challenges to step-up to.”

After taking the bar, she took a leap and founded her own data privacy and security consulting firm called “The Privacy Source LLC.” Here, she was able to gain hands-on experience building data privacy programs for startup eCommerce businesses and helping them comply with necessary data privacy laws.

After several months of building up her portfolio through her firm, Igbenoba applied for a position with EY’s Cybersecurity Practice and, following a lengthy interview process, was offered the job. Through all of the hard work and dedication put towards an industry she is passionate about, Igbenoba is now able to develop new processes and procedures for EY’s clients in order to help them comply with data privacy laws. She is also able to utilize her knowledge of the industry and help shape the future.

“Privacy is amazing because America has no federal privacy law (in America we have a sectoral approach to privacy e.g. HIPPA applies to Healthcare data matters),” said Igbenoba.  “Congress is currently in the process of brain-storming a federal privacy law, so the government frequently has public sessions and inquires to get input from data privacy professionals, in essence, I have a route available to help craft beneficial and necessary policy!”

Outside of work, Igbenoba finds herself staying busy by getting involved with her community. Currently, she is a Civic Fellow with Hands on Atlanta where she leads a service project that works to combat food insecurity in the Atlanta area. (For more information on her upcoming events, visit the website here)

When asked if she had any advice for aspiring attorneys, Igbenoba gave two points to those chasing their dreams. The first is to, “Do what sets your heart on fire. Go exactly after your passion, what makes you happy, or what brings you fulfillment.” The second is, “Focus on yourself! This is your unique life and your unique journey! Everyone’s path differs, if you’re too focused on getting the approval, thumbs up, or support from others, you’re wasting your time.”

The Law School is incredibly proud of Antonette’s dedication to the community and we look forward to celebrating her continued success.

Alumnus, Vincent A. Lotti, Sworn in as Henry County Magistrate Judge

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Vincent A. Lotti, Class of 2010, for his recent appointment as a Henry County magistrate judge. At the Law School, Lotti served as both a Peer Mentor and a Student Ambassador, and was a three time Dean’s Award recipient.

Judge Lotti is a lifelong resident of Henry County, graduated from Union County High School, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from The University of Georgia. After graduating from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Lotti entered private practice and founded his own practice representing clients in both civil and criminal cases.*

The Law School is incredibly proud of Judge Lotti’s drive and service to the community and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

*Henry Harold

Atlanta’s John Marshall Alumni Are Sworn Into Practice at Mass Swearing-In Ceremony

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School hosted a mass swearing-in ceremony for its recent graduates and alumni on November 29, 2018 at the Blackburn Conference Center. The Law School was honored by Justice Carol Hunstein of the Georgia Supreme Court and Judge T. Jackson Bedford of the Fulton County Superior Court. Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to all the graduates!

Images from the event may be viewed here or at the Facebook post below. Be sure to follow the Law School page for other updates and images around campus!

Alumnus, William J. Black III, Sworn Into Practice at Pershing Point Park’s WWI Monument

On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Alumnus and U.S. Air Force Veteran, William J. (Billy) Black III, was sworn into the practice of law by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge and U.S. District Court Nominee Hon. J.P. Boulee. The ceremony took place in Pershing Point Park, across West Peachtree Street from the Law School. Mr. Black’s mother, wife, sister, niece, and nephew attended. Honored guests included Mr. Richard H. Deane, Jr., managing partner of Jones Day’s Atlanta Office, and a major force in renovating the park which honors Fulton County residents who lost their lives in World War I.

In Billy’s words:

My swearing-in at Pershing Point was so much more than a ceremonial formality or personal celebration for passing the bar. I chose the Park’s World War I monument as the location because I researched its complicated racial history while in law school. The monument contains a memorial ledger of soldiers killed in WWI from Fulton County. The list segregates its black soldiers by listing them at the bottom right corner of the memorial ledger underneath an inscription etched in stone: “NEGROES.” The monument lay neglected for nearly 100 years until 2014 when a young associate attorney at Jones Day, J.P. Boulee, and now a U.S. District Court Judge Nominee, led a firm wide effort to revitalize the monument and park. Also present was Richard (Rick) Deane, former U.S. Attorney and managing partner at Jones Day, who devoted a substantial effort to ensure the park was maintained and preserved in the future. I had the chance to interview Rick while researching my article. Both he and Judge Boulee were instrumental in my understanding of the monument and how they approached its complicated history when they sought to clean up Pershing Point. I expand on this understanding in my article and also present the black soldiers’ military service history following its trail throughout their time in Europe. It also suggests a judicial framework for approaching cases involving the removal of veterans monuments from public land.  
To me, my swearing-in celebrated the intersection of our shared histories spanning 100 years from a time when society was nearly destroyed by racial animus to now, when a few Veteran lawyers from diverse backgrounds could finally be the voice for those who were segregated even in death and possibly reconcile a new understanding of how far we’ve come from then to now. As a Veteran, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to pledge my oath as an attorney than to do so while standing next to my fallen brothers and raising my right hand like we all did as soldiers. 

Mr. Black, who served as Editor-in-Chief of Volume 11 of the John Marshall Law Journal, researched and published an article on the history and interpretations of the imposing monument erected in that Park in 1920 by the War Mothers of Fulton County. See William J. Black, A Higher Loyalty To Their Ultimate Sacrifice: Segregated Black War Casualties And Society’s Monumental Mistake, 11 John Marshall Law Journal 34 (2018).

During his tenure as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal, Black led the effort that produced the well-received and highly successful 2017 Symposium & CLE Event on Veterans’ Issues and the Law. Judge Boulee was one of the featured speakers at that event, where he discussed the concept of accountability courts for veterans as an alternative to traditional adjudication.

Mr. Black is now working as a cybersecurity software engineer at Equifax and pursuing a Master of Laws in Securities and Financial Regulation at Georgetown University Law Center. He also volunteers as a Special Assistant District Attorney in Cobb County under the supervision of Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Mike Carlson, primarily on gang related criminal appeals.

