To honor their friend Tommy Malone, who is battling stomach cancer, several of his Savannah brethren have started an endowed scholarship in the renowned plaintiffs’ lawyer’s name at Mercer University Law School.
Malone, who earned his J.D. from Mercer Law in 1966 and went on to found Malone Law in Atlanta, has tried catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases in Georgia and beyond for more than 40 years.
Fred Bergen of Bergen & Bergen with Brent Savage, Brent Savage Jr. and Bart Turner—all partners of Savage, Turner, Durham, Pinckney & Savage—are the donors. Like Malone, all are Mercer Law alums, except Savage Sr. (Emory Law ‘78).
“Tommy Malone has been the best trial lawyer in Georgia in my lifetime,” Savage Sr. said in a statement.
“My hope is the help that Tommy gave to literally hundreds of lawyers in Georgia will cause them to consider giving back to something which honors, not just a trial lawyer superstar, but a good and decent man.”
The Tommy Malone Scholarship will provide financial assistance to a second or third year Mercer Law student aspiring to become a trial lawyer. The recipient must demonstrate interest through participation in advocacy competitions or trial practice classes.
“I can think of no more fitting tribute to Tommy Malone than a scholarship that promotes the next generation of strong trial advocates,” said Mercer Law’s dean, Cathy Cox, in a statement. Cox called Malone’s “dedication to the law and his clients … a lesson for our students in and of itself.”
“Tommy’s trial skills and instincts are surpassed by none,” said Bergen in a statement, adding that Malone has given back by mentoring other lawyers and supporting Mercer Law School and other nonprofits, such as Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, which treats people with spinal cord and brain injuries.
“Most importantly, Tommy has always put the interest and needs of his clients first,” Bergen said. “I am pleased to be part of this important scholarship for our second- and third-year law students who will hopefully emulate in their future law practices the principles that Tommy has taught us all.”
The new Tommy Malone Scholarship at Mercer Law is one of a number of recent tributes to Malone.
A new biography, “Tommy Malone, Trial Lawyer” recounts Malone’s storied career. The author, Vincent Coppola, is a former Newsweek reporter who has written five nonfiction books. His work has been featured in Atlanta magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone and other publications. Friends of Malone underwrote the cost of publishing the book, according to a foreword penned by John Bell Jr. of Bell & Brigham in Augusta.
Malone is a long-standing supporter of his alma mater. He served as chairman of Mercer University’s Board of Trustees from 2015-2017 and endowed the Tommy Malone Distinguished Chair in Trial Advocacy in 2007, which is currently held by Timothy Floyd, Mercer Law’s director of experiential education.
Those wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund may do so at law.mercer.edu/campaign.