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Atlanta Bar Association Highlights


Jim Walters, Lorie Maring, Wade Watson, Terri Beck, Jackie Saylor & Emily Rowell



JimWHSJim Walters

Jim Walters is a senior partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the nation’s leading labor and employment firms representing employers. His practice has a strong emphasis on representing   employers under the two principal federal labor laws, the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act.

In addition to representing employers in various industries in both collective bargaining and arbitration matters, Jim devotes a substantial amount of his time to defending companies charged with unfair labor practices or similar claims in cases before the NLRB, the NMB and numerous federal courts.

Jim also has represented employers in cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He has entered appearances in dozens of U.S. District Courts and is admitted in all U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Jim is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was named to the 2004 and 2005 Georgia Super Lawyers list. He has been listed by the Labor Relations Institute (LRI) as one of the “Top 100 Labor Attorneys” in the U.S. since 2006. He has also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 2009.

Website     AVVO     LinkedIn     Twitter



LorieMHSLorie Maring

Lorie Maring is Of Counsel in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, where she serves on its Employee Benefits Practice Group.

Lorie started her legal career at King & Spalding in Atlanta and has more than 20 years of experience as an employee benefits lawyer. Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, she most recently practiced at McKenna, Long & Aldridge, where she counseled employers, trade associations and fiduciary committees on a wide variety of issues relating to the design, operation and compliance of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, multiple employer welfare arrangements, employer-sponsored life, health and other welfare benefit plans, wellness programs and executive compensation. A significant part of her practice focuses on helping employers navigate the Affordable Care Act.

Lorie graduated, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina School of Law. During law school, she was the associate editor-in-chief of the South Carolina Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Wig and Robe. Maring received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the College of Charleston.

She is a member of the Georgia State Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Section, Atlanta Bar Association, Women in Pensions and Worldwide Employee Benefits Network.

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terri beckTerri Beck

Terri Beck joined the Atlanta Bar Association in January 2013 and brings 15 years of non-profit management experience with her. She was formerly Executive Director of Everybody Wins! Atlanta children’s literacy and mentoring organization, a long-time Community Partner of the Atlanta Bar Association.

The Atlanta Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in the southeast with over 6,400 members from twelve metropolitan Atlanta counties. It has earned a national reputation for successful and innovative programs that support its diverse membership and promote the fair administration of justice in the community.

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wadeWade Watson

Wade Watson is the Immediate Past Chair of the 6500 member Atlanta Bar Association, having served on its Board of Directors for over 11 years.

A partner with Caldwell & Watson, LLP, Mr. Watson is a leader in the field of fiduciary law, the law that governs the rights and obligations of individuals involved in wills, trusts, guardianships/conservatorships, and closely-held businesses.

Mr. Watson represents people in fights over the transfer and control of family wealth, that is, family feud. Mr. Watson has a passion for representing people who have been mistreated by those closest to them.

Mr. Watson is a Georgia native, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Emory University, and a honor graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law. In his 32 years of practice, he has developed deep knowledge of the law in this field, the lawyers who practice it, and the judges and jurors who decide these cases.

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jackie saylorJackie Saylor

Jacquelyn H. Saylor “Jackie” is President of the Atlanta Bar Association; she has been on the Executive Committee for nine of the eleven years on the Board. She is a board member of the Estate Planning & Probate Section of the Atlanta Bar and is past chair of the Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section and past officer of the Women in Profession Section. She is a pro bono volunteer at the Fulton County and DeKalb County Probate Information Centers where she assists people with probate questions and filling out forms.

Jackie is a founding partner of The Saylor Law Firm LLP, a boutique Atlanta and St. Simons Island, GA firm of attorneys and attorney/CPA’s that represent entrepreneurs, executives, families and heirs on matters regarding their business, estate, tax, and financial plans. Jackie is experienced in the practice areas of Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts, Probate & Estate Administration, Business Planning & Business Law and Ante-nuptial agreements. The Saylor Law Firm has been listed in the U. S. News Best Law Firms in America. The firm also received The Law Firm Service Award by the Atlanta Bar Association.

