Litigation Section

The Litigator: A Litigation Section Publication

In This Issue
Bench & Bar Reception and Presentation of the Logan E. Bleckley Award
Next Section Breakfast
Representing Asylum Seekers In An Anti-Immigrant Environment
The Plight of Immigrant Victims of Human Trafficking
Teaming Up for the Greater Good
January 2012 Section Breakfast
February 2012 Section Breakfast
March 2012 Section Breakfast
April 2012 Section Breakfast
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May 2012
Editors: Stephen P. Cummings and Kevin P. Weimer 
Litigation Section Board of Directors
Chair: Stephen T. LaBriola
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: John "Jake" R. Bielema
Secretary: J. Matthew Maguire Jr.
Treasurer: Leigh Martin May
Immediate Past Chair: James D. Blitch IV

Christina Baugh
Terrence Lee Croft
Stephen P. Cummings
Adrienne Hunter-Strothers
Cindy S. Manning
Michael J. Rust
David A. Webster
Kevin P. Weimer

Emeritus Member
H. Lane Young, II

Thank you to our Section Sponsors
Bench & Bar Reception and Presentation of the Logan E. Bleckley Award 
Tuesday, May 8, 2012  
6 pm to 9 pm; Award Presentation - 6:45 pm

A social gathering of judges, lawyers and guests

The Logan E. Bleckley Award for Judicial Excellence will be presented to The Honorable George H. Carley,

Presiding Justice, Supreme Court
of Georgia

Introduction of Justice Carley by The Honorable Hardy Gregory, Jr., Former Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia

at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
201 17th Street NW, 17th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30363

Next Section Breakfast 
Friday, May 11, 2012 - 7:30 am  

"What's New Under the
Gold Dome"
Speakers: Senator Jason Carter
42nd Senate District
Representative Edward H. Lindsey, Jr.
54th House District
 at The Colonnade 
1879 Cheshire Bridge Road
Atlanta, GA

Representing Asylum Seekers In An
Anti-Immigrant Environment: GAIN And Law
Firm Partnerships
by William E. Hoffmann, Jr., J.D., Ph.D., Pro Bono Partner, King & Spalding LLP
The Immigrants


Fashad was born in a small village in Afghanistan.   When he was two days old, his mother was killed by shrapnel from a Soviet bomb as she held Fashad in her arms.  Twelve years later, the Taliban raided Fashad's village, killed his father and kidnapped his sister.  With the help of friends, Fashad immigrated to Iran, but was deported back to Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 and tried to survive on his late father's farm.  In the face of constant threats to him and his village by the Taliban, he sold the farm, used the proceeds to buy the services of a trafficker, obtained forged identity documents, and flew to the United States.  He was apprehended at the airport, charged with identity theft, and sentenced to two years in federal prison.  He was 18 years old and spoke no English. 

After serving his sentence, he was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention and placed in removal proceedings.

The case was referred to the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN), which referred it to our firm.  We tried it in Immigration Court, won, and now Fashad is a productive legal immigrant working in the Oriental rug business.

The Plight of Immigrant Victims of Human Trafficking
by Monica Modi Khant, Program Director, GAIN


Leena was only 19 years old when she was brought to the United States from Togo.  Having dreams of coming to the United States to be an actress, Leena excitedly agreed to come to the United States after meeting "Sister", who was her uncle's ex-wife.  Leena was recruited by Sister to braid hair at an African hair braiding salon in New Jersey and Sister arranged her travel.  However, once she arrived to the United States, Leena's dreams were shattered.  In New Jersey, Leena, along with 14 other girls, was required to live with Sister and her sons.  They were forced to work 16 hour days and made approximately $150-$200 per week, which they were immediately required to turn over to Sister.  The girls were not allowed to keep any of the money, often did not have enough food to eat, and their medical needs were not met.  


Teaming Up for the Greater Good
by David M. Zack and Hillary D. Rightler, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Undoubtedly, providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it is one of the highest callings of our profession.  Many law firms, with immense resources and talent on hand, have chosen to answer this calling by developing and maintaining some type of pro bono program.  The success of these programs within a culture that is typically structured around "the billable hour" depends entirely on the level of commitment that lawyers at all levels of the firm are willing to invest.       

