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A former Cobb, Ga., Superior Court judge and an alumnus of the FBI’s anti-terrorism group have joined Meadows, Ichter & Trigg’s white-collar criminal defense practice. The firm also has added three attorneys who will practice in corporate law and commercial litigation. “It sounds to me like we ought to be able to punch our own ticket in terms of doing some criminal defense work,” says Meadows Ichter managing partner Cary Ichter. The law firm already includes former Georgia Attorney General Michael J. Bowers, former Attorney General Chief Investigator Richard L. Hyde and former Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Ash S. Joshi. Bowers is a partner, Hyde is a consultant, and Joshi is an associate at the firm. Former Cobb Judge G. Grant Brantley left personal injury firm Smolar, Roseman, Brantley & Seifter for an of counsel position at Meadows. He’ll join Bowers, who is a partner, in the firm’s government affairs practice. Former FBI Agent Gregory S. Esslinger will join Meadows as an associate on April 2. Esslinger will perform product liability work and other plaintiff work, Ichter says. Before his FBI tenure in Chicago, Esslinger was a products liability lawyer with Drew, Eckl & Farnham. Two Alpharetta, Ga., lawyers, David S. Cooper and Nicholas S. Gibson, have joined Meadows as of counsel. The two, who had operated their own corporate firm, Cooper & Gibson, join James Y. Rayis, the third member of Meadows’ corporate team. Michelle Rothenberg, a second-year associate from King & Spalding, joins the firm’s litigation group. She practices general commercial litigation. Rothenberg says she brought no K&S clients with her. Brantley will continue his litigation and catastrophic injury practices. He says his litigation practice will include white-collar criminal defense and government investigations work. He also presides over mediations, he says. His experience on the Cobb Superior Court bench will be a boon to the firm’s white-collar crime and government investigations practice areas, Brantley says. “A former judge,” he says, “brings a perspective from the bench.” Brantley says he has talked with Bowers for 30 years about the two practicing together. The two lawyers served together in the Georgia Air National Guard more than 30 years ago. In addition to creating a litigation platform for white-collar crime defense, the new hires will provide more varied services, Ichter says. “We’ve been bringing on people to enhance the range of things we can do,” he says. “We’ve had a little bit of turnover over the past 12 months,” Ichter says. But with the five new hires, Ichter says the firm will have a net gain of two or three attorneys. Ichter says commercial litigation attorneys Lauren Slepin Antonino and Steven M. Kushner, among others, left Meadows last year. Antonino went to Chitwood & Harley and Kushner joined Fellows Johnson & La Briola. Founded in 1992, Meadows, Ichter & Trigg now has 20 lawyers. The firm launched its government affairs unit in 1999, about a year after Bowers joined the firm. Joe D. Whitley, a white-collar criminal defense partner at Alston & Bird, says Atlanta’s white-collar defense market needs attorneys with state-level experience. More and more RICO claims are handled by state attorneys general, Whitley says. Stephen S. Cowen, who heads King & Spalding’s special matters and government investigation practice group, says law firms with white-collar defense groups need lawyers who are familiar with the process of white-collar criminal investigations. Also, Cowen says, there’s a greater demand for white-collar defense work because of increased government concern with how companies conduct themselves internally. Briefly … The National Law Journal recognized Emmet J. Bondurant II and P. Richard Game of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore for securing one of the top defense verdicts of the year. Bondurant and Game, along with Jeffrey D. Horst of Krevolin & Horst, represented electronics distributor Wyle Laboratories. Avnet Inc., a Wyle competitor, sued Wyle for $154 million in compensatory damages for tortious interference with employer-employee relationships: Avnet alleged that Wyle tried to conduct a corporate raid of a company that Avnet was acquiring. A Tampa, Fla., jury rejected all the plaintiff’s claims and there was no appeal. Avnet v. Wyle Laboratories, No. 93-4396-D (Hillsborough Co., Fla., Cir. Ct. May 14, 1993). Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor will speak at a luncheon today for the Atlanta Lawyers’ Division of the Federalist Society. Pryor will speak at Holland & Knight at noon on “Fighting for Federalism.” For more information, contact executive board member R. Charles Henn Jr. at (404) 815-6572. The J. Littleton “Litt” Glover Campus Life Center was dedicated on Jan. 9. The center, a renovated gymnasium, is at the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries Inc.’s Palmetto campus. Glover, an attorney who represented the Georgia Baptist agency for 65 years, died in June 2000.

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