Jackie and other attorneys in the firm have repeatedly been selected as a Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite; Jackie’s area of selection has been in the Taxes, Estates and Trusts category. Jackie has been voted as a Georgia Super Lawyer in Estate Planning & Trusts and she has been chosen as a Top 50 Woman Attorney in Georgia by Georgia Super Lawyers. She is listed in Georgia’s Top Rated Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell in Estate Planning for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Jackie has lectured on Trusts, Estates & Probate Law for the State Bar of Georgia, Institute of Continuing Legal Education programs and the West Georgia Health Foundation at a planned giving seminar. Jackie has also been a guest lecturer for the University of Georgia on “Women in Leadership in Law and the Judiciary.” Additionally, she has made television appearances to talk about the book, Women & the Law, health care advance directives and the Atlanta Bar Association.

Ms. Saylor has written, edited and published in a variety of legal and community publications. She wrote about the pitfalls of using on-line legal services to write your will in Atlanta magazine and The West Georgia Health Foundation newsletter. Jackie is Co-Author and Co-Editor of Women & the Law: A Guide to Women’s Legal Rights in Georgia.

Jackie graduated from the University of Georgia with an A. B. in History, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with an M.A. in Modern European History and Mercer Law School with a J. D.

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Georgia Association of Women Lawyers



Jennifer Jakob-Barnes, Valentia Alleyne & Emily Rowell (Host)

Jennifer Jakob-Barnes, Valentia Alleyne & Emily Rowell (Host)

Georgia Association for Women LawyersJennifer Jakob-Barnes

Jennifer Jakob-Barnes received her law degree from Oklahoma City University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Texas at Arlington, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She is admitted to practice law in the state of Georgia and admitted in the Northern District of Georgia Federal Courts. She is very involved in the community including the legal community and social community. She is a member of the Metro Atlanta Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Group, Atlanta Bar Association, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), and the Sandy Springs Bar Association. She has worked at large volume bankruptcy filers in the Metro Atlanta area. Jennifer has more than just bankruptcy experience, she worked at a general civil litigation firm. She opened her firm to give the clients the personal care they need and deserve during the bankruptcy process or any other legal process. Jennifer Jakob-Barnes Law Firm files both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies for consumers. Jennifer Jakob-Barnes, an experienced bankruptcy attorney will advise you of your legal rights and help you determine the correct path to take, whether it be bankruptcy or another avenue.

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valentia_GAWLValentia Alleyne

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 for Women Lawyers (GAWL), 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.

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Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

Emily Rowell, Jennifer Jordan, John Bey, Mike Prieto, Mia Frieder, & Jennifer Ivey



JIHeadShotJennifer Ivey

Attorney Jennifer Ivey grew up in Georgia, went to Lassiter High School, UGA for undergrad, and Georgia State for law school.

Enjoys representing people who have been hurt either physically or by their lawyers- practices personal injury and legal malpractice.

Involved in GSU Law alumni association. Coaches high school mock trial for the Weber School. Volunteers in community at Buckhead Church in the preschool department.

Involved in several committees for the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, currently the chair of the New Lawyers Division. Selected for the inaugural LEAD class of GTLA, which is a leadership academy of GTLA that began last year.

Website       AVVO



MiaHSMia Frieder

Mia Frieder represents individuals injured through the negligence of others. She practices with her husband, Ron Hilley, and focus on auto/truck collisions, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice and workers’ compensation. She is a member of the multi-million dollar and million dollar advocates forum, AV rated 5.0/5.0 (highest rating available from Martindale Hubbell) and has published/spoken nationally on failure to diagnose breast cancer and other negligence related topics. She is the current chair of the Women’s Trial Lawyer Caucus of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and a member of the Editorial Board for Verdict (GTLA publication). She has two children, Blake and Ilana, aged 14 and 10, and two dogs, Spike and Snoopy.