He is hoping to explore an attorney career in cybersecurity, government investigations and special matters, and working directly with corporate or government clients advising their application development teams, data protection officers, and cybersecurity engineers on IT Security Risks, databreach management, regulatory responses, and deploying secure development practices that comport with federal, state, and international cybersecurity laws.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Billy’s research and service, and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

AJMLS Professor Delivers Keynote as Two Alumna Are Honored at Atlanta Bar Association Celebrating Service Luncheon

The Atlanta Bar Association is hosting their 11th Annual Celebrating Service Luncheon today at the Commerce Club. The luncheon is a celebration honoring legal professionals who have made significant impacts on our community through their dedication to public service.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, Jonathan A. Rapping, is delivering the keynote address. Rapping will talk about the important role that lawyers play in addressing some of society’s most pressing problems and inspire the audience to find ways to take on these challenges. In addition to his roles at AJMLS, Professor Rapping serves as the President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise, is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, and is a frequent presenter and contributor to national conversations on criminal justice reform. Rapping is also the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

Among the honorees of today’s luncheon are two outstanding AJMLS alumna: Alpa Amin, Class of 2010, and Vanessa Kosky, Class of 2005. Alpa Amin is the recipient of the Public Interest Law Section Rita A. Sheffey Public Interest Award. Amin graduated from AJMLS in 2010 and is the Director of Legal Services at the Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN). Vanessa Kosky is the recipient of the Guardian ad Litem of the Year Award. Kosky graduated from AJMLS in 2005 and is a sole practitioner of The Law Office of Vanessa Kosky, P.C.

Thank you to our AJMLS community and to all the honorees at today’s luncheon for your dedication to public service.

Alumna, Fallon McClure, Helps Bring Change to Georgia Communities at Spread the Vote

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumna, Fallon McClure, currently serves as the Georgia State Director for Spread the Vote. McClure graduated from AJMLS in 2014, and her path to Spread the Vote is an inspiring one to share.

After graduating from Georgia State University with a B.A. in History, McClure started in public service on the other end of the 911 line working as an Emergency Communications Officer for Cobb County. Inspired by family to pursue legal education, McClure enrolled in law school out-of-state. Soon after, she felt called back to family and began her full-time career as a paralegal in Atlanta.

McClure transferred to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and completed her J.D. studies in the part-time evening program at AJMLS while maintaining her full-time job as a paralegal during the day and also starting a family. Through both the on-campus Career Development Office and the Office of Experiential Learning, McClure completed an internship in private practice and also an externship at a District Attorney’s office in Atlanta.

After graduation, McClure began working at the ACLU of Georgia as the Special Assistant to the Executive Director and then later became the Policy Advocate. Working at the ACLU allowed her to help organize and empower communities with the tools to advocate for themselves, and in doing so, helped her define that community outreach was her passion.

McClure transitioned to become the Georgia State Director for Spread the Vote where she has been able to help bring immediate change to Georgia communities while also maintaining a caseload of criminal defense cases. The mission of Spread the Vote is to help obtain government-issued photo IDs for eligible voters. They are building a scale-able and sustainable way to help voters get the IDs they need for job, housing, voting, and healthcare needs.* Spread the Vote is actively expanding and currently has state chapters in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas, and Georgia chapters in Athens, Atlanta, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Henry County, South Cobb/Paulding Counties, Albany, Gwinnett County, Rome, Columbus, and Macon.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Fallon’s dedication to her education and service to communities in Georgia and we look forward to celebrating her continued success.

*Spread the Vote

Three Alumni Accepted to GTLA LEAD Program

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Jim Jenkins, Class of 2009; Daniel Justus, Class of 2014; and Chinny Law, Class of 2014 for their recent acceptance to the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) LEAD (Leadership Education and Advanced Direction) Program for 2018-2019.

The GTLA LEAD Program was founded in 2013 for the purpose of educating GTLA’s youngest and newest members on both the benefits and the expectations of membership, building strong relationships between young promising trial lawyers from all four corners of our state as well as diverse trial practice areas, and ultimately to better prepare tomorrow’s leaders today.*

Jim Jenkins, Class of 2009

While at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Jenkins was a seven-time Dean’s Award recipient. From August of 2009 until August of 2010, Jenkins was the law clerk/staff attorney for the Superior Courts of the Northern Judicial Circuit, primarily working with Chief Judge John H. Bailey, Jr. Following his clerkship, Jenkins practiced law with his father, at Jenkins Law, LLC, in a general law practice primarily consisting of domestic relations, personal injury, criminal defense, contract litigation, estate matters, corporate law, and real estate law. He spent a great deal of time in the courtroom litigating all types of cases. Additionally, Jenkins is a registered neutral and has mediated many cases privately and for the 10th District Alternative Dispute Resolution program, ranging from personal injury to divorce and custody lawsuits.**

Daniel Justus, Class of 2014

While at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Justus served as Executive Chairman of the Trial Advocacy Team and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Moot Court Honor Board. During his tenure with these organizations, Justus was a member of five national law school trial competition teams including Atlanta’s John Marshall’s first ever Georgia Intrastate Championship team, defeating the twelve time defending champion, University of Georgia. Additionally, he received the Southern Illinois Invitational Best Witness Examination Award and was the recipient of Atlanta’s John Marshall’s 2014 Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award. In 2017, Justus was honored by the American Institute of Legal Advocates as a “Personal Injury Rising Star” and by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys as one of the 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction.***

Chinny Law, Class of 2014

While at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Law graduated in the top twenty percent of her class. She has tried and appealed cases before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and has participated in successful mediation settlement conferences. Furthermore, she has written appellate briefs and delivered oral arguments before the Board’s Appellate Division. Law is the recipient of the 2018 Ingrid Rosenthal Leadership Scholarship, which is given by the Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), a national organization dedicated to representing the interests of injured workers and their families. Law is also a graduate of the Georgia Bar’s prestigious Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy and recipient of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers Foundation Scholarship.****

 

 

 

The Law School is proud of its alumni and we look forward to following their careers!

*GTLA
**Jenkins Utley, photo also courtesy
***Lasky Cooper Law, photo also courtesy
****Ramos Law Firm, photo also courtesy

Alumnus, Ethan Pham, First Appointed Vietnamese-American Judge in Georgia

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Ethan Pham, Class of 2013, for his recent appointment as associate municipal judge in Morrow, Georgia. Pham was unanimously appointed by Morrow City Council at its July 24 meeting and sworn in today, August 14, 2018.

Pham is part of a very exclusive club: he is the third Vietnamese-American judge in Georgia, the first appointed Vietnamese-American judge in Georgia, the first Asian-American judge in Clayton County, and the first immigrant Vietnamese-American judge in Georgia.*

Pham earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Business Administration with a minor in chemistry. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked as a tax software developer and dabbled in entrepreneurship via acquisition of a poultry operation. Prior to co-founding Nguyen & Pham, LLC, Pham worked as an assistant city attorney for a private law firm practicing local government law and serving public entities.** Recently, he came in third in this year’s U.S. House District 7 Democratic primary election.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Judge Pham’s drive and service to the community and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

Alumnus, Erik Provitt, Accepted to American Bar Association Fellows Program

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is thrilled to congratulate Erik Provitt, Class of 2016, for his recent acceptance into the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Fellows Program.

