Attorneys

About McMickle, Kurey & Branch, L.L.P

At McMickle, Kurey & Branch, L.L.P, our people are our most valuable asset. Having successfully handled thousands of cases throughout Georgia and the United States, our attorneys and staff have the experience that is essential for quality representation. With a firm environment that fosters longevity, our ability to provide excellent representation through experienced attorneys remains a constant. When combined with unrivaled dedication and integrity, this level of experience and success ensures that your matter will receive the best representation possible.

Scott W. McMickle

Scott McMickle

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(678) 824-7878

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Scott litigates catastrophic injury, insurance coverage, cargo and construction cases throughout the United States. He also serves as national counsel for numerous domestic and foreign insurers. He is frequently invited to speak before industry groups and companies in his areas of expertise, and he carries Martindale-Hubbell's top "AV" rating.

After graduating magna cum laude from Louisiana Tech University, Scott attended the University of Florida College of Law where he received his Juris Doctor with honors. Scott began his career with Dennis, Corry, Porter, Smith & McMickle LLP in Atlanta where he became an equity partner. He recently formed McMickle, Kurey & Branch LLP to be able to provide more effective and personal service to his valued clients.

Scott is currently an active member of the British American Business Group, Order of Barristers, Trucking Industry Defense Association, Conference of Freight Counsel, Transportation Lawyers Association, Transportation Loss Prevention and Security Council, AAMGA, Association for Transportation Law, Logistics and Policy, the State Bar of Georgia and the Loss Prevention Conference - Southern Motor Carriers where he is a former president. He and his wife Lara have three children, and they attend First Baptist Church Woodstock.

Admissions:

  • Georgia (all courts)
  • Federal District Court - Colorado
  • Federal District Court - E.D. Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

Recently Published Cases:

  • PN Express, Inc. v. Zegel, 2010 Ga. App. LEXIS 512 (Ga. Ct. App. 2010).
  • Northland Ins. Co. v. Am.Home Assur. Co., 301 Ga. App. 726 (Ga. Ct. App. 2009).
  • Doug Beat Co. v. Watkins Transp. Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50322 (N.D. Ohio 2010).
  • Northland Cas. Co. v. Meeks, 540 F.3d 869 (8th Cir. 2008).
  • Halilovic v. Penske Truck Leasing, 287 Ga. App. 215 (Ga. Ct. App. 2007).
  • Imm v. Chaney, 287 Ga. App. 606 (Ga. Ct. App. 2007).
  • Andrews v. Atlas Van Lines, Inc., 504 F.Supp. 2d 1329 (N.D. Ga. 2007).
  • Hospira, Inv. v. Alpha & Omega Transp., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47144 (W.D.N.C. 2007).
  • Kolencik v. Progressive Preferred Ins. Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77389 (N.D. Ga. 2006).
  • Rogers & Sons, Inc. v. Santee Risk Managers, LLC, 279 Ga. App. 621 (Ga. Ct. App. 2006).

Raymond J. Kurey

Raymond Kurey

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(678) 824-7888

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Ray is a founding partner of McMickle, Kurey & Branch LLP. He was born in Washington, Pennsylvania on September 8, 1965. He received his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from West Virginia University in 1988 and 1991, respectively. Mr. Kurey was admitted to the bar in Georgia in 1991. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the American and Atlanta Bar Associations, Trucking Industry Defense Association and the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association. He also carries Martindale-Hubbell's top "AV" rating.

Ray began his career with Cooper & Associates in Duluth, GA. In that practice, he represented clients in the areas of auto liability, insurance coverage, worker's compensation, family law, premises liability and property & casualty cases, including wrongful death. In 1995, he was recruited to join the law firm of Dennis, Corry, Porter, Smith & McMickle, LLP. Ray was named a partner with Dennis, Corry in 1999 and practiced with that firm for 15 years.

Ray's practice focuses on representing clients such as motor carriers, insurance companies, property owners/managers, sports fitness facilities and professional business entities in complex litigation matters. He regularly handles significant property & casualty cases throughout the State of Georgia. Ray resides in Alpharetta, Georgia with his wife LeAnn, daughters Megan and Emily and son Joseph. Ray is an avid sportsman and enjoys golf, tennis and watching his kids compete in National golf and tennis tournaments around the country.

