Legally Speaking, Special Events Natasha S.L. Banks
Membership Aleta McLaurin
Political Action Jahnisa Loadholt
Co-Chair, Inter-Bar Relations and Chair, CLE-at-Sea Lyndosha Jamison
Political Action, Founders Awards Tori Silas
Political Action Michelle Arrington
Political Action Marissa McCall
Sections Evita Gaillard
Student Programs Dr. Felicia Stewart
Student Programs Jasmin Robinson
Special Events Tiffany Watkins
Special Events Lauri Thomas
JPOA LaDawn Blackett Jones
PDA Mecca Anderson
Woman-to-Woman Jamie Rush
Trial Masters Bootcamp, Criminal Law Simone Hylton
Criminal Law Ecleynne Mercy
Entertainment Law Bernie Lawrence-Watkins
Entertainment Alana Kirkland
Family Law E. Noreen Banks-Ware
Intellectual Property Shaton Menzie
Intellectual Property Ava Blake
Employment & Labor Charlotte Redo
Labor + Employment Tiffany Taylor
Awards + Sponsorships
Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper
Ms. Edmondson-Cooper, a bilingual federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of the Solicitor (SOL), litigates labor & employment enforcement matters against employers focusing on cases involving violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the “H” provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act—provisions regulating the working conditions of guest workers who enter the U.S. via temporary work visas, a significant number of whom are limited English proficient —, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Mine Safety and Health Act & other federal labor laws. Additionally, Ms. Edmondson-Cooper counsels the Southeast Region DOL Wage and Hour Division on U and T Visa certifications for victims of labor trafficking and other qualifying criminal activities and serves as an in-house subject-matter expert on language access/limited English proficiency issues within SOL as well as its several client-agencies, including but not limited to the Wage and Hour Division, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. A former legal interpreter and legal aid attorney, Ms. Edmondson-Cooper also spends a significant amount of time working to alleviate language access as an access to justice (A2J) and due process issue. With over a decade of language access experience, Ms. Edmondson-Cooper is the President and Chief A2J Officer of Edmondson Consulting, LLC which seeks to improve access, promote equity, and preserve justice by providing A2J/language access consultation services to stakeholders nationwide.
Awards & Sponsorships
Detriss Thomas is an Assistant County Attorney with the Fulton County Office of the County Attorney where she serves as counsel within the Environment and Infrastructure practice group. Prior to joining the County Attorney’s Office, Detriss honed her skills at a boutique firm that represented local municipalities, a school board and water authority within Clayton County.
Detriss has a been a member of GABWA since 2012 and has served on the leadership team in various roles. She served as chair of the Elections, Sections and Awards and Sponsorship Committees and as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee. Detriss is an alumna of the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Division Leadership Academy. And she is also a graduate of GABWA’s Professional Development Academy.
Prior to law school, Detriss was a paralegal with the Georgia Lottery Corporation. During law school, she participated in the Washtenaw County Public Defender Clinic and was a law clerk with Georgia Legal Services. Detriss received her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Master of Science in Legal Studies from California University of Pennsylvania, and undergraduate degree in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University.
Crystal D. Kesler is a general civil litigation and employment law defense attorney at Goodman McGuffey, LLP. There she represents insurers in a wide array of liability matters throughout Georgia in both State and Federal Courts. Prior to joining Goodman McGuffey, LLP, Crystal worked as a plaintiff’s attorney primarily in the area of employment law.
Crystal received her Juris Doctor from Georgia State University College of Law with the Highest Pro Bono Distinction for completing over 150 hours of pro bono service throughout her tenure. During law school, she served as an elected officer on the Executive Board of Moot Court and the Ronald J. Freeman Chapter of the Black Law Students Association, and was also an active member of Georgia State’s Student Trial Lawyers Association. Prior to law school, Crystal graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, as a collegiate athlete, with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing.
For the second consecutive year, Crystal will serve as the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys’ (GABWA) 2018 Vice President of Technology. She is a graduate of GABWA’s Professional Development Academy where she was elected by her peers as graduation class speaker; she has served as a GABWA Women to Women Committee member; and she is also a GABWA scholarship recipient.
Community Service, Woman 2 Woman
Roodgine Dominique Bray, Esq.is a Litigation Attorney with the Davis Bozeman Law Firm. Attorney Bray practices in the Personal Injury section of the firm. Attorney Bray has been admitted to practice in Georgia, the United States District Court – Northern District of Georgia, the Court of Appeals of Georgia, and the Supreme Court of Georgia. Attorney Bray is a graduate of the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyer’s Leadership Academy. She is a member Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA).
