Theresa Davis Beaton
Theresa Davis Beaton is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group in both the Brunswick and Atlanta offices. Her practice includes representation of corporations and individuals in business and related litigation in federal and state courts at both the trial and appellate level, as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums. She has experience representing clients in a variety of litigation involving breach of contract, business torts, noncompetition covenants, fraud, civil RICO, director/officer liability, defamation, personal injury, construction defects and delays, complex procedural issues, and electronic discovery. Mrs. Beaton also has experience representing individuals and entities in fiduciary litigation and ad valorem tax appeals. Mrs. Beaton also advises corporate clients in contract drafting and negotiation, best practices, and litigation avoidance strategies.
Mrs. Beaton received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she served as Editor in Chief of the Georgia Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif. After graduation, she served as a judicial clerk to The Honorable Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Brunswick, Georgia. Mrs. Beaton previously practiced on the business litigation team of a large international law firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mrs. Beaton is active in the legal and non-legal communities. She was selected as a Barrister in the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Inn of Court, and is a graduate of the State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy. She has volunteered her time with organizations like Buckhead Christian Ministry, including serving as a Money Management Coach in the 70/30 Project.
Mrs. Beaton received a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, from the University of Virginia, where she double majored in Government and French and participated in the French Distinguished Majors program. She is married to Ernest L. “Chip” Beaton IV of Fernandina Beach, Florida. They have one daughter.
Beth Allgood Blalock
of Counsel - Beth Allgood Blalock is an attorney with a wide range of experience working on environmental and land use issues. Her primary practice areas include the acquisition and the redevelopment of properties with environmental impacts and environmental regulatory, compliance, and permitting issues. She has served as the Assistant Branch Chief for the Land Branch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, and in that capacity was responsible for the regulation of hazardous waste sites, Underground Storage Tanks, and brownfields. She has also held roles as General Counsel for the Georgia Conservancy and as an environmental attorney with King and Spalding and the Southern Environmental Law Center. She graduated with a degree in ecology and political science from the University of Georgia and also received her law degree from the University of Georgia.
Ms. Blalock serves as a lecturer on Brownfields and regulatory issues in Georgia and is currently an adjunct professor at the Georgia State University College of Law. She is the co-facilitator for the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership.
She is an active member of All Saints' Episcopal Church, where she serves as the Junior Warden, and sits on the alumni board at Pace Academy. She is a 2016 graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. She and her husband reside in Atlanta with their two children.
Samantha A. DiPolito
Samantha DiPolito is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Her practice includes representing plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of business transactions and litigation, personal injury actions, landlord tenant disputes, property tax appeals, and collection matters.
Ms. DiPolito received her Juris Doctorate from the Mercer University School of Law, where she was a member of the Mercer Law Review, Moot Court Board, Order of Barristers, and Brainerd Currie Honor Society. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Lisa Godbey Wood in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Georgia.
Ms. DiPolito is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, American Bar Association, the Glynn County Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice. She currently serves as the community service chairperson for the Young Lawyer’s Division of the Glynn County Bar. She is also a member of the Leadership Glynn class of 2014.
Ms. DiPolito is admitted to practice law in the State of Georgia as well as before the United States District Court for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Georgia.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Auburn University, where she was a member of the Student Government Association and was President of her sorority.
Ms. DiPolito was born and raised in Statesboro, Georgia. She practiced law in Atlanta before returning to south Georgia and joining Gilbert, Harrell, Sumerford & Martin.
James B. Gilbert, Jr.
James B. Gilbert, Jr. is of counsel with the firm having rejoined the firm in July 2016 after serving as Vice President and General Counsel of the Sea Island Company from 2001-2016. Prior to his position at Sea Island, Mr. Gilbert was a partner at the firm practicing for thirty-five years in real estate and commercial and civil litigation.
Mr. Gilbert t is a graduate of Mercer University, having also attended Duke University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts and a law degree in 1968. He has been a member of the State of Georgia since May 1969.
Mr. Gilbert has three children, is an active member of the Glynn County community and recently published a collection of his artwork, entitled “It’s a Sick World and I’m a Happy Dude.”
