August 2018 Newsletter

Jon Setzer
GCBA President 2018-19
President's Corner
By Jon Setzer
Welcome to the 2018-19 Bar Year. As we begin a new year, I would like to talk mostly about how I got to this point and what I hope to accomplish during the year. In 2014, I was less than one year removed from having completed the Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy through the State Bar, and at the end of that program, rather than take on a leadership role with the State Bar, I resolved to become more involved in my local bar. Up to that point, I had only been to one or two luncheons. I was recruited by Chuck Ross as an emergency Law Day Chairperson in 2014, and I've become more and more involved as my leadership roles have grown for me.
Now as I step into my final role in our Bar's leadership structure, it's time for me to think about what I would like my year as President to look like. Over the last few years, we, as the Board for the Bar Association have focused on sharpening the roles and tasks for the officers and doing our best to make sure the association runs well. We've tried to have engaging speakers, helpful community service projects, vital continuing legal education, and enjoyable events. Over the last year or so, the most prominent question I've gotten has been, "What does the Gwinnett Bar Association do?" My biggest goal for this year is to answer that question by asking two questions that I would like to answer in the coming year: "What is it that you would like the Bar Association to do?" and "What can you do for the Bar Association?" Doing so will give us a much clearer and stronger picture of what it means to be a member of the Gwinnett County Bar Association so that we can better serve Gwinnett County, both as lawyers and as members of the broader community.
Meet the 2018-19 GCBA Board!
Jon Setzer, President
Jon Setzer is a Senior Assistant District Attorney with the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office, where he has been for the last nine years. Prior to joining the Gwinnett District Attorney's Office, he worked for the Oconee Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office in Eastman, Georgia for two years. Jon earned his law degree from Emory University in 2006 and his Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Sociology from Vanderbilt University in 2003.  Jon is the President of the Gwinnett County Bar Association, having previously served as the Law Day Chairperson, Treasurer, Vice-President, and President-Elect. He was previously the Chairperson of the Georgia High School Mock Trial Committee and continues to serve on the State Finals Planning Board, Law Academy Faculty, and Problem Subcommittee for that program. Jon is a 2013 graduate of the Young Lawyers Division's Leadership Academy and a 2017 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett's Glance Gwinnett Program.  Jon lives in Suwanee with his wife, Heather, and their sons, Caleb and Evan. He plays soccer for Brick Store Football Club and holds a United States Soccer Federation National Coaching License. He is a founding member and season ticket holder for Atlanta United. In what little spare time remains, Jon enjoys reading, running, and cooking.

Donald Lee, President-Elect
Donald was born in Silver Spring, MD, went to Cornell University for undergrad in biology, and then attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego for law school. Donald was a public defender in Fulton County Superior Court for three years and then in Fulton County Juvenile Court for another three. For the past four plus years, he has been a GAL here in Gwinnett Courts handling DFCS, child custody and guardianship cases. He and his spouse, Allison, have been married just short of 8 years. They have three boys (5 y.o., 2 y.o. and 4 months old) and Max, their 7 year old standard schnauzer. Donald is a Leadership Gwinnett 2016 graduate, board member for KABA (Korean American Bar Association) and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful. He loves Gwinnett and wants nothing but to see our community thrive.

Dodie Sachs, Vice-Pre sident
Dodie Sachs is an attorney in the O'Kelley & Sorohan Litigation Department and is the lead attorney in the Family Law Division of the firm. Dodie is a frequent speaker at CLEs in the areas of trial practice and family law. Dodie developed the Family Law Information Class taught at GJAC with Gwinnett Legal Aid and taught the class for 2.5 years.  Dodie was appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia as a mentor for the Transition into Law Practice Program. In 2015, Dodie was selected to participate in the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL) Leadership Academy Class. In 2014, Dodie was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Atlanta Legal Aid Society for her work with the Gwinnett Pro Bono Project and Gwinnett Legal Aid.  In addition to the GCBA, Dodie is also active with the Gwinnett Chapter of GAWL and the Gwinnett Pro Bono Project.  Dodie earned her law degree from Tulane University School of Law in 2004, and her Bachelor's Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dodie and her husband, Jeremy, have five children: Isabel (16), Emma (14), Mili (13), Rafi (11), and Jacob (10).