Mia has been active with the State Bar of Georgia, serving on the Executive Council of the Younger Lawyers Division for 1992-93, 1993-94, and founded the Lawyers in Practice committee for which she received an Award of Merit in 1992-93. Mia also served on the Communications Committee and was appointed by Senator Max Cleveland to serve on the Judicial Nominations Committee for the Northern District of Georgia.

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MikeHSMike Prieto

Michael A. Prieto founded the firm’s nursing home wrongful death practice and has developed it into one of the largest Long-Term Care plaintiffs’ practices in Georgia, recovering millions of dollars for clients in the process.

His litigation work focuses on representing patients and families against assisted living, skilled nursing, acute, sub acute and long-term care facilities. He advocates for fair compensation when wrongful acts and omissions are discovered, and through aggressive efforts tries to assure that the same thing will never happen to another innocent victim.

He has appeared on numerous television programs, including Larry King, Oprah, Paula Zahn, Today, Good Morning America, Donahue and others. He has been quoted by the Los Angeles Times and other print media.

Mr. Prieto cares deeply about his community and has organized many pro bono clinics for the elderly poor throughout the state of Georgia, preparing wills, powers of attorney, and providing general legal advice in senior centers and churches. He has, without compensation, given advice to nursing homes and assisted living facilities with the hope of improving resident care.

Mr. Prieto serves as County Administrator in Bartow County, as well as Probate Judge pro tempore. He has also served in the U.S. Army JAG Corps and is a combat veteran of wars in the Middle East. He is an active member of the American Association for Justice and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of the AAJ Nursing Home Litigation Group and Chair of the GTLA Nursing Home Litigation Group.

Website       AVVO


JohnBHSJohn Bey

John Bey is the Managing Partner of Bey & Associates. Mr. Bey specializes in, serious personal injury, complex civil litigation and criminal defense. He has been involved in the recovery of millions of dollars for deserving individuals and families. His aggressive and zealous advocacy has resulted in successful pre-trial resolution of a number of disputes. During this time Mr. Bey has dedicated himself to advocacy for those who have been victimized by serious injuries. Prior to commencing his career in private practice Mr. Bey graduated from the University of Cincinnati and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law. Mr. Bey also held positions in the Legal Department of Procter and Gamble, General Electric Legal Operations and served as a legal intern in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals under the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones. He has also worked in the litigation of several prestigious law firms in Atlanta and Birmingham. As dedicated as Mr. Bey is to the defending and protecting the rights of the victims of injustice he is also committed to serving the community. While at the University of Cincinnati he received the prestigious induction into Sigma Sigma Men’s Honorary Society and inducted in the Men of Metro for his community service at the University of Cincinnati and the greater Cincinnati Community. At the University of Alabama he received the Dean’s Award for Community Service. Mr. Bey has also been active in Habitat for Humanity, The Ronald McDonald House, an Elementary School Mentor and Soup Kitchen Volunteer. In addition, Mr. Bey is a member of several professional and civic organizations including, The American Bar Association, The National Bar Association, The American Association for Justice, The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, The Farah Law Society and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

Board of Trustees National College of Advocacy AAJ

Chair Elect American Association for Justice Minority Caucus

Secretary Civil Justice PAC

Member Voter Public Education AAJ

Member Voter Protection Committee AAJ

Georgia Bar Association YLD Litigation Committee

Georgia Trial Lawyers AAJ Representative

American Association for Justice Public Relations Committee

2014 Mock Trial Judge

Website      AVVO



JJHSJennifer Auer Jordan

Jennifer Auer Jordan specializes in complex civil cases like business disputes, investment fraud, whistleblower actions and consumer class actions, her work in the courtroom has resulted in a number of impressive verdicts and settlements, including a multi-million dollar award to Georgia consumers victimized by unfair lending practices. She has represented thousands of Georgia consumers in multiple class action lawsuits against payday lenders.

