Legal Eagles: South’s Greatest Lawyers of 2022

Meet some of the most respected regional attorneys and practices, committed to have your back until you get your life back. 

No matter what you face, do it with confidence when you’re shoulder to shoulder with a legal team who cares. Meet some of the most respected regional attorneys and practices, committed to have your back until you get your life back. 

Photo Blake Crosby

Dixon & Lasseter, Attorneys at Law, P.C.

Our firm’s mission is to make sure our clients are informed of their rights, obligations, and choices so that they reach their goals with relative ease.

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

We focus on assisting clients with residential and commercial real estate closings, estate planning, probate, business planning. We pride ourselves on our efficiency, knowledge and work ethic.

Legal online: How has it affected your industry?

Ease of access to information is never a bad thing, especially when it comes to legal concepts. However, pre-filled templates and websites for estate planning, business planning, and family law are simply no match against a team of attorneys with training, education, and experience.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

It is incredibly important that you have someone educated on the laws of your State who regularly practices law in the area of your issue. Having an attorney look at your situation as a whole rather than “one size fits all” ensures every detail has been attended to.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner:

Attorneys are professionally trained advocates. We have the experience and knowledge to lead our clients through what can be an overwhelming process to a place of resolution.

Pros and cons of the industry

Whatever your transaction, we take the complicated and stress-filled and make it easier – whether providing strategic solutions after a loved one’s passing, launching new businesses, seeing smiling faces of a first-time homebuyer, families excited to explore our coastal community, or sellers leaving a place they call home, we assure all parties are well informed and enjoy their experience.

“If you leave our office feeling satisfied that your goals were accomplished, then we know we have succeeded.” – Brad Dixon and Megan Lasseter

Dixon & Lasseter, Attorneys at Law, P.C.
100 Timber Trail #203
Richmond hill, GA / 912.525.0555
thedllawfirm.com

Photo / Claire Barrett

Charles “Bo” Bowen
The Bowen Law Group

Words / Jenna Treat

Legal scholar? Skilled negotiator? Ruthless courtroom assassin? Innovator of the legal profession? You may think you know Charles Bowen, but you don’t know Bo.

Let us entertain you…

If you think you know Charles “Bo” Bowen, Savannah’s legal titan renowned for his acerbic, no-nonsense practices and results-driven tactics, you may want to think again.

The same man who routinely disassembles courtroom opponents somehow manages to marry bulldog vibes, southern charm, and legal mastery, ensuring clients know they are in the most capable of hands.

Enigmatically hirsute and sartorially pristine, Bowen’s distinguished veneer begs scratching to reveal a slightly warm and fuzzy side that can be glimpsed with the mere mention of his two daughters and family. It also exposes a mischievous side full of sarcastic bon mots and entertaining stories from his days as a thespian.

When asked what led him to practice law with such vigor, he reveals a century-long bloodline that leads to his great grandfather, attorney Bernard Cohen Shields, with whom he shares a value system embodying service, loyalty, and commitment. Bowen feels privileged to extend this legacy to his clients, the community, and the practice of law.

Just ask newly-elected Superior Court Judge Tammy Stokes who can attest to his passion.

“When I returned home to Savannah in 1996, Bo and I became fast friends. He is fiercely loyal, brilliant, and dedicated to the law. When I was in the fight of my life and career, calling upon Bo to represent me was easily one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. He also served as co-chair of my campaign for Superior Court Judge. I am grateful to have him in my life.”

No pictures please… 

Straddling political lines with glaring loyalty to his beloved Georgia, Bowen’s service to the state’s entertainment and legal industries garnered him praise as an “Outstanding Georgia Citizen” by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Senator Lester Jackson and Representative Ben Watson also lauded him for his role in promoting Savannah’s thriving film and television industry. 

Bowen has received myriad accolades throughout his career which he will not mention. He will speak at length, however, about the numerous advocacy and community service organizations with which he is involved. He speaks regularly with local high schools, business groups, politicians, and countless other forums about causes close to his heart.

The voice of the future… 

But Bowen doesn’t go it alone. In Ryan Schmidt, he has found a peer that so mirrors his ethics, passion for the law, and penchant for swift resolutions and courtroom triumphs that they could be cut from the same cloth. 

A former recording artist and contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” Schmidt’s desire to practice entertainment law stemmed from witnessing first-hand the cutthroat business practices of the music industry and the unjust deals creatives are too often coerced into signing.

Bowen and Schmidt. The wisdom of experience meets the voice of the future. Partners in justice. True legal outlawyers. Together, an unstoppable force.