Admissions

  • Georgia (all State Courts)
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • Northern and Middle District Courts of US District Courts in Georgia

Recently Published Cases

  • Gary Blaine Knight vs. Swift Transportation Co., Inc., United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia (N.D. Ga. 2007).

Kevin P. Branch

Kevin Branch

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(678) 824-7898

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Super Lawyers Rising Stars for 2013

Kevin is a founding partner of McMickle, Kurey & Branch, LLP. He was born January 19, 1973 in Waynesboro, Virginia. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Radford University in 1995 and he received his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University in 1999. He is admitted to practice law in North Carolina and Georgia and is an active member of both the North Carolina State Bar and the State Bar of Georgia. He served on the Executive Board of the SMC - Loss Prevention Conference. He also served as Co-Chair of the Advanced Seminar Committee for the Trucking Industry Defense Association. He is currently a member of TIDA, Transportation Lawyers Association, Conference of Freight Counsel, Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Georgia Motor Trucking Association and the Defense Research Institute. In 2013, Kevin was selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.

Kevin began his career with Baucom, Claytor, Benton, Morgan & Wood, P.C. in Charlotte, North Carolina. In that practice, he represented clients in the areas of employment law, premises liability, products liability, auto liability, insurance coverage, construction and eminent domain. In 2001 he was recruited to join the law firm of Dennis, Corry, Porter, Smith & McMickle, LLP. Kevin made partner with Dennis, Corry at the age of 32 and he practiced with that firm for close to a decade.

Kevin's practice focuses on representing clients such as motor carriers, transportation intermediaries, insurance companies, property owners/managers, developers, construction companies, members/managers, officers/directors and businesses in litigation matters. He handles casualty, cargo, insurance coverage, construction, employment and commercial cases throughout the United States. Kevin regularly handles jury trials in federal and state courts.

In addition to his litigation practice, Kevin assists transportation entities and businesses with regulatory compliance and other commercial matters. This includes drafting and negotiating contracts, handling collections claims and similar business matters. As part of his insurance coverage practice, Kevin regularly works with insurance clients in the drafting of coverage forms and his Motor Truck Cargo Coverage Form is regularly used in the industry.

Kevin resides in Alpharetta, Georgia with his wife Merideth and sons Shaw & James Edward (Jeb). He enjoys running, golf, coaching sports, fly fishing and other outdoor activities. He is an owner of the quail hunting lodge, Willowin Plantation, LLC in Lax, Georgia.

Admissions:

  • Georgia (all state and federal courts.)
  • North Carolina: (all state and federal courts.)
  • United States Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

Recently Published Cases:

  • PN Express, Inc. v. Zegel, 2010 Ga. App. LEXIS 512 (Ga. Ct. App. 2010).
  • Register v. Occidental Fire and Casualty Company of North Carolina, (2010).

Publications and Speaking Engagements:

  • Georgia Tort Law Manual - 2011 to Present
  • Non-Trucking Liability Coverage State-by-State Checklist - 2008 to Present
  • Freight Claim and Cargo Litigation Handling - LPC Seminar 2005 Atlanta, Georgia
  • Understanding Transportation and Logistics Law - LPC Seminar 2006 Atlanta, Georgia
  • Understanding Intermodal and TOFC Liability Issues - LPC Seminar 2007 Atlanta, Georgia
  • Cargo Claim Liability & Insurance - CIC Truckers II Seminar 2008 Denver, Colorado
  • Recoverable Damages for Cargo Claims - LPC Seminar 2008, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Understanding Extra-Contractual and Tort Liability for Commercial Auto Insurers, Brokers and Producing Agents - SCIC Seminar 2009 Long Beach, California
  • The MCS-90 Endorsement: Its Purpose and Recent Interpretations - CIC Truckers Seminar, Omaha, Nebraska 2009.
  • Cargo Packaging Liability - SMC Seminar 2010 Atlanta, Georgia
  • Temperature Controlled Cargo Liability - SMC Seminar 2011 Atlanta, Georgia
  • Restatement of Torts 314A Claims Against Motor Carrier Insurers - ICLE Tractor-Trailer Collision Seminar 2011 Atlanta, Georgia
  • Handling Excessive Towing Bills and Other Cargo Loss Mitigation - TIDA Skills Seminar 2011 Cleveland, Ohio
  • Cargo Claim Legal Update - SMC Seminar 2012 Atlanta, Georgia