A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Attorney Bray is fluent in French and Haitian Creole. She graduated from Clayton State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. Attorney Bray obtained her Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She studied abroad in South Africa and interned at Roux de Wet du Plessis Law Firm in Pretoria, South Africa. She served as a law clerk for the Criminal Division Chief at the State of Michigan Attorney General’s Office. She also served as a Pro Bono Junior Associate in the Service to Soldiers Program where she volunteered to help brief deploying troops.
As an undergraduate student at Clayton State University, Attorney Bray served as the President of both the Student Government Association and the Tau Epsilon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Incorporated. As a law student, Attorney Bray served as an Associate Editor for the Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law, Corresponding Secretary of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), a member of the Mock Trial and Moot Court Boards. She also served as a Trial Skills Teacher Assistant, Graduation Marshall, and Law School Ambassador. Attorney Bray was the BLSA Mock Trial Champion and competed in the BLSA National Mock Trial Team. Currently, Attorney Bray empowers the community and youth by conducting legal rights seminars. Attorney Bray has been a guest panelist at V-103’s “Know Your Rights When Encountering the Police” Town Hall Meeting and Henry County Alumnae Chapter’s civil rights forum. Additionally, Attorney Bray has served as a guest speaker at Clayton State University for “Remember the Titan’s Forgotten Faces” – a dialogue about forgotten injustices and how to interact with the police. Attorney Bray volunteers with Save Ourselves (SOS) legal clinic where she provides free consultations. Attorney Bray served as the inaugural President of the Atlanta Chapter of SisterCARE Alliance – an organization created to support women and to promote social activism and self-care as a strategic contribution to the lives of women. Attorney Bray has been selected by the National Black Lawyers Association as a member of the 2017 Top 40 Under 40.
Attorney Bray is married to Earl Bray and is a proud mother to their daughters, Elise and Elisabeth. She is an active member of the Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church (House of Hope Atlanta).
Marcee L. Campbell
A member of GABWA since 2014, Ms. Marcee L. Campbell has consistently participated in GABWA’s Judicial Review Committee and Sister2Sister Mentoring Program. She currently serves as the Elections Chair, and in the past has served as a Community Service Co-Chair and on the Glitter Gala and Political Action Committees. Marcee is a proud graduate of Albany State University and Howard University School of Law. Upon graduating from law school, Marcee commenced a career in education that led to her becoming an Assistant Legal Officer in Legal Affairs and the Charter School Coordinator for the DeKalb County School District. Currently, Marcee is the Senior Staff Attorney to the Honorable Courtney L. Johnson in the Superior Court of DeKalb County.Her experience to-date includes a solid foundation of knowledge in legal research and analysis, educational policy, charter school governance, contracts and government and municipality law. She has also attained experience with internal investigations, negotiations, and policy development. Marcee enjoys engaging in community service activities and pro bono work in her community, visiting beaches, cooking, and spending time with her family and college sweetheart, Elam.
KASSIE L. HALL, ESQ. Received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Florida in 2009. She earned both a Juris Doctor Degree and a Master of Laws in Business Transactions from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2015. In law school, Kassie was elected SGA Senator and was an active member of the Black Law Student Association. Kassie served as a student lawyer for the Capital Defense and Elder Law Clinics were she created Wills, Trust & Estate, and defended defendants facing a death sentence. Kassie also had the chance to study law abroad at The Australian National University, in Australia.
After law school Kassie moved back home to Atlanta where she begun a fellowship with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in 2015, and prosecuted an array of criminal cases under Georgia’s Third Year Practice Act. Prior to passing the Georgia Bar, Kassie worked as a Research Analyst to the District Attorney of Fulton County, Mr. Paul Howard, Jr.,. Once barred Kassie transitioned into her current role as an Assistant District Attorney. Kassie is now a lead trial attorney in the complex trial division in Fulton county.
Nicole Golson is a longtime friend of the legal community, who recently ended a 6-year tenure as Legal Compliance Manager at a Georgia based state-chartered bank. She now serves as the Risk Compliance Coordinator for Georgia United Credit Union and works directly with the VP of Risk Management to ensure that the organization is consistently compliant with federal and state regulatory statutes.