Danielle Britt Mays, Treasu rer
Danielle Britt Mays practices family law and criminal defense at Chandler, Britt & Jay, L LC, a boutique law firm located in Buford, Georgia. Danielle was born and rai sed in Gwinnett County, where she received her high school diploma in 2005 fr om Bufor d High School. Danielle graduated with her B.A. in History from the  Un ive rsity of  Georgia in 2009 and received her juris doctorate and Advanced Legal Writing certification from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in 2012. After graduatio n, Danielle practiced criminal defense and family law in Northwest Georgia, where she also served as the defense attorney for the Tallapoosa Circuit Drug Treatment Court Program and the President of the Tallapoosa Bar Association. In 2014, Danielle returned with her husband to Gwinnett County and joined CBJ. Danielle practices law in Buford with her father, Walt M. Britt, and her husband, John A. Mays, Jr., along with Partners Gregory D. Jay and Richard B. Chandler. Danielle also serves as defense attorney for Gwinnett County's Drug Treatment Court Program. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys yoga, cycling, hiking, reading, traveling, being a foodie, and spending time with her three dogs.

Amina Bakari, Secretary   

Amina Bakari grew up in Richmond, VA. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Hampton University in Hampton, VA in 2010. She moved to Georgia and received her J.D. from the University of Georgia in Athens in 2013. While studying in Athens, she interned at the Athens-Clarke County District Attorney's office during her 3L year. Upon graduation she completed a fellowship with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's office. Amina was admitted to the Georgia Bar in October 2013 and began working at the Gwinnett County Solicitor's office. As a Lead Assistant Solicitor, Amina enjoys getting to know and working with the members of the Gwinnett County criminal law community. She is looking forward to serving the Gwinnett Bar as Secretary this year.

Robert Thomas, Law Day Chair
Robert Thomas is an associate in the Litigation Group of Andersen, Tate & Carr.  His practice focuses on both commercial litigation and construction law matters, including contract disputes, business torts, fiduciary issues, and shareholder claims.  Robert actively litigates such disputes in state courts, federal courts, and before arbitral forums across the Southeast.  While in law school at the University of Georgia, Robert was named a finalist in the Russell and Talmadge Moot Court competitions, was a member of the winning team at the Georgia Intrastate Competition, and received "Best Oralist" awards in both the Talmadge and National Moot Court (Southeast Region) competitions.  He also worked with Priti Suri and Associates, a law firm in New Delhi, India, with a focus on international commercial arbitration.  An active member of the Gwinnett community, Robert recently graduated with the 2017 class of Leadership Gwinnett.  Robert is the Regional Coordinator of the Georgia High School Mock Trial Tournament in Gwinnett, and serves as Chairman of the Unlicensed Practice of Law for District 9 (Gwinnett).  Robert also is a board member of GRIP, Gwinnett's Re-Entry Intervention Program.
Congratulations 2017-18 GCBA!!
GCBA Wins Big at State Bar Meeting

Outgoing President, Carlton Rouse, Law Day Chair, Amina Bakari, and
State Bar President Brian D. "Buck" Rogers

The Gwinnett County Bar Association was recognized by the State Bar of Georgia at its annual meeting on June 8, 2018. GCBA took home three local attorneys group awards:
Best Newsletter, Best Website and the Law Day Award. Carlton Rouse and Amina Bakari traveled to Amelia Island, FL to accept these awards on behalf of the Gwinnett County Bar Association.

This accomplishment was featured in the Gwinnett Daily Post, read the full article here.

August Luncheon
Friday August 17, 2018 12:00pm
The 1818 Club
6500 Sugarloaf Parkway #300
Duluth, GA 30097

Robert A. Schapiro

Our guest speaker for the first Luncheon of the year will be Professor Robert Schapiro, former Dean of Emory Law. He will present a round up of the Supreme Court. Prof. Schapiro teaches Constitutional Law and clerked for the Honorable Justice John Stevens.



Mark Your Calendars!
This Year's Monthly Meetings:
  • August 17          
  • September 21   
  • October 19
  • November 16
  • January 18
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19 
  • May 17
          Other Events:
  • August 21         Gate City and GABWA Judicial Reception from 6-8pm 

                                     King & Spalding LLP, 1180 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

  • October 13        Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD) Picnic 

                                     Rhodes Jordan Park

Gate City Bar and GABWA Annual Judicial Reception

It's time for the Gate City Bar Association and the Georgia Association for Black Women Attorney's Annual Judicial Reception!  This year's reception will be held on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, from 6:00 - 8:00 King & Spalding LLP, 1180 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia. 