The ABA Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Fellows Program encourages the active involvement and participation of young lawyers in Section activities. The goal of the program is to give young lawyers an opportunity to become involved in the substantive work of the Section, while developing into future leaders.*

Erik is also currently a Georgia Housing Corps Fellow and is a staff attorney with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Standing with Our Neighbors Program.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Erik’s work in the community and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

*American Bar Assocation

AJMLS Alumna Recognized as “Best Social Mediator” by the Daily Report

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumna, Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert, has been named “Best Social Mediator” by the Daily Report. The “Best Social Mediator” category of the Daily Report Professional Excellence awards is designed to honor an attorney with a social media account that educates and, responsibly, entertains lawyers about the practice and the community.* The Daily Report is the leading legal publication of metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia. It provides vigorously researched and purposefully presented news and intelligence that has wide-ranging implications for legal practice in the South.**

Gore-Cuthbert is a Class of 2012 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, where she was very active in the AJMLS community. She even served as President of the Student Bar Association her 3L year. Following graduation, she founded Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group. There she is committed to building a close working relationship with her clients to provide quality, compassionate, and efficient legal representation. Her areas of practice include: auto collisions; victims hit by drunk drivers; motorcycle collisions; trucking collisions; wrongful death; and slip and fall.

Congratulations on this distinguished honor, Jennifer! We look forward to watching your legal practice grow and continue to enrich the Atlanta community.

*Taken from the Daily Report.
**Taken from the Daily Report About Us.

AJMLS Alumnus, Erik Provitt, Selected as a Georgia Housing Corps Fellow

Class of 2016 Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumnus, Erik Provitt, has been selected as a Georgia Housing Corps Fellow (GHC). GHC is a new Fellowship program designed to address the barriers to housing stability in rural and urban communities in Georgia. GHC is being launched by Equal Justice Works. Equal Justice Works is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization committed to mobilizing the next generation of public interest attorneys.*

Founded by law students in 1986, Equal Justice Works is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. To this end, Equal Justice Works creates opportunities for law students and lawyers that provide the training and skills that enable them to provide effective representation to underserved communities and causes. The Equal Justice Works Fellowships programs fund hundreds of public interest attorneys each year to close the justice gap on issues such as foreclosure, community economic development, immigration, civil rights, homelessness, access to healthcare, and domestic violence.

Erik is a staff attorney with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF)’s Standing with Our Neighbors Program. The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation was created in 1979 through the joint efforts of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the Atlanta Bar Association, the Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers, and the Gate City Bar Association. AVLF is the largest provider of pro bono legal services in Greater Atlanta.*** At AVLF, Erik specifically focuses on housing issues in neighborhoods on Atlanta’s Westside.

Sponsored by the Georgia Bar Foundation, eleven Fellows and seven community advocates have been selected to join Georgia Housing Corps. GHC will provide a combination of services including client representation on housing and housing-related issues, community outreach and education to community members and property owners, and advocacy to remove systemic barriers to housing at the local and statewide levels.

Congratulations on your selection, Erik! The AJMLS community is proud of the work that you are doing right here in Atlanta. We look forward to continuing to watch your career thrive.

*Taken from PR Newswire.
**Taken from Equal Justice Works.
***Taken from Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.

AJMLS Participates in 2017 RED Flag Football Tournament

On Saturday, November 4th, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) will be participating in the RED (Rehabilitation Enables Dreams) Flag Football Tournament. The event will take place at Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. This year’s team includes AJMLS alumni and our Director of Admissions, Rebecca Milter. A video highlighting the 2016 tournament can be located here.
AJMLS alumnus, David Lee Windecher, founded RED Inc. in March of 2015. Windecher is a criminal defense attorney licensed to practice law in Georgia and Florida. Prior to being sworn into the Georgia and Florida Bar, Windecher was an impoverished minority who was arrested 13 times and spent over 7-months incarcerated. He dropped out of high school and joined a criminal street gang in an attempt to overcome a poverty stricken life. Windecher began his path to rehabilitation when he received his GED in March of 1998 and took his first academic step toward becoming a dual-licensed practitioner. Windecher understands the empowering effects of obtaining an education in order to facilitate upward social mobility. The team at RED engineers rehabilitation programs for pre and post adjudication first-time, nonviolent, youthful offenders. RED rehabilitative programs enhance the employment potential of individuals with a criminal record while emphasizing the safekeeping of our communities. RED’s mission is to increase literacy, reduce poverty and stop recidivism amongst America’s youthful offenders. To accomplish this mission, RED provides courthouses with research driven rehabilitative programs which augment an individual’s ability to remain out of the criminal justice system.*

To learn even more about this worthwhile cause you are encouraged to check out the website and Facebook event page. Also, please consider donating to our AJMLS team. Best of luck on Saturday!

*Taken from the RED Flag Football website.

AJMLS Alumna Sworn in as a State Court Judge

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumna Margaret Spencer was recently sworn in as a judge in the State Court of the Clayton Judicial Circuit. The State Court is composed of five Judges, all of which are elected by the citizens of Clayton County and serve four year terms. Prior to Spencer’s judgeship, she served as the Senior Assistant Solicitor within the Clayton County Solicitor General’s Office.

Spencer spent her first few years out of college as a probation officer before enrolling at AJMLS with the goal of becoming a prosecutor following graduation. She reports that when she made the decision to begin her legal education at AJMLS, it was her 10-year plan to become a judge. Eleven years later, she was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal to preside within the State Court. “She is looking forward to the opportunity to take the next step in her service to Clayton County and its citizens.”*

What an amazing testimony to setting goals, working hard, and following your dreams. AJMLS is so grateful that we were a part of your story and a stepping stone to this prestigious new position. Congratulations, Judge Spencer! This is a great honor following an impressive career thus far. We know you’ll continue to do admirable work from the bench!

*Taken from the Clayton News-Daily.com.

AJMLS Alumnus Featured in Forbes

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumnus, Brandon E. Campbell, has been recently featured in Forbes. The article, Meet The 29-Year-Old Attorney On A Mission To Redefine Global Citizenship, was digitally published in Forbes Entrepreneurs Under 30.

The article is a worthy read that describes Campbell’s background, education, and early career that propelled him to apply and be accepted in to the Remote Year program. Remote Year brings together inspiring communities of 50-80 freelancers, entrepreneurs, and professionals for a year-long journey to work, travel, and live in 12 different cities throughout the world.* Campbell had the forward-thinking vision to turn his truly unique yearlong international journey, entitled “Extended Family,” in to an experiment that he is readily sharing with those following along on social media. The photographs and videos he is sharing depict the people and experiences he is having along the way.

Campbell self-describes this journey as one that” promotes intercultural exchange and empathy in an effort to uncover what unites us all.”* Additional information about Campbell’s journey can be found on Blavity and The Huffington Post. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished in your career thus far, Brandon, and all that you are set to accomplish in the future. We cannot wait to continue watching this journey unfold!