Nicole earned her degree in Criminology at the University of Florida and prior to working at the intersection of law and banking, she worked as a paralegal in real estate and foreclosure law for four years.
With the goal realizing mindset of “Defer but don’t dismiss” as her driving force, Nicole is currently pursuing aspirations of attending law school and becoming a licensed attorney. Becoming an attorney is a life long dream that she considers to have been postponed for far too long.
Her hobbies include: Watching Grey’s Anatomy on a loop, listening to true crime podcasts, going to the gym, training to be a life and relationship coach, delivering meals with Project Open Hand, practicing her makeup artistry, serving the underserved, and spending quality time with her three-year-old daughter, Ryan Nicole. Nicole and her family currently reside in Lilburn, Georgia.
Chair, Inter-Bar Relations
Joyce Gist Lewis
Priscilla Bonsu serves as GABWA’s Student Member-at-Large. She received her German law degree from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently a 3L at Emory University, School of Law. After graduation in May, she will be joining the International Corporate Group at Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP. She is one of the recent GABWA Scholarship recipients and is currently the President of the Emory Communications & Media Law Society as well as the Vice President of the Emory Sports & Entertainment Law Society. Priscilla served as an American Bar Association (ABA) law student reporter, competed in the ABA First Amendment & Media Law Diversity Moot Court Competition and is this year’s ABA Forum on Communications Law Scholarship recipient.
Rita M. Treadwell
Rita Treadwell is a Research Attorney at Greenberg Traurig, a global law firm. She has previously practiced law at a large insurance defense firm well known in Atlanta legal community. Ms. Treadwell’s prior practice was concentrated on the representation of financial institutions and special servicers in connection with distressed real estate loans, including the pursuit of foreclosure, asset assessment and post-judgment collections. Ms. Treadwell is active in her community serving on several boards and holding various leadership positions. She currently serves as the Chair of GABWA’s Judicial Review Committee, Chair of the Junior League of Atlanta’s Endowment Fund Board. She is a board member on the GABWA Foundation Board, the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, Druid Hills High School Foundation Board, the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Fulton County Advisory Board and served as the 2018 President of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys.
M.L.I.S., Library Science, Clark Atlanta University
J.D., Samford University-Cumberland School of Law, CLEO Fellow
B.A., Political Science, Hampton University, cum laude
Bar & Court Admissions, Professional Memberships, and Community Activities
State of Georgia Bar
Northern District of Georgia
American Bar Association, Member
Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, President, 2018
Foundation Board, Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys
Junior League of Atlanta, Trustee
Boys and Girls Club, Metro Atlanta
GABWA/GALP Civil Pro Bono Project
Judicial Review, Special Events
Legal Education, Trial Masters Bootcamp
Attorney Fields’ focus is aiding plaintiff’s in auto accidents, nursing home and negligent security cases.
Fields has lived in and served the metropolitan Atlanta area all of her life. She is a litigator with many years of experience in and out of courtroom and in dealing with insurance companies.
Fields was educated at Georgia State University right here in Atlanta and Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, AL. Fields has litigated at large and boutique law firms and also practiced public interest law while serving as an Assistant Attorney General at the Georgia Department of Law. In addition, Fields served as an adjunct professor at Clayton State University where she molded minds for more than eight years.
As you can see, Attorney Fields has a broad base of experience and she uses that experience to help her clients. Fields is focused on helping you if you are injured through no fault of your own. When you become her client, Fields takes it as her duty to seek maximum compensation for you. If you have been injured through no fault of their own, contact Fields today. She will personally speak with you and explain your rights as well as the steps that need to be taken in order to protect those rights.
Legally Speaking, Special Events
Natasha S.L. Banks
Jahnisa Loadholt is a senior associate at Alston & Bird LLP in the firm’s Litigation & Trial Practice Group. Her practice focuses on class action and insurance defense litigation across a broad array of industries. She also defends clients in investigations by law enforcement and various federal and state agencies, including the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Office of Foreign Assets Control. She has extensive experience representing health care clients in ERISA litigation and provider-payer litigation and also represents clients in litigation arising under multiple statutes, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), False Claims and Foreign Corrupt Practices Acts, and RICO, as well as under state statutes, including consumer protection statutes.
Jahnisa has a robust pro bono practice, representing parents in child custody matters and asylum seekers.
Jahnisa served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Jahnisa received her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and her B.A. from Clark Atlanta University.
