Tower to the Trenches, CLE Series


Tower to the Trenches, is a monthly CLE series, including one hour of either ethics or professionalism training, dedicated to Georgia State Law alumni. The monthly sessions will be led by Georgia State Law faculty and alumni who are experts in specific practice areas.

Friday, Apr. 26

  • Topic: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Georgia Practice & Procedure
  • When: 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Where:Room 246, 85 Park Place NE


The program features a 40-minute faculty presentation, 60-minute panel discussion, and 20-minute question and answer session with faculty, panel and attendees.

Times and Dates

The 2018-19 series begins Friday, Sept. 28, and concludes in April. Each session is on the last Friday of the month, unless noted, beginning at 9 a.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration: The cost is $50, which covers the CLE credits and other incidentals.

Register for Tower to the Trenches 

Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Georgia Practice & Procedure

The rules of practice and procedure are perhaps the most important rules to follow in the realm of litigation. If any pending claim cannot satisfy jurisdictional requirements, then we have no lawsuit. The rules governing practice and procedure are constantly thrown into question and are subject to amendment, making knowledge of and compliance with these rules more difficult than one may assume.

Technological advancements have proven to add another ripple into the equation, posing new threats to attorneys. Increasing reliability on computer software and electronically stored information has led increased importance of appropriate cyber security procedures. Inadequate cyber security protections can leave firms and attorneys vulnerable to potential data breaches, which can expose sensitive information of hundreds, or even thousands of citizens.

This program will address the landscape of the rules governing practice and procedure in Georgia, specifically recent and upcoming challenges to the current rules and the impact of technology in compliance with the rules. Our panel will also discuss the strong ethical undertones within the rules governing practice and procedure. The rules are not just a checklist of requirements that attorneys must satisfy in order to file a sufficient claim, but they also serve as rules governing the ethical practice of law.

Program Highlights
- Georgia anti-SLAPP laws and the ethics of firm-promotion
- Changing tides in general and specific jurisdiction
- Cyber security and what that means for protecting documents
- Data breaches and the Equifax case study

- Jimmy Hurt, Hurt Stolz, P.C.
- Kimberly Reeves, Miller & Martin PLLC
- John Hadden, The Hadden Law Firm

Moderated by Jessica Gable Cino, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Georgia State University College of Law.

Ethics CLE credits have been applied for.

Technology Efficiency in Managing In-House Legal Departments

Rapid technological advancement and creation has made it imperative for legal departments to stay abreast of emerging trends to ensure these new systems are implemented efficiently and effectively. Because of the multifaceted structure of in-house departments, this is much easier said than done.


The number of in-house attorneys employed has more than doubled since 2010, and the growth in the profession has led to an increase in responsibilities and skills expected of those in the field. Attorneys in legal operations are relied upon to collaborate within their department to design and build systems that promote effective management of legal problems. In-house departments have turned to emerging technologies as the solution for ensuring the management systems are operating efficiently.


This program will address the ever-evolving world of modern technology and the profound impact it has had on the legal profession, covering systems such as DocuSign and the growth of eDiscovery and the tools used with it. Our panel of elite in-house attorneys and experts within the field will detail their personal experiences with these technologies and how they have changed the landscape and operation of legal departments. Through a series of case studies, our panel will explain their personal approaches to technological implementation and discuss their predictions for the future of technology in in-house legal departments.


Most importantly, this program will analyze implementation strategies for new technologies and how to best introduce change to in-house departments in order to ensure that the systems operate at the most efficient level.

Program Highlights

  • Technology and efficiency in legal department management.
  • Defining the areas of “being managed”: ACC and CLOC.
  • Making technology an effective partner in managing legal departments.
  • Examples of emerging technologies being implemented within legal departments.
  • The importance of “laying the groundwork” and “buy-in” when implementing new technology.