*From Remote Year.

*From The Huffington Post.

AJMLS Alumna, Holly Waltman, Accepts AIOCLA 2017 10 Best Attorney Award

The American Institute of Legal Counsel (“AIOCLA”) recently named 2012 AJMLS alumna, Holly Waltman, with the prestigious 10 Best Attorney Award. AIOCLA is an impartial third-party attorney rating organization comprised of 13 divisions. AIOCLA recognizes excellence of fellow practitioners in the field.*

During law school, Ms. Waltman earned internships practicing both criminal defense and prosecution. At graduation, she was recognized with The Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears award for highest overall pro bono hours. After graduation, Ms. Waltman worked as a public defender in the State Court of Henry County. She is a graduate of The Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorney’s-Bill Daniels Trial Advocacy Program, where she was trained by 25 of the nations top trial attorneys. Currently, she is a Partner at The Law Ladies, an Atlanta based firm specializing in criminal defense and personal injury.

Ms. Waltman will be serving as the guest speaker for the Alpha Phi Sigma induction ceremony at Kennesaw State University on Friday, April 14th at 6:00 p.m. Members of Alpha Phi Sigma at Kennesaw State University are at the top of their class in criminal justice.

Congratulations on your accomplishments, Holly! We can’t wait to see where your success takes you from here.

*Taken from the AIOCLA website.

AJMLS Alumnus Elected to Spalding County State Court

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (“AJMLS”) graduate and 2001 alumnus, Honorable Josh W. Thacker, was elected last June to serve as a State Court Judge in Spalding County, Georgia. He assumed office on January 1, 2017. Judge Thacker credits an externship that he held in the Spalding County District Attorney’s office, while he was a student at Atlanta’s John Marshall, as launching his career. Following graduation from AJMLS, he served as an Assistant District Attorney before transitioning to practicing criminal defense and ultimately to serving as a State Court Judge today. He tried hundreds of cases before he took office at the beginning of this year.

Only a few shorts weeks in to his tenure on the bench, he ruled the social media sharing platform, Snapchat, immune from distracted driver claims. An attorney for Snapchat told The Associated Press in an emailed statement that the “the judge’s ruling in this case is precedent setting for the entire mobile app and product industry.”*

Many congratulations on your accomplishments thus far, Judge Thacker! We will continue to enjoy watching your career successes.

*Taken from the Daily Report.

AJMLS Alumna, Sheronn Harris, Co-Authors Bill

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumna and Georgia Women’s Policy Institute Fellow, Sheronn Harris, recently co-authored a bill with a local judge and fellow member of the legal community. Ms. Harris is a Georgia attorney and the owner of The Harris Firm, P.C. The Georgia Women’s Policy Institute is the signature advocacy program of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta.

Harris co-authored the bill last December. Protocol dictates that proposed bills go through the General Assembly attorneys office to rewrite in their format and vet for constitutionality. Two somewhat similar versions of the bill co-written by Harris emerged in the Georgia House and Georgia Senate. Additionally, Harris was able to testify before the Georgia Senate Finance Committee on one of the versions of the tax reform bill. Ms. Harris wrote an article for Georgia Work Credit that does a great job explaining the purpose of the proposed tax reform. You are encouraged to read the article here.

AJMLS is proud of your accomplishments, Sheronn! We look forward to celebrating your future successes.

Alpa Amin Selected as Top 40 Under 40

Atlanta’s John Marshall Alumnus, Alpa Amin, was recently named one of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40.The 2016 Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 represent a plethora of professions. The 40 selected were chosen from nominations made by readers of Georgia Trend throughout the state and the final selections were made by the editorial staff.

Ms. Amin is the Lead Attorney for the Victims of Violence Project at the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network. In her role of Lead Attorney, Ms. Amin recruits, trains and mentors volunteer attorneys from the Atlanta legal community and provides direct representation to immigrant victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault who need assistance with filing T-visas, U-visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions/Battered Spouse Waivers. She works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement and is a frequent guest speaker on issues surrounding vulnerable immigrant communities.

This is quite an impressive accomplishment, Alpa, but so well deserved. Thank you for all that you do for our community.

Alumna Janie Parks Varnell Learned How to Practice Law During her Time at AJMLS

Alumna and 2012 graduate Janie Parks Varnell currently practices as a criminal defense attorney with the firm Davis & Hoss in Chattanooga, TN. Varnell represents individuals charged with crimes in state and federal court. Notably, Varnell was recently featured in an Editorial in the Hamilton County Herald. The article focused on Varnell’s belief that her education taught her how to practice law.
While a student, Varnell took advantage of all that AJMLS had to offer and made the most of her legal education. She emphasizes that she did not just learn about the law, but more importantly she learned how to practice it. In particular, Varnell reported that Professor Mears took her under his wing during her time at AJMLS and spent a substantial amount of time explaining the ins and outs of practicing law to her. The Editorial reports that Varnell will always be indebted to Professor Mears because he took the time to explain to her how to be a lawyer.
Varnell is a member of the 2015 graduating class of Leadership Chattanooga. More information can be found on Varnell by visiting the Davis & Hoss website here. Best of luck to Janie on her future endeavors and congratulations on her numerous post-graduate accomplishments thus far.

Alumnus Adam Malone Receives Honors

Atlanta’s John Marshall alumnus and 2000 class valedictorian, Adam Malone, was recently made a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. The International Academy of Trial Lawyers is a group of truly elite trial lawyers representing both sides of the Bar. The Academy limits fellowship to only 500 active trial lawyers under the age of 70. Malone’s admission to such a small group of super lawyers is an immense honor and a testament to his illustrious career thus far.

Malone was also recently awarded the 2016 Mel Award from the Melvin M. Belli Society. The Melvin M. Belli Society was founded in 1981 based on the idea that within the American Trial Lawyers Association there should be a group of lawyers who had distinguished themselves as trial lawyers and who were dedicated to the principles of education on an international basis. The Mel Award is an award given in the spirit of Mel Belli to an attorney who is innovative and who has made a significant contribution to the practice of trial law in America. To be the 2016 recipient is an esteemed honor.

Congratulations, Adam!

AJMLS Alumna Named Co-Editor of Georgia YLD Newsletter

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumna 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. 

Alumna Sherri Jefferson Awarded FDHA Healthcare Champions Chairman Award & 11Alive CSA

Atlanta’s John Marshall Alumna, Sherri Jefferson (’95), was recently award the Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority (FDHA) Champions Chairman Award, as well as the 11Alive Community Service Award in 2014.