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

L-R: Pat O’Connor, Sara Jo Rowell, Tim Roberts, Greg Hodges, David Dickey, Patricia Paul, Paul Threlkeld, Drew Wilkes, Lee Summerford, Bill Hunter. Photo / D. Paul Graham

Oliver Maner LLP

When you need legal advice, seek out the best you can find for what you’re facing. In Savannah and Georgia, no matter what specialty you need, Oliver Maner should be at the top of your list.

“Find out why we’re referred to as ‘Savannah’s top law firm.” Patrick T. O’Connor

Celebrating Quality Legal Guidance for 125 Years

For the past 125 years, the lawyers at Oliver Maner have excelled in their respective areas of practice. The superior quality of counsel we provide on a consistent basis for many complex issues — including litigation, business planning, estate and tax matters — sets Oliver Maner apart. We are proud to serve this community. People come from all over the world to visit Savannah, the place our lawyers and staff call home. We want to be part of what makes Savannah a great place to live and work, and continue expanding our commitment to providing the very best legal services available in our community and throughout the Southeast.

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

If you need professional services, do you endeavor to contact the best available provider of those services? If so, when you need legal services, contact Oliver Maner. 

Legal online: How has it affected your industry?

Online applications have helped improve efficiencies and lower costs.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

There are so many lawyers and specializations because people and businesses need legal advice on a variety of matters. Our attorneys are experts in these industries and understand the intricate details of the situation.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

The right lawyer backing you can maximize your chances of getting the outcome you desire on any matter involving legal issues.

Pros and cons of the industry

Excellent professional services do not come cheap, but the rewards outweigh the costs in almost every instance. If you have to deal with legal issues, you should seek quality legal advice.

Oliver Maner LLP
218 W State St,
Savannah, GA / 912.236.3311
olivermaner.com

Photo / D. Paul Graham

Howard Barker Lane, P.C.

Trial-tested and nationally recognized, this is the Family Law firm that understands the importance of making the best choices for your family and personal relationships.

“We know how difficult family matters can be. That’s why your story matters so much to us.”
Megan H. Lane and Evan C. Barker

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

A skilled and effective family law attorney can advocate fiercely for their client while also being willing to resolve things amicably. Different situations call for different approaches. The attorneys at Howard Barker Lane, P.C. have the skills to balance the two effectively.

Legal online: How has it affected your industry?

A benefit is that it has streamlined hearings, meetings, and other forms of communication with clients and the court. A downside is that people have greater access to inaccurate or incorrect information.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

Marriage, divorce, and children are the most intimate aspects of your life. When considering whether to hire an attorney, it’s important to work with someone that understands the complexity of your case and has the skill set to properly represent you and your family.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

A lawyer will represent your best interests and fight for both you and your family.

Pros and cons of the industry

Pros: We get to meet new people and fight for families.

Cons: Unfortunately, we must deal with very intimate and stressful situations involving families and children. However, we appreciate the opportunity to help guide people through that important process.

Howard Barker Lane, P.C.
217 W Bryan St,
Savannah, GA / 912.234.1000
barkerlanelaw.com

Photo / D. Paul Graham

Stacey Goad / Goad Law, LLC

After years as a prosecuting attorney, I’m uniquely experienced in the criminal process. I used to build cases for the State of Georgia. Now, I tear them apart. 

“The gentleman featured in this picture is an innocent man. He always was an innocent man. That didn’t stop the State of Georgia from falsely accusing him of vehicular homicide, reckless driving, DUI, and leaving the scene of an accident. If you served on either grand jury considering Fehrle’s case, simply know – you were fed lies. Then you indicted an innocent man. Why do I say ‘either?’ Because he was indicted twice based on false information. Brad Fehrle is his name. Not only was Fehrle wrongfully accused twice, but State representatives misled the judge during his first bond hearing. The State claimed Fehrle had been fired from his job for theft and that he was addicted to drugs, just to name two examples. This caused the judge to deny Fehrle’s bond. For no legitimate reason, Fehrle remained incarcerated for over six months while I worked to dispel every misrepresentation made in his first bond hearing. The rest of the case took over five years to resolve. We can smile today because Fehrle is no longer suspected of any criminal wrongdoing. His good name has been restored, and all charges have been dismissed, once and for all.” – Stacey Goad

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

Good people are wrongfully accused every day. If you’re reading these words, this is a sign. When you serve jury duty you must force the State to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s the law for a reason. It protects all of us. Even perfectly honest law enforcement officers make mistakes. When you’re called upon to serve the community, don’t be afraid to do what’s right. That includes exonerating someone of an allegedly heinous crime, if the State hasn’t proven their case. Fehrle’s case is the most egregious case I’ve ever personally handled. By simply following the law, jurors can help someone else just as innocent.

