Legal Eagles 2021

No one ever calls a lawyer because everything is going just fine, thank you. No, we only call them when our backs are to the wall, in those moments that have the potential to change everything for the worse. They are the unsung heroes of the courtroom, fighting for our rights and ensuring that small voices are heard. And if you’ve watched even a few moments of television, you know that there are thousands upon thousands of lawyers out there. So how do you choose? South has taken the guesswork out of your search, putting the spotlight on eight who have raised the bar for the legal profession. Read all about them, then put their number in your phone for those moments you’ll need them most.

Dyches Law Group

Photo by Blake Crosby

Dyches Law Group

South Carolina and Georgia leaders in the know consistently describe Don Dyches as the “secret weapon/rainmaker” who helps make large development deals happen in the coastal south.

What makes your firm different from all the other firms that handle real estate law?

Like our slogan says – “Focused on Real Estate” – our firm is all about being in the room when it happens, serving as a strategic partner so our clients can create some amazing legacy projects. We work with visionary entrepreneurs, developers and real estate agents who do not have cookie cutter needs. If there are any unique challenges individuals or companies face regarding real estate, we help them get past the issues so they make it to the finish line and create a successful deal.

Tell Us About a Project You are Passionate About Right Now.

I helped start the Savannah River Clean Water Fund, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit established to protect water quality in the Savannah River, primarily through conservation easements.  Over the last 15 years, a group of South Carolina land trusts and landowner volunteers helped to permanently protect more than 200,000 acres and more than 80 miles of frontage in the Southlowcountry Focus Area along the SC side of the Savannah River. 

The Savannah River Clean Water Fund grew out of this effort, focusing on source water protection and water quality on both sides of the Savannah River, which has a huge impact on drinking water as well as the economic viability of industries along the River, and especially the port. Other communities have successfully protected their drinking water sources, but no one has ever attempted source water protection on this large of a scale.

What is your secret to success?

Our firm takes great pride and effort to build our business model on relationships – not transactions. We are honored every day the trust our clients bestow to our team.

Who inspires you? 

My children inspire me daily to keep learning so I can keep up. Of course, I love risk-takers, people who can take an idea and turn it into a product or a business and make it look effortless.

Why did you choose Savannah as a place to practice?

Lucky for me, I am a seventh generation Savannahian. Coastal Georgia/the South Carolina Lowcountry region is the most beautiful area in the world. We are blessed beyond measure to work and live here.

Dyches Law Group
dycheslaw.com
savannah / bluffton / pooler
912.920.8010


The Bowen Law Group

Photo by Blake Crosby

From the man who brought you the Savannah film alliance

The Bowen Law Group

In a world where the reputation of lawyers hovers somewhere between used car salespeople and members of Congress, two men–united by fate– are fighting back against the perception that lawyers are boring, stuffy, and care more about billable hours than the needs of their clients.

Heroes will rise. Gavels will fall.

From the firm that brought you unmatched service with incomparable speed, skill, and expertise in all corporate, small business, and entertainment matters, we proudly present:

“The Bowen Law Group”

Charles “Bo” Bowen, founding partner and legendary courtroom assassin, and Ryan Schmidt, scrappy legal wunderkind and proud curator of a Tom Selleck mustache, have teamed up to do no less than forever change the entire practice of law. Prepare to be amazed as these two counselors embark on an epic journey to save their clients from those dastardly law firms that:

Have more initials in their firm’s name than a top secret government agency.

Never miss a tee-time but can’t seem to call you back.

Have not updated their office, wardrobe, or legal knowledge since the Nixon administration.

Bowen and Schmidt have built one of the country’s most elite, innovative, and trusted law firms right in the heart of Savannah. With a primary focus on business and entertainment law, The Bowen Law Group has proven time and again that no challenge is too great nor any issue too small to benefit from their world-class dedication and attention.

But don’t just take our word for it. 