On Sunday, December 7th, the Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority hosted its healthcare champions’ awards ceremony at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. It was the third year for the event and more than 200 people attended. Jefferson received recognition for founding the African American Juvenile Project. Her acceptance speech may be viewed here.

Additionally, Jefferson received the 11Alive Community Service Award in May 2014. Her acceptance speech may be viewed here.

Alumna Tiffany Jones Ellenberg Sworn in to the Governor’s Indigent Advisory Panel

Tiffany Jones Ellenberg, ’98, was recently sworn in to the Governor’s Indigent Advisory Panel by Governor Nathan Deal. This special committee monitors the progress and funding for Georgia’s Public Defender Standards Council and works in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Legislation, the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors to provide advice, expertise and advocacy on behalf of systemic reform designed to satisfy the State’s constitutional obligation to provide adequate counsel for indigent persons accused of crime.

While serving on the committee, Ms. Ellenberg will maintain her private law practice in Madison, Georgia, where she handles primarily litigation cases.

Congratulations, Tiffany!

LL.M. Alumna Christina Harris Schwinn Published in Northeastern University Law Journal

LL.M. in Employment Law alumna Christina Harris Schwinn has been published in the Northeastern University Law Journal. The article was adopted from Schwinn’s LL.M. thesis. The article on overtime compensation authored by the Pavese Law Firm partner is titled, “Half-Time or Time and One-Half? Recent Developments Deprive Employees of their Rightful Overtime Compensation Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” The article discusses the legislative history and the applicable statutory provisions and regulations, as well as analyzes the Seventh Circuits holding in the *Urnikis-Negro *decision. The case involved the payment of overtime compensation based upon half-time to the plaintiff essentially retroactive in an exempt misclassification case under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C.

Schwinn’s asserts that the application of the fluctuating workweek methodology of paying the overtime in a misclassification case is improper, and is not authorized under the FLSA, its regulations, interpretive bulletins or under the United States Supreme Court’s holding in *Overnight Motor Transp. Co., Inc. v. Missel*, 316 U.S. 572, 62 S.Ct. 1216 (1942).

“While much about business and employment has changed in the movement from the industrial age that existed in the 1930s to the technological age of today, the underlying purposes of the FLSA have not,” Schwinn concluded in the article. “Congress passed the FLSA to ensure that covered employ­ees were paid the minimum wage, to ensure they were compensated for overtime work, and to encourage employers to hire new employ­ees rather than working existing employees long hours.”

Schwinn received her second Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School on May 19. The LL.M. degree is an advanced law degree with a focus on a particular practice area. Schwinn’s second LL.M. is in Employment Law and her first LL.M. is in Real Property Land Development and Finance Law which she received from the University of Miami’s Graduate School of Law in 1991.

Schwinn’s primary practice areas are employment law, business transactions, community association law and real estate law. Schwinn is an accomplished public speaker and regularly writes articles that have been published both locally and nationally in a variety of publications. Schwinn is available to speak to local businesses and organizations on a variety of employment law topics and she can be reached at 239-336-6228 or christinaschwinn@paveselaw.com.

Mass Swearing In Ceremony on November 5, 2014

The Alumni Office held a mass swearing in ceremony for the July 2014 bar exam passers and other AJMLS alumni on November 5, 2014. The Alumni were sworn into the Supreme Court of Georgia and Fulton County Superior Court.  They were honored to be sworn in by Justice Carol Hunstein of the Supreme Court and Judge T. Jackson Bedford of the Fulton County Superior Court.  There was a reception for friends and family held after the ceremony.  Here are the pictures from the event that can be downloaded for personal use. If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Alumni Office.

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AJMLS Alumnus and Professor Quoted in AJC on Immigration

When it comes to the debate on U.S. immigration; neither U.S. Rep Doug Collins (Class of 2008) or Professor Joseph Rosen are strangers to the discussion.

In an article recently published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), both Collins and Rosen, along with several other law professors were given the opportunity to share their views on revamping the nation’s immigration system.

The article quotes Professor Rosen, who teaches Immigration Law at AJMLS, as saying; “This is the opportunity for the president through executive action, and (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) attorneys through prosecutorial discretion, to do the right thing. It is time for America to show the compassion and justice that are the foundations of this country.”

Prior to serving the 9th District of Georgia, Collins earned his law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School over his first term representing District 27 in the Georgia House of Representatives, and has also served the community as the senior pastor at Chicopee Baptist Church.

Prior to founding the Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group, Professor Rosen served more than 30 years with the U.S. government. For 20 of those years Joe was an FBI Special Agent and a U.S. Customs Special Agent. Rosen is an Adjunct Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School (teaching Immigration Law, Seminar: Asylum & Refugee Law), past President of the North Fulton Bar Association, a former contract legal instructor with the U.S. government, and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

You may click here to view the article in its entirety.

Almuna Tracee Benzo Receives ‘Top’ Honor from Atlanta Business League

The law school is pleased to announce that alumna, Tracee Benzo was named one of Atlanta Business League’s Top 100 Women of  Influence for 2014. For years the Atlanta Business League has recognized African-American female business owners, professionals, community and civic leaders in Metropolitan Atlanta. In 1994, the organization began publishing its list of influential African-American women in hopes of educating and inspiring the next generation of female leaders. 

The list reflects the names of black women in the metro Atlanta community who have reached senior level positions within their profession, are leading entrepreneurs in their industry or have attained the ability to influence large public bodies politically and in government.

Being named one of Atlanta Business League’s ‘top’ women of the year is a testament to Tracee Benzo’s dedication and service to the community she practices and lives in. Currently, Benzo is a partner at Hasner Law where she serves injured workers and accident victims across the state of Georgia. After graduating from the law school in 2008, Benzo became an active member of the John Marshall Law School Alumni Board and was one of two alumni to receive the school’s Distinguished Alumni award in 2014. She is also the President of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA).

Congratulations once again to Tracee Benzo for having her work recognized by the Atlanta Business League!

Alumnus Sworn in as Circuit Court Judge for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit of Tennessee

The law school is proud to announce that alumnus, Justin Angel, was elected and sworn in today as the Circuit Court Judge for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit of Tennessee making him first circuit court judge to be elected from Bledsoe County, which is the smallest county in the district. At age 33, Angel was one of the youngest people to hold a trial judge post in Tennessee. He’s also the first Republican in three or four decades to hold a trial judge’s seat in the 12th Judicial District and the first to hail from Bledsoe County.

He told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “I made no secret about my age. I think citizens everywhere I campaigned were excited about a fresh face, new blood and new ideas, and someone with youth, enthusiasm and passion.” To read the full article, visit the Chattanooga Times Free Press website.

Congratulations to Justin Angel for this outstanding accomplishment and well-deserved honor. The law school looks forward to sharing your future achievements.