Co-Chair, Inter-Bar Relations and Chair, CLE-at-Sea
Lyndosha Jamison’s practice focuses on advising medical professionals in a variety of civil and health law matters. These matters include the following:
Physician compensation review
Independent contractor agreements
Physician employment contracts
Hospital/physician settlement agreements
Medical directorship agreements
Non-compete clause analysis
Hospice employment contracts
Behavioral health contracts
Locums buyout agreements
Individual risk management considerations
Medical malpractice insurance reviews
Restrictive covenant analysis
Lyndosha’s commitment is to provide practical solutions to the complex issues facing medical professionals. Her experience assisting doctors and other healthcare professionals with their legal and compliance issues combined with her past experience as a trial attorney in Metro Atlanta make her a valuable asset to her clients. Attorney Jamison received her B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa (Political Science, Pre-Law) from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her J.D. from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. She is married to an internal medicine physician. She and Dr. Curtis Jamison, Jr. live in Atlanta, Ga.
Areas of Practice
Georgia Bar, 2012
Supreme Court of Georgia, 2012
Georgia Court of Appeals, 2012
Professional Associations & Memberships
Georgia Bar Association, Health Law Section
American Health Lawyers Association
Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys
Political Action, Founders Awards
Tori M. Silas is Senior Counsel with Cox Enterprises, Inc., a leading communications, media and automotive services company. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Cox Enterprises is the parent company to Cox Communications, Inc., Cox Automotive, Inc. and Cox Media Group, LLC. Since joining Cox Enterprises in 2012, Ms. Silas has held roles of increasing responsibility supporting business clients on a variety of transactional matters, including corporate transactions and new media matters. Most recently, as Cox Enterprises’ Privacy Officer she established and managed the company’s privacy and data security program. Currently, she is one of Cox Legal’s inaugural participants in Functional Organization Rotational Growth Experience (FORGE), a highly selective, rotational leadership program that provides participants exposure to executive and senior business leaders, together with substantive experience across a broad range of legal issues faced by the Company’s diverse businesses.
Prior to joining Cox Enterprises, Tori was Corporate Counsel with Harland Clarke Corp. At Harland Clarke, she managed Harland Clarke’s regional legal department and was responsible for corporate transactions, intellectual property matters, privacy and data security compliance and corporate governance and subsidiary management.
Tori began her legal career in private practice, working in several large law firms in Texas and Georgia. Prior to attending law school, Tori worked as a consultant in the financial services industry. In 2013, she was named to the Fulton County Daily Report’s “40 Under 40 On the Rise” list, recognizing top attorneys in the State of Georgia under 40 years of age. She was recently honored in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta and the Atlanta Business League’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.
In 2017, Tori served as President of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA), a voluntary bar association serving over 600 members throughout the State of Georgia and the community at large. Tori is most passionate about the work she does to mentor young women in high school, college and law school and young attorneys, as well as the work she does as domestic violence advocate through the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Tori serves on the Board of Directors of the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and is a Trustee of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Tori was awarded athletic and academic scholarships to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology where she was a member of the varsity track and field team where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management. She also holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law.
Attorney Evita L. Gaillard specializes in Family Law cases consisting of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Legitimation, Alimony, and Property Settlements. She also serves as an Associate Special Assistant Attorney General representing both the Fulton County’s Division of Family and Children Services (in cases involving Child Dependency and Child Abuse Registry appeals), and the Office of Inspector General’s Electronic Benefits Transfer Unit (in cases involving EBT fraud). And for those seeking an alternative to court she is also a Georgia Court Registered Mediator.
Attorney Gaillard has an extensive and varied background providing her clients with valuable insight on a wide array of legal matters. As an Administrative Hearing Officer/Judge with the Georgia Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Appeals Tribunal she presided over 4,000+ appeals. As a private attorney she has experience in Bankruptcy, Social Security as well as Criminal Law. Before entering private practice, Attorney Gaillard served with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development where she reviewed foreclosure auctions and bids for commercial properties valued at over $2,000,000.
Atty. Gaillard earned her B.A. from Howard University in Washington, DC and her Juris Doctorate from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in Lansing.
As a GABWA member, Attorney Gaillard has served as a Historian (2017) and Co-Chair of Awards & Sponsorship (2018). This year under Madame President, she will serve as Co-Chair of Newsletter.