Wallace E. Harrell
of Counsel - Wallace E. Harrell is the senior member of the firm's Litigation Practice Group and a member of the firm's Governmental Practice Group. Mr. Harrell has served as lead counsel in numerous civil trials, including those involving personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, will and estate contests, and contract and construction disputes. He has also represented clients at trial in class action litigation and environmental issues. Mr. Harrell has participated in over 100 appeals in the Court of Appeals of Georgia and in the Federal Appellate Courts.
Mr. Harrell is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Court Advisory Committee of the Southern District of Georgia, and served as a member of the Georgia State Board of Bar Examiners from 1989 to 1994. He has received an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicating preeminent legal ability and the highest ethical standards. Mr. Harrell has been named a "Georgia Super Lawyer" and Best Lawyer in America every year from 2004 to present.
Mr. Harrell earned his license to practice law in Georgia in 1956. He received his LL.B. at the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. As a student at Mercer, Mr. Harrell was a member of Phi Alpha Delta, Editor-in-Chief of the Mercer Law Review, and President of the Mercer University Student Body. He was also President of Blue Key Honor Society and President of his fraternity.
Mr. Harrell has served as Senior Warden at St. Mark's Episcopal Church and at Christ Church on St. Simons Island.
Kenneth M. Henson, III
Kenneth "Kenny" M. Henson III is an associate in the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group and Corporate Law Practice Group. Mr. Henson’s practice focuses on all areas of real estate law, including the closing of residential and commercial transactions, representation of lenders in secured transactions, assisting landowners and commercial developers with development issues, and drafting and negotiating contracts and leases. He also concentrates his practice in areas of business/entity formation, business transactions, and general contract law. Mr. Henson is a member of the American Bar Association, Georgia Bar Association where he is a member of the Real Property Law Section, Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorneys Association, and Glynn County Bar Association.
Mr. Henson is licensed to practice law in Georgia. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2016. In law school, Mr. Henson participated in the Business Law Clinic where he represented small businesses in the Athens area. He also worked in Atlanta one semester as an extern at Racetrac Petroleum, Inc. where he assisted with real estate transactions and development issues. Mr. Henson earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Davidson College.
Mr. Henson was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, but grew up visiting his grandparents in the St. Simons/Brunswick area. He is glad to finally call the Golden Isles home and is excited to start his career as a lawyer in St. Simons and Brunswick. Outside of practicing law, Mr. Henson hopes to work with local leaders and community activists to revitalize downtown Brunswick, Georgia. Mr. Henson is a member of Wesley United Methodist Church and enjoys golfing at Brunswick Country Club.
John Thomas "J.T." Johnson
John Thomas (“J.T.”) Johnson is a partner in the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. Mr. Johnson's practice focuses on all areas of real estate law, including the closing of residential and commercial transactions, representation of lenders in secured transactions, representation of title insurance companies, assisting landowners in property development, and drafting and negotiation of contracts and leases. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Glynn County Bar Association, the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia, the Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorneys Association and the American Land Title Association.
A native of St. Simons Island and a graduate of Glynn Academy, Mr. Johnson attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. He remained in Athens for law school, earning his Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law.
Mr. Johnson is the Vice-Chairman of the Golden Isles Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a member of the Davis Love Foundation Club, and the Vice-Chairman of the Glynn County Smile for a Lifetime Foundation. He previously served on the board of the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Coastal Georgia and the St. Simons Island Club Property Owners’ Association, and the advisory counsel for the University of Georgia chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order. He is a member of the St. Simons Community Church and leads a weekly Bible study for local high school students.
Mr. Johnson is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Glynn and has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” He is a member of the Gridiron Secret Society, the Escorts’ Club, the Order of the Greek Horsemen, and the Judicial Invitational Golf Classic.
Mark D. Johnson
Mark D. Johnson has been a partner with the firm's Litigation Practice Group since 1994, and is also part of the Governmental Affairs and Real Estate Practice Groups. Previously, Mr. Johnson practiced with King & Spalding on the Products Liability and Toxic Tort Team. He has also been actively involved in governmental affairs, including assisting clients with local and state government officials. He is a member of the Atlanta Bar Association and the American Bar Association Litigation Section.