Alumnus Desmond Humphrey Discusses DUI Charges and Second Chances with Atlanta Legal Experts

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus, Desmond Humphrey and a panel of other legal professionals were interviewed by Atlanta Legal Experts Radio this morning to discuss driving under the influence (DUI) and the implications of being found guilty of a DUI. The interview also included an interesting debate discussing if individuals should take field sobriety tests and breathalyzers.

When asked if he thought criminals deserve second chances, Humphrey cited his strong religious beliefs and passion for criminal defense as his reasons why everyone deserves a second chance. “Jesus’ love for us qualifies us to receive second, third, and even fifth chances and for me to be able to help someone receive a second chance is why I practice criminal defense.”

Humphrey recently opened a criminal defense law firm named Humphrey Law & Associates, LLC which allows him to seek justice for clients from all walks of life. The Atlanta-based firm is committed to taking a problem-solving approach to the practice of law. Humphrey attributes a large part of his success to the education he received at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

“John Marshall is truly a school that teaches you how to practice law in addition to learning the law. I have had a few cases that I was able to settle in favor of my clients due to the knowledge I received while in school,” said Humphrey.

In addition to opening his own firm, Humphrey partners with two fellow John Marshall alumni, Victoria Bridgman and Ashley Black, to work with a non-profit organization called Lawyer Up which focuses on educating the youth and the community at large about the law.

For more information on Desmond Humphrey, please visit his firm’s website. Congratulations to yet another John Marshall alumni on their post-graduate success.

AJMLS Alumna Discusses Personal Injury and Opening Her Own Firm in Radio Interview

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumna, Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert was recently interviewed on Atlanta Legal Experts Radio regarding personal injury law. Joined by Carol Allen, Amy Pierson, William Vincent, and Charlotte Merritt, Jennifer talked about making a name for herself fighting for her clients’ rights through her firm, The Gore Law Firm, LLC.; which specializes in personal injury, wrongful death, and diminished value cases, located in Alpharetta, Georgia.

During the radio interview, she discussed how to handle a collision caused by an uninsured and underinsured driver, how to find eye-witnesses after a collision, how eye-witnesses can sometimes make or break a case, and special scenarios in personal injury cases that can lead to punitive damages.

Jennifer graduated from John Marshall in 2012 and served as the Student Bar Association president in her 3L year. In addition to being in SBA while in law school, Jennifer was also a member of the AJMLS Chapter of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, was named a Peer Mentor of the Year, Outstanding Student of The Quarter, worked part time in the law library, and worked at a law firm specializing in personal injury. Jennifer credits John Marshall for having a significant impact on her legal career saying, “I am grateful for the opportunities that my legal education has given me.”

She is currently a member of The North Fulton Bar Association, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, a board member of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers as the Chair of The Communications Committee, and Leader of the “Working Moms Lunch.” Jennifer lives with her husband, Angus and their daughter Julia in Roswell, Georgia.

Congratulations to Jennifer on her numerous post-graduate accomplishments and memberships. The full audio of Jennifer’s interview with Atlanta Legal Experts Radio can be found on their website. For more information on Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert and her new firm can be found at The Gore Law Firm, LLC.

AJMLS Alumna, Tannyka Bent, Tells the Daily Report How She Stays Grounded

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumna, Tannyka Bent says her many activities keep her grounded in a recent interview with the Daily Report. Bent is an artist, who recently donated one of her paintings to be auctioned at the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts gala. She plays softball, kickball and flag football on local club teams, and is looking for a basketball team. She volunteers with Habitat for Humanity many Saturdays and teaches Sunday school on Sundays. Tannyka Bent does all of these things in addition to being a transactional attorney for the State Road and Tollway Authority in Atlanta. Below are some highlights from Tannyka Bent’s interview with the Daily Report. For the full interview, visit their website.

With so many talents and interests, what got you into law?

I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer. My mom has a good friend who is an attorney, and I interned with him when I finished Mercy College in New York. That clinched my decision. In law school, I loved transactional drafting and received the CALI award for having the highest grade in that class.

I like the law because there isn’t a black-and-white answer to anything. You can be creative in how you interpret it.

Where do you get inspiration?

It can be a natural scene, a painting I see or a color I like. Whenever I get an idea, I jot it down on little pieces of paper. My pockets, purse and wallet are filled with them. I like to let the ideas breathe a bit, and when I start to work the feelings will come.

For the abstract work that I call “Marley,” I used the bright colors that said Jamaica to me and lots of energy in the lines. I was born in the U.S., but my parents came from Jamaica, so it’s part of my heritage.

Is volunteering for Habitat for Humanity a physical outlet as well?

Yes, but it’s more than that. I started working with the Cobb County group two or three years ago. I went through the training to become a crew leader, so I’m often putting down the hammer to explain to five or six others how to put together a wall. Helping to build houses is fun and I’ve learned so much.

Do all these different activities affect your career in any way?

Yes, they keep me grounded. I’m very happy with the work I’m doing, but if all I did day after day was draft contracts, I’d worry about getting burned out. This way, I stay fresh. There’s always something new to do.

AJMLS Alumna Wins Unpaid Overtime Case, Featured in Daily Report

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumna, Amanda Farahany was featured in the Daily Report for the recent verdict handed down by an Atlanta judge  who awarded more than $173,000 to Farahany and Severin Roberts who won a $6,097 verdict for their client in an unpaid overtime case.

In an order awarding Atlanta law firm Barrett & Farahany $173,300 in legal fees and expenses, U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. said that even though plaintiff Kelly Cain may have succeeded “in only a limited way,” she still prevailed on her only claim against her former employer, Almeco USA Inc., and persuaded the jury that the company’s violation of federal Fair Labor Standards Act was willful.

The jury’s finding that Lawrenceville-based Almeco Inc. willfully failed over the course of two years to pay overtime to Cain led Thrash to double the damages to $13,814 (including interest and other costs).

Attorneys Farahany and Roberts, who served as cocounsel for Cain, said the case —over claims that her bosses required her to work unpaid overtime —should never have gone to trial.

Farahany said, “Once you go to trial, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I think Judge Thrash recognized that and told the company exactly what they should do in a situation when you’ve got $25,000 in overtime in a case. … The judge realized this was a case that shouldn’t have been tried.”

Congratulations to Amanda Farahany and Roberts for their win and feature in the Daily Report. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School looks forward to many more accomplishments for Barrett & Farahany.

AJMLS Alumnus Represents Plaintiff for Botched IV Test Injury

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus and Alumni Board member, Lawrence Schlachter, M.D., J.D., has garnered headline recognition in the Daily Report for a major trial win for a medical malpractice plaintiff.  According to the Daily Report, a Fulton County jury awarded more than $4.4 million to a man claiming permanent injuries when a bit of radioactive tracer solution leaked into his arm during a cardiology test at Piedmont Newnan Hospital. Along with Schlachter, the plaintiff was also represented by Lloyd Bell and Darren Summerville.