Dr. Felicia Stewart
Sakia DeLaney is a part of the Mergers & Acquisitions team at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and focuses her practice in a variety of aspects of mergers and acquisitions in addition to general corporate law. She is a graduate of Georgia State University College of Law and served as President of the Ronald J. Freeman Chapter of the Black Law Students’ Association from 2016-2017. Sakia received the CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Torts and Copyrights, which is an award given to the highest scoring student in each law school class. Additionally, she serves as the co-chair of Student Programs for the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and as a director on the Board of Directors for C.H.I.L.L., an Atlanta based non-profit organization.
LaDawn Blackett Jones
LaDawn “LBJ” Blackett Jones is a dedicated wife, mother, author, trial attorney, television contributor, entrepreneur, former Georgia State Representative, mentor and community advocate. After completing her education at Tennessee State University and Tulane Law School, “LBJ” began her dream job as an Assistant District Attorney in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. She left the DA’s office in 2010 as a Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney and the office’s first Director of the Community Prosecutor division.
LBJ still operates the LBJ Group, LLC, Atlanta’s only “holistic law firm” handling criminal, family, and trademark law. She has also opened two additional businesses PolitaCoach, llc, a political strategy and campaign training company, and HQ Auburn an African American business incubator and co-working office on the historic Auburn Ave.
In 2012, Jones was elected to the Georgia General Assembly and served two terms as the State Representative for southwest Atlanta, College Park, East Point and Douglas County. In 2016, she was selected by Bernie Sanders to serve as the Georgia State Director for his presidential campaign. During her tenure in the General Assembly, she was on the team of legislators that created the City of South Fulton, a predominantly African American and Georgia’s 5th largest city. LBJ also made history as South Fulton’s first City Solicitor and organizer of the viral photo of the first American city where all criminal justice leadership positions were held by African American women.
When she is not in a courtroom, LaDawn is a regular legal and political commentator appearing as a contributor each election night since 2016 on Atlanta’s 11Alive, TvOne, RT America, Law & Crime News, One America News Network, MSNBC, Fox News, 1380 WAOK, CBS, Dr. Drew, iHeart Radio and several other television and radio stations throughout the country. LaDawn is moving from her career as an attorney into a career as a writer. While currently finishing her third commercial book, LBJ writes for GeorgiaPol.com, Georgia’s most popular political blog. Her second book, Cheating but not Cheated: A Memoir of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal was the inspiration for a documentary, One Child Left Behind expected for release in Spring 2019.
Mecca Anderson brings a distinctive skillset to The Cochran Firm’s trial practice. She served the Georgia Supreme Court as a Clerk specializing in Petitions for Certiorari, as the Chief of Staff to Justice Carol W. Hunstein and as a Judicial Intern for Justice Robert Benham. Prior to joining The Cochran Firm, Mecca honed her skills at a boutique litigation firm, The Summerville Firm, renowned for both its trial and appellate expertise.
Mecca was selected as a 2017 member of the GTLA LEAD Program. She is a 2013 alumna of the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Division Leadership Academy. She also serves as Dean for the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys’ Professional Development Academy. Mecca has been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Mecca’s practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury cases arising from trucking and auto accidents, negligent security, medical malpractice and breaches of civil rights.
Trial Masters Bootcamp, Criminal Law
Simone N. Hylton is a Senior Assistant District Attorney with the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office under the leadership of District Attorney Sherry Boston, where she prosecutes Domestic Violence and Adult Sexual Assault cases. These cases include intimate partner assault and battery cases; intimate partner homicide cases and rape cases. Prior to her assignment in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, Ms. Hylton served in the Sexual Exploitation and Crimes against Children Unit. In that unit she handled human trafficking, child physical and sexual abuse and child homicides. Prior to her time at the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office, Ms. Hylton served as a Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Fulton County District Attorney Office.
Ms. Hylton has handled cases ranging from drug offenses to homicide cases. While at the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, Ms. Hylton received several awards to include the Major Case Rookie of the Year award, the Trial Unit Attorney of the Year award and was selected as a Rising Star in the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in 2012. Originally born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Hylton made Georgia her home after graduating law school. Ms. Hylton received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Legal Communications from Howard University in 2004. She received her Juris Doctorate from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2008.