Mr. Johnson is licensed to practice law in Georgia. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration, magna cum laude, in International Business from the University of Georgia, and received his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Dudley H. Bowen, Jr. in the Southern District of Georgia.
Mr. Johnson is a member of St. Simons Wesley Methodist Church where he has served on the Administrative Board and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee. He is also a past member of the Board of Directors for the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, the Glynn County United Way, and the University of Georgia National Alumni Association. Mr. Johnson is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Magnolia Manor.
Mr. Johnson is married to former Virginia (Ginny) Ray of Americus and has two sons and two daughters. He is a IFR rated private pilot and enjoys golf and snow skiing.
Mary Emily Kinshaw
Mary Emily Kinshaw is an Associate in the firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group and Corporate Practice Group.
Mrs. Kinshaw received her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law, where she was the Executive Editor of the Georgia State University Law Review and served as a graduate teaching assistant in the Lawyering Foundations Program. She was a member of the Georgia State Moot Court Board, where her team won the Best Brief Award at the 2015 Georgia Intrastate Moot Court Competition. Mrs. Kinshaw, who finished second in her graduating class, was invited to join Order of the Coif, a legal honor society that extends invitations to students graduating in the top 10% of their class from member law schools.
Mrs. Kinshaw is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Glynn County Bar Association. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Georgia. She practiced law in Atlanta before moving to St. Simons and joining Gilbert, Harrell, Sumerford & Martin.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Ohio State University.
Charles "Chase" M. LeRoux, III
Foster Lindberg is of counsel with the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, having joined the firm in October of 2017. Previously Mr. Lindberg practiced law with Ligon, Lindberg & Lanier, P.C. His primary practice areas are in civil litigation in both Federal and State Courts, including disputes involving real property, estates, contracts, commercial and business transactions, and personal injury.
Mr. Lindberg has been licensed to practice law in Georgia since 1987 and Kentucky since 1984. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, with an emphasis in history and philosophy, and his Juris Doctorate from The University of Louisville School of Law, where he served on the Journal of Law and Education. He has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Lindberg attends Rhema Community Church in Brunswick, Georgia, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Remedy Project, a non-profit faith based counseling and education organization.
Mr. Lindberg has been married to Cady since 1981 and has one daughter, one son and a grandson. He enjoys working out and spending time with his family.
M. Fleming Martin, III
of Counsel - Fleming Martin is the senior partner in the firm's Real Estate Practice Group. Mr. Martin has been engaged in the practice of law in Brunswick for over 35 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of transactions and litigation involving commercial and residential real estate. He is a member of the Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorneys Association and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys. Mr. Martin is also a member of the American Bar Association. He has received an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicating preeminent legal ability and the highest ethical standards.
Mr. Martin attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology, graduating from the latter in 1963 with a degree in aerospace engineering. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi at Georgia Tech. Mr. Martin earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1967.
After law school, Mr. Martin went on active duty with the United States Army, and served in the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam conflict. He retired in 1969 with the rank of captain and joined the law firm at that time.
Mr. Martin is licensed to practice law in Georgia. Since 1968, he has been a member of the Board of Selectmen of the Midway Congregational Church and Society in Midway, Georgia. Mr. Martin is also a member and an Elder of the St. Simons Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Martin is married to Lisa Busino Martin, and they have one daughter, Deidre.
Mark M. Middleton
of Counsel - Mark M. Middleton leads the firm's Public Affairs Practice Group from the Atlanta offices. Mr. Middleton, an "AV" rated attorney, is of counsel to the firm, and focuses on governmental relations, legislative lobbying, administrative law, and regulatory representation. Mark brings a variety of government experience to the practice of law. As a Georgia Public Service Commission Hearing Officer, Mr. Middleton conducted administrative hearings regarding telecommunications, transportation, and energy. As the Chief of Staff at the Georgia Department of Education, he was responsible for all administrative functions of the Department, including direct supervision of the legal, legislative, public relations, personnel, procurement, and budgetary staffs.