Typically, meaningful participation in pro bono work is highest among young associates, eager to get their feet wet and looking to prove themselves.  However, associates alone should not be left to carry the torch.  The true value that a robust pro bono program can provide to a firm, and the corresponding benefit to the communities that are served through such a program, cannot be realized without significant participation at the partner level as well.   


View entire article

January 2012 Section Breakfast Focused on Environmental Litigation
by J. Matthew Maguire Jr., Parks, Chesin & Walbert, PC


The Litigation Section's January 13, 2012 meeting was the only one in recent memory that focused on environmental litigation.  The Section was honored to have three expert speakers: Maureen O'Mara, the Special Agent in Charge of the EPA's (Region 4) Criminal Investigation Division, Tony Cochran of Chilivis, Cochran, Larkins & Bever, LLP, and Rich Glaze of Balch & Bingham LLP.  Mr. Cochran and Mr. Glaze shared their insights into the highly technical and expert-driven practice of environmental litigation, and demonstrated how civil and criminal environmental issues can arise in a typical litigation practice.  SAC O'Mara described what the EPA considers in deciding whether to pursue criminal charges and explained how a routine civil environmental issue could, through lack of cooperation with the EPA, turn into a serious criminal problem.  Judging by the number of questions asked at the end of the presentation, this was a very interesting and informative presentation.


Edward T. M.  Garland Speaks at the February
2012 Section Breakfast
Leigh Martin May, Butler Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP


Ed Garland of Samuel, Garland & Loeb spoke to the Litigation Section during the February 10, 2012, breakfast meeting at the Colonnade.  In anticipation of hearing from one of Georgia's best criminal defense lawyers, there was a packed room of attendees to hear Ed speak.  John Garland, Ed's son and fellow lawyer at his firm, provided an inspiring and moving introduction of his father.  Ed then regaled attendees with stories of his father, Reuben Garland, and what it was like for Ed's father to practice law in Georgia in earlier times.  Ed also shared stories of his own high-profile cases and answered a series of questions from the audience.  His charming and entertaining presentation reminded us all why Ed has such success with juries.


Mary C. Gill Speaks on Defending Bank Officers and Directors in FDIC Litigation at the March 2012 Section Breakfast
Cindy S. Manning, Manning Levine & Marlow LLP


At the March 16, 2012 breakfast meeting, Mary Gill, Partner at Alston & Bird, LLP, spoke to the Litigation Section about Defending Bank Officers and Directors in FDIC Litigation.  Mary was introduced by her good friend and former Atlanta Bar Association President, Liz Price.  Mary showed her tremendous expertise and experience in outlining the challenges and pitfalls associated with representing clients faced with FDIC litigation.  Mary taught the audience that although the FDIC has many advantages in such litigation, there are techniques and strategies that can be employed to give your client a fighting chance during the difficult times associated with the recent flood of bank closures.  As always, Mary's talk was both informative and inspiring.

A. Lee Parks Presents The Lost Art of Jury Trials at the April 2012 Section Breakfast
by J. Matthew Maguire Jr., Parks, Chesin & Walbert, PC

The Litigation Section was honored to have A. Lee Parks as its featured speaker for the April 13, 2012 meeting.  Mr. Parks, a partner at Parks, Chesin & Walbert, P.C., practices in the areas of employment law, constitutional litigation, education law, voting rights and personal injury.  Mr. Parks's presentation was entitled "The Lost Art of Jury Trials," a fitting title from someone who has served as lead counsel in more than 100 jury trials.  Mr. Parks described how alternative dispute resolution is no longer the alternative, but the norm.  While that may have some societal benefits, it has compromised litigants' rights to their "day in court" because there are few trial lawyers left who can skillfully represent those litigants.  Mr. Parks encouraged section members to try more cases and to involve younger lawyers in those trials so that jury trials do not become a lost art.


The Litigator is Looking for Articles of Interest
typewriter news
The Litigator is looking for articles of interest to Atlanta trial attorneys.  If you would like to submit an article for publication, please email the editors, Stephen P. Cummings or Kevin P. Weimer.