Jennifer graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law where she was a member of the Georgia Law Review and the school’s award winning National Moot Court Team. She currently serves as the president of the UGA Law School Association Council.

After graduating from law school,  Jennifer served as a federal law clerk to United States District Court Judge Anthony A. Alaimo.

Jennifer has been named to Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite for her trial work, and based on her legal representation of Georgia consumers, Jennifer was named to Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 Under 40 list which recognizes Georgians “under 40″ who “will lead our state’s commercial, cultural, academic and governmental institutions into the future.” She has also been recognized as a “rising star” in Georgia’s legal community.

In 2013, she was named as one of the University of Georgia’s “40 Under 40″ Alumni.  This list recognizes:  “…prominent graduates [that] have made an impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. They’ve demonstrated dedication to the University of Georgia and its mission of teaching, research and service.”

In 2013, she developed an iPad app called JuryStrike to help other trial lawyers with jury selection.  She currently assists other trial attorneys during the jury selection process. She is a frequent speaker on social media issues that arise in the context of litigation.

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Atlanta Legal Experts (ALE) 05-20-14 Chris KelleherChris 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.




Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School


Tiffany Simmons, Jeffrey Van Detta, Lisa Kaplan, Anna Sokol, Emily Rowell

Tiffany Simmons, Jeffrey Van Detta, Lisa Kaplan, Anna Sokol, Emily Rowell



LisaHSLisa Kaplan/Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Lisa Kaplan received her JD from Duke University in 1987.  From there she practiced employment law and litigation for two large Atlanta firms before moving to education.  Prior to joining Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Lisa wrote and edited legal materials.  In 2010 she joined John Marshall as the schools first LL.M Program Director.  As Director Lisa has overseen the LLM program through ABA approval and launch.  The thee programs they offer are Online Employment Law, Residential LLM in American Legal Studies, and Online LLM in American Legal Studies.

LinkedIn     Website      Twitter     Facebook




JeffHSJeffrey A. Van Detta/Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Jeffrey A. Van Detta holds the John E. Ryan Chair in International Business and Workplace Law and serves as Associate Dean for Scholarship at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Professor Van Detta joined the Law School faculty in 1999, after practicing in the Labor and Employment Law Group in the Atlanta Office of Kilpatrick Stockton, now known as Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, where he was a partner and represented Fortune 500 clients such as PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Delta Air Lines, Lockheed Martin, and Asahi National Broadcasting Network of Japan.

Professor Van Detta teaches courses in contracts and other international and domestic business law areas, including labor and employment law.   He teaches in both the Juris Doctor and the LL.M. degree programs at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Professor Van Detta is a prolific author of legal scholarship. Recently, for example, he published two articles on the role of LL.M. degrees, both ground-based and online, for foreign-educated lawyers seeking to learn about American law.

In May 2014, Professor Van Detta gave four presentations to groups of Turkish lawyers, law students, and law professors at an International Legal Education conference in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey, co-sponsored by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School with Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi and the Union of Turkish Bar Associations.

Professor Van Detta graduated with honors on a full-tuition merit scholarship from Albany Law School, the nation’s fourth oldest private law school, where he was Editor-In-Chief of Volume 51 of the Albany Law Review. After law school, he clerked for U.S. federal appeals court judge Roger Jeffrey Miner in Albany and Manhattan.

He is a member of both the New York and Georgia Bars, and serves as the Law School’s representative to the State Bar of Georgia’s Formal Advisory Opinion Board.

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AnnaCropAnna Sokol/Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group

Ms. Sokol is a Polish Citizen and Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) in the U.S. Ms. Sokol has a law degree from the University of Lodz, Poland and a Master of Law, LLM from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. She is anticipating taking the Georgia State Bar in January 2015.