For approximately 15 years, Mark has represented clients with diverse interests, including education, environmental, insurance, telecommunications, technology procurement, utility regulation, and general legislative matters. Mr. Middleton has represented clients before the Georgia General Assembly, and practically all of the state's agencies including the Georgia Department of Insurance, Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Public Service Commission, and the Environmental Protection Division (EPD). From 2010 through 2012, he served on the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce's Education Policy Committee and chaired the State Chamber's Government Affairs Education Committee.
Mark has also been active in political campaigns for a number of years, primarily providing legal advice and policy direction to candidates for governor and other state and local offices. He has served as a legal advisor to Brian Kemp's campaign for Georgia Secretary of State, and the United Peachtree Corners Yes! successful effort to become a city. In 2008, Mark led the "Attorneys for Saxby" grass roots group supporting Senator Chambliss' re-election effort.
In earlier years, Mark worked full time with the Georgia Republican Party as the Director of Research and Development, Assistant Secretary of the Georgia Republican Party, and the Georgia Republican Party's Executive Committee. In 1998, Mark was a candidate for State House District 59. Additionally, Mark, a 1991 graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, is an experienced business litigator and continues to practice in the firm's Litigation Practice Area. Mr. Middleton stays active in the community by serving on various educational, civic, and church boards and committees. He lives in Peachtree Corners with his wife, Lynne, and their three children.
Janet A. Shirley
of Counsel - Janet A. Shirley practices in the areas of Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law. She has assisted clients with a variety of complex estate planning and estate administration problems. Ms. Shirley advises clients on issues concerning estate and generation skipping tax, business structure and succession planning, formation of family limited partnerships, asset protection, charitable giving and planning for non-citizens, as well as estate administration and postmortem planning. She has also provided advice to the trust departments of both national and community banks and advice to charitable entities, including charitable organizations and private foundations and associations.
Ms. Shirley is a fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a member of the National Association of Estate Planning Councils, and is an Accredited Estate Planner. She is a member of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council, the Atlanta Fiduciary Luncheon Group, the Fiduciary Law Section of the State bar of Georgia, the Section of Taxation and the Section of Real Property and Probate of the American Bar Association, and the Glynn County Bar Association.
Ms. Shirley received her B.A. from New York University in 1967, and her J.D. from Boston University in 1978. She is admitted to practice in both Georgia and Massachusetts. Ms. Shirley has been practicing in Georgia since 1986.
Ms. Shirley’s community involvement includes service as director on the Board of The Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, membership in Auxiliary of Hospice of the Golden Isles, St. Simons Land Trust, the Alzheimer Association of Glynn/Brunswick, the Coastal Symphony of Georgia, The Cassina Garden Club, and the live Oaks Garden Club. She is also a member of the Episcopal Christ Church on St. Simon’s Island, and active in the Frederic K. Cousins Guild and volunteers for the annual Tour of Homes sponsored by that Church.
Professional Affiliations and Awards
- American Bar Association: Section of Taxation and the Section of Real Property and Probate
- American College of Trust and Estate Council: Fellow
- Atlanta Estate Planning Council
- Best Lawyers in America: (Trusts and Estates) 2005-2017
- Georgia Super Lawyer: 2005-2017
- Glynn County Bar Association
- Martin Dale - Hubbell AV Rating
- National Association of Estate Planning Councils
- State Bar of Georgia: Fiduciary Law Section
- The Cassina Garden Club
- The Live Oaks Garden Club
Hillary S. Stringfellow
Partner - Hillary Smith Stringfellow practices in the firm’s trust and estates practice group and is an AV rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell. Her practice includes all aspects of estate and trust planning for families and individuals of all backgrounds and resources, including tax planning for high net worth individuals, family businesses, and special needs individuals. Additionally, Mrs. Stringfellow works with estate and trust administration for fiduciaries, beneficiaries and others involved with the process. Also, she works with families and individuals planning for incapacity and those with special needs in all facets of guardianships and conservatorships of minors and adults. Hillary also works in the firm’s corporate practice group assisting for-profit and non-profit corporations with formation, transactions and governance, and she has focused her practice on all phases of tax-exempt organizations.