Scott W. Zottneck

Scott Zottneck

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(678) 824-7838

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Scott W. Zottneck is an attorney with the firm McMickle, Kurey & Branch, LLP, where his practice focuses on a wide variety of general legal matters, including:

  • Civil litigation (business and personal)
  • Debt and commercial account collections, garnishment actions
  • Catastrophic casualty, insurance coverage, cargo liability
  • Wrongful death, personal injury, dog bite cases, premise liability
  • Business and non-profit organization formation
  • Publishing / Agent services
  • Probate
  • Wills / Estates

Scott has more than twenty years of business, non-profit and legal experience. In addition to his legal practice, Scott has established, owned and sold businesses in the retail and media / publishing arenas. Scott has also served as a director of a non-profit organization where he was responsible for publishing a number of best-selling books and other media.

Scott received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. He also attended Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia as part of his law school training.

Scott is a member of the Georgia Bar Association and the North Fulton Bar Association.

Admissions

  • Georgia (all Superior, State and Magistrate Courts)
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • United Stated District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

Personal

Scott has been a long-time resident of North Fulton County in Alpharetta, Georgia. He and his wife, Stacey, have three children; and attend North Point Community Church in Alpharetta.

Michael P. Johnson

Michael Johnson

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(678) 824-7858

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Michael P. Johnson is a partner of McMickle, Kurey & Branch, LLP. He serves as lead counsel for large corporations, individuals, and insurers in their capacities as both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of litigation and appellate matters in state and federal courts.

Mr. Johnson's clients in the transportation industry include motor carriers, shippers, and transportation intermediaries involved in contractual, regulatory, insurance, and tort-related disputes. Outside of the transportation industry, he has successfully defended, and successfully prosecuted, multi-million dollar claims for individuals and corporate clients in complex business disputes and construction cases. Michael's extensive experience in resolving claims through negotiations, mediations, and trials has given him the insight to tailor aggressive, yet cost-efficient, legal strategies to fit each client's particular goals.

Mr. Johnson graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Southern University in 1998. He then attended Georgia State University School of Law, where he served as Associate Editor of the Georgia State Law Review. He received a Juris Doctor, cum laude in 2002. He was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 2002, and the State Bar of North Carolina in 2003.

Mr. Johnson served in the United States Marine Corps from 1996 through 2004. He remains an active member of the American Bar Association, Atlanta Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, and the Marine Corps Association of Georgia Lawyers.

Admissions

  • Georgia (all state and federal courts)
  • North Carolina (all state and federal courts)
  • United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

Elenore C. Klingler

Elenore Cotter Klingler focuses her practice on the defense of corporate clients in civil litigation and on disputes arising from insurance coverage. Ms. Klingler has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 2003 and of the Florida Bar since 2007. She received her Juris Doctor cum laude and Master of Arts from the University of Florida in 2003. Ms. Klingler was the Notes and Comments Editor for the Florida Law Review and an Assistant Coach for the UF Speech and Debate Team.

Ms. Klingler is the author of several publications, including The Mythology of Logo Liability, 33 Trans. L.J. 1 (2006); States with E-Discovery Rules Growing While Some "Wait and See," Litigation News, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Winter 2010); and Comment, Constitutional Law: Endorsing a New Test for Establishment Clause Cases, 53 Fla. L. Rev. 995 (2001).

Admissions

  • Georgia (All federal courts, State and Superior Court);
  • Florida;
  • 11th Circuit Court of Appeals;
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jon M. Hughes

Jon M. Hughes

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(678) 824-7804

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Jon practices in the area of civil litigation, regularly representing clients in matters involving insurance coverage disputes, product liability, business disputes, personal injury, fraud and bad faith. Jon also represents business clients in various transactional matters, including contract negotiation and drafting, business planning and advice, business transfers and risk management.

Jon graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Management. He graduated cum laude from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1999, where he was a Cordell Hull Teaching Fellow and Associate Editor of the Cumberland Law Review.