  • Tye Darland, SVP & General Counsel, Georgia Pacific
  • Charles Bowen,General Counsel, Cox Family Office
  • Mona Maerz, General Counsel, Counsel on Call
  • Carrie Young, Head of Legal Americas, SITA


Moderated by Jessica Gable Cino, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Georgia State University College of Law.


Professionalism CLE credits have been applied for.

Preventing Burnout and Promoting Professionalism: Mindfulness and Wellness for Attorneys

To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer.  Sadly, our profession is falling short when it comes to well-being.” So begins the ABA’s recent report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. The report makes a series of constructive recommendations for legal employers, law schools, bar associations, and others to enhance the health, well-being, and competence of the legal profession. This program explores some of the most promising initiatives from the report.


This program defines the concept of attorney wellness in the context of professionalism, and offers participants the opportunity to take a self-assessment of their own well-being. It offers an in-depth presentation of mindfulness meditation as a practice that can improve resilience, reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and enhance many lawyering competencies, including attention, focus, critical cognitive skills, and ethical and rational decision-making. It engages participants in short meditation practices and exercises, allowing them to explore how such practices can be restorative and incorporated into lawyers’ plans for self-care.  This program also provides a set of resources and benefits currently offered by the State Bar of Georgia to support its members’ health, well-being, and professionalism.



R. Javoyne Hicks, JD, Clerk of State and Magistrate Court, Chair of Attorney Wellness Committee, State Bar of Georgia

Plamen Russev, JD, Transactional Lawyer, Co-Chair, Mental Well-Being Subcommittee, Attorney Wellness Committee, State Bar of Georgia

Charity Scott, JD, MSCM, Catherine C. Henson Professor of Law, Georgia State University College of Law


Professionalism CLE Credits have been applied for.

Register for Tower to the Trenches 

Emerging Privacy Regulations and the Underlying Ethical Concerns of Personal Data Use and Dissemination

Earlier this year, the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation came into force, revolutionizing the way that companies collect, use and handle EU resident personal data. The regulation is the first of its kind, but it is just the beginning.

GDPR represents acknowledgement of growing ethical concerns surrounding the sensitivity of personal information and the use of such data to profile, target and surveil individuals. A necessary trend has developed that puts individuals back in control of their personal data and forces businesses to adhere to a higher standard of transparency, choice and accountability for the ways they handle personal information they collect from or about individuals. This program will detail the foundation that GDPR has created for world-wide regulations that have already followed in its footsteps, including the UK Data Protection Act of 2018, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Brazil General Data Privacy Law to name a few. Our panel of esteemed experts in the field will not only provide an overview of these emerging regulations and detail the impact these regulations will have on national and international companies for years to come, but also provide insight on responding to breaches of personal data.

Most importantly, this program will tackle the underlying theme behind these emerging regulations: the ethical issues surrounding regulation of personal data dissemination and your role as an advisor.

Program Highlights

-           GDPR compliance and what it means for your clients.

-           Domestic GDPR adaptation and preparation for coming regulations.

-           CCPA overview and what it means for the future of personal data usage.

-           Other international regulations regarding personal data usage.

-           Responding to breaches of personal data

-           Ethical data usage and the impact of emerging technology.

Ethics CLE credits have been applied for.

Registration: The cost is $50, which covers the CLE credits and other incidentals.

Register for Tower to the Trenches 

9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Administrative Practice in Georgia

Your client comes to you with a pending adjudicatory hearing before an agency—a hearing that could significantly impact the client’s business or personal interests. What do you do?

Program Highlights

  • Due process — What is required and how it varies
  • Overview of the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act
  • The role of the Office of Administrative Hearings and administrative law judges
  • Jurisdiction of Office of Administrative Hearings
  • The role of agency attorneys
  • Evidence and the burden of proof
  • Hearing records, exhaustion of administrative remedies and appellate practice
  • Practice tips and insights


  • Judge Charles Beaudrot; GA Office of State Administrative Hearings
  • Judge Schroer; GA Office of State Administrative Hearings
  • Rebecca Mick, esq.
  • Laurin McDonald (J.D. ’12); Office of State Administrative Hearings

9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1: Tech Talk: How Automation, Analytics, and A.I. are Shaping the Practice of Law & Provision of Legal Services

It's a brave new world. Rapidly advancing technology is transforming the legal field and the way attorneys provide legal services to their clients. From Artificial Intelligence that can review, revise and even create contracts, to data analytics and legal smartphone apps, we are witnessing a legal paradigm shift before our eyes. Don't get left in the dust.