Legal online: How has it affected your industry?

The pandemic forced the legal system into the 21st century. Instead of hours traveling from one court to the next, I could appear in two court rooms within seconds which also benefited clients taking time off work or arranging care. If it were up to me, virtual court would be here to stay.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

You want a lawyer with the experience to navigate your area of legal concern (you wouldn’t hire a plumber for an electrical issue; don’t hire a civil lawyer for a criminal case). A lawyer who answers all your questions to satisfaction will be able to make it just as clear to a jury.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

Lawyers have the education, training, and experience to navigate the legal system, knowing the law, exceptions, court procedures, and how best to fight for your rights.

Pros and cons of the industry

Pros: I love fighting for good people.
Cons: The stigma. People rarely understand what I do for a living until they’ve been falsely accused of a crime themselves.

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

Photo / D. Paul Graham

Amanda Love / The Love Law Firm

Keeping the “love” in situations that could otherwise be filled with strife, we help people find healthy solutions that solve their problems in the best way for everyone in the family.

“Family law is unique in that it impacts what matters to us most—our families. Even in your toughest time, we help you keep family first.”  – Amanda Love

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

Love your children more than you hate your ex. Loving your children includes prioritizing a relationship with both parents, where they don’t have to choose sides and they feel loved and valued and have a healthy relationship with both parents.

Legal online: How has it affected your industry?

While we’ve been innovative moving cases forward through Webex during the pandemic, personal details are being livestreamed on the internet. To protect their privacy,  I encourage families to choose collaborative divorce and mediation over litigation.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

Family law, including divorce, is very stressful. Your entire life is changing rapidly, but those changes can be positive if handled correctly. Having someone knowledgeable guide you through that process is essential.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

An attorney can often help parties work out an “enforceable agreement” that is binding and conforms with the law. This is typically much less expensive than full litigation, which is why we offer uncontested divorces and consulting services at a much lower cost. 

Pros and cons of the industry

Pros: I love helping families move forward in a healthy way. Untangling marriage can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be anyone’s ‘fault.’ It’s important to safeguard the relationship — especially if you have children.

Cons: Our legal system is designed as an adversarial system (a winner and a loser) that doesn’t contemplate families’ needs. Litigation brings up things that can’t be taken back, and judges’ decisions are rarely able to move everyone forward in a positive way. 

The Love Law Firm
21 E York St,
Savannah, GA / 912.234.8604
love-lawfirm.com

L-R: Renee Richardson, Maria Justus, Kaitie Ruhl-Pirone, Kourtney Bernard-Rance (seated), William King, Essie Ndem (seated), Michael Manely, David Purvis, Jess Lill (seated), Dina Khismatulina, Cara Schlosser, Luke Tobis. Not pictured: Alisha Esselstein / Photo / D. Paul Graham

The Manely Firm, P.C. 

All around the state, all around the world, and investing a third of our business in the heart of Savannah, we’re the firm that covers all family law.

“I focus on the family law so you can focus on the family.” – Michael Manely

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

Our process is focused on the client. We listen to our clients’ dreams, hopes, and aspirations and craft a resolution that will put them on that path. When you or your family’s welfare is at stake, you want an attorney with a reputation for winning.

Legal online: How has it affected your industry?

We are very comfortable integrating technology as tools to better serve our clients. In the end, it’s all about the relationship, and tech has given us more avenues to give you what you want for your future as well as a way to get there – anywhere in the world.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

No one’s resolution to family conflict is cookie cutter. Everyone has their own individual life plan and how you craft the resolution will live with them forever – the process and the result; how you get there and where you get.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

Our attorneys are practiced at what they do at every level from local to the Supreme Court. Family Law isn’t something you want to tackle without the perspective of a firm that’s done a lot of it. You want someone in your corner who’s walked the path and knows the challenges the client is facing better than the client does living it.

Pros and cons of the industry

Pros: It’s a calling not a job – we do this for the rewards of finding real life solutions that put people in a better place than when they came to us.

Cons: Our attorneys, because they care, often carry clients’ emotional weight. We work hard through resiliency training on emotional maturity and stress management, to avoid burnout and burden so we can continue to care and put our all into all family law.

