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Sean Derek Gage

Criminal defense Attorney at Decatur, GA

4.3   12 reviews

also known as S. Derek Gage, Derek Gage

  • Licensed for 18 years
    State GA
    Acquired 2004
    Active Member in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Sean

Learn Sean’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    Felony and misdemeanor trial practice, with specialty in mental illness. Can effectively handle all criminal cases, probation revocations, parole petitions, and diversion cases.

    19 years, 800 cases

  2. Estate planning
    Wills, living wills, healthcare directives, durable powers of attorney, nomination of testamentary and standby guardians for minors, trusts, business succession planning. Focus in LGBT estate plans.

    11 years, 100 cases

  3. Guardianship
    Probate work in areas of involuntary commitment to psychiatric hospitals and guardianship issues.

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.

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The Gage Law Firm, LLC
160 Clairemont Avenue
Suite 200, 2nd Floor
Decatur, GA, 30030


4.3 / 5.0
  12 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Anthony | August 10, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
He is extremely conscientious!
Hired Derek in 2018 to assist with a case in Milledgeville forensic hospital. He was completely thorough and handling all aspects of the case. He was successful in handling this case in Fulton County. I would use him again without a doubt if ever needed. In my 45 years of business experience I have dealt with slightly under 10 attorneys and I would put Derek at the very top of the list. You can be confident that there will follow through for you and return your calls.
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Posted by Charity | May 26, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Went above and beyond
Derek Gage is one of the best lawyers if not best lawyer. My boyfriend was dealing with a case and although last minute he graciously agreed to take him as a client. From our first phone conversation until close of case he worked diligently. He showed genuine concern, listened, and answered all of our questions. He was honest and upfront and didn't provide false hope. We were very pleased with the outcome of our case and are thankful for his hard work in getting my boyfriend's case resolved. I promise you will not be disappointed if you choose Mr. Gage as your attorney he will definitely do his best to help you and make sure you understand the law and the best and worst outcome for your particular case, and if he can't provide you with the best help for your case he will try to help find someone who can. You can't go wrong with picking Derek Gage!
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Posted by Timothy | January 24, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
10 stars!
Mr. Gage was my attorney for nearly three years, and in that time he was very attentive and informative. He kept me updated consistently and if I ever had any questions I always felt that I could go to him. 10 stars!!
Posted by Jose | December 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Our experience with Gage Law firm, and specifically with Derek, was outstanding. We found his services not only effective and 'great value for money', but also warm and considerate, very humane. Derek's dedication to his clients, judging by our experience, is not only a breath of fresh air... it's truly a life-given oxygen fix.
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Posted by Lynne | August 27, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Strongly recommend!
Our experience with Derek Gage was outstanding. He helped us navigate the court system with our mentally ill daughter. His advocacy went above and beyond that of an attorney. We are grateful for his expert representation and strongly recommend him, particularly for people dealing with mental illness.
Posted by Sarah | August 6, 2015
Best Lawyer for Mental Illness Legal Issues
Thanks to Derek Gage's eloquent advocacy for my son's mental illness, my son is now in rehab and not looking at 10 years in prison. Derek was meticulous in our case and he spoke with such conviction that the judge was even impressed. His delivery, dedication and true knowledge of over 600 cases served us well. We could not have chosen a better person and solid lawyer as Derek. He's the best you can get.
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Posted by John | November 10, 2013
Wonderful expeience and covered all of our needs thoroughly
My partner and I wanted to finally cover ourselves with a will , medical power of attorney, and whatever we needed in case of a tragic emergency. Attorney Gage completely covered and protected us on every point. He was prompt to my questions and I would highly recommend him to anyone in need of the services of an attorney.
Posted by Margaret | October 17, 2013
Excellent, Awesome, knowledgeable, Great Attorney!!!
I would like to recommend that anyone who has a loved one with a mental illness contact Derek Gage for legal representation. I have a son with a mental illness who was accused of a heinous crime and possibly facing serious prison time. Derek came through for him. He will be going to get the help that he needs in a mental health facility. I am super happy with this attorney. I will be referring him to any and everyone I know. He is thorough, knowledgeable, sensitive to his client and the families needs, diligent, and professional. I just can't say enough about him. Awesome!!! Thank you Derek
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Posted by Ann | August 22, 2013
An advocate for the mentally ill
Derek Gage defended my son who has mental health issues. My son was facing prison because of probation violation due to misdemeanor offenses committed when he was off medication. Derek Gage understands mental illness and dealt extremely well with my son and with the convoluted legal system that has few options for the mentally ill. He was successful in navigating past a known "hard-nosed" judge to get my son treatment rather than prison time. His defense speech was eloquent and demonstrated his understanding of the issues that mentally ill people have. He was successful in helping my son to see the need for the treatment and medications that would help him. He even set up a structured treatment option that was affordable and viable. I highly recommend Mr. Gage for legal work in the area of mental health.
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Posted by Amber | April 11, 2013
Very experienced and knowledgeable
Mr. Gage gave me excellent legal information and advice and was very prompt to answer the phone and return calls. He is extremely kind, honest, and knowledgeable and I would highly recommend him to anyone else and will definitely contact him again if I have a need in the future.
Posted by anonymous | December 27, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
He's very unprofessional. He gave my police report to someone else without my approval. Than he asked me private questions about my personal life. STAY AWAY!!!
Response from Sean Gage December 28, 2020
I'm so sorry you felt I violated your privacy in some way. My work in mental health always means trying to understand better what my clients are experiencing so that I can advocate for them more effectively in the courtroom, but you should never feel as though I'm prying. I'm always looking to improve, so please feel free to send me a private message so that I know who you are and how I might've handled your specific case better.
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Posted by SW | December 21, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
$7,500 waste of money
Mr. Gage was “hired anonymously” to represent me during my incarceration in 2014. During his first meeting with me in jail, I clearly expressed that I did not want his representation. I had already secured a public defender. Against my will, Mr. Gage filed paperwork with the court that he was to represent me. I spent 4 months (pregnant) in jail fighting for a different attorney. I was finally granted another public defender who successfully had me released in about 3 weeks. Mr. Gage is unethical. He cruelly capitalized on an opportunity and caused irreparable damage. He falsely claims mental health expertise without any credentials. Mr. Gage is unprofessional. His aggressive demeanor and use of profanity is unacceptable. I am currently pursuing a grievance with the State Bar of Georgia.
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Response from Sean Gage December 22, 2018
SW, while I only handled your harassment charges for a few weeks in 2014, I regret my best efforts weren’t able to get you to the place you wanted. Please know that I returned a large portion of my fee and encouraged your benefactor to use it toward your subsequent counsel, as I felt she was better suited to assist you than I was under your circumstances, and I’m glad she worked out for you as well as she did. I sincerely hope you’ve found great success since your release, as I remember you to be highly intelligent and motivated.
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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • 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