Prior to joining McMickle, Kurey & Branch, LLP of counsel in 2012, Jon practiced law in Birmingham, Alabama for twelve years. He also worked as an insurance adjuster with North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company prior to attending law school, handling first and third party casualty and property claims.

Jon resides in Alpharetta, Georgia with his wife, Amy, and three daughters. He enjoys fly fishing, backpacking and golf.

Chandler L. Smith

Chandler L. Smith

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(678) 824-7805

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Chandler Lanier Smith is an associate with McMickle, Kurey & Branch, LLP. He focuses his practice on civil & business litigation, transportation law, and insurance coverage disputes. He was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 2014.

Chandler was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, from Liberty University in 2010 and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Georgia in 2013. While attending law school at the University of Georgia, he competed with both the Moot Court and Business Negotiations programs and was a member of the 2012 Mercer Legal Ethics and Professionalism National Champion Moot Court Team.

Chandler is a Blackstone Fellow, class of 2011, and a member of the Georgia Bar Association, the Chattahoochee Inn of Court, and Pi Sigma Alpha. Chandler resides in Woodstock, Georgia, with his wife, Laura, where they attend First Baptist Church Woodstock. He enjoys golf, basketball, and supporting the Georgia Bulldogs.

Admissions:

  • Georgia (all Superior, State, and Magistrate Courts)
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • Georgia Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

David L. Schwartz

David Schwartz

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(678) 824-7840

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David is an Associate at McMickle, Kurey & Branch, LLP. David focuses his practice on transportation and commercial litigation, and matters involving insurance coverage disputes. David is licensed to practice law in both Ohio and Georgia.

Before joining McMickle, Kurey & Branch, David clerked at the Superior Court of Fulton County. He worked for the Honorable John J. Goger, the Honorable Alice D. Bonner, the Honorable Elizabeth E. Long, and the Honorable Melvin K. Westmoreland in the Business Case Division, as well as assisting the entire Superior Court Bench. David devoted a portion of his time to criminal appellate work, but he mainly worked on complex commercial cases in Georgia's only Business Case Division.

David completed his undergraduate studies in Mathematics and Business Administration at Bluffton University in 2005, and received his Juris Doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University in 2011. He was a Managing Editor for the Journal of Law and Health, received the Dean's Award for Community Service, and was awarded a fellowship for his research regarding the impact of mental illness on Ohio's recidivism rates. During law school, David worked for an international real estate investment trust in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to law school he spent a number of years in the Actuarial Department at a national insurance company based in Ohio.

David and his wife, Laura, reside in Chamblee. He spends his free time with his family and friends, coaching basketball at St. James United Methodist Church, playing basketball, boating, fishing, and playing golf.

Admissions:

  • Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Professional Organizations:

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (GDLA)

Zach M. Matthews

Jonathan J. Kandel

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(678) 824-7868

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Zach Matthews is a partner with McMickle, Kurey & Branch. He devotes his entire practice to litigation, including commercial motor carrier defense, premises liability, commercial motor carrier defense, premises liability, auto and personal injury defense and insurance coverage. He also represents both employers and insurers in the retail and hospitality sector (including hotels, restaurants, barrooms, and large sporting venues). Mr. Matthews is an experienced trial lawyer with a number of jury trial victories in Georgia's state and federal courts, including as solo trial counsel.

Mr. Matthews received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2006 where he was an Articles Editor for the Tennessee Law Review.

Outside of the office, Mr. Matthews serves on the executive committee of the Paper Mill Road Baptist Church in Marietta, as well as on the Eagle Ridge Property Owner's Association Board. He is the Young Lawyers Chairman for the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, and he is active in the Defense Research Institute. He is also an avid fly fisherman and a contributor to many national outdoor publications, including Fly Fisherman, Fly Rod & Reel, The Drake and American Angler magazines.