For more information on the article, “Jurors Hold Plaintiff’s Hand, Then Put $4.4M Into It” can be found on the Daily Report’s website.

Governor Nathan Deal Names AJMLS Alumna Solicitor General of Muscogee County

Governor Nathan Deal recently named Suzanne Goddard, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumna, the new Solicitor General of Muscogee County. The vacancy was created by the appointment of the Hon. Benjamin Richardson as State Court judge of Muscogee County. Goddard’s appointment is effective upon swearing-in.  Goddard has worked in the Office of the Solicitor-General since 1997 — the same year she earned her law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia. Congratulations on behalf of the entire John Marshall community.

AJLMS Alumni Sworn into U.S. Supreme Court

On Monday, December 2, 2013, 7 AJMLS alumni and one professor were sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court.  The alumni that were sworn in include:  Alex Brown, Christopher Grubbs, Lisa Skinner, Alicia Mullice, Cameil Reddick, Lisa Guerra, Mark Zukowski, and Professor Renata Turner.

On December 1, 2013 an evening reception was held for the participants and their families at the esteemed Willard Hotel.

The trip to Washington D.C. to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court is an annual event that Dean Lynn takes with up to 12 alumni.  If you would like more information on how to be a part of this amazing experience, please email Ginger Arnold at varnold@johnmarshall.edu.

 

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AJMLS Alumna to Head Law Office in Lodz, Poland

The Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group, founded by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School adjunct professor Joseph Rosen, recently opened an office in Lodz, Poland. The branch will be managed by recent John Marshall alumna and lawyer, Alina Sokol. Sokol graduated from the law school in May 2013 with an LL.M. in American Legal Studies. In her role, Sokol and the office will assist Polish citizens and businesses with issues surrounding U.S. immigration. Congratulations to Sokol on this accomplishment and to Professor Rosen on expanding his practice.

For more information on the Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group, click here. A link to the Polish office can be found here.

 

 

Mass Swearing In Ceremony on November 13, 2013

The Alumni Office held a mass swearing in ceremony for the July 2013 bar exam passers and other AJMLS alumni on November 13, 2013. The Alumni were sworn into the Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia, and Fulton County Superior Court and were honored to be sworn in by Justice Carol Hunstein of the Supreme Court, Judge G. Alan Blackburn of the Court of Appeals, and Judge T. Jackson Bedford of the Fulton County Superior Court.  There was a reception for friends and family held after the ceremony.  Here are the pictures from the event that can be downloaded for personal use. If you have any questions about the event, please contact the Alumni Office.

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AJMLS Alumnus Burl Finkelstein Featured in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Alumnus, Burl Finkelstein (’05), was recently featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle for his work outside the courtroom.

Finkelstein is an engineer-turned-lawyer and is the Vice President and General Counsel at Kason Industries. Outside the office, he spends his time building model rockets and the engines and propellant systems powering them.

He also is one of the supervisors for the NASA University Students Space Initiative, is a contractor for Pyrotecnico and travels the United States managing fireworks shows and attending rocket launch events.

You can read the full article here.

 

Mass Swearing In Ceremony on November 13, 2013 for July 2013 Bar Exam Passers

The Alumni Office will hold a mass swearing in ceremony for the July 2013 bar exam passers and any other AJMLS alumni who would like to be sworn into the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court of Georgia.  We will be honored by Justice Carol Hunstein of the Supreme Court and Judge T. Jackson Bedford of the Fulton County Superior Court.  There will also be a representative from the Court of Appeals.

The ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. on November 13, 2013 at the G. Alan Blackburn Conference Center.  After the ceremony there will be a reception with light hors d’oeuvres.  Please plan to arrive at 4:00 p.m. to arrange the necessary paperwork.

In order to be sworn in to any or all of the courts, you must have ALL checks and paperwork into the Alumni Office no later than Tuesday, October 29, 2013.

Superior Court – For admission to the Superior Court, the Alumni Office will need the Original Certificate you receive from Bar Admissions.

Georgia Supreme Court – For the attorney admission form for the Supreme Court, please go to:  http://www.gasupreme.us/admissions/ and complete the application.  Very important – AJMLS will provide the sponsoring attorneys so please leave that portion blank.  The cost to be sworn into the GA Supreme Court is $30 and must be paid through the website.  Please attach a copy of your PayPal receipt with your application.

Court of Appeals – For the attorney admission form for the Court of Appeals, please go to:  http://www.gaappeals.us/admission.php.  The cost to be sworn into the Court of Appeals is $30 and checks are to be made payable to the Clerk of the Court of Appeals.  Please send in your check and application to the Alumni Office.

Parking will be available in the AJMLS parking deck and other local decks.

For more information, please contact the Alumni Office at (404)872-3593 ##Ext. 287.

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health Names AJMLS Alumna as New Policy Fellow

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health announces Jemila Lea as their new Policy Fellow. A Texas native, Lea joins the foundation after receiving her Juris Doctor from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in the spring of 2013. Prior to law school, Lea earned her Bachelor’s Degree in general studies with an emphasis in legal studies from Texas Woman’s University.

Interested in mental health and child advocacy, Lea interned during her time in law school with the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council’s Office of the Mental Health Advocate, where she assisted with representation and monitoring of defendants who had been acquitted with a plea of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI). Additionally, internships with the Honorable Brent Carr in Tarrant County and the Office of the Public Defender Flint Judicial Circuit supplemented her knowledge of mental health policy with valuable experience in a legal setting. A dedicated child advocate, Lea has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in her home county of Tarrant, Texas, and received Excellence in Pro Bono recognition during her law school graduation.

As a policy fellow, Lea will continue policy work at the Texas capitol initiated by previous fellows and program officers on behalf of the foundation, advocating for systemic change in mental health policy in Texas.

The Hogg Foundation advances recovery and wellness in Texas by funding mental health services, policy analysis, research, and public education. The foundation was created in 1940 by the children of former Texas Gov. James S. Hogg and is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Congratulations to Jemila Lea on this amazing accomplishment! For more on the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, click here.

AJMLS Alumni Elected to Positions in Young Lawyers Division

Recently alumni from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School were elected to the Member-at-Large Representative of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Executive Council position. The alumni include Boris Y. Milter (’11), Jackson E. Oliver (’11), and Tiffany M. Simmons (’09). The YLD has been strengthened over the years through guidance by the State Bar of Georgia, its Executive Committee and Board of Directors, the Supreme Court, and through dedicated service rendered by its members. In keeping with its motto of “working for the profession and the public,” the YLD has 27 hard-working committees that provide service to the public, the profession and the Bar through an array of projects and programs. Through the years, the YLD has also gained national recognition by winning several American Bar Association awards for its projects and publications. On behalf of the law school, congratulations to our outstanding alumni.