Currently, Ms. Hylton is the Southeast Regional Director of National Black Prosecutors Association; is the Immediate Past President of the Greater Atlanta Black Prosecutor Association; Chair of the Criminal Law section of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys; and on the board of the DeKalb Lawyers Association and Howard University Alumni Association-Atlanta Chapter. Ms. Hylton is an Adjunct Professor at Emory University School of Law where she teaches a trial techniques course. Ms. Hylton is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and serves her sorority through the Atlanta Suburban Alumnae Chapter. Ms. Hylton is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church in Southwest Atlanta, Georgia.
Bernie Lawrence-Watkins is a seasoned transactional attorney and principal in the law firm of B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC, concentrating in the areas of Entertainment, Digital Media, Licensing, Copyright, Trademark, Business Transactions, and Corporate Formations. Her clients include Grammy® Award winning music producers and songwriters who reportedly have over 10 million units in sales, artists, music industry executives, independent record labels, managers, music and film /television production companies, screenplay writers, and clothing designers. She has a plethora of experience drafting and negotiating contracts ranging from licensing, employment, corporate transactions, to product endorsement agreements on behalf of corporate and entertainment clients. Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins’ sharp negotiating skills have earned her clients over millions of dollars in royalty income and advances. She periodically appears as a guest lecturer and panelist at colleges, law schools and conferences across the country.
Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins began her legal career as a paralegal in 1996 at the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP formerly known as Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, and later worked as a contract attorney in the litigation department. In 1999, she left the large firm environment to work for the City of Atlanta as the Legal Specialist for the Office of Contract Compliance, while maintaining her legal practice on the side. In late 2002, Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins left the City of Atlanta to open her own law firm full time. She served as a federal lobbyist for a period of 8 years representing the City of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, while building a niche law practice representing platinum-selling music producers and songwriters. Over the years some of her clients composed and produced music for top charting recording artists such as 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin Sean “Puffy” Combs, T.I., Lil’ Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Usher, and Justin Bieber. She also represents record executives at some of the top record companies in the entertainment industry.
Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins is a community activist. In 2007 she co-founded Gather For Good, an annual networking and fundraising event seeking to raise funds for local nonprofit organizations. From 2009 to 2013, she served as a volunteer lecturer for Literacy Action, a United Way Organization, and taught grooming and interviewing techniques to adults seeking to re-enter the workforce. In 2012, she became a STEM community partner/volunteer to TAG-Ed. In 2015, her firm partnered with the John Marshall School of Law, and currently provides externship opportunities to law students seeking to learn about the practice of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law.
In 2007, Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins received the Metro Atlanta Community Champion Award from MADD and was honored by Rolling Out Magazine as one of Atlanta’s 25 Most Influential Women. In 2009, the Supreme Court of Georgia appointed her as a Mentor in the Transition into Law Practice Program to assist newly admitted lawyers to the State Bar of Georgia, and she currently participates as a mentor. During that same year, she also received The Token of Appreciation Award from Music in the Metro, a non-profit organization located in Des Moines, Iowa for bringing youth and the music industry together. In 2012, she was presented the Entertainment Lawyer of the Year Award by Women of Wealth Magazine and was honored by ASCAP as one of The Women Behind the Music. In 2014, Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins received the Chairman’s Award from the Entertainment, Sports & Art Law Section of the National Bar Association. In 2015, she was honored with an Icon Award by Writing Sessions America – Atlanta, and Rolling Out Magazine honored her as one of the Top 25 Women of Atlanta for the second time. In August 2017, she was featured in Attorney at Law Magazine as one of the attorneys to watch.
Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins’ past and present Board affiliations include the United Way-African American Partnership, One Economy Corporation (Advisory Board), Smyrna Basketball Association, Inc. (Co-Founder, Treasurer), Jack and Jill of America-Atlanta Chapter (Parliamentarian, Legislative Chair), The Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully (C.H.O.I.C.E.S.) – General Counsel, Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), and the Black Entertainment Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA) – Secretary, Vice President, Chair of Sponsorship and Board Development). During the years of 2007 to 2011, Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins also served as a local advisory board member to Branch, Banking and Trust (BB&T). Throughout the years, she has served as a member of various organizations, including, but not limited to Atlanta Business League, the National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences, Women in Film and Television Atlanta (WIFTA), the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (Member at Large, Chair of the Entertainment Law Section), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Federal Bar Association.
Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins received her Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore, School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in Georgia in all lower courts and state and superior courts, the United Stated District Court Northern District of Georgia, Georgia Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Georgia. Mrs. Lawrence-Watkins is married with two sons.
