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About me

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.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 70%
    12 years, 800 cases
  2. Estate Planning: 25%
    4 years, 100 cases
  3. Guardianship: 5%


Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

12 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Joseph Sam Habachy

    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.


    Joseph Habachy Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • LeeAnne Lynch

    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.


    LeeAnne Lynch Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

The Gage Law Firm, LLC

160 Clairemont Avenue
Suite 200, 2nd Floor
Decatur, GA, 30030


GAActive Member in Good Standing 200407/15/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 100 Georgia Trial LawyersThe National Trial Lawyers2014
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerThe Gage Law Firm, LLC2011 - Present
Trial AttorneyDekalb County Public Defender's Office2004 - 2011
Law ClerkThe Steel Law Firm, PC2003 - 2004
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Trial Lawyers AssociationN/A2014 - Present
Stonewall Bar AssociationN/A2012 - Present
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental IllnessAttorney Member2012 - Present
State Bar of GeorgiaN/A2004 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Aggravated BatteryClient released from jail
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Emory University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2003
University of Maryland, College ParkPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts2000
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
NAMI Northside Atlanta Education ProgramMental Health and Criminal Defense2016
Cobb County Neighborhood Safety CommissionMental Health Panel Discussion2016
American Bar Association ConferenceMental Illness and Crime: PTSD, Mass Murder and More2015
American Cancer Society Development ConferenceThe Fall of DOMA and its Impact on LGBT Estate Planning and Gifting Opportunties2014
GPDSC Annual Training SeminarDefending the Mentally Ill2011
Georgia Drug and DUI Court ConferenceThe Role of Defender in Drug Courts2007
Defense of Drinking Drivers InstituteDUI Courts: Boon or Bane for Repeat Offenders2007