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ALE After Hours Special Live Broadcast

During our Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) Kickoff Event we invited guests down for “Mini-Interview” which was broadcast LIVE on Business Radio X. This segment, first ever ALE After Hours, focused on attorneys and introduced the ALE show to all Radio X listeners. In addition to Crowne Office Suites Customers, we had attorneys from all over Atlanta, as well as a rep from US Legal Support and Georgia Lawyers for the Arts. ALE After Hours partiers networked, ate, drank “ALE” and spoke about their practices “on air” and off. Host Emily Rowell spoke about how the show got started at Crowne Office Suites almost 20 years ago answering phones. After a 2 year career with New  York Life, she was brought back to the family business by her father, the owner of Crowne.  He saw her amazing value as a great connector and networking extraordinaire that helped build businesses. He was ready for her to start building Crowne!

Listen to our After-Hours Guests:

Benjamin Fink from Berman Fink Van Horn Firm.

Laura Reis owns her own firm, Reis Law.

Dora RainesRaine Growth Partners

Regina Matthews owns her own firm, Regina Matthews, LLC.

David Mayer from the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts.

Benin Brown from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Do you want to be a Guest on Atlanta Legal Experts? Contact Emily and get “on air”! You can also let us know if you want to be at the next ALE after hours party this fall!

Emily Rowell

[email protected]



Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Interview

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation

Julia Black, Liz Whipple, Marty Ellin


Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) joined us today to tell us more about what they do and who they serve. Executive Director Marty Ellin joined us today to talk about the mission and history of the AVLF. The recruit private lawyers to do pro bono civil work (never criminal). For the past 30 years the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation has helped those who can’t afford a lawyer get the legal help they deserve. The Atlanta Legal Aid has been doing this work since the 1920’s, but the founder of the AVLF, Brian Stone, realized that though they do amazing work, it would never be enough. The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation trains the attorneys (paralegals and interns!) for the cases they will be assisting with, and even provides them assistance throughout the case. I liked their blog as it highlights so many of the things they can do (older blog posts here)! For a full post about them and the show click here.

The AVLF has seen a huge uptick in the need for their services from individuals who were formerly middle class, and found that the recent recession affected families. Many of their cases are assisting with foreclosure and other housing issues. They have programs to help all Fulton County Residents with Civil Issues- give them a call at 404-521-0790.

Their 3 Main Goals:

1) Help Low Income Individuals get Great Legal Help.

2) Helps Legal Community find meaningful pro-bono opportunities.

3) Support the Court System who need their support.


Marty Ellin, AVLF  

Marty Ellin

Marty Ellin

Marty Ellin has been the director of the AVLF since 2001 when he left his position as the director of Legal Services for the Justice Center of Atlanta. He received his Law Degree from the University of Maryland. He is passionate about helping everyone in Atlanta receive legal help and helping attorneys find pro-bono cases while assisting and training them on how to handle the cases.


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Liz Whipple, AVLF

Liz Whipple

Liz Whipple

Liz Whipple, Director of Safe Families And Guardian Ad Litem programs for AVLF.  Liz is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Alabama School of Law. Prior to joining AVLF, she was a staff attorney at the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Fulton County Law Library, the leadership team for the University of Alabama School of Law’s Atlanta Alumni Committee and on the executive committee of the Fulton County Family Violence Task Force.

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Julia Black, AVLF 

Julia Black

Julia Black

Julia Black, Program Coordinator of Safe Families Office. Julia received her J.D. from the University of Georgia and her undergraduate degree from Emory University. Before attending law school, Julia worked as a case assistant with the litigation group at Goodwin Procter in Washington, D.C. While a law student at Georgia, she interned with AVLF in the Safe Families Office.

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Linley Jones, Darren Penn, Chris Kelleher with Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA)

Darren Penn, Emily Rowell (Host), Linley Jones, Chris Kelleher

Darren Penn, Emily Rowell (Host), Linley Jones, Chris Kelleher


Linley Jones/ Linley Jones, P.C.

Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-20-14 Linley Jones

Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, President Linley Jones has an AV rating, the highest professional rating available from the Martindale-Hubbell Lawyers Directory. Linley Jones, P.C. handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases that involve brain and spinal cord injuries. Linley Jones has over 20 years of experience representing clients in hundreds of serious personal injury cases around the United States in both state and federal court. She was the first woman in the United States to be board-certified in legal malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, the ABA’s certifying body. Linley was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1992 after graduating from Georgia State University Law School where she was Political Editor of the Georgia State University Law Review. In addition to practicing with Linley Jones, P.C., Ms. Jones has served as a legal analyst at CNN Headline News. She is the President of the GTLA and is a member of the Atlanta Trial Lawyers Society, Atlanta Bar Association, Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and the American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America). Check out her cover for Attorney At Law Magazines “Attorney of the Month”!     Twitter     Facebook AVVO


Darren Penn/Harris Penn Lowry, LLP

Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-20-14 Darren Penn 1As a partner at Harris Penn Lowry, LLP, Darren Penn has one goal in mind: to make a difference in the lives of his clients. Over the years, he has attained hundreds of favorable verdicts, influenced critical changes in safety regulations and legislation as well as manufacturing and big business practices in this country, which have positively impacted the lives of countless consumers and business owners. His boutique firm has gained attention from the press, including the AJC!  After receiving both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia, Darren began his career in 1994 with the litigation department at State Farm Insurance Companies. Often acting as lead counsel, he gained experience with cases involving automobile wrecks, premises liability, coverage disputes, as well as fire, theft, and homeowner’s claims.

Darren currently serves as Chair of the General Practice and Trial Section of the State Bar of Georgia. He is on the Executive Committee of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association serving as President-Elect and is the Co-Chair of the GTLA Legislative Committee. Darren also served on the GTLA Amicus Committee for several years and in 2008-2009, he was the Chair of the Civil Justice Political Action Committee (PAC) of Georgia.

His memberships include: the State Bar of Georgia, the General Practice and Trial Section of the Georgia Bar, the Atlanta Bar Association, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Lawyers Club of Atlanta, American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, Southern Trial Lawyers Association, AIEG, and Gridiron.     LinkedIn     Twitter     Facebook  AVVO


Chris Kelleher/Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-20-14 Chris Kelleher

Chris Kelleher joined the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association as the Communications Director in December of 2012. Previously, he served as the Director of Communications at the Georgia Republican Party, where he oversaw the Party’s highly-successful media relations and grassroots outreach initiatives during the 2011-2012 Election Cycle. Under his guidance, the organization’s social footprint grew by nearly 200 percent and earned media placement reached an all-time high. Chris was also the Georgia Media Liaison to the Republican National Committee and Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Chris has served as a campaign spokesman for candidates at the local, statewide and federal levels. In addition, he is an Alumnus of the Republican National Committee’s Eisenhower Internship Program in Washington, D.C. and also served as a Legislative Intern to Senator Johnny Isakson. He was born and raised in Roswell, GA and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgia Southern University.


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GTLA members and other Atlanta Attorneys can save time and money with Downtown Atlanta Office Suites. Walk to nearby courthouses and prep clients without losing time in the commute. Peachtree Offices offers office space, meeting rooms and more for Atlanta Attorneys. 


Kurt Hilbert and Bob Williams with Hilbert Law Firm, Jamie Bendall with Bendall and Mednick (Inaugural Show)

Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-16-14 Group

Emily Rowell (Show Host),  Jamie Bendall,  Bob Williams,  Kurt Hilbert


Kurt Hilbert/Hilbert Law Firm

Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-16-14 Kurt Hilbert

Kurt R. Hilbert is the Managing Member and Founder of The Hilbert Law Firm, LLC. He is a seasoned litigator, repeatedly honored by his peers and legal community as a Georgia Rising Star, Super Lawyer. He has crafted a domestic and international practice that provides a wide array of services to clients ranging from banking institutions and large corporations, to investors, start-ups and individuals. Hilbert is also a Certified Civil Mediator.

Hilbert’s primary areas of expertise involve real estate, construction, banking, lending, employment, partnership liability, and corporate matters. Hilbert represents clients who are on the “right” side of the case and does not categorize himself as either plaintiff or defense counsel.