Ask the countless film and television productions that have turned to The Bowen Law Group in their hour of need. Ask the hundreds of local businesses and entrepreneurs that have benefited from their counsel. To Bowen and Schmidt, every case is an important one. They stand ready to help.

Now playing in a courtroom near you.

The Bowen Law Group
7 E Congress St Suite 1001
Savannah, GA / 912.544.2050
thebowenlawgroup.com


Stacey Goad, Goad Law, LLC

Photo by D. Paul Graham / Stacey Goad is seated with Chewie, Butters and Lucy after a long day of fighting for her clients.

Justice For All

Why law?

“I didn’t just choose ‘law.’ I chose criminal law. I chose criminal law, specifically, to fight against injustice. As a criminal defense attorney, I help restore dignity to the lives of men and women accused of committing
crime every day.”

biggest challenge?

“My biggest challenge, by far, was losing my father. I’ve survived cancer and a myriad of other challenges, as we all likely will. But losing my dad almost broke me. Challenges give us perspective, though. I’m thankful for that. I believe I use the determination, empathy, and perspective I gained from those hard times to consistently help my clients and connect with jurors.”

Goad’s motto

“My motto is the Golden Rule. Plain and simple. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“If I died tomorrow, I would die a grateful woman knowing that I have helped some exceptionally good people out of some really bad situations.”

– Stacey Goad

Stacey Goad used to build cases for the State of Georgia. Now, she tears them apart. For anyone who needs serious criminal defense, Goad Law should be your first call.

From bond hearings to jury trials, Goad’s criminal defense law firm provides aggressive legal representation. “My clients inspire me. People who are unjustly treated and falsely accused inspire me,” said Goad. “Good people victimized by a broken system inspire me. My hope is to make a difference for as many people as possible.”

Goad has practiced law since 2008. She started her career as a prosecutor in metro-Atlanta. “I moved to Savannah to join the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office,” said Goad. “When I left the DA’s Office, I had over five years’ experience as a prosecuting attorney and I knew it was time to do some real good in this life. Now I concentrate on upholding my clients’ constitutional rights and zealously defending them at every turn.”

“There are many people in marginalized communities who do not get a fair shake,” continues Goad. “I do my best to combat that. I care enough for the people who need me that I do whatever it takes, within the bounds of the law, to help them. I don’t give up on my clients.”

“Hearing about how I helped someone get their life back on track is truly amazing. If I died tomorrow, I would die a grateful woman knowing that I have helped some exceptionally good people out of some really bad situations.” •

Goad Law, LLC
1111 Bull St., Savannah, GA
912.209.9000
notguiltysavannah.com


Mike Conner, Conner Law Group

Photo by D. Paul Graham

“The secret to success is faith, family and firm, in that order. You cannot accomplish anything in life without faith in what you believe in, which in turn gives you faith in yourself.”

– Mike Conner

Corporate To Individual

Why law?

“It seemed a natural choice to me as I am very analytical. Lawyers analyze data, facts, people, places and things, and after I do that, I am able to give advice and assist my clients with reaching their objectives. While I started out being good at analysis, I have only gotten better with time. I think my ability to work hard, understand my client’s objectives and provide a high level of both analysis and know-how toward resolution of our clients’ problems are all qualities that make Conner Law a great firm. The ability to size up the situation and promote answers is what works for me as a lawyer.”

Why Savannah?

“If you are a businessperson, I cannot imagine a better place to be. Savannah is beautiful and alive, always growing, emerging, and evolving. There is an energy about the place that seems to feed on itself, with new people, new businesses coming in and those new people bring more energy. And, and if you look at things that we have in Savannah that you never would expect for a small city, such as dining, entertainment, history… Savannah is off the charts. It is reminiscent of a European city with the river at its heart.”

Conner’s motto

“Our mission statement is to glorify God by enriching others’ lives, having a positive influence on everyone we meet and being a faithful steward of everything that is entrusted to us. We do this by delivering excellent legal services, professional counsel and advice.”