This program explores the development and implementation of several new technologies that are shaping and influencing the legal profession, focusing on four major categories: legal education, litigation, document review and consumer access.


  • Charlotte Alexander; Director of the Legal Analytics Lab and Associate Professor of Legal Studies
  • Jessie Cino; Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Law
  • Ryan Cino
  • Taimur Ghaznavi (J.D. ‘11); Manager of Forensics and Integrity Services, Ernst & young
  • Amanda Farahany; Managing Partner, Barratt & Farahany
  • Michael LaScala

9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2018: Tech Talk: E-Discovery from A to Z, including E for Ethics

The days of digging through file cabinets filled with dusty manila folders and yellowed papers to conduct discovery are coming to an end. Today, individuals and companies store their information on myriad electronic devices, including in-house servers, external hard drives, flash drives, smart phones and tablets, as well as more amorphous storage methods like social media, cloud storage and remote servers.


  • Alison A. Grounds, Partner and Managing Director eMerge at Troutman Sanders
  • Natalie Robinson Kelly, Director of the State Bar of Georgia Law Practice Management Program
  • Jeff Kerr, CEO and Founder of CaseFleet
  • Johnny Lee, Forensic Investigator and Management Consultant
  • Scott A. Wandstrat, Partner and Chair of The Electronic Discovery Team at Arnold, Golden, Gregory

Moderator:Andi Curcio, Professor at GSU College of Law

9 to 11 a.m. Feb. 16, 2018:Pain, Profits, Plaintiffs, Prison: A Prescription for Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in Georgia

The United States is in the midst of a public health emergency: opioid overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatalities from opioid overdoses reached an all- time high last year and is almost equal to fatalities from motor vehicle crashes.

Georgia ranks 11th among states with the highest number of opioid related fatalities, and increased tenfold between 1999 and 2014.

Panelists will describe federal laws regulating opioids and explore state legal interventions to address this crisis, including increasing awareness of medical amnesty and naloxone laws and improving the prescription drug-monitoring program, as well as considering the pitfalls and opportunities for potential litigation. Two regular CLE Credits was for.



April 27, 2018: 9:00am-11:00am

Taxes Under Trump: What We Know & What It Means for Lawyers and Their Clients

A cornerstone of Donald Trump's presidential campaign was tax reform and changes in the tax code have arrived as expected.

The Trump administration's 2018 Tax Reforms are becoming operable, but what exactly will the impact be? What does it mean for professionals? What does it mean for your clients? What does the economy have in store for us? If you don't know the answer to these questions then you don't want to miss this!

The program will provide answers to these questions and offer a unique dual-perspective on the Trump tax plan and where the economy is heading under this president. The program will also discuss the ethical issues that may arise when advising your clients on tax matters when tax code changes are fluid and untested. Our experts will provide you a one-stop-shop to prepare yourself and your clients for the future.

Join us and let us help you navigate the latest tax reforms and the changing economy. Regular CLE credits was applied for.

