770-382-0780

Today on the podcast, Robin and Lester interview Mariellen Jacobs, the founder of Rails Against Danger, and the co-founder of the College Safety Coalition, Nanette Hausman.  Also joining is Steve Welsh, plaintiff’s counsel in Valdosta State University v. Davis

Guest Bios

Mariellen Jacobs

Mariellen Jacobs is the founder of RAD and co-founder of the College Safety Coalition (CSC). She is also on staff at Shepherd Center where her son was rehabilitated after his accident. A devoted mom of two and a resident of Georgia for 31 years, her passion is to drive for lasting change in institutional bed design and college campus safety data collection.

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Nanette Hausman

Nanette Hausman, whose son, Corey, died on the campus of the University of Colorado-Boulder while skateboarding on a dangerous campus street. As a result of Corey’s death, Nanette created College911.net whose purpose is to minimize college students’ deaths and accidents. She is a co-founder of the College Safety Coalition. Nanette is driven to help colleges and injury prevention professionals acquire the data and resources needed to minimize the risk of injury and loss of life. She is equally committed to providing tools to prevent other families from living with the devastating loss she does, every single day.

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Stephen Welsh

Mr. Welsh has been practicing law since 1994 and specializes in worker’s compensation, bodily injury, and civil litigation law. He recently secured a 1.4 million dollar verdict for a veteran truck driver in the Superior Court of Laurens County. He has previously served as the Mercer Law Review Writing Editor, the Co-chair of the Georgia Workers Compensation Law Institute (2002), and at the State Board of Workers Compensation Annual Education Seminar as a panelist and speaker in 2008 and as an author and speaker in 1999. Mr. Welsh was also a host speaker at the 2015 State Board of Workers Compensation Annual Regional Seminar.

Mr. Welsh is currently an adjunct professor at the Mercer University School of Law, where he teaches the Workers’ Compensation class. He is an AV Rated attorney, holds several memberships, including the Trial Lawyers Association and American Association for Justice, and has been listed again by Best Lawyers© for 2020.

When not practicing law, Mr. Welsh enjoys playing golf and traveling.

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Links:

Rail Against the Danger

College Safety Coalition

College911.net

http://www.akintate.com/

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org

Today on the podcast, Robin and Lester interview Georgia trial attorney Jenny Jensen who specializes in legal malpractice cases and representing lawyers when they have been accused of behaving badly.

Jenny E. Jensen

Ms. Jensen is a principal in The Jensen Firm, whose current practice focuses on  attorney ethics, encompassing a Plaintiff’s professional negligence practice,  including legal malpractice, representation of both lawyers and clients before the  Georgia Bar in disciplinary matters and fee disputes, serving as an expert witness in  in the areas of legal malpractice, attorney ethics and attorneys’ fees, as well as a general litigation practice.

Ms. Jensen also serves as a jury consultant and assists other attorneys with witness preparation and jury selection. She was named a  “Rising Star” in 2005 and has been named a “Super Lawyer” for 2012-2022. Ms.  Jensen was a member of the Georgia Bar Commission on Continuing Lawyer  Competency from 2013 through 2018 and served as Chair of the Commission in 2017.

Ms. Jensen was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1990 and is admitted to practice in  all Georgia trial and appellate courts, as well as the United States District Courts for  both the Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia and the Eleventh Circuit Court  of Appeals. She received her undergraduate degree, a B.S. Political Science with an

International Studies minor, from Georgia Southern. She is a graduate of the Walter  F. George School of Law (J.D.) at Mercer University, where she was a Member of  the Moot Court Board and Intrastate Moot Court Team, as well as the Dan J. Bradley  Fellow, and recipient of the Class of 1974 Scholarship. Ms. Jensen’s Her practice has  focused extensively on civil litigation and appeals in state and federal court. She has  been a mock trial coach for over ten years and presently coaches the Duluth High  School Mock Trial Team.

Links:

Jenny Jensen LinkedIn

The Jensen Firm Facebook

Home

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org

Today on the podcast, Robin and Lester share their thoughts on the question asked at the end of every episode, “What is Justice?”. In addition, to close out the podcast, we share a few clips that exemplify the various types of justice as well as a short compilation of many of our former guest’s definitions of Justice.