Mike Conner and The Conner Law Group haVE been recognized by “U.S. News & World Report” as a “Best Law Firm,” WITH the depth of experience to manage complex litigation of any size.

Conner credits his father as the main inspiration in his life, watching him sacrifice for his family while working hard, yet always making time to ensure Conner and his sister were always pointed in the right direction. It is upon this foundation that Conner has built his life, faith and career.

Like most other lawyers with a family, finding that work-life balance is one of the biggest challenges. “I could work seven days a week and looking at the workload I probably should,” Conner laughs, “however, I have two teenage sons and a wonderful wife. I have a hard time putting down the practice and making time for what is really important.” To that end, Conner is continually looking for ways to create more time for his faith and family.

“The secret to success is faith, family and firm, in that order,” he explains. “You cannot accomplish anything in life without faith in what you believe in, which in turn gives you faith in yourself. My family and their love and support is my bedrock, in addition to my reason for getting up in the morning.”

But one can only row a boat so far alone, and it is Conner’s team that allows Conner Law Group to successfully navigate upstream and against that outgoing tide.

“I think the pinnacle of any career is when third parties and peers recognize excellence,” Conner continues. Over the years, Conner Law has been able to decorate their walls with plaques that say Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Best Law Firms, Legal Elite, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum­—the list goes on—presented to them by distinguished organizations who have recognized Conner Law Group as being among the best – in fact, among the elite. “The bottom line is that you cannot buy that third-party recognition, you must earn it through hard work and good, client-driven results,” Conner states. “It means something to me to be recognized by the best as being among the best. I am extremely proud of that fact.” •

The Conner Law Group
7 E Congress St, Savannah, GA
912.373.8967
theconnerlawgroup.com


Noble Boykin Jones, Boykin & Associates, P.C.

Photo by D. Paul Graham

“I have had many ‘pinnacles’, but to me, this means winning even when the odds are stacked against my client.”

– Noble Boykin

Winning in the Face of the Odds

Why law?

“I originally majored in history in college but my father was determined that I should go into law. My grandfather was a lawyer, but my father was not able to follow in his footsteps because he went off to WWII. So, one day my father called me to say he had taken my law school application, which I had completed but decided not to send, and that he had sent it in anyway. Not only that, he told me I had been accepted. In hindsight, I suppose it was for the best and clearly worked out.”

Why Savannah?

“I was born and grew up in the Savannah area so it was just a natural choice to build my practice here and to serve the residents in this area.”

Boykin’s motto

“Our firm’s motto is ‘helping folks in Savannah for over 30 years.’ That pretty much sums up our mission of providing experienced and competent legal counsel when people need it most.”

The late John Wright Jones, a renowned local attorney, was a mentor to Noble Boykin, being one of a chosen few young lawyers taken under his wing and given “much needed on the job training,” Boykin recalls of his early days practicing law.

“The real world is much different than a classroom.” Boykin was also fortunate enough to be a staff attorney for the Superior Court and the State Court for two years following law school. He was inspired and learned a great deal as well from the “old school judges.”

“I think one of the biggest challenges in practicing law is not getting buried in minutia and keeping the bigger picture in sight. Sometimes I think I have a guardian angel who is a pretty good lawyer, one that helps me navigate through the major challenges,” he said.

Working hard and caring about people is part of how Boykin keeps his eye on the prize. “It is important for my clients to know that I care about them as people, not just as a means to earn money,” said Boykin. “I try to connect with them and understand them and do whatever is needed for them to achieve a positive outcome. I think my ability to listen and my desire to fight for those who have been wronged comes through in my representation. I do not accept clients who are only looking to cash in on a situation. I have had many ‘pinnacles’, but to me, this means winning even when the odds are stacked against my client.” •

JONES, BOYKIN & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
213 E 38TH ST., SAVANNAH, GA
912.236.6161
JONESBOYKINSAV.COM


Michael Schiavone, Schiavone Law Group

Photo by Blake Crosby

Criminal Defense

Why law?

