Ginsburg said he saw an opportunity in moving his practice—complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on financial services—to an insurance defense firm, adding that Litchfield Cavo has been growing rapidly.
While his clients are primarily banks, other lenders and mortgage servicers, they often find themselves in litigation that involves insurers, Ginsburg explained.
“For example, banks and mortgage servicers are frequently the target of consumer protection complaints where there are insurance coverage issues,” Ginsburg said. “Similarly, when banks or financial institutions have regulatory problems and bank officers and directors are called into question, the insurance aspect of that is at the forefront.”
Litchfield Cavo has expanded to almost 250 lawyers in 21 offices. Its other Southeastern offices are in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa—and it has also opened locations in Dallas and New Orleans in the past year. Ginsburg’s addition gives the Atlanta office six lawyers.
Ginsburg said several Litchfield Cavo lawyers in other offices have a commercial and financial service litigation practice, but their clients are insurance companies. “This gives them an opportunity, as well as me, to expand that level of service and our client base,” he said.
There are not a lot of firms that combine the two areas, Ginsburg said. “Either they are firms that are higher priced and do not do insurance defense at a high level like Litchfield Cavo, or firms that are able to provide clients with better economy but shy away from more complex litigation.
“I have built my reputation and practice on the fact that I can deliver a high level of service at a lower price,” he said, “by being creative and resolving cases before they go upside down—or winning them by being better prepared than other side.”
Ginsburg is an experienced trial lawyer who practices in Georgia, Florida and New York. He started his career in Miami under then-Miami-Dade County Florida State Attorney Janet Reno as an assistant state attorney and chief of the office’s insurance fraud division in Dade County. He’s also served as chief deputy assistant city attorney and municipal prosecutor for the city of Miami Beach.
Jay Barber, who is heading Litchfield Cavo’s Atlanta office, said he’d been in touch with Ginsburg even before the firm came to town. “When they first started talking about having an office here, Steve was one of the first people I talked to,” Barber said. “He was ready to make a move and we’re really happy he’s here.
“Litchfield Cavo has been known as having a traditional insurance defense practice, but we see great opportunity in expanding our reach into the financial services sector, not only because our clients are becoming so involved in it, but because, frankly, they’ve asked us to,” Barber said.
Barber said Ginsburg’s addition allows the firm to “expand across both platforms while delivering those services at rates typically well below what these companies are used to.”
In the past 18 months, several other litigation defense firms have also jumped into the Atlanta market, a busy regional hub for insurance defense work, including New York-based Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Southeastern firm McAngus Goudelock & Courie and Los Angeles-based Wood Smith Henning & Berman.
Drew Eckl & Farnham has added an experienced trial lawyer, Chuck Hoey, as of counsel from Chattanooga-based Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan. Hoey has litigated workers’ compensation, general liability, coverage, subrogation and other insurance claims for almost 30 years.
Serena Nowell has joined Fincher Denmark in Clayton County as senior counsel from her own firm, Nowell Sparks. Nowell handles public finance, real estate transactions and contracts. She serves as outside general counsel for government and institutional clients. Before private practice, she served as a deputy city attorney in the commercial transactions group for the city of Atlanta.
Vicki Snow has joined Ryan Law Firm in Valdosta as counsel. Snow joined the firm from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, where she was a director from 1996 to 2002 and then an administrative law judge until her retirement in 2015. Ryan Law Firm is a boutique engaged in workers’ compensation, civil litigation and mediation throughout South and Middle Georgia.
Family law firm Levine Smith Snider & Wilson has added J. Winston Kim as an associate from Kresky Law. Before that Kim worked at Gray Eittreim Martin, after starting his practice in family law at Gray Eittreim Martin’s predecessor firm Warner, Mayoue, Bates & McGough in 2010.
James-Bates-Brannan-Groover has added Marlina Anne Rogers to its litigation practice from Harris & James. Rogers is a 2015 graduate of the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Intellectual property boutique Johnson, Marcou & Isaacs has hired Trudy Rey as a patent agent from Pabst Patent Group. Rey holds a doctorate in molecular genetics and biochemistry from Georgia State University and is working in the firm’s biotech practice.
The Georgia Council of Court Administrators gave Tammy Hardin, the administrator for the Catoosa County Court, its Award of Merit at its annual meeting in October at Jekyll Island. Hardin has been with Catoosa County and the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit for almost 20 years.
The group’s Program of the Year Award went to the Court Process Reporting System, which provides information on the lives of children in foster care to juvenile court judges, attorneys and court-appointed child advocates, using data from the Judicial Council’s Administrative Office of the Courts and the Division of Child and Family Services.