  • Emory University
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2003
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2000

Legal Cases

  • Aggravated Battery
  • Client released from jail


  • National Trial Lawyers Association
  • 2014 - Present
  • Stonewall Bar Association
  • 2012 - Present
  • NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • Attorney Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • 2004 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 Advocacy Leadership Award
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, DeKalb
  • 2017
  • Top 100 Georgia Trial Lawyers
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • 2014

Speaking Engagements

  • NAMI Northside Atlanta Education Program
  • Mental Health and Criminal Defense
  • 2016
  • 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
  • Defense of Drinking Drivers Institute
  • DUI Courts: Boon or Bane for Repeat Offenders
  • 2007
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (12)
Given (12)
Endorse Sean
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I strongly endorse Derek Gage. He is, quite simply, a sincere and hard working attorney who works tirelessly to get results for his clients. I have a great deal of respect for Derek and would happily send him my own family member."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Derek is knowledgeable of the law and is really good at communicating complex legal issues persuasively and clearly. He always looks out for the best interests of his clients. He is reliable and highly professional. Basically, if you are looking for an excellent lawyer who will get you great results, go with Derek Gage."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Derek is a hardworking and dedicated attorney with a reputation for going the extra mile to see that each of his clients receives the best representation possible. I highly recommend him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Gage is an excellent attorney who I had the pleasure of working with when I was a prosecutor. He's pragmatic, understanding, and dedicated. His reputation speaks for itself and his zealous representation of all of his clients, is the reason I whole-heartedly endorse him!"
Criminal defense Attorney | May 21
Relationship: Friend
"Derek is a dedicated attorney who brings great compassion to his work. He has helped many individuals who require special assistance navigating the justice system, and he does so with tremendous patience and skill. Derek is a true asset to the local bar, and I highly recommend his services."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Sean. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 20
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have had the pleasure of working with Sean Derek Gage and I give him my highest endorsement. Derek is an intelligent, compassionate, and dedicated attorney. His knowledge of criminal defense and of mental health law is second to none. In addition, Derek will take on civil cases when he feels that there has been an egregious violation of an individual's rights. A client could have no greater advocate than Sean Derek Gage."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I formerly had the honor of working closely with Derek Gage for many years on diversion, mental health, and trial courtroom litigation matters. Derek is one of the most compassionate and dedicated attorneys I have had the pleasure of working along side. He is creative and willing to go the extra mile to research the intricacies of the law necessary to promote his client's best interest. Derek will not back down when faced with a difficult case or courtroom situation, always standing firm for his client's rights and liberty. I highly endorse Derek's work and do so having seen first hand his work ethic and diligence."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Derek Gage is a hard-working, diligent attorney who is skilled at getting excellent resolutions to his clients' cases. He is a tenacious advocate for his clients. I worked with Derek for many years at the Public Defender's Office. While there, he developed an expertise in handling the cases with clients who had mental health issues affecting their criminal cases. Derek is definitely one of the "go-to" attorneys for mental health issues. I highly endorse Derek Gage."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I formerly worked with Derek at the DeKalb County Public Defender's Office for several years. He is a dedicated and conscientious attorney, representing his clients to achieve a winning outcome. The last several years as co-workers at the Public Defender's office, Derek was one of two attorneys representing mentally ill clients charged with crimes. His compassion towards his clients and knowledge of the subject matter were admirable. I endorse this attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Derek Gage. Mr. Gage is one of the most committed and compassionate lawyers I know. He works hard for his clients and is especially skilled in navigating the complex issues surrounding Mental Health and the law."
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Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Speeding and traffic ticket
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Decatur Criminal defense Lawyer Sean Derek Gage
Sean Derek Gage
Criminal defense Attorney
Decatur, GA
Licensed for 18 years