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Hall Booth Smith has opened an office in Jacksonville—the second in Florida for the Atlanta-based firm—with five-lawyers handling medical malpractice and other defense litigation.

Hall Booth has been expanding steadily beyond its Atlanta base. The Jacksonville office, which follows a South Florida office in Palm Beach, gives the firm about 180 lawyers. In addition to six Georgia locations, it also has offices in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Alabama.

The firm’s managing partner, Alex Booth, said the Jacksonville office will primarily handle medical malpractice work, adding that his partner, John Hall, had tried some cases in North Florida.

“We have a Brunswick [Georgia] office, so we were already in that neck of the woods,” he said. “We have an office in Palm Beach, and it was just a natural place to go. And it’s an opportunity to affiliate with some really good lawyers.”

Partners J. Brent Allen and Duke Regan, who are leading the office, joined from Jacksonville insurance defense firm Saalfield Shad.

S. William Fuller Jr. also joined as a partner from Saalfield Shad. Fuller has tried more than 180 cases over his 46 years in practice and is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Rayford Taylor joined as of counsel in Hall Booth’s Atlanta and Jacksonville offices from Gilson Athans, which has been winding down. Taylor, who has a workers’ compensation practice, started his career working for the Florida bar and has practiced in Florida for years, but lives in Atlanta.

Associate Kirk Carter, who joined Hall Booth two years ago from Atlanta firm Waldon Adelman Castilla Hiestand & Prout, has relocated from the firm’s Brunswick office to Jacksonville, where he resides.

Hall Booth also has added two associates at its Atlanta headquarters, Abigail Castleberry and Jacob O’Neal. Castleberry had been a staff attorney at the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit after earning a J.D. from the University of Alabama in 2015. O’Neal had been an associate at O’Quinn & Cronin in McDonough after earning a J.D. from the University of Virginia in 2013.

Meredith Hobbs writes about the Atlanta legal community and the business of law. Contact her at mhobbs@alm.com. On Twitter: @MeredithHobbs.

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