Mrs. Stringfellow received her Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law where she served on the Editorial Board of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. After graduation she clerked for the Honorable Duross Fitzpatrick in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. She is a member of the Georgia Bar Association, the Fiduciary Section of the Georgia Bar, and the Brunswick Bar Association. Hillary is the chair of the Fiduciary Law Section and a member of the Section Legislative Committee. Hillary chaired the 2015 Fiduciary Law Institute and the 2014 Estate Planning Institute on behalf of the Fiduciary Law Section for the Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars as well as speaking on estate planning and administration for non-lawyer groups. She is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and has previously been recognized by the Georgia Super Lawyers in the Trust and Estate practice group.
Hillary Stringfellow is the chair of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (formerly the State Ethics Commission) having been twice appointed to this commission by House Speaker David Ralston. Previously, she served on the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission and Commission on Agricultural Education, having been appointed to both by Governor Sonny Perdue. She is a member of the State Bar Investment Committee.
Active in the community, Hillary is the President of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society. She is a current member of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia, having chaired the special events committee and a former member of the Board of Directors at CASA Glynn. She is also a current member of the ethics committee for the Southeast Georgia Health System, a member of the state sponsors board for the Georgia FFA Foundation, and a member of the Professional Advisors Counsel for the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation. Previously, Hillary served as an officer of the Auxiliary of the Hospice of the Golden Isles and she is a past chair of the American Cancer Society Victory Gala. She and her family are members of the St. Simons Presbyterian Church where Hillary has served as Ruling Elder.
Mrs. Stringfellow graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia with a degree in applied economics. As an undergraduate, she was a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society, AGHON and served as the 1998 National FFA President. She is married to Horace Stringfellow, V (“Bud”) and they have two sons, Ace and Hank.
Rees M. Sumerford
Partner - Rees M. Sumerford has practiced with Gilbert, Harrell, Sumerford & Martin, P.C. for over 30 years. Mr. Sumerford is part of the Trusts & Estates Practice Group, the Corporate Practice Group, and the Governmental Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in trusts, family wealth planning, estates, and related tax and fiduciary law. Mr. Sumerford has extensive experience in the planning and administration of estates and trusts; in corporate, tax, and estate planning for family-owned businesses; and in advising fiduciaries on legal and regulatory matters.
Mr. Sumerford has been a frequent lecturer and is the author of the speech “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Administering a Small Estate But Were Afraid to Ask”, which is presented every year at the Basic Fiduciary Practice Seminar sponsored by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia. Author of published periodicals on behalf of the Fiduciary Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia; the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia; and Taxation for Lawyers and Taxation for Accountants, both national bimonthly professional journals. He has received an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, indicating preeminent legal ability and the highest ethical standards. Mr. Sumerford has been named a "Georgia Super Lawyer" every year from 2005 through 2010.
Mr. Sumerford is licensed to practice law in Georgia. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia School of Law. He is married to Brooke Sumerford and they have two children, Harlow and Chase.
- Fellow of the American Counsel of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
- Chairman of the Legal Education Committee
- Current member of the Charitable Planning and Exempt Organizations Committee
- Former State Chair of ACTEC
- Former member of the Nominating Committee
- Former member of the Board of the ACTEC Foundation
- Chairman of the Georgia Federal Tax Conference
- Former member of the Georgia Trust Code Revision Committee
- Former member of the Georgia Probate Code Revision Committee
- Former member of the Georgia Guardianship Code Revision Committee
- Member of the Brunswick-Glynn County Bar Association
- Member of the American Bar Association and its Real Property, Taxation and Estate Planning Sections
- Member of the State Bar of Georgia, and its Taxation and Fiduciary Law Sections
- Past Chairman of the Fiduciary Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia
- Former member of the Review Panel of the State Disciplinary Board of the State Bar of Georgia
- Past President of the Brunswick and Glynn County Bar Association
- Past President of Younger Lawyers Association of the Brunswick and Glynn County Bar Association
- Member of Christ Church, Frederica
- Chairman of the Investment Committee
- Former Senior Warden and Junior Warden of the Vestry
- Former Treasurer
- Chairman of the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, Inc.
