Teresa Pike Tomlinson

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Teresa Pike Tomlinson



Teresa Pike Tomlinson is a Partner in our Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia, offices, where she specializes in complex trial and appellate civil practice. She is known for her ability to handle strategically complicated and potentially high value cases. She is admitted to courts throughout the country, including numerous federal circuit courts and the United States Supreme Court.

Teresa practiced law for 16 years with the plaintiff’s law firm of Pope McGlamry, where she specialized in complex litigation, giving her a unique perspective in her current defense cases. As plaintiff’s counsel, Teresa led a trial team to a $21.5 million award in her client’s favor, and led litigation teams in cases to include nationwide class actions, securities/derivative litigation, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Litigation, and Multi-District litigation.

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As a young lawyer, Teresa prosecuted civil claims for surviving families of 1996 ValuJet Air Crash, making her mark and becoming the first woman partner at her firm. She currently leads Hall Booth Smith’s multi-district efforts battling COVID-19 related claims in health care professional settings. Teresa previously served as the mayor of Columbus, Georgia, where she oversaw nearly 3,000 employees and a $275 million budget and was the chief elected official of the city/county government, public safety director, and Homeland Security Director for a 16-county region. She was a statewide candidate for United States Senate in 2020 finishing second in a field of seven in the primary election.

Teresa earned a Juris Doctor from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government, Economics and Business Management from Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She served as Chair of the Board of Directors for Sweet Briar College, and in 2015 she led an initiative to raise $28.5 million in four months to avert a planned closure of her alma mater and put the college back on solid financial footing.

She is a member of the Georgia Bar and has been admitted to practice before federal and state courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Eleventh Circuits, and the Georgia Supreme Court, among others.


Teresa is an experienced litigator and strategic thinker who has decades of leadership experience in municipal governance, complex legal matters, and crisis management. She served two terms as Mayor and Public Safety Director of the Columbus Consolidated Government, and holds National Security Secret Clearance with the U.S. Department of Defense. Earlier in her career, she focused her legal practice on complex litigation and appellate work.

Business Litigation

Teresa brings decades of experience in complex litigation, strategic decision-making, crisis management, and government leadership to HBS clients. She joined the firm in 2019 after completing two terms as Mayor and Public Safety Director of the Columbus Consolidated Government, and she holds National Security Secret Clearance with the U.S. Department of Defense.

She previously spent a decade and a half handling complex litigation and appellate work at Pope McGlamry, where she led a trial team to a $21.5 million judgment in her client’s favor in a contract dispute that involved a related action by the Securities and Exchange Commission.



State Courts:

  • Georgia
    • Supreme Court

U.S. Courts of Appeals:

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Other Federal Courts:

  • Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • J.D., Emory University
  • B.A.; Government, Economics, and Business Management; Sweet Briar College


  • Georgia Bar Association, 1991-Present
  • Governor’s 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, 2017-2018
  • Sweet Briar College, Chair of the Board of Directors, 2015-2018
  • Georgia Municipal Association, Board of Directors, 2012-2016
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  • Governor’s Commission on 911 System Modernization, 2012-2014
  • Justice Served, Inc.; Board of Directors; 2006-2010


  • Distinguished Peer Rated Attorney, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Distinguished Women of Achievement, North Columbus Rotary Club, 2023
  • Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians, 2013-2018
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Award, 2018
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  • Honorary Alumna Award, Columbus State University, 2017
  • Rosa Parks Women of Courage Award, 2017
  • Georgia Stateswoman, 2015
  • Distinguished Alumnae Award, Sweet Briar College, 2011


Teresa is often invited to speak before other municipalities across Georgia and to local chambers of commerce and business development groups. She is also a frequent guest commentator on political and legal matters on Political Rewind by Georgia Public Radio, MSNBC’s AM Joy show and The Daily Beast.


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  • Don’t Mistake Racism for Politics
    The Atlanta Journal Constitution; January 12, 2018
  • The Conservative Plan to Rewrite the Constitution, and Yes, It’s a Thing
    The Daily Beast; August 21, 2017
  • Generals are Playing Vital Civilian Role Now
    The Atlanta Journal Constitution; August 12, 2017
  • Why the Republican Brand is So Strong Where I Live
    The Daily Beast; June 30, 2017
  • The Kind of Democrat Who Can Win in the South — or Anywhere
    The Daily Beast; June 11, 2017
  • Sweet Briar College Commencement Address
    American Rhetoric; May 17, 2015

In the Press

Litigators Lounge: Interview with Teresa Pike Tomlinson

This episode of Litigators Lounge brings Women’s History Month to an end with special guest Teresa Pike Tomlinson, a partner in the HBS Columbus office.

McKnight’s Long-Term Care News: Teresa Tomlinson on SCOTUS Decision Regarding COVID Cases

Lawsuits against nursing homes for allegedly failing to treat residents properly during the pandemic are more likely to be heard now in state and not federal courts following an announcement from the U.S. Supreme Court that it would not take up the case of Saldana v Glenhaven Healthcare. Saldana died of COVID-related causes while a

New York Law Journal: Graham & Tomlinson on Potential PREP Act Circuit Court Review

In a New York Law Journal article evaluating the application of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) to claims of health care provider liability related to medical countermeasures against the COVID-19 pandemic, Drew Graham and Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Partners at Hall Booth Smith, explain why the PREP Act may finally get the review

Law360: Teresa Pike Tomlinson on PREP Act’s Application in Nursing Home Wrongful Death Suits

In a Law360 article published on November 12, Columbus-Based Partner Teresa Pike Tomlinson commented on whether the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act should apply in wrongful death lawsuits against nursing homes. This follows the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to allow two cases against nursing home facilities to proceed in state

PREP Act Pitfalls: Federal Courts Deny Providers Their Due Protections

Written by: Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Esq. and Leesa M. Guarnotta, Esq. From the start of COVID-19 litigation, Federal district courts have failed to uphold the bargain Congress made with healthcare workers and facilities to provide them exclusive federal jurisdiction and an exclusive federal cause of action in the face of lawsuits arising from their alleged

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson to Join the Law Firm of Hall Booth Smith, P.C.

The law firm of Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS) announced that Columbus, Georgia Mayor Teresa Tomlinson will join its firm as a partner specializing in complex litigation, crisis management and strategic solutions at the conclusion of her term. Mayor Tomlinson will be working out of the firm’s Atlanta and Columbus offices. “Teresa is an amazingly