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State Bar of Georgia

Sally Akins

Candidate Statement

Since becoming a member of the State Bar, I have actively served the State Bar of Georgia and our profession. I would be honored to continue that service as Secretary of the State Bar and I ask for your support and vote.

Mentoring young lawyers is exceedingly important. I would propose strengthening and expanding the State Bar’s current mentoring program and I am committed to helping determine the most effective plan for this and assisting in implementing it.

The public needs to feel assured that the State Bar of Georgia is fairly, consistently and expediently dealing with any lawyer discipline issues. The Disciplinary Rules and Procedures Committee recently reviewed this process to ensure that it is running effectively and has made some changes. I helped with that committee’s effort and I currently serve on the State Disciplinary Review Board. Through this experience, I have had an opportunity to become familiar with and help with the execution of the discipline process. It is imperative that the lawyer involved in the disciplinary process is treated fairly and that the public is protected. This is a very delicate balance that must be safeguarded. I pledge to do that.

The public also needs to be made aware of the results of any prosecutions for the Unauthorized Practice of Law. The Board of Governors has implemented a strategic plan to help determine the best way to get this information to the public. This effort needs to be continued.

Lastly, the members of the State Bar need to be aware of the many benefits of membership in the State Bar. The Bar and its leaders have increased the amount of communication with the members and that effort needs to continue and grow. I have served on the Membership Benefits Committee and have worked on this goal.

Candidate's Bio

Education:

  • University of Florida, B.A. (1987)
  • Mercer University School of Law, J.D. (1990)

Personal/Family:

  • Married to Dale Akins, a Plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyer 
  • Enjoy travelling, reading and watching college football

Professional Background, Bar Activities, Civic Activities:

  • 1993-present - Partner with Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams engaged exclusively in civil trial practice. Have handled cases involving premises liability, automobile and truck accidents, professional negligence (medical, legal and pharmaceutical), litigation involving counties and municipalities including civil rights cases and zoning cases, insurance coverage litigation and products liability.
  • I currently spend the majority of my time as a Mediator and I am affiliated with Miles Mediation and Arbitration.
  • 1990-1991 - Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Arthur W. Fudger and the Honorable F. Marion Cummings, Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit
  • 1991-1993 - Associate Attorney, Freeman & Hawkins (n/k/a Hawkins, Parnell & Young), Atlanta, Georgia 

State Bar of Georgia

  • Executive Committee (2018-present)
  • Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia (Eastern Judicial Circuit, Post 1, 2010-present)
  • The Review Panel of State Disciplinary Board (n/k/a Disciplinary Review Board) (1999-2002) and (2010-present, Chairman 2001-2002, Vice Chair 2018-present)
  • Georgia Bar Journal Editorial Board (2018-present)
  • Advisory Committee on Legislation (2010-2012), (2018-present)
  • Programs Committee (2016-present)
  • Judicial Qualifications Commission Nominating Committee (2017-present)
  • Professional Liability Insurance Committee (2018-present)
  • Law Practice Management Committee (2011-2015), (2018-present)
  • Judicial Qualifications Commission Legislation Task Force (2016-2017)
  • Disciplinary Rules & Procedures Committee (2005-2016)
  • Finance Committee (2011-2012)
  • Bench & Bar Committee (2010-2012)
  • Committee on the Judiciary (2007-2011)
  • Younger Lawyers Section District Representative (1996-2000)
  • Annual Meeting Committee (1999-2000)
  • Advertising Committee (1997-1998)
  • Midyear Meeting Committee (1997-1998)
  • Younger Lawyers Section High School Mock Trial Committee (1995-1996)
  • Younger Lawyers Section Trial Practice Committee (1993-1994)

Additional Experience

  • Board of Bar Examiners (appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia, 2014-present)
  • Executive Committee, General Practice & Trial Section (1995-present, Chair 2000-2001)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), S.E. Georgia Chapter (Charter Member; President, 2017; Vice-President, 2015; Secretary, 2014; Treasurer, 2011-13)
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (GDLA) (Member, Board of Directors, 2006-present; President, 2017-2018; President-Elect, 2016-2017; Treasurer, 2015-2016; Vice-President, 2012-2015; Editor, Georgia Defense Lawyers Association Law Journal, 2011; Vice Chair and Faculty, Trial Academy, 2012; Editor-in-Chief, Georgia Defense Lawyer, 2013-2015)
    Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (President, Savannah Chapter, 1994-1996)
    Federal Bar Association, Southern District of Georgia, Charter Member (Secretary, 2018; Vice President, 2019)
  • Eleventh Circuit Historical Society, Inc., Georgia, Trustee
  • Savannah Bar Association (Executive Committee, 1999-2000; Chairman, Public Relations Committee, 2001-2002; Chairman, Public Service Committee, 2005-2006)
  • American Bar Association (Georgia Delegate, Woman Advocate Committee, Litigation Section)
  • National Council of Lawyer Discipline Boards, Treasurer, 2005
  • Leadership Savannah Graduate, 2006
  • Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, Fellow
  • Old War Horse Lawyers Club
  • High School Mock Trial Coach (1994-1996)

Awards and Honors

  • General Practice and Trial Section of State Bar Tradition of Excellence Award recipient for defense lawyer, 2018
  • Top 50 Female Georgia Super Lawyer (2012-2019)
  • Georgia Super Lawyer (2010-2019)
  • Georgia's Legal Elite by Georgia Trend magazine (2009)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2012-2019)
  • Appointed by Chief Judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Court Advisory Committee (2017-present)
  • Appointed by Chief Judge to Local Rules Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, U.S. District Court Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Georgia and to the Planning Committee for the 2013 11th Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Litigation Counsel of America - Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Awarded Best Newsletter by State Bar of Georgia during three year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of GDLA’s Georgia Defense Lawyer (2013, 2014, 2015)

Main Issues Facing the State Bar/Position:

Please see Candidate Statement.