- Member and former chairman of the Board of Trustees of Coastal Georgia Community College Foundation, Inc.
- Member of the Presidential Search and Screen Committee of Brunswick College (1990-1991)
- Trustee of the Wesley Memorial Trust
- Member of the Rotary Club of St. Simons Island, Georgia and past President
- Member of the Gridiron Secret Society
- Participant in the 1985 Class of Leadership Georgia
- Former member of:
- Board of Trustees of the St. Simons Island Rotary Foundation.
- Board of Directors of the YWCA Foundation of Brunswick, Georgia, Inc.
- Glynn County Heart Association
- Georgia Council on Economic Education
- Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce
Judson "Jud" H. Turner
of Counsel - Judson (“Jud”) H. Turner joined the firm on January 1, 2017 after 10 years of public service to the State of Georgia in various senior legal and management posts. Mr. Turner’s practice is focused primarily in the areas of environmental litigation, regulatory compliance and permitting, and government relations. Having spent over 4 years as Director of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), the state’s chief environmental regulator, Mr. Turner is well-versed in a broad array of environmental matters involving water, waste and air regulation at both the state and federal levels. Mr. Turner is also considered one of the state’s top experts in environmental policy - in particular, policy related to sustainable water supply development in the state. While Director, Mr. Turner was active in the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) and served as Region IV Representative on the Executive Committee, the governing body of ECOS. Mr. Turner is also a guest professor at the University of Georgia School of Law where he will teach Water Law during the Spring 2017 term.
In addition to his time as Director of GA EPD, Mr. Turner also served as Director of the Governor’s Office of Interagency Coordination and Management of Water Resources, a position newly established to coordinate and manage activities related to the state’s defense of the original action matter filed by the state of Florida against the State of Georgia in the United States Supreme Court seeking an equitable apportionment of the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin. Florida v. Georgia, Original Action No. 142. Since September 1, 2016, Mr. Turner has served as Special Assistant Attorney General in Florida v. Georgia and in other matters involving the state’s shared river basins.
In between stints of government service, in 2008 Mr. Turner founded the law firm of Turner, Bachman & Garrett LLC, specializing in administrative and regulatory law, governmental affairs and litigation, with a particular focus on water resources law, environmental and education law. Mr. Turner was also a founding partner of Georgia360 LLC, a multidisciplinary government relations firm previously associated with Gilbert Harrell Sumerford & Martin, P.C. Both firms transitioned to different entities upon Mr. Turner’s return to public service.
From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Turner served initially as Deputy and then Executive Counsel to Governor Sonny Perdue. His practice included counsel to the Governor on wide array of executive branch legal matters, including issues related to the state budget process, judicial appointments, government procurement, education policy, retirement pensions and other post-employment benefits, ethics and litigation. Prior to service as Counsel to Governor Perdue, Mr. Turner served as General Counsel to the Georgia Department of Education. He began his law practice as an associate at Bradley Arant Rose & White LLP in Birmingham, Alabama.
Mr. Turner was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in economics and political science from the University of Georgia and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. While at UGA, Mr. Turner served as President of the Student Government Association.
In recognition of his broad experience in the areas of environmental regulation and policy, in 2016, Georgia Trend Magazine named Mr. Turner one of its 100 Most Influential Georgians. Mr. Turner was also selected as one of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40 in 2008 and named one of the UGA Alumni Association’s Inaugural 40 Under 40 in 2011. Mr. Turner has testified before Congress on matters of water use and management in the Southeastern United States and was recognized as a Distinguished Lecturer at the Jones Ecological Center in 2013.
Mr. Turner is active in the Walk to Emmaus, a 3-Day Christian renewal movement, and Chrysalis, the primary outreach of the Walk to Emmaus ministering to youth ages 15-18, having served on its board of servants for the past 5 years. Mr. Turner presently serves on the UGA, Griffin Campus, Board of Visitors and served for a number of years on UGA’s Honors Program Young Alumni Board. He is a native of Albany, Georgia and resides in Griffin with his wife Courtney and two children.
