The law firm of Hall Booth Smith (HBS) placed seven attorneys on Georgia Super Lawyers magazine’s list of Georgia’s “Rising Stars 2013.” Attorneys receiving the recognition for the first time are Kevin Abernethy, Kelly Brown Viel, Joel McKie, and Heather Saum Ware of the Atlanta office and Paul Ivey of the Columbus office. Denise Spitalnick of the Atlanta office and Charles Dorminy of the Brunswick office, were recognized for the second time. Patrick N. Millsaps of the Albany office was named to this exclusive list for the third time.

Mr. Abernethy, recognized for his service in the area of personal liability defense, has extensive litigation experience handling civil rights claims for the City of Atlanta, large complex environmental lawsuits, corporate suits, and claims involving professional negligence. Mr Abernethy currently serves on the State Ethics Commission, a quasi-judicial body with state wide jurisdiction over ethical issues involving public officials, lobbyists, and state vendors as well as the board of the Superior Court Clerks Retirement Fund of Georgia, a position of fiduciary responsibility and oversight over a multimillion dollar portfolio.

Ms. Brown Viel's focus is on motor carrier defense litigation. Georgia Super Lawyers recognized her for her outstanding performance in the area of transportation/maritime. Ms. Viel has represented numerous motor carriers and their insurers in personal injury cases and is familiar with regulations pertaining to motor carriers including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Mr. McKie is a 2010 graduate of the Republican Leadership for Georgia, a successor organization to the Coverdell Leadership Institute (CLI) and a former member of the Fulton County Republican Party’s Executive Committee. In 2011, Mr. McKie served on the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness task force for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Mr. McKie was honored as a “Rising Star” for his work in government relations.

Ms. Saum Ware, honored in Georgia Super Lawyers magazine for her work in employment & labor, represents employers in claims involving Title VII, FLSA, FMLA, ADEA, and ADA.  A partner in the Atlanta office of HBS, Ms. Ware also has an interest in litigation prevention through on-site investigation, discrimination, and harassment training for managers and employees.

A native of North Carolina, Mr. Ivey is the managing partner of the firm's Columbus office. Mr. Ivey practices in the areas of medical malpractice, premises liability, retail liability, insurance defense, and workers’ compensation defense. Mr. Ivey is on the Board of Directors for the Stewart Community Home. Mr. Ivey has participated as a speaker in three presentations on Enterprise Cyber Risk with particular emphasis on how the attorney client privilege and work product doctrine can assist in protecting the results of the risk assessment from discovery and disclosure in any future litigation and is listed as one of the authors on the recently published white paper providing a comprehensive overview of Enterprise Cyber Risk. 

 For the second time, Mrs. Spitalnick has been recognized for her outstanding work in the area of general litigation.  Mrs. Spitalnick, a partner in the Atlanta office of HBS, is a frequent speaker at the Southern Loss Association, Atlanta Claims Association, Southeastern Arson Seminars, Georgia Fire Investigators Association and for many national insurance carriers. Mrs. Spitalnick is president of the Georgia Chapter of the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators.

Mr. Dorminy was selected for his outstanding work in medical personal injury defense for the second time. Mr. Dorminy is a partner in the Brunswick office where his practice areas include medical malpractice defense, health care, local government law and litigation, employment law, and general insurance defense litigation.

Mr. Millsaps, a partner in the Albany office, received his third “Rising Stars” award, this time for the field of schools & education. Mr. Millsaps was the first attorney in the state of Georgia to represent a Charter School against the local school district for breach of contract under Georgia's original Charter School Act. His work assisted in defining how charter schools are to be funded based on statutory education formulas.

HBS would like to congratulate the recipients of this year’s “Rising Star” awards. These honors recognize the outstanding legal work performed by HBS attorneys and bolster the firm’s reputation as one of the leading law firms in the Southeast.

Hall Booth Smith P.C. is a full-service and diverse law firm with eight regional offices in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. HBS also maintains an international office in Tbilisi, Georgia. For over 20 years, HBS has delivered quality legal service with a mission “to ethically and professionally serve our clients by providing the highest quality legal representation in a personally satisfying firm environment.” With over 200 attorneys and staff members, HBS provides the highest quality legal services to individuals, governmental bodies and agencies, and businesses of all sizes.