Hall Booth Smith has added Camilla lawyer Patrick N. Millsaps as a partner.  (excerpt from the Daily Report written by: Meredith Hobbs)

Founding partner John E. Hall Jr. said Millsaps' addition with the acquisition of The Millsaps Law Firm is part of Hall Booth's statewide expansion strategy. Besides its Atlanta headquarters, the 100-lawyer firm has Georgia offices in Columbus, Athens, Albany, Tifton and Brunswick, plus other offices in Charleston, S.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Tbilisi, the capital city for the republic of Georgia.

"Patrick is a strong addition for the southwest corner of Georgia," said Hall. "We believe there is a void there in that midlevel representation of business that gives people a local feel but is part of a larger-scope practice."

Hall said the firm and Millsaps would wait until the end of the year to decide whether he will keep his office in Camilla or relocate to the firm's Albany office, about 35 miles to the north.

Millsaps, a native of Marietta, moved to Camilla, his wife's hometown, in 2004, after initially working in Atlanta for criminal defense attorneys Edward T. M. Garland and Donald F. Samuel and then Cobb County lawyer Hylton B. Dupree Jr.

Millsaps said he and his wife Elizabeth, a pharmacist, relocated to Camilla so she could practice with her father, who is also a pharmacist. She has since bought the practice, now called MAK Medical LLC.

Millsaps said joining Hall Booth allows him to expand the services he can offer his clients, such as tax expertise. "I've enjoyed having a country law firm, but over the past few years my practice has grown more statewide," he said.

Millsaps handles transactional and litigation matters for clients including the Mitchell County School System, the city of Camilla, the Bank of Camilla and a local ethanol plant, First United Ethanol LLC, known as FUEL. A unit of FUEL, Southwest Georgia Ethanol LLC, filed for Chapter 11 protection on Feb. 1.

He said Hall Booth's Albany partner Michael S. Meyer von Bremen told him about the firm's business model when they were working on a case together last spring. "It is a very interesting entrepreneurial approach to law that I had not seen before," he said.

Millsaps said he'll continue to handle some plaintiffs' work but not any medical malpractice cases, adding that he'd phased them out a while ago. "My brother-in-law is a vascular surgeon, and my wife is a pharmacist. I enjoy being invited over for dinner," he said.

Millsaps is the chairman of the state's ethics commission, formally known as the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. Another Hall Booth attorney, Kevin D. Abernethy, also serves on the five-member commission.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Millsaps to the ethics commission in 2009 to finish out a former member's term. That term has expired, and Millsaps said he is waiting for Gov. Nathan Deal to appoint a replacement.

"The statute allows me to stay on as a Perdue appointee until a replacement is found," said Millsaps. "I'm not going to leave the commission short-handed. There is too much to do."