Additional Relevant Experience
- Developed the state’s strategy to secure its water supply for municipal, industrial and agricultural water use through 2050, including the state’s response to the proposed Army Corps’ Water Control Manuals for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin
- Amended state’s partnership agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers related to 404 permitting under the Clean Water Act for regional multi-purpose, water supply reservoirs.
- Served as liaison to the state’s Congressional delegation for issues related to interstate basins and other water supply matters
- Revised and implemented the state’s new drought protection regulatory framework and rule-making regarding water loss from aging infrastructure
- Architect of key revisions to the Flint River Drought Protection Act during the 2013 legislative session and designed options for future regulatory management of water resources in the Lower Flint Basin.
- Resolved contentious issues related to the Savannah River Basin
- Saltwater Intrusion: Developed bold regulatory approach that established moratorium on further Floridan Aquifer withdrawals and implemented targeted, economically sustainable reductions to be phased in over ten years
- TMDL: Negotiated and finalized with EPA and the State of South Carolina a novel approach to over-allocated waste loads to the river that will provide the means to bring the river back into compliance for water quality
- Harbor Deepening: Ensured existing environmental mitigation plans related to the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project would not be negated by consumptive loss from withdrawals for the new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle by requiring targeted mitigation for dissolved oxygen impacts as a condition of the companys’ withdrawal permit
- Developed the state’s successful strategy in response to the President’s Clean Power Plan to allow for crediting of new nuclear power generation in the final federal rule.
- Architect of the state’s approach to coastal marshland buffers under the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, including successful passage of a revised buffer statute and state rule-making establishing clear and enforceable vegetated buffers around state marshlands. See Turner v. Georgia River Network, et. al., 297 Ga. 306 (2015) (confirming director’s interpretation of the statute and validating the need for revisions to the statute in order to provide enforceable vegetated buffers around state marshlands where vegetated buffers are lacking).
- Special Presentation: Georgia Environmental Protection Division Water Law Update, 15th Annual Georgia Water Law and Regulation, the Seminar Group, (March 22, 2016)
- Key Water Issues in the State of Georgia: Update and Future Issues, (Tri-State Water Issues; Water Control Manuals in the ACF and ACT Basins; Georgia’s Erosion and Sedimentation Act; EPA and the Corps’ Waters of the U.S. Rulemaking; Status of the Savannah River TMDL; Georgia’s Anti-deg Guidance; Nutrient Management Issues; Status of the State Water Plan and Updates to the Regional Council Plans), 14th Annual Georgia Water Law and Regulation, the Seminar Group, (February 27, 2015)
- Congressional Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, “Oversight of Army Corps of Engineers Water Management in Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Systems,” (July 22, 2013)
- Distinguished Lecture, Jones Ecological Center, (August 28, 2013)
- Tweaking river’s flow, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 14, 2015
- Unfounded concerns, rumors surround revision of the Flint River Drought Protection Act, Albany Herald, March 9, 2014
- Discharge levels may vary, but they still protect, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 2, 2013
K. Martin Worthy
of Counsel - K. Martin Worthy is of counsel with the firm's Trusts & Estates Practice Group. Until he retired in 2001, Mr. Worthy was a partner with Foley & Lardner in Washington, D.C. Previously, he served by Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation as Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service and as Assistant General Counsel of the Treasury from 1969 to 1972. Mr. Worthy was a member of the National Council on Organized Crime from 1970 to 1972. He was Chairman of the Section on Taxation of the American Bar Association from 1973 to 1974 and Chairman of the American College of tax Counsel from 1985 to 1987. He is admitted to the bar in Georgia and the District of Columbia.
Mr. Worthy earned his Bachelor of Philosophy degree from Emory University and his Juris Doctorate cum laude from Emory Law. He also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration cum laude from Harvard University.
Mr. Worthy is a member of the St. Simons Rotary Club, former President of the Ivy League Club of the Golden Isles, and the Civil War Round Table of the Golden Isles. He has also been President of the Sea Island Property Owners Association and Chairman of the St. Simons Island Public Library Foundation.