  • Hired as a Legal Expert in several real estate, lending, and title matters.
  • Defended and obtained dismissal of $50,000,000.00 bad faith claim against Allstate Insurance Company.
  • Negotiated $6,000,000.00 governmental purchase of a strip mall in Cobb County after contentious dispute over easement rights.
  • Represents banks in real estate and lending matters.
  • Handles numerous cases against builders and developers involving water and mold intrusion claims
  • Successfully litigated and obtained in excess of $7,000,000.00 worth of judgments and Settlements for clients relating to construction defects, environmental torts, erosion and sedimentation control violations, Clean Water Act, water intrusion and mold claims.
  • Successfully brought a lawsuit to declare the initial GA Fair Lending Act unconstitutional which resulted in the GA General Assembly amending the law.
  • Obtained the 1st class action certification in GA history under the GA Fair Lending Act involving fraud and RICO claims for over 1000 fraudulent residential mortgage loans amounting to over $150,000,000.00 in damages. Facilitated US Attorneys and FBI in investigation of criminal investigation relating to claims.
  • Obtained judgments in a construction fraud and banking fraud case in excess of $8,000,000.00.
  • Set precedent in the State of Georgia regarding the interpretation of arbitration provisions in construction contracts.
  • Successfully represented a private AKC championship breeder and obtained a high dollar confidential settlement against a multi-million dollar pet food manufacturer concerning toxic pet food.
  • Litigated in both State and Federal Courts and has been successful in numerous appeals.
  • Has extensive experience in insurance coverage disputes and declaratory judgment actions.
  • A featured keynote speaker at Title Standards Seminar for continuing legal education at the State Bar of Georgia.
  • Successfully participated in and/or completed over 100 barments, tax deed matters and/or quiet title actions concerning title to real property.
  • Completed in excess of 500 evictions and judicial foreclosure actions for banks and private investors.
  • Successfully mediated numerous cases as an advocate ranging from construction disputes to sexual harassments claims. Achieved designation as Certified Civil Mediator in the State of Georgia to also serve as a neutral.
  • Actively practices in superior courts located in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Cobb, Clayton, Polk, Paulding, Pickens, Evans, Macon-Bibb, Chatham, Rabun, Forsyth, Glynn and Green.     LinkedIn     Twitter     Facebook


Robert “Bob” Williams

Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-16-14 Bob Williams

Robert Williams began his career in New York on Wall Street. Applying this experience and business acumen, Williams now specializes in commercial real estate transactions. He is SBA certified and assists regional and national lenders in government guaranteed lending. He represents national title companies, and has issued more than $1 billion in policies. He routinely gives title opinions as an expert in litigation cases involving real estate.

EDUCATION: Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1992
State University of New York at Plattsburgh, B.S., 1982

BAR ADMISSIONS: Georgia, 1993 New York, 1993

INVOLVEMENT: State Bar of Georgia General Practice & Trial Section, State Bar of Georgia Real Property Law Section, State Bar of Georgia General Practice and Trial Law Section, State Bar of Georgia New York State Bar Association National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) Georgia Lender’s Quality Circle Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land, Founding Member, Board of Directors

SELECTED EXPERIENCE: Represented a Georgia community bank in a 3.4 million dollar purchase and finance of a hotel/franchise in Birmingham, Alabama. Represented and issued title insurance to a regional lender in a 2.6 million dollar purchase and finance for a government guaranteed loan on a hotel/franchise in Cordele, Georgia. Represented a national title insurance company in the issuance of a 1.4 million dollar owner policy and a 900k loan policy in connection with the purchase of a national restaurant franchise in White County, Georgia. Represented developers in metropolitan Atlanta in the purchase and financing of tracts of land and the resale of individual lots. Successful quiet title action for a tract of land in downtown Atlanta, which secured insurable title to the property valued at 7.2 million.     LinkedIn     Twitter     Facebook


Jamie Bendall

Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-16-14 Jamie Bendall

James (Jamie) Bendall Attorney Bendall & Mednick July 1996 – Present  with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Schenectady, NY Bendall & Mednick is a full service personal injury firm, representing people injured by the carelessness of individuals or corporations. In addition to protecting the rights of the injured, he represents media personalities and consults on a variety of entertainment issues.

He is a small business owner, speaker, and active member of his community. Jamie has been a professional comedian since 1991. In addition to his personal and professional commitments, he serves on the Board of the Georgia Alliance for Children and the Alpharetta Youth Softball Association.

Jamie’s personal practice also includes the representation of media and entertainment personalities and consulting services for the same. Current and former clients include Nick Cellini (Mayhem in A.M. – 790TheZone), Matt Chernoff (CSS Sportsnight, NFL Network, Chuck & Chernoff – 680 The Fan), Chuck Oliver (Chuck & Chernoff – 680 The Fan), Jamie Massey (Clear Channel), Kristen Gates (94.9 The Bull), Tim Orff (Music Mornings – 92.9 Dave FM), Tripp West (Clear Channel), Shannon Holly (, Tood Q. Chapman (Shaggy – The 2 Live Stews), Kevin Kiley (Kiley & Booms – Fox Sports Radio), Brandon “Home Team” Leak (680 The Fan), Sandra Golden (680 The Fan)     Linkedin


ALE Wall of Fame #2 Inaugural


Amanda Farahany with Barrett and Farahany, LLP, Valentia Alleyne with Alleyne Law Firm, LLC Premiere Episode

 Atlanta Legal Experts 05-06-14 Group

Emily Rowell (ALE Show Host), Valentia Alleyne,  Amanda Farahany


Amanda Farahany/Barrett and Farahany, LLP

Atlanta Legal Experts 05-06-14 Amanda Farahany

Amanda Farahany is the managing partner at the Atlanta law firm of Barrett & Farahany, LLP, representing individuals in employment, libel, overtime, and sexual harassment litigation. Through her practice, she is dedicated to pursuing civil justice for employees, as well providing consultation and support to management employees. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member of Emory Law School, teaching Advanced Trial Advocacy.