“When I was in college in the ‘60s there were a lot of things happening in the area of justice and it just seemed a natural place for me to go to law school. I still think it is the best decision I ever made and I still love being a lawyer.”

Why Savannah?

“I grew up in Florida and went to law school in D.C. A few of us went down to Georgia to take the bar exam. After I passed, I was traveling back down to Florida and just happened to stop in Savannah. I saw this city for the first time, and it just bowled me over. It is a beautiful city steeped in history, yet you can get to the country or the beach very quickly. I think it is the best location on the East Coast.”

secret to success

“I think my secret to success is my commitment to communication with my clients. As lawyers, we provide a service, and it is important to remember that. I listen to my clients, return their phone calls promptly, and constantly keep the lines of communication open. When a person comes to see a lawyer, they are either in trouble or there is some type of serious matter that weighs heavily on them and they need to know they are being heard.”

Even if someone is guilty, they still need proper representation. Mike Schiavone is proud of always providing that representation. For him it is all about connecting with his clients and ensuring that justice is done.

It’s Schiavone’s ability to understand and communicate with all people that is his best quality. “The first thing I learned in law school was that a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows how the judge thinks,” said Schiavone. These communication skills are critical in the practice of law and one must have the ability to deal with clients, prosecutors and other lawyers. “It’s all about doing the best for your client, which means you need to have the ability to get along with everyone involved,” he added. Schiavone has defended over 50 major murder cases, some of them with national attention, and has basically done everything that a criminal defense lawyer can do in the practice of law. The pinnacle of his career? “It’s not so much a pinnacle but rather that I was able to get my practice up to a certain level and keep it there,” Schiavone said.

A feat that still reminds him of his own beginnings and being inspired by seeing new lawyers coming out of law school and seeing them with the same enthusiasm that he did when he first graduated. “It is that enthusiasm that keeps the practice of law interesting and I have never lost it. We need good, honest, ethical people to be lawyers,” Schiavone said.

But keeping up enthusiasm can be hard in the face of dealing with prejudice—the biggest challenge he faces—of the court, on the part of the prosecution and on the part of the public. “The key to defense work is to see that the individual receives due process which basically means a fair playing field,” said Schiavone. “As a defense lawyer, all I ask is that the court be fair and prosecutors seek justice, not just a conviction. •

Schiavone Law Group
1111 Bull Street
Savannah, GA
912.232.2646
shiavonelawgroup.com


Ben Price and Patrick Jarrett, Jarrett & Price

Photo by John Alexander

Statewide Injury Practice

Why law?

“Patrick and I both started practicing law as second careers,” said Ben Price. “For me, I was drawn to the challenge of the work and the opportunity to be in a courtroom, thinking on my feet and making arguments.”As for Patrick Jarrett: “I think I get the most satisfaction out of helping people through complex situations, whether that’s an immigration matter or an auto accident case.”

Why Savannah?

“Both of us came from elsewhere but began practicing in Savannah because we always loved the city. We have a state-wide practice, but I always knew that I wanted my primary office in Savannah. My wife is a lawyer as well, and we packed a U-Haul and headed to Savannah the day after she took the bar exam,” said Price.

What are the qualities that make you great lawyers?

“I think that Patrick and I both take our jobs very personally. We develop a relationship with our clients because we personally work every aspect of their case, whether it is a routine update or a complicated motions hearing. When clients call it is often one of us answering the phone, not a room full of support staff. Because we’re a small firm we’re able to provide that kind of attention to each client,” said Price. “I recognize the fact that I may have dozens of cases, but for that client, this is the only case that matters,” Jarrett said. “If you’re dedicated to that client and fighting for them, they will consider you their lawyer for life and refer all their relatives and friends.”