Robin Frazer Clark:

Robin Frazer Clark is the owner and founder of the law firm of Robin Frazer Clark, P.C. Ms. Clark has practiced law for thirty years in Atlanta, Georgia, all as a trial lawyer in personal injury cases. Prior to this firm she was a partner in Clark Goldner, P.C. from 2004-2006 and a partner in Jewett and Clark, LLC from 1997-2004. Ms. Clark devotes one-hundred percent of her practice exclusively to representing everyday Americans who have been injured by the carelessness of others. This includes personal injury and employment matters, automobile wrecks, tractor-trailer wrecks, premises safety, elevator and escalator cases, products safety (including defective automobile manufacture), medical malpractice and sexual harassment cases.

Ms. Clark was recently invited and inducted into the International Society of Barristers. She is a Past President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) and previously served as President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian and Education Committee Co-Chair of GTLA. She served on the Editorial Board of The Verdict and was elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Ms. Clark was also on the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Georgia for Atlanta Circuit Post No. 36. She is a Past President of the State Bar of Georgia and a member of the Atlanta Bar Association, in which she is a Past Chair of the Litigation Section. She is a Member of the General Practice and Trial Section of the State Bar of Georgia. She is also a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) and a member of the Executive Committee of The Lawyers Club of Atlanta. Ms. Clark is a Fellow of The Lawyers Foundation of Georgia.

Lester Tate:

Lester Tate is a trial lawyer who served as the 48th President of the State Bar of Georgia.  Since 1996, he has practiced as a member of Akin & Tate, Georgia’s oldest continuing  law firm. He has spent his entire professional career as a courtroom lawyer, having tried  over one-hundred civil and criminal cases to verdict and appeared over thirty times in  state and federal appellate courts.

He currently serves as National Treasurer of the American Board of Trial Advocates and  a member of the Executive Committee. He is the past President of the Southeastern  Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (SEABOTA) and is a member of the  American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.

Lester is a Fellow in the International Society of Barristers, an invitation-only trial lawyer  honorary society, whose members are rigorously screened by trial lawyers and judges to  determine the member’s ability, experience, accomplishments and ethical standards.

He is Senior Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society  comprised of less than 1% of American lawyers, and, because of his extensive courtroom  experience, he holds the rank of “Advocate” in the American Board of Trial Advocates  (ABOTA).

While devoting most of his time to wrongful death and serious personal injury cases,  where he has a number of million and multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements,  Lester’s practice includes many diverse matters. He has successfully defended  individuals charged with a broad array of state and federal crimes at trial, ranging from  murder to conspiracy. He has also handled a wide variety of complex commercial and  political cases involving issues as varied as shareholder rights and ballot access.

Today on the podcast, Robin and Lester interview Ray Persons, Senior Litigation Partner at King and Spalding and President of the International Society of Barristers.

Ray Persons:

W. Ray Persons is a senior litigation partner at King & Spalding, an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 900 lawyers in 23 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  Ray has a national practice focused on product liability, mass tort, class action and complex litigation.

Ray has represented more than 50 of the Fortune 500 as counsel or national coordinating counsel for clients in the pharmaceutical, automotive, chemical and energy industries; he has served as lead counsel in 92 jury trials, 90 percent of which went to verdict.  He has served as lead counsel in over 25 Engle progeny tobacco jury trials.  He serves as national counsel in In re UST Litigation for one of the world’s largest petroleum companies in claims brought by dozens of states alleging fraudulent overpayment of claims for reimbursement of costs associated with cleanup of underground storage tanks.  He served as national coordinating counsel and lead trial counsel for Union Carbide Corporation in the successful defense against claims of an alleged industry-wide conspiracy to subject workers to cancer-causing chemicals.  He represented one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in a 442-plaintiff case involving claims of exposure to arsenic and chromium stemming from the 60- year operation of a manufacturing facility in New Jersey.  Ray successfully defended against claims brought by 1,200 homeowners and residents who lived in the vicinity of a fertilizer plant; the chemicals of concern were arsenic, lead, mercury and sulfur dioxide.

