Drew Ashby, attorney with The Cooper Firm in Marietta.
Drew Ashby, attorney with The Cooper Firm in Marietta. (Alison Church)

Plaintiffs lawyer Lance Cooper of The Cooper Firm has recruited Drew Ashby, an associate from Cruser & Mitchell. Ashby said he will help Cooper with suits in the offing against General Motors over a faulty ignition switch and other litigation.

Cooper represents the plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit against GM. Last month they asked a judge to rescind their settlement agreement with the carmaker over their daughter’s death in a 2010 crash. They have re-filed claims against GM in Cobb County State Court, alleging the automaker fraudulently concealed critical evidence and allowed its corporate representative to commit perjury in the initial suit.

Ashby said he made the move because he wants to do only plaintiffs’ work. Cruser & Mitchell is primarily a defense firm, he said, but soon after joining the firm four years ago, he worked on a plaintiff’s case—a wrongful death in a head-on collision—that led to a large but confidential settlement. “Ever since doing that first case, I had the spark in me to do more,” Ashby said, adding that he was able to work on the occasional plaintiff’s case taken on by Cruser & Mitchell after that.

Ashby knew Cooper because he had been on the defense side of a case where Cooper represented the plaintiff. “I wanted to do plaintiffs work, but I wanted to do it with guys like Lance. When he had a need, I jumped on it,” Ashby said. “This is my dream job.”


In another switch from the defense to plaintiffs’ side, Angela Forstie has joined plaintiffs’ firm Linley Jones P.C. as an associate from Carlock, Copeland & Stair, where she focused on legal and medical malpractice defense. Forstie received her law degree from Georgia State University College of Law in 2009.


Intellectual property firm Fish & Richardson has snagged patent litigator E. Danielle Williams from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Williams joined Fish & Richardson’s Atlanta office as a principal from the Winston-Salem office of Kilpatrick Townsend, where she was a partner. That gives Fish & Richardson 17 lawyers in its local office.


Berman Fink Van Horn has added Lea Dearing as an associate from the Texas firm Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr. Dearing, who moved to Atlanta from Dallas, is a business litigator with transactional experience. She’s handled a range of issues for companies, from internal investigations to e-discovery management to privacy law. Also an equestrienne, Dearing is a member of the Arabian Horse Association and the U.S. Equestrian Federation.


Amanda Hiffa has joined Kilpatrick Townsend as an associate from McKesson Technology Law Group in Alpharetta, where she focused on tech transactions and software licensing. She is on Kilpatrick Townsend’s mergers and acquisitions and securities team.


Justin Wolfe has moved to personal injury firm Hasty Pope as an associate from his own solo practice. Wolfe is part of Hasty Pope’s workers’ compensation team and is based in the firm’s Canton office. He is a 2012 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall School of Law.


Maggie Hanrahan, a partner at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, has become a board member of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation. Hanrahan is particularly interested in AVLF’s domestic violence project and fundraising.


Georgia has more counties and courthouses than any other state in the union, except Texas. Rhett Turner has photographed all 159 of them, ranging in design from Greco-Roman to Victorian to coastal Tabby, for his new book, “Georgia County Courthouses: The Architecture of Living Monuments.” The courthouses are a treasure trove of the state’s past: 132 of them are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, spanning 170 years of Georgia history, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Turner will read from and sign his book documenting the state’s plethora of courthouses at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 5, at the Carter Center. The reading is free and open to the public.


For all Scrabble lovers seeking to deploy their skills for a good cause, Georgia Appleseed’s Young Professionals Council is holding its first annual Scrabble tournament. Dubbed “Spellbound for Justice,” the event benefits the legal nonprofit, which connects lawyers in private practice with pro bono research projects on social issues such as school discipline. Words With Friends players are also welcome.

The tournament is 5:30-9 p.m June 17 at Gordon Biersch Midtown. Admission is $40 for solo players, which includes a light buffet and a drink. Team sponsorships are available. For details, go to www.gaappleseed.org/ypc/spellbound.php.