Memberships:

  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (Chair of Substantive Law - Trucking Committee and Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee)
  • Young Lawyers Liaison, Retail and Hospitality Seminar
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Paper Mill Road Baptist Church
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions:

  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • U.S. Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. Eastern District of Tennessee

Publications and Presentations

  • "The Facebook Grenade: Getting the Most Out of Social Media" GDLA Annual Meeting CLE presentation - (Amelia Island, Florida; June 2016).
  • "The Facebook Grenade: Mining Social Media for Maximum Effect" Georgia Defense Lawyer (Georgia Defense Lawyers Association, Winter 2016). Feature article regarding use of Facebook and other social media platforms for investigation of plaintiffs, then ethically maximizing the gleanings of that investigation when used at trial, especially via impeachment of prior inconsistent statements.
    CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE
  • "Autonomous Trucking and the Death of Driver Negligence?" For the Defense(Defense Research Institute, December 2015). Feature article addressing the burgeoning world of driverless or autonomous commercial motor vehicles, and specifically addressing ways to avoid imposition of a strict product liability system on the transportation industry.
    CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE
  • Premises Injury Best Practices: What to Do When a Customer Gets Hurt - Georgia Restaurant Association's Legal Knowledge Center (May 1, 2015)
    CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE
  • "Autonomous Vehicle Technology: Its Effect on Motor Carriers Today and the Future Regulatory Response" (Defense Research Institute, March 2016). Feature article describing autonomous vehicle technology and how it may affect motor carriers today, as well as the regulatory structure currently being formulated to address so-called "driverless" tractor-trailers in the future.
    CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE
  • Ethical Considerations of Social Media Investigation - Tennessee Farm Bureau Attorney Days (Franklin, Tennessee; August 2016).

Awards & Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer (2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer (2016)

Interests/Additional Information

  • Mr. Matthews is a native of Northwest Arkansas who now resides in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife, Tracy.

Casey D. Baker

Casey D. Baker

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(678) 824-7826

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Casey is an attorney with McMickle, Kurey &Branch, LLP, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate, commercial, and civil litigation. Casey also handles business and contract disputes, business transactions, and insurance coverage disputes.

Casey graduated with a Bachelor's of Business Administration from Northern Arizona University in 1999. He then went on to study law at the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he served as president of the Moot Court Board. While in school, Casey was actively involved in giving back to his community by volunteering his time for various philanthropic groups.

Prior to moving to Georgia, Casey practiced for several years in Nevada and Kentucky, where he successfully represented clients in a wide range of litigation and transactional matters, as well as in all methods of alternative dispute resolution. Casey has extensive experience in mediation, arbitration, trial, and appeal in both state and federal courts. Casey works hard to provide zealous, thorough, focused representation for his clients, while remaining sensitive to their personal concerns and overall objectives.

Casey resides in Milton, Georgia, with his wife, Jennifer, and his two children. Outside of the office, Casey enjoys backpacking, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Education:

  • J.D., University of Kentucky College of Law
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, Northern Arizona University

Bar Admissions:

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • US District Court for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia
  • Kentucky Bar Association (non-practicing)
  • State Bar of Nevada (inactive)
  • US District Court, District of Nevada

Andrew E. Feske

Casey D. Baker

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(678)824-7844

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Andrew is an associate at McMickle, Kurey & Branch, LLP. Andrew focuses his practice on civil and commercial litigation with an emphasis on insurance coverage issues in the transportation industry and representing corporations in contractual disputes.

Prior to joining McMickle, Kurey & Branch, Andrew clerked for the judges of the Cherokee Judicial Circuit in the Superior Court of Bartow County. He worked for the Honorable Shepherd Howell, the Honorable David K. Smith, the Honorable G. Carey Nelson, and the Honorable D. Scott Smith, primarily assisting in resolving complex civil cases. After his clerkship ended, Andrew worked as an associate for a boutique firm in northwest Georgia that specialized in eminent domain and land litigation. Handling much of the firm's general civil litigation practice, Andrew had the opportunity to interact directly with individual and corporate clients while guiding them through the litigation process, from pre-suit negotiations through jury trials and the appellate courts.

Andrew completed his undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology while majoring in History, Technology, and Society. He received his Juris Doctor from the University Of Tennessee College Of Law with a concentration in trial advocacy and dispute resolution. While in law school, Andrew participated in the National Trial Moot Court Team and worked for a well-respected personal injury law firm in Knoxville.

Andrew and his wife, Mary, reside in Marietta with their two children. Outside of the office, Andrew enjoys following Georgia Tech athletics, visiting Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and he is a member of the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.

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