Ray is regarded as one of the best trial lawyers in the country, as evidenced by his election as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers and the Litigation Counsel of America.  He holds the rank of Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates.  He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in four categories:  Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Mass Torts, and Product Liability; Chambers USA:  America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Lawdragon 500; The Legal 500; Georgia Trend magazine’s “Legal Elite,” and Atlanta Magazine’s Georgia Super Lawyers (Top 10 for eight consecutive years).  He is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, International Association of Defense Counsel, and American Health Lawyers Association.

Ray received his undergraduate degree in 1975 from Armstrong State College and his law degree in 1978 from The Ohio State University.  He was awarded the Armstrong State University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2000, the Moritz College of Law 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award, The Ohio State University 2006 Distinguished Service Award, and The Ohio State University 2012 John B. Gerlach, Sr., Development Volunteer Award.

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Links:

King and Spaulding

International Society of Barristers

Home

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org

Today on the podcast, Robin and Lester interview writer and Senior Editor of POLITICO, Peter Canellos. We are so excited to discuss Peter’s new book, The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America’s Judicial Hero.

Peter Canellos:

Peter S. Canellos is managing editor for enterprise at POLITICO, overseeing the site’s magazine, investigative journalism, and major projects. He has also been POLITICO’s executive editor, overseeing the newsroom during the 2016 presidential coverage, and the editorial page editor of The Boston Globe.

A native of Boston, Peter is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Law School. He spent most of his career at the Globe, where at various points he oversaw the paper’s local news coverage and Washington, D.C., bureau. As the Globe’s editorial page editor, he authored numerous editorials urging Bostonians to overcome their parochial divisions and embrace their status as a world-class city.

He also edited the Globe’s book, “Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy,” which was a top-10 New York Times bestseller in 2009. The book also set the stage for much of the analysis of Kennedy’s career following his death from cancer and supplied most of the anecdotes for President Barack Obama’s eulogy of Kennedy.

For the past 12 years, Peter has worked with the International Women’s Media Foundation overseeing the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship, given to a woman journalist from around the world to study human rights at MIT and intern at the Globe and New York Times. He has also traveled overseas on human rights trips with the US Holocaust Museum, International Reporting Project, and Robert Bosch Foundation, among other groups.

Peter considers the many young journalists he’s hired and mentored over the years to be his greatest accomplishment. As an editor, he has overseen two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects along with five others that were Pulitzer finalists, among many other awards. As a writer, he was a recipient of the American Society of Newspaper Editors award in 2011 for excellence in editorial writing.

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Links:

Peter Canellos’ Website

The Great Dissenter

POLITICO

Home

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org

Today we are discussing The Georgia Court of Appeals and appellate law. To help us understand what that is and what that means, we are joined by the Presiding Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Hon. Anne Elizabeth Barnes.

Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes:

Presiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes was elected in 1998 to the Georgia Court of Appeals in a three-way race without a runoff. She was the first woman to be elected in a state-wide judicial race without having been first appointed to the bench. Judge Barnes was re-elected to a second term in 2004, elected to a third term in 2010, receiving more votes than any other candidate in the State of Georgia, then again re-elected in 2016. Currently, she is running for re-election in 2022.

A native Georgian, Judge Barnes grew up in Chamblee and attended DeKalb County public schools. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University in 1979. Judge Barnes has earned three law degrees:  a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia, a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Laws in Judicial Studies from Duke University.

Judge Barnes was elected by her fellow judges as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from 2006 to 2008. She has also served on many committees and commissions, including the Judicial Council of Georgia’s Standing Committee on Policy, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the Supreme Court Commission on Interpreters, the Domestic Violence Committee of the Judicial Council of Georgia, and the Georgia Commission on Child Support.  Judge Barnes is a Trustee of the Georgia Legal History Foundation, and served as a director on the Boards of Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates (GACASA), the Truancy Intervention Project, and the National Courts and Science Institute.  She also served on the Judicial Education Program Advisory Board of the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies.

Presiding Judge Barnes is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Atlanta. She is a member of the American, Atlanta, DeKalb, and Gate City Bar Associations, the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and the Old Warhorse Lawyers Club. She is a Master of the Bleckley Inn of Court and a member and former District 5 Director of the National Association of Women Judges. Judge Barnes is a Fellow of both the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia and the American Bar Association.

