An Atlantan for more than fifteen years, I have been practicing law in Georgia for over a decade. I earned a Bachelors Degree at The University of Maryland, College Park and later attended law school at Emory University School of Law, where I graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 2003. After earning my law degree, I clerked for criminal defense attorney Brian Steel in a variety of high profile cases before continuing my practice of law as a trial litigator and estate planner; the last several years with The Gage Law Firm, specializing in criminal and probate cases involving mental illness.
In 2015, I was a panel speaker for the American Bar Association's national conference on Mental Illness and Crime, where attorneys from around the country participated in a discussion of where mental illness intersects an antiquated criminal justice system. I have been quoted by news organizations such as USA Today, WABE's Morning Edition, and 11Alive, Atlanta's NBC affiliate.
I have spent years defending clients against a variety of criminal charges, from hundreds of DUI and drug cases to major felonies, including rape, sex offenses, and cases involving the loss of life. My passion for defending those accused with crimes has been the backbone of my decade-plus career in law.
I have made it my life's work to help the mentally ill in circumstances where they have been swept into the criminal justice system, representing mentally ill defendants in more than 500 criminal cases over the span of my career. During my tenure in indigent defense, I helped create a special unit dedicated to advocacy for the mentally ill in the criminal courtroom and assisted the same clients in obtaining services in the community incident to the resolution of their cases. As a result, I have built a strong repertoire of resources for my clients in the community and have built lasting relationships with prosecutors who understand my aims. I feel strongly that labeling the mentally ill "criminals" is a grave injustice fueled by ignorance, and I work tirelessly to battle this stigma and give my clients the dignity of which they are often deprived as defendants in a criminal case.
I have also made exhaustive efforts to provide the most comprehensive estate planning services in our community. I've made special efforts to address the needs of Georgia's LGBT community both prior to, and in the wake of, the landmark United States Supreme Court decisions of Windsorand Obergefell.
I am a proud member of Georgia's Stonewall Bar Association, which is united in its advocacy for LGBT causes in Georgia. My philosophy has been, and always will be, to treat each and every client with respect and dignity regardless of their identity or ideology, answering questions and concerns whenever needed, and always providing the most comprehensive advice possible--never making a client feel pressured.
|GA||Active Member in Good Standing||2004||09/24/2020|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|2017 Advocacy Leadership Award||National Alliance on Mental Illness, DeKalb||2017|
|Top 100 Georgia Trial Lawyers||The National Trial Lawyers||2014|
|Managing Partner||The Gage Law Firm, LLC||2011 - Present|
|Trial Attorney||Dekalb County Public Defender's Office||2004 - 2011|
|Law Clerk||The Steel Law Firm, PC||2003 - 2004|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|National Trial Lawyers Association||N/A||2014 - Present|
|Stonewall Bar Association||N/A||2012 - Present|
|NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness||Attorney Member||2012 - Present|
|State Bar of Georgia||N/A||2004 - Present|
|Emory University||JD - Juris Doctor||2003|
|University of Maryland, College Park||BA - Bachelor of Arts||2000|
|2017 NAMI Northside Atlanta Mental Health Fair||Expert Panel Discussion: What to Do, Who to Call in Time of Need||2017|
|NAMI Northside Atlanta Education Program||Mental Health and Criminal Defense||2016|
|Cobb County Neighborhood Safety Commission||Mental Health Panel Discussion||2016|
|American Bar Association Conference||Mental Illness and Crime: PTSD, Mass Murder and More||2015|
|American Cancer Society Development Conference||The Fall of DOMA and its Impact on LGBT Estate Planning and Gifting Opportunties||2014|
|GPDSC Annual Training Seminar||Defending the Mentally Ill||2011|
|Georgia Drug and DUI Court Conference||The Role of Defender in Drug Courts||2007|
|Defense of Drinking Drivers Institute||DUI Courts: Boon or Bane for Repeat Offenders||2007|
|Aggravated Battery||Client released from jail|
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