The Manely Firm, P.C
128 Habersham St.,
Savannah, GA / 866.687.8561
allfamilylaw.com

Photo / D. Paul Graham

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

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.

“We want to provide experienced legal help when people need it most.” Noble Boykin

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

It is important for our clients to know that we care about them as people, not just as a means to earn money. We try to connect with clients and understand them, doing whatever is needed to achieve a positive outcome. I think our ability to listen and our desire to fight for those who have been wronged comes through in our representation. We do not accept clients who are only looking to cash in on a situation.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

Our practice is devoted to helping everyday, hard-working people in need of legal help. I feel fortunate to be able to put my mind and skills to work for people in our community and help make sure they get what they are due in the legal process. If you find yourself a David going up against a Goliath, we are the attorneys to call.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

It is our job to make these companies do the right thing, even if it takes a fight. I feel fortunate to be in a position to help ordinary people overcome tough situations and obstacles that prevent them from obtaining justice.

Pros and cons of the industry

I think one of the biggest challenges in practicing law is not getting buried in minutia and keeping the bigger picture in sight. 

Jones, Boykin & Associates, P.C.
213 E 38th St.,
Savannah, GA / 912.236.6161
Jonesboykinsav.com

L-R: Douglas McManamy, TJ Hollis, Stephen Jackson. Photo / D. Paul Graham

McManamy, Jackson, Hollis, LLC

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.

“We’re proud of the family-first culture that is at the heart of our firm and work daily to make a positive impact on how real estate law is practiced in Georgia.”
 – Stephen Jackson, Jr

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

Our mission as a real estate firm is to ensure your closing goes smoothly from start to finish. We hope to relay to our clients and potential clients that we will work tirelessly with you to buy, sell, or refinance. We are on your side and aim to calm the nerves of first-time homebuyers, ease the stress of selling your home, and are always eager to assist in such a huge transaction in our clients’ lives. 

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

 As real estate attorneys, we have an in-depth understanding of the law and how it affects the purchase and sale of real estate. We’re able to help our clients overcome any unforeseen complications throughout the process. Through years of experience in our industry, we’ve seen it all – we know how to help our buyers and sellers sidestep any issue that may arise and are able to provide insight and advice to first-time homebuyers. 

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

A lawyer is always on your team. We’re constantly rooting for the best possible outcome for those we represent. In our industry, no one closing is like the other – there will almost always be obstacles to overcome. As your real estate lawyer, we understand the significance of buying and selling property – whether it’s your first transaction or fiftieth. We strive to help our clients feel assisted and supported and hope they know we are always there to help. 

Pros and cons of the industry

Witnessing first-time homebuyers sign their closing papers and, as a result, open the door to an entirely new chapter in their lives, is hands-down one of the greatest pros of what we do. One of the biggest “cons” of working in real estate is that it is constantly changing, as we’re sure everyone has taken notice of over the past two years. But whether we have three clients at a time or 300, we hope they all realize that we will be consistently available to help them close no matter how inconsistent the market is. 

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

mjhfirm.com

L-R: John Carson, Bobby Phillips, Boone Phillips / Photo / Angela Hopper

Phillips Carson & Phillips

Defending Individuals in Savannah in serious criminal cases for More than 40 Years, with personal attention to your legal matters.

“We are not afraid to try a case. We believe a jury is often our best weapon in your defense.” – Bobby Phillips

If you were in front of a crowd, what message would you give?

Our firm prides itself on giving individualized attention to each of our clients. We have many cases but our clients usually have only one. So it’s important that we get the very best result possible for each and every client in each and every case.

Legal online: How has it affected your industry?

The use of the internet to conduct Court matters has been a great timesaver. The convenience benefits our clients in that virtual hearings result in fewer billable hours due to the lack of “down time” which saves our clients money.

Why hire a lawyer in your industry? 

Legal issues are becoming increasingly more complex. A non-lawyer has very little chance to prevail in a legal dispute without knowing the Rules of Court procedure and evidence.

Reasons to have a lawyer in your corner: 

Not having a lawyer in a legal matter is like going unarmed to a gunfight. Your opponent will have a lawyer. When your liberty is at stake, you need a proven fighter in your corner

Pros and cons of the industry

Getting a just result. Freeing an innocent person. Recovering an appropriate amount for an injured person. Litigation is very expensive. There are too many delays in the judicial process. Sometimes justice is truly blind.

Phillips Carson & Phillips
1901 Abercorn St.,
Savannah, GA / 912.232.0081
savannahlawyers.com

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