In 2012, Judge Barnes received the Romae Turner Powell Judicial Service Award from the Atlanta Bar Association Judicial Section, which she formerly chaired. Judge Barnes has been recognized for her service by the DeKalb Bar Association, the Women in the Profession Committee of the Atlanta Bar Association, the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, and Justice Served. She has been twice recognized by the Barbados Association of Atlanta, receiving their Trident and Community Service Awards.

Judge Barnes and her husband, Dr. Thomas I. Banks, a Distinguished Professor of Physics at Rutgers University, live in Virginia Highlands with their dog, Tiger.

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Links:

Judge Barnes’ Website

Court of Appeals of the State of GA

Home

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org

Today we are delighted to have Chris Joyner on the podcast. He is a journalist with the Atlanta Journal Constitution and is the author of The Three Death Sentences of Clarence Henderson and we are looking forward to diving into the book and a sordid period of Georgia history with Chris today on the podcast.

Chris Joyner:

Chris Joyner is an investigative reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution with more than two decades of experience in journalism, ranging from community newspapers to national and international news and wire services. He reported from the scene of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. As an investigative reporter, he focuses on uncovering hidden communities and has written about street gangs and life inside a supermax prison, the hidden world of government lobbying, and a white-collar criminal network built around a drug testing lab. He lives in Atlanta.

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Links:

Chris’ LinkedIn

Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Three Death Sentences of Clarence Henderson

Home

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org

Today we share Robin and Lester’s CLE presentation, “Professionalism from a Trial Lawyer’s Perspective” for the Atlanta Bar Association. The panel is moderated by former podcast guest Robert Wellon (find a link to his interview below).

Robin Frazer Clark:

Robin Frazer Clark is the owner and founder of the law firm of Robin Frazer Clark, P.C. Ms. Clark has practiced law for thirty years in Atlanta, Georgia, all as a trial lawyer in personal injury cases. Prior to this firm she was a partner in Clark Goldner, P.C. from 2004-2006 and a partner in Jewett and Clark, LLC from 1997-2004. Ms. Clark devotes one-hundred percent of her practice exclusively to representing everyday Americans who have been injured by the carelessness of others. This includes personal injury and employment matters, automobile wrecks, tractor-trailer wrecks, premises safety, elevator and escalator cases, products safety (including defective automobile manufacture), medical malpractice and sexual harassment cases.

Ms. Clark was recently invited and inducted into the International Society of Barristers. She is a Past President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) and previously served as President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian and Education Committee Co-Chair of GTLA. She served on the Editorial Board of The Verdict and was elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Ms. Clark was also on the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Georgia for Atlanta Circuit Post No. 36. She is a Past President of the State Bar of Georgia and a member of the Atlanta Bar Association, in which she is a Past Chair of the Litigation Section. She is a Member of the General Practice and Trial Section of the State Bar of Georgia. She is also a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) and a member of the Executive Committee of The Lawyers Club of Atlanta. Ms. Clark is a Fellow of The Lawyers Foundation of Georgia.

Lester Tate, III:

Lester Tate is a trial lawyer who served as the 48th President of the State Bar of Georgia. Since 1996, he has practiced as a shareholder in Akin & Tate, P.C., Georgia’s oldest continuing law firm. He has spent his entire professional career as a courtroom lawyer, having tried over 100 civil and criminal cases to verdict. While devoting most of his time to serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, where he has won a number of million and multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements, his practice is unusually broad and includes such diverse matters as state and federal criminal cases, complex commercial disputes, and worker’s compensation cases. Because of his extensive courtroom experience, Lester was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), one of the nation’s most prestigious trial lawyer organizations, with the rank of “Advocate”. He is also a Fellow in Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society comprised of less than 1% of American lawyers. He currently serves as a Member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates and as President of the Georgia Chapter of ABOTA, and Treasurer of ABOTA’s Southeastern Chapter.

Lester has also appeared over 30 times in Georgia’s state and federal appellate courts. He is a Champion Member of the Georgia Trial Lawyer’s Association (GTLA) and a Member of the GTLA’s Political Action Committee Board of Directors, as well as the American Justice Association.