AJMLS Alumna Appointed to the American Bar Association

Starting in August, Heather Hale (‘11) will serve as the District 12 Representative for the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division. District 12 covers the states of Georgia and Alabama. Heather was selected for this position by the State Bar of Georgia, and will represent the GA YLD at ABA meetings and assemblies. Her other responsibilities will include coordinating all disaster relief legal aid through the ABA for Georgia and Alabama. District Representatives serve a two year term, and Heather is excited for this opportunity.

AJMLS Graduation

Representative Doug Collins (’07)  of Georgia’s 9th District was the keynote speaker at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Commencement, held Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. During the ceremonies, the law school conferred nine Master of Law degrees and more than 220 Juris Doctor degrees.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws, Honorus Causa, on Dean James P. White.  Dean White is a member of the AJMLS Board of Directors and continues to contribute to legal education and society.  Also honored during the ceremonies were our Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, Representative Doug Collins (’07) and Mr. Tavis Knighten (’05).

We are very proud of and would like to congratulate all of our 2013 graduates and thank Representative Collins for his poignant and inspirational commencement address.

 

AJMLS Holds Annual Swearing-In Ceremony for Alumni

On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, the Alumni Office welcomed AJMLS graduates to the annual group swearing-in ceremonies at the Blackburn Conference Center. Forty-seven alumni were admitted to practice before the Georgia Supreme Court, while 34 alumni took their oath for admission into the Fulton County Superior Court. We were honored to have Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein and Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford administer the oaths. After the ceremonies, Dean Lynn, faculty and staff, joined the new lawyers, their families and friends for a reception celebration.

 

Article by AJMLS Alumna is Featured on Litigator Blog

AJMLS alumna, Heather Hale was recently a guest contributor for litigation blog, Litig8or Tech. Her article titled, “Solo but Not Alone: iPad as Personal Assistant” posted yesterday, August 27, 2012 to the website. Heather’s day-in-the-life article details her experience as a solo practitioner and describes how her iPad plays a major role in the maintenance and expansion of her company. Heather currently serves as an Atlanta-area solo practitioner specializing in immigration services and international adoptions. She has a passion for enhancing client and colleague relationships through technology. AJMLS is extremely proud of her accomplishments. To read the full article, click here.

AJMLS Alumnus Wins Runoff for Georgia’s 9th District

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus Doug Collins, who graduated in 2008, recently won the runoff for Georgia’s new 9th District, by defeating Martha Zoller.  Doug will now move on to the November 6th general election.  AJMLS has a large population of alumni who are politically active and involved in public service.  Our school and the John Marshall Alumni Association are proud of these alumni and their accomplishments.

For more information about Doug Collins, please go to www.collinsleads.com.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s 2011 Commencement

The Honorable Robert Benham of the Georgia Supreme Court was the keynote speaker at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Commencement, held Saturday, May 14, 2011, at the Atlanta Civic Center. During the ceremonies, the law school conferred more than 130 Juris Doctor degrees.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School conferred a Degree of Masters of Law in Employment Law, Honoris Causa, on Justice Benham for his inspiring career in public service and dedication to the rule of law. Also honored during the ceremonies were our Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, Mr. Thomas C. Chambers, III (’77) and Senator Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr. (’92).

We congratulate all of our 2011 graduates and would like to thank Justice Robert Benham for his uplifting and inspirational address.

Youth and the Law Summit

On Saturday, March 1st, a group of students from Atlanta’s Coan Middle School joined John Marshall faculty and students for their inaugural Youth and the Law Summit. The Summit, sponsored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in partnership with the Gate City Bar Association, is designed to give minority students the opportunity to think critically about ethical and practical implications of the law. This year’s Summit, organized by Profs. Renata Turner and Kamina Pinder, and Darrick McDuffie of King and Spalding, focused on topics that have a direct and present impact on students’ lives. For instance, breakout sessions conducted by JMLS students Corey Martin, Mark Calhoun, Tiffany Simmons, Quisha Riche and Nicole Page, analyzed recent saggy pants and anti-gang legislation. Shareef Cousins, an innocent man sentenced to death at the age of 16, engaged the students in an interactive lecture in the afternoon. After the lecture, graduates from Gate City’s Justice Robert Benham Law Camp conducted a mock trial based on the facts that led to Mr. Cousin’s wrongful conviction. Students gave brilliant opening and closing arguments, demonstrating their potential to become tomorrow’s great legal minds. The students’ enthusiasm for the Summit continued after they returned to Coan. Their teacher, Mr. Charles Hawk, reports that students who previously wanted to become athletes or singers are now talking about becoming lawyers. They completed a bulletin board to commemorate their experience and expressed their desire to participate in the program next year. Two students will get that opportunity as they will be selected to participate in the upcoming 2008 Justice Benham Law Camp. John Marshall looks forward to continuing and expanding the Summit next year to reach even more future lawyers.

Youth and the Law Summit

On Saturday, March 1st, a group of students from Atlanta’s Coan Middle School joined John Marshall faculty and students for their inaugural Youth and the Law Summit. The Summit, sponsored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in partnership with the Gate City Bar Association, is designed to give minority students the opportunity to think critically about ethical and practical implications of the law. This year’s Summit, organized by Profs. Renata Turner and Kamina Pinder, and Darrick McDuffie of King and Spalding, focused on topics that have a direct and present impact on students’ lives. For instance, breakout sessions conducted by JMLS students Corey Martin, Mark Calhoun, Tiffany Simmons, Quisha Riche and Nicole Page, analyzed recent saggy pants and anti-gang legislation.

Shareef Cousins, an innocent man sentenced to death at the age of 16, engaged the students in an interactive lecture in the afternoon. After the lecture, graduates from Gate City’s Justice Robert Benham Law Camp conducted a mock trial based on the facts that led to Mr. Cousin’s wrongful conviction. Students gave brilliant opening and closing arguments, demonstrating their potential to become tomorrow’s great legal minds.

The students’ enthusiasm for the Summit continued after they returned to Coan. Their teacher, Mr. Charles Hawk, reports that students who previously wanted to become athletes or singers are now talking about becoming lawyers. They completed a bulletin board to commemorate their experience and expressed their desire to participate in the program next year. Two students will get that opportunity as they will be selected to participate in the upcoming 2008 Justice Benham Law Camp. John Marshall looks forward to continuing and expanding the Summit next year to reach even more future lawyers.