The Panelists:

  • Mary Radford; Professor of Law
  • Edward “Ted” Afield; Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
  • Tameka Lester; Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
  • Will McDonald (J.D.’16); Associate, Davis, Pickren, Seydel & Sneed

    • 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26: Liking, Linking & Tweeting: Social Media in Practice
    • 9-11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30: Full of Patients But Low on Cash: Managing Conflicts Between Health-Care Needs and Budget Woes: Six years after the passing of the Affordable Care Act, the health care industry faces unique financial concerns, and the upcoming election has the potential to significantly influence health care finance and delivery. Panelists will discuss the impact of the ACA on participating insurers, the complications of the financially distressed providers and patients, and the ethical implications and limitation of representing health care entities. They also will explore differences  between larger urban health systems and smaller rural ones, as well as for profit and not-for-profit institutions. With Georgia leading the country in hospital closures, this session will explore several recent examples as case studies.
      • Speakers: William H. Bolin, Owner and principal of Boling Co.; Samantha R. Johnson (J.D. '03, M.B.A. '14, M.H.A. ’14), senior associate general counsel at Grady Health System; Samuel R. Maizel, partner, Restructing, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Group at Dentons; Professor Jack F. Williams, Georgia State Law
      • Presentations: Rural Health Challenges 2016 and Full of Patients But Low on Cash
      • We have applied for 2 CLE Credits (1 hour of ethics plus one more to be determined)
    • Friday, Dec. 9: Is there an App for Liability? The Practice of Law in a Shared Economy: There seems to be an ever-increasing number of companies entering the shared economy—from Uber to Airbnb to Roadie, these companies are rapidly restructuring how we operate as consumers. Much of the shared economy business model remains an under-regulated Wild West that presents liability landmines in a number of ways. Our panelists will discuss recent cases and emerging issues that examine the tension inherent in regulating the sharing economy including insurance, taxes, and consumer rights. Beyond that, there are ethical issues that lawyers encounter both in advising these clients and participating in the shared economy.
      • Speakers: Kimberly Reeves (J.D. ’13), associate at Carlock Copeland; Michael Manfredi (J.D. ’10), associate at Carlock Copeland; and moderated by Associate Dean Jessica Gabel Cino
      • We have applied for 2 CLE Credits (1 hour of ethics plus one more to be determined)
    • Friday, Jan. 27: The Future of the Affordable Care Act — A Legal Perspective: How to advise health care clients in a time of uncertainty and how are health care entities bracing for the changes.
      • Speakers: Russell Sullivan, partner at McGuire Woods and former staff director for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Kirkland McGhee (J.D. ’85), vice president and senior counsel at Kaiser Permanente, and Charlotte Combre (J.D. ’97), partner at Baker Hostetler; and moderated by Erin Fuse Brown, assistant professor of law
    • Friday, March 3; 9-11 a.m. Immigration Under Fire: Navigating New Laws and Ethics in 2017: This program will review the enacted, enjoined and expected policy changes; legal and other challenges to current immigration practices; and the ethical considerations for immigration lawyers in both corporate and individual immigration spheres.
      • Speakers: Kristin Aquino-Pham (J.D. ’11), associate at Greenberg Traurig; Julie Elgar (J.D. ’00), Georgia Pacific, and Sara Herbek, partner at Olgetree Deakins
      • Moderator: Carolina Antonini (J.D. ’96), partner with Antonini and Cohen Immigration Law Group
    • Friday, March 31: 9-11 a.m. Litigation as a Gun Control Strategy: Litigation isn’t always about money. Sometimes it’s meant to curb practices or save lives. Only a handful of cases have held gun dealers responsible for selling a firearm linked to a crime. Is litigation a promising avenue to saving lives and curbing gun violence? Our panel will tackle both sides of that issue.
      • Speakers: Timothy Lytton, professor at Georgia State Law, Peter Canfield, partner at Jones Day, and John Monroe with Georgia Carry.Org
      • Moderator: Blinn Combs (J.D. ’17)
    • Friday, April 28: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Data Privacy and Security: As lawyers, we have ethical and professional obligations to protect client data. Are you clear on what those obligations are? Confidential data in computer and information systems faces greater security threats today than ever before — and it’s part of your practice to appreciate where the threats come from, what the problems are, how to respond to breaches and how to advise clients on all of these issues. The wealth of confidential data maintained in lawyers’ computers and information systems today makes safeguarding client data part of the regular practice of law. The panel will discuss these professional and ethical issues.