Active in community and public affairs, Lester serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia and the Board of Advisors for Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Media, and Communications.  He is also a graduate of Leadership Bartow’s 2012 class. Lester’s pro bono work includes having represented Advocates for Children as a volunteer legal counsel for over twenty years.

Today we are talking about some very special work being done with the Executive Director of The Georgia Justice Project, Doug Ammar.

Douglas B. Ammar:

Douglas B. Ammar has been an active presence at Georgia Justice Project (GJP) since its beginning in 1986. Starting as a volunteer, then joining as a staff attorney in 1990, Doug has led GJP as Executive Director since 1995.

GJP has sought to be advocates for our clients not only by providing holistic criminal defense and social services; but also seeking systemic change in Georgia law that will reduce the number of people under correctional control and reduce barriers to reentry. During his time as Executive Director, GJP has helped change 21 laws in Georgia that have worked to reduce barriers to reentry for people impacted by the criminal justice system. GJP has continued to grow and expand its capacity to serve its clients with support from local foundations and national funders who have acknowledged our work. In 2020, GJP assisted over 6,000 Georgians with criminal justice issues and received a $5 million capacity from the Kendeda Fund; a national funder based in Atlanta.

Originally from Charleston, West Virginia, Doug earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Davidson College in 1984, and then a law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1989. Doug has received numerous awards for his leading voice in criminal justice reform and reentry, including but not limited to: Nonprofit Times 2019 Power & Influence Top 50; Urban League of Greater Atlanta’s Man of Empowerment & Distinction; Davidson’s College’s 2016 Game Changers, Emory University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award, Milner S. Ball Working In the Public Interest Lifetime Achievement Award; Georgia Center for Nonprofits’ Evelyn G. Ullman Innovative Leadership Award; Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Indigent Defense Award; Davidson College’s John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service; and Georgia Indigent Defense Council’s Commitment to Excellence Award. In addition to these recognitions, Doug is also an Omicron Delta Kappa Alumni inductee at Washington and Lee University and an Annie E. Casey Foundation fellow.

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Links:

Georgia Justice Project

Home

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org

Today we are talking about premises liability cases with the person who wrote the book on Premises Liability as well as some cutting-edge litigation against Snapchat with our guest today, accomplished trial lawyer, Mike Neff.

Michael Neff:

Mike Neff founded Neff Injury Law in April 1996. After a successful solo career, Mike added Dwayne Adams, Susan Cremer and Shane Peagler to the firm. Mike has been lead counsel in trials where the jury returned verdicts totaling over $100 million.

In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Mike was lead counsel in three record-setting verdicts in Georgia, according to CaseMetrix: a $9 million verdict in a negligent security and rape case; a $2.79 million verdict in a grocery store fall case where the client developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome; and a $35 million verdict against the amusement park Six Flags in a premises liability case.

In 2017, Mike was lead counsel in two trials that resulted in a total of $54 million in verdicts against an international car rental company, its agents, and an employee who stole a car and catastrophically injured two women.

Neff Injury Law currently has cases pending in Georgia, Arizona, and California involving wrongful death, sexual assault, premises liability, trucking and bus wrecks, and products liability.

Mike is the author of Premises Liability: A Guide to Success and Premises Liability: A Guide Through Trial, both published by Trial Guides. He is active in the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and is member of the Executive Committee for AAJ’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group and AAJ’s Inadequate Security Litigation Group. In 2014, Mike was elected Chair of AAJ’s Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Litigation Group. He is recognized as an Advocate by the National College of Advocacy and has served on the Executive Committee of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

Mike was lucky to marry Kirsten Neff. “Coincidentally” his career blossomed shortly thereafter. Kirsten is an industrial engineer who is a retired Navy Commander. During her Navy tenure, Kirsten was a Seabee. She oversaw construction and property maintenance. Since leaving the Navy, she continues to work in managing commercial real estate with GSA. In addition to being a great wife and mother, she has been a valuable consultant on many cases.

Mike is a son, brother, husband and father. During college, he was a walk-on for the GWU basketball team. He likes to joke that his college coach, John Kuester (who later coached in the NBA), coached Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and him.

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Links:

Neff Injury Law

Home

https://www.gatriallawyers.net/

See You In Court Website

To learn more about the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation, visit fairplay.org