Rob Teilhet has returned to private practice, opening a plaintiffs’ firm on the Marietta Square after two years as executive director of Georgia Conservation Voters.

Teilhet said he gave up his law practice in late 2009 to devote himself to a run for state attorney general at age 36. At that time, he’d served as the state representative for Smyrna’s 40th district since 2003.

He lost the Democratic primary to Ken Hodges, now a partner at Rafuse Hill & Hodges, and was appointed executive director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council in fall 2010 by then-Governor Sonny Perdue.

Teilhet served only a few months, until Perdue’s successor, Nathan Deal, tapped W. Travis Sakrison, a DeKalb County prosecutor, for the GPDSC post.

Teilhet then became the executive director of Georgia Conservation Voters..

Teilhet, 39, said his return to private practice was prompted by a call from a former client who needed some help. "It reminded me how much I love the lawyer-client relationship," he said.

While working for Georgia Conservation Voters he’s been teaching a class on election law at the University of Georgia Law School as an adjunct professor.

"To see these students and their enthusiasm for law practice is pretty inspiring," Teilhet said. "It was the last push I needed."

Teilhet said his practice will focus on personal injury and workers compensation cases. "I love representing individuals, working with real people in some of the hardest times in their life," he said.

Teilhet started his legal career working for Marietta firm Brock, Clay & Calhoun, which became Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers earlier this year. He joined plaintiffs firm Rogers, Strimban & Teilhet as a partner in 2008, handling workers compensation claims, until his foray into the attorney general race.

With a month-old daughter and 5-year old twins, Teilhet said work-life balance was a big part of the reason he decided to start his own solo practice instead of joining another firm.

"Any time you have partners, there is more stuff around you, more personnel. There is a level of complication to that which solos are able to avoid," he said.

He added that he’s glad to be back in the Marietta legal community, where his office is located at 166 Anderson St.

Recruiting clients has been all by word of mouth. Teilhet said he’s been letting former clients know he’s back in practice and reaching out to friends. "One of the advantages of a background in politics is that I know people everywhere," he said.

Briefly

James Robinson has joined Barnes & Thornburg as a partner in the corporate and private wealth services practices from Schiff Hardin. Robinson focuses on estate and corporate planning, working with families and closely held businesses. He is the chair-elect of the State Bar of Georgia’s fiduciary law section and a board member of the Atlanta Opera and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s planned giving advisory board.

His addition gives Barnes & Thornburg 22 lawyers in its local office, which the Midwestern firm opened in 2009.


Trial lawyer Robert Killorin has joined Federal & Hasson as a partner from securities plaintiffs firm Chitwood Harley Harnes. Killorin handles consumer and securities class actions as well as corporate governance cases and business litigation. The Atlanta native is a member of the Eleventh Circuit Historical Society and the Old War Horse Lawyers Club. A scuba enthusiast, he also is a member of the National Association of Underwater Instructors, the Explorers Club and the Military Order of the Carabao.


Rebecca Sczepanski has joined Savannah firm HunterMaclean as of counsel to build an employee benefits practice. Sczepanski, an lawyer and certified public accountant, was senior counsel at Ice Miller in Indianapolis before moving to Savannah. She also served as general counsel for Employee Health Insurance Management in Southfield, Mich.


Troutman Sanders partner Stephen Riddell became the chairman of the Chick-fil-A-Bowl earlier this month, succeeding Daryl Evans, a marketing executive at AT&T Mobility. The Chick-fil-A-Bowl, formerly known as the Peach Bowl, is the annual college football bowl game that has been held in Atlanta since 1968. Riddell advises parent company Chick-fil-A Inc., a Troutman client, on employment law issues, according to the firm’s website.


Schiff Hardin partner Leah Ward Sears has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Membership is invitation-only and limited to 500 U.S. lawyers. Sears is the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, serving for 17 years on the court before joining Schiff Hardin in 2009.


Richard Herzog Jr. has been elected chairman of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s board of directors after serving on the board since 2009. Herzog is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where he leads the Atlanta office’s debt finance and restructuring practice.


Emory University Law School professor Timothy Holbrook has been elected a member of the American Law Institute, a group of 2,692 lawyers, judges and scholars seeking to modernize and clarify the law. Holbrook’s scholarship is focused on patent law. ALI, which marks its 90th anniversary this year, publishes legal treatises that include a Restatements of the Law series.