Jarrett & Price is celebrating more than ten years in Savannah as a law firm that specializes in personal injury litigation. In addition to running a state-wide personal injury practice, the firm also helps clients with immigration matters.

Both lawyers landed in Savannah from north Georgia following the financial crisis of 2008, and became partners in 2012. After starting out with a handful of cases, they have grown the firm for almost a decade and have represented more than 2,000 clients.

“Both of us chose to practice law in Savannah because we loved the city,” said Price. “Now we’ve grown our practice here, started families here, and it really feels like home.”

Jarrett and Price represent clients injured in accidents throughout the state and often work on referrals from other attorneys. “I’ve often said the best way to know the quality of a lawyer is to find out whether other lawyers trust them with their cases. Our clients appreciate the fact that they often find us based on a recommendation from another attorney,” added Price.

And their secret to success? “We connect personally with each of our clients,” explained Price. “We are a partnership, not a large impersonal firm. Clients often have our cell phone numbers. They do not have to wade through gatekeepers to get in touch with us. We give each case our personal attention and our clients respect that about us.”

While the firm has grown its case-load over the years, practicing law in 2021 has its challenges.

“I don’t think there is any argument that 2020 was the biggest challenge faced by business in our lifetime,” said Price. “For lawyers, this was the only time in history that the courts were closed. There have been virtually no jury trials in the state for a year. Now that trials have started again, the challenge for lawyers and judges is going to be how best to deal with the backlog of cases.” •

Jarrett & Price
2 E BRYAN ST., SUITE 506, SAVANNAH, GA
912.401.8880 / JARRETTFIRM.COM


McManamy Jackson Hollis, LLC

Photo by D. Paul Graham

Real Estate Law

Why law?

“I was fortunate enough to grow up in Savannah, and have many family friends who were attorneys. These family friends were my role models and inspired me to follow in their footsteps.”

Why Savannah?

“I grew up in Savannah, but it was not until I went off to college in South Carolina that I began to really appreciate it! I missed it so much that when I returned,
it was for good.”

MJH’s motto

“We believe in treating every transaction as the most important transaction in our firm, whether it is a $45 million dollar warehouse transaction or someone is achieving the dream of purchasing their first home—each is equally important in our eyes.”

TJ Hollis

“We’re proud of the family-first culture that is at the heart of each of our firm and work day in and day out to make a positive impact on how real estate law is practiced in Georgia. Our number one goal is for our clients to have the best possible experience during what is usually the largest purchase or sale of their lives.”

– Stephen Jackson, Jr

When it comes to residential real estate law, McManamy Jackson Hollis, LLC build trusting relationships with agents, lenders, and homebuyers to make sure closings proceed efficiently. By exemplifying customer service and providing open lines of communication with all parties involved, they have established a strong reputation for smooth closings and seamless transactions.

That’s one of the qualities Doug McManamy credits to making a good lawyer: the ability to relate to people. The other secret to success? “Good communication and handling the expectations of each person are two major ingredients to success in this business,” he said.

Stephen Jackson is another lawyer who has stood the test of time in Savannah, seeing much change in his career. Without question, the pinnacle was bringing together two long standing and respected Savannah real estate law firms and creating one of the largest real estate firms in Georgia outside of Atlanta. Lee, Black & Hollis came together with McManamy Jackson to create the new entity of McManamy Jackson Hollis back in October of 2020. This brought together 50 team members to span across four offices, situated in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Rincon and Pooler. “We were able to succeed because everyone was striving to be the best at what they do. We now have a carefully crafted business that allows us to provide a concierge closing experience to buyers, sellers, and lenders in every transaction,” Stephen said. •

McManamy Jackson Hollis, LLC
415 Eisenhower Dr., Suite 1, Savannah, GA
912.691.0943
mjhfirm.com


To read this story in its entirety, subscribe now to the print edition for the full article or get instant access to our interactive digital edition.