Sally Hogsette says marriage plans prompted her to step down as the foundation's executive director.
Sally Hogsette says marriage plans prompted her to step down as the foundation’s executive director. (Rebecca Breyer)

The executive director of the Atlanta Bar Foundation, Sally Hogsette, has resigned because she’s getting married—to another lawyer.

“I’m sorry to be stepping down but it’s for a very happy reason,” Hogsette said. She’s engaged to Neal Patton, the general counsel of AmericasMart, whom she met through colleagues on the Atlanta Bar Foundation’s board.

Hogsette said she’s busy putting her house on the market and making wedding plans and so decided it was best to step down.

Hogsette became the Atlanta Bar Foundation’s first executive director in 2009 after 10 years serving on the board of the nonprofit, which is the charitable arm of the Atlanta Bar Foundation. She took the position of executive director after retiring from an in-house position at Delta Air Lines.

“Sally did a wonderful job as our executive director, leading us to new heights in both fundraising and support of important legal causes in Atlanta. Sally is a lovely person and we will miss her very much,” said S. Wade Malone, the board’s president.

The Atlanta Bar Foundation supports the Atlanta Bar’s Summer Law Internship Program for high school students, Minority and Diversity Clerkship Program for law students of diverse backgrounds and Police Scholarship Fund for the children of officers injured or killed in the line of duty.

The Summer Law Internship Program had its biggest class ever this year, with 44 interns. The foundation sponsored seven of them, all at public interest or government law departments, covering the $1850 stipend for the six-week internships. The foundation also supports the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, the Pro Bono Partnership and other legal aid groups.

Hogsette started LawJam, a battle of the bands featuring Atlanta lawyers, five years ago as a fundraiser for the group’s charitable endeavors.

The Bar Foundation’s board has not yet announced a new executive director. It does not meet during the summer so Hogsette’s replacement likely will not be announced until the fall, Malone said. The Atlanta Bar Association’s executive director, Terri Beck, is the acting executive director for the foundation until a replacement is named.


Plaintiffs’ lawyer Darl Champion left Warshauer Law Group in June to start his own shop, The Champion Firm, at 600 Galleria Parkway in Cobb County. “I’ve always wanted to own my own business, even before I knew I wanted to be a lawyer,” Champion said in an email. He earned a law degree in 2007 from Mercer University, then clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Hugh Lawson of the Middle District of Georgia for two years and joined the Warshauer firm in 2010 after a brief stop at Freeman, Mathis & Gary.

Champion said he “learned from some of the best trial lawyers in the state” at the Warshauer firm and has gained enough experience representing plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death cases and developed some referral sources so that he is ready to go solo.

Another plaintiffs’ lawyer, Frank Ilardi, joined Warshauer from his solo firm, Ilardi Medical Law, in mid-July. Ilardi continues to represent plaintiffs in medical negligence cases and is also representing people with other types of injuries, he said in an email.

Jessica Gallegos has joined Locke Lord as a litigation associate from Mazursky Constantine, an employee benefits boutique. Gallegos received a law degree from the University of Florida in 2011.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has added two associates to its Shanghai office, Harold Chen and Yan Qi, from Fredrikson & Byron, following the recruitment of a partner, Gentry Sayad, from the same firm in June. Chen advises international companies on doing business in China and handles corporate transactions. Qi advises on foreign direct investment in China. That gives the office five associates.

The National Bar Association inducted four Georgia lawyers into its Hall of Fame during its annual convention in Atlanta late last month: U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr., Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, Charles Johnson III of Holland & Knight and Thomas Sampson of Thomas Kennedy Sampson & Tompkins.

Chris Stewart of Stewart, Seay & Felton Trial Attorneys received the 2014 Esquire Award from the NBA’s small firm section.

The NBA also named nine Georgia lawyers to its annual Trailblazers Under 40 list: Yendelela Anderson of Kilpatrick Townsend, Shatorree Bates of Bates Law Firm, Tracee Benzo of Hasner Law, Rodney Bullard of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, Akua Coppock of the City of Atlanta Law Department, Jaliya Faulkner of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, Gerrard Grant of the City of Atlanta Law Department, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson and John Moore of The Moore Law Group.