Ms. Sokol has assisted the Polish Embassy to the U.S. in registering Polish citizens in the U.S so that they could vote in the Polish national elections. She has been employed as a Law Clerk in the Joseph Rosen Immigration Law Group since 2006. Ms. Sokol specializes in working with foreign athletes, entertainers, artists, foreign professionals, and U.S. businesses seeking to employee foreign professionals. Ms. Sokol is fluent in Polish, English, and Italian.





Award-winning, enthusiastic and resolute on rejecting defeat, Attorney Tiffany M. Simmons is the legal counsel of choice for those who seek the absolute very best representation. Attorney Simmons represents clients ranging from celebrities, businesses, to everyday citizens. Ms. Simmons was honored to receive the 2013 and 2014 Client Distinction Award for being in the top 1% of her profession by Martindale-Hubble. Ms. Simmons has been featured on many media outlets including, CNN’s HLN After Dark, talk and radio shows In addition to her media presence, Attorney Simmons is a published author writing for the American Bar Association and other publications. Ms. Simmons was also featured in the American Bar Association magazine and the GA Bar Young Lawyers Newsletter.

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Attorney Simmons graduated from the US World Reports “Top High School in the Nation” City High School. At the age of 16, she was a Page for the United States House of Representatives. After leaving Michigan, Attorney Simmons graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the award winning, Florida A & M University. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Ms. Simmons sits on the board of many organizations including the Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Alumni Board serving as Secretary. Tiffany serves as a member of the Executive Council of the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of GA. As a distinguished leader in the community, Ms. Simmons has participated in numerous community activities that showcase her abilities as a model, volunteer, fundraising/campaign leader, sports enthusiast and exemplary attorney.   In 2014, Tiffany was selected for the Georgia Bar YLD Leadership Academy. In addition to her legal skills, she is an actress, writer and producer who tactfully shares her expertise in the film and television industry. Ms. Simmons proves herself to be one who works well behind the scenes of TV/film as well as in front of the camera. Ms. Simmons is a member of: Georgia State Bar, American Bar Association, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, Young Lawyers Division of State Bar, and Gate City Bar Association. Attorney Simmons’ philosophy of life encourages her to work hard, play hard, love hard and trust God.

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Bill Grodnik with DaVinci Virtual Offices &


Bill Grodnik

Bill Grodnik

Bill Grodnik with DaVinci Virtual Office Solutions and is special guest on Atlanta Legal Experts today.  As CEO of Davinci Virtual Offices and Davinci Meeting Rooms he is responsible for overseeing the growth and marketing strategy of both companies.  Mr. Grodnik was previously President of Davinci International, a business center operator in four western states.  Prior to creating the Davinci brand, Mr. Grodnik was President of HQ Business Centers of Arizona, where he held the franchise rights to the HQ Business Centers.  Mr. Grodnik has an extensive background in finance and Management and was previously the Chairman of Board and CFO of American Traffic Systems.  ATS was the first provider in the US of automated enforcement devices including Red Light and Speed Cameras. Mr. Grodnik earned a B.S (cum laude) in Business from Arizona State University.

Bill explains on the show that he originally worked for a privately held Executive Suite firm.  Due to the high demand of clients/prospects asking for locations outside the company’s area, Bill started to see the vision of the Virtual offices going global.  Years ago, it was necessary for professionals in the legal world to have a full-time office.  Now, with the ever changing society, most professionals/entrepreneurs are mobile, including Solo-practice firms and Law School Graduates starting their practice.  The high demand now is to meet the needs of the mobile worker.  So, Bill developed   He became partners with small Executive Suites firms like his all over the country and eventually the world to make this happen. It’s an easy site to find an address a place to meet your clients anywhere in the world.

A few years in, Bill began to see the need for more meeting space arise, hence the development of  The mobile entrepreneur needs places to meet clients more than anything else.  The need for an address is big, but not as big as a place to work/meet your clients.  This website Bill developed addressed these particular needs for the modern professional.

To summarize, I believe the show focused on his ingenuity, vision, and success in helping meet the demand of the current market for attorneys and the simplicity of making it happen for them.


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