E. Noreen Banks-Ware
E. Noreen Banks-Ware is the principal of E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm, LLC. The firm began in 1991.The firm is a BV rated (Martindale-Hubbell rated) law firm. The areas of practice include family law, business law, probate and personal injury law.
The firm has provided exceptional service to the public and legal community in Lithonia, Georgia and the greater metro Atlanta area for 28 years. Law Firm Alliance with: Stewart, Seay & Felton, LLC and the Cochran Firm, Inc.
Special Assistant Administrative Law Judge, Office of State Administrative Hearings, appointed in 1997 to 2003.
County Attorney for Lamar County – appointed 1998 – 2000.
First African American appointed by Lamar Commissioners in County’s history.
State Bar of Georgia, Family Law Sections, and Business LawSection, admitted member 1989. Member of the State Bar of Georgia Family Law Section Diversity committee 2013- 2017
Georgia Supreme Court; admitted in 2016;
Georgia Court of Appeals in 2015
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia; admitted in 2001
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; admitted in 2001
Master in the Charles Longstreet Weltner Family Law Inns of Court; admitted in 2005
Member of the Executive Board of Directors for the DeKalb Bar Association 2014-15
Member of the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation 2017
Member of the Multi Bar Association 2014-2015
Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, member since 1988/Co-Chair of the GABWA Family Law Section
Atlanta Bar Association, 1990 recipient of Scholarship for NITA Training.
DeKalb Bar Association Executive Committee Member 2014;
DeKalb Bar Association and DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers, Yearly Pro Bono award recipient for family law cases since 1993 and Pro Bono lawyer of the year- 2004
Speaker at GABWA annual Family law CLE 2013-2015
Juris Doctor – University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (1989)
Member of Journal of International and Comparative Law, (1988)
Bachelors of Business Administration – University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, (1986)
Employment & Labor
Charlotte Redo is a seasoned and highly skilled employment attorney who concentrates her practice on labor and employment matters affecting employees and employers in the private and public sector. She investigates, litigates and resolves various employment issues concerning discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims under Title VII, Section 1981, ADAAA, ADEA, FMLA, ERISA, EPA and state law. She also assists management with issues related to creating and revising employment policies, handbooks, employment contracts, separation agreements and other workplace matters.
Furthermore, she has successfully investigated, mediated and defended employment related complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and federal and state courts.
In addition to her law degree from Mercer University, Charlotte has a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University.
Charlotte’s unique background as an attorney and former certified human resources manager for large national companies enables her to understand the complex employment issues facing her clients. As a certified human resources manager and as an attorney, Charlotte has counseled and trained managers around the country about human resources compliance, wage and hour claims, unemployment benefits, recruiting and affirmative action planning.
Charlotte is very active in local bar associations and the community. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) and the Evansdale Education Foundation. For the past four years, she has served as the Chair of GABWA’s Employment Law Section and on the EEOC Committee of the Georgia Chapter of National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA-GA). She is also a former mentor in the State Bar of Georgia’s L&E Section 2018 Mentorship Academy, a member of the American Bar Association and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. For two years, she served as the Co-Chair of GABWA’s Community Service Committee where she was a passionate advocate for resolving issues that impact women and children.
Due to her legal and community service activities, she was selected to the 2020 Georgia Super Lawyers list, recognized as a LawDragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer, awarded GABWA’s 3500 Community Service Award in 2016, received scholarships from the ABA and the Leadership Academy for Women of Color Attorneys, awarded the 2015 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award and membership in the National Black Lawyers Top 100 Association. In 2016, one of her cases was ranked as one of the top five employment settlements/trials of the year in the Fulton County Daily Report.
Finally, Charlotte has made radio appearances on various media outlets, including WAOK 1380 and the Atlanta Legal Experts Radio Show, conducted radio blogs on employment related topics, and made numerous speaking engagements to schools, churches and various civic groups and bar associations. Charlotte’s personal interests include traveling, reading legal thrillers, participating in community service activities involving children and education, advocating for workplace fairness, and cheering on the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United.
Labor + Employment
Tiffany Taylor is an Associate in the Atlanta office of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP and is a member of the Employment practice group. Ms. Taylor represents clients in all areas of employment including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under Title VII, Section 1981, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act. Prior to joining Gordon & Rees, Ms. Taylor served as a clerk to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Ms. Taylor received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law.