Prior to beginning her practice, she clerked for the Honorable John H. Ruffin, Jr. at the Georgia Court of Appeals. Known as an attorney who only takes serious and important cases, Amanda has proven this by achieving the highest verdict in a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case in the nation for her client and the largest libel verdict in Georgia. Amanda has also been recognized by her peers as a Super Lawyer – an award which acknowledges the top lawyers in Georgia as chosen by Georgia Super Lawyers and through the independent research of Law & Politics. She has been elected to the executive board of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Georgia Chapter and is on the Executive Board of the Atlanta Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section.

A sought after speaker and commentator, Amanda has been featured as a legal thought leader in publications and news segments, including a two-night special on CBS Atlanta News on a Survival Guide for the First 24 Hours After Losing Your Job and most recently, on GPTV. Human resource professionals and employment defense attorneys seek out her experience to teach them how to overcome the common employer mistakes from a plaintiff’s perspective. An experienced trial lawyer, Amanda has been awarded status as a Fellow of the National College of Advocacy by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. This designation signifies commitment to effective representation of her clients and her dedication to achieving a high level of competence. Additionally, Amanda is a Fellow in the Lawyer’s Foundation of Georgia. Membership in the Fellows Program is an honor which recognizes lawyers whose public and private careers demonstrate outstanding legal abilities and a devotion to their communities. In addition to her law practice, Amanda currently serves as co-chair of the American Association of Justice Wage and Hour Litigation Group and on the Boards of the Atlanta Bar Association Labor and Employment Section and National Employment Lawyer’s Association – Georgia Chapter. Amanda has previously served as the president of the Atlanta Council for Younger Lawyers; president of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Georgia Chapter; member of the Executive Committee to the Atlanta Bar Association; member of the Advisory Council to the National Crime Victim Bar Association; and on the Boards of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Crime Victim Advocacy Council, State Bar of Georgia Younger Lawyers Division, and several domestic violence and women’s rights organizations.

Amanda has spoken and been published extensively on litigating cases for civil justice for crime victims, sexual assault and employment cases, including for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the American Association for Justice, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia’s Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the National Employment Lawyers Association. In addition, Amanda has been an invited faculty member for the Emory School of Law Trial Advocacy Program. Recently, Amanda was one of a selected few employment lawyers asked to serve on the Eleventh Circuit Committee to revise the Pattern Jury Instructions on employment related issues.     Linkedin     Twitter       Facebook


Valentia P. Alleyne/Alleyne Law Firm, LLC

Atlanta Legal Experts 05-06-14 Valentia Alleyne

As the Managing Attorney of The Alleyne Law Firm, Ms. Alleyne focuses her practice on consumer bankruptcy, debt collections defense, and estate planning. Ms. Alleyne is devoted to providing dependable service and quality legal representation, while still being sensitive to the delicate nature of bankruptcy cases and estate planning matters. Her estate planning practice focuses on simple estate planning, such as drafting as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to working with high-net-worth individuals and families, creating ways to manage their assets, address gift and estate tax issues, and to translate their aspirations into a legally sound and sustainable plan. Ms. Alleyne’s bankruptcy practice helps business owners, individuals and families throughout the Atlanta metro area eliminate or restructure their debt. By virtue of federal bankruptcy laws under Chapter 7 debt elimination and Chapter 13 debt restructuring, The Alleyne Law Firm helps clients look forward to a successful financial future, free from the overwhelming burden of debt. Ms. Alleyne can also assist clients with a credit education program to ensure that they retain the sort of credit they need to resume their life plan. Giving back to the community is essential for an attorney, and Ms. Alleyne regularly volunteers her legal services to low-income clients through community organizations.

Ms. Alleyne received her B.A. from the University of Virginia, her M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix, her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she received special honors for her public interest work, and her LL.M. in Taxation from Northwestern University School of Law. While attending law school, she clerked with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Cook County State’s Attorney, and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and served as an editor of Loyola’s Public Interest Law Reporter.

Prior to practicing law and founding The Alleyne Law Firm, Ms. Alleyne lived in Japan and worked as a marketing and business development executive in the corporate sector for over 10 years. Ms. Alleyne is licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia and in the United States District Court, Northern District and Middle District of Georgia, Court of Appeals of Georgia, and the Supreme Court of Georgia. She is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, where she serves on the Board and is the host of the Cobb/Cumberland Neighborhood Networking Breakfast, Metro Atlanta Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.     Linkedin     Twitter     Facebook