As a co-sponsor of this event, all the members of GCBA can attend the reception at no charge.  (There will be a $10.00 fee for non-members).  

We invite you to enjoy an evening with fellow lawyers and members of the judiciary who exemplify the growing diversity of our legal profession. Should you have questions, please contact me at  Thank you and we look forward to partnering with you.
Renew Your MembershipTODAY:

Send dues and applications to: 
Gwinnett County Bar Association, P.O. Box 576, Lawrenceville, GA 30046


GCBA works to ensure all of its member lists and referral lists are kept as up to date as possible.  Please feel free to contact  Donald Lee  for any membership queries, to update your contact information or  for any questions regarding the attorney referral lists.
by Morris Margulis, GCCDB Communications Director

 The criminal defense section meets the first Friday of every month. At our monthly meetings, we serve a catered lunch and have a featured speaker. In addition, we offer a two-day CLE every March. 

Sheila Baldwin
The Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Bar  held its August 2018 monthly meeting at the Gwinnett Justice & Administration Center on August 3, 2018 . This month's speaker, Sheila Baldwin, Membership Benefits Coordinator for the Georgia Bar Association, offer ed tips and tricks for the recently updated Fastcase legal research suite.

2018 GCCDB Slate of Officers:
Sean Goldstein, President
Richard Armond, President-elect
Jessica Towne, Vice president
Drew Mosely, Treasurer
Morris Margulis,  Communications

Join the Section!
Interested in joining the section or want to RSVP for a monthly meeting? Please
contact section President Sean Goldstein at
EPPS UPDATE:  Future Meetings and Volunteer
by Melody A. Glouton

Please save the date for the  f uture meetings :

September 11, 2018 - Guest speaker, Jenny Mittelman, Deputy General Counsel for State Bar of Georgia  
November 13, 2018 - Guest Speaker TBD
Please remember our Volunteer Opportunities:
Probate Court Pro Bono Clinic - Monthly

Who should volunteer: Attorneys with probate and/or guardianship experience (need not be an expert, but some experience is required to assist attendees)
What: Provide guidance to pro se petitioners with their filings in probate court
Where: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center
When: Third Thursday of each month from 1:30pm - 4:30pm 
Why: To help our citizens and the Probate Court in processing petitions more        efficiently and effectively
How: Please contact  Elizabeth Strupe  with questions or to sign up for the Probate Court Pro Bono Clinic
It's Always Happening in Magistrate Court
By Chief Magistrate Judge Kristina Blum

We're proud to share some recent accomplishments from our Magistrate Court Crew. Judge Ruth McMullin just returned from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with Lawyers Without Borders for a week long training seminar. Judge McMullin was part of a global team lead by the Hon. Ann Claire Williams, retired, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The team was brought in to train prosecutors, wildlife officers, and Magistrates who handle wildlife trafficking cases on a variety of legal issues. Judge McMullin presented a lecture on cross-examination techniques and she also lead small group presentations on effective charging, sentencing and judicial case management. Earlier this year, Judge McMullin traveled to Kingston, Jamaica with a team from the National Center for State Courts. There, she conducted a program for the Jamaican Criminal Defense Bar on strategies for more effective use of plea negotiations....
Thank You to Gwinnett Pro Bono Volunteers for 
May, June and July!

A doctor, an architect, and a lawyer were lunching together and got to discussing whose profession was the oldest.
"The bible says that Eve was created from Adam's rib," said the doctor. "Obviously, a surgeon had to be  involved."
"Perhaps," said the architect, "but it's also written that the Earth was created from chaos. Someone had to have designed the Earth, which suggests that an architect was present."
"You both may be right," said the lawyer. "But who do you think created the chaos???"

The district attorney strode to the witness box and said to the alleged mobster
"Where were you between eight and nine?"
The mobster thought for a moment, then replied, 
"I was in the second grade."
Job Announcement

Staff Attorney Position 
State Court -Division 1
$68,035 - $79,942
(Commensurate with years of experience)
Position Summary:
Division 1 of the Gwinnett County State Court is seeking an attorney to assist the judge by conducting a variety of legal research, analysis and document preparation related to cases, statutes, records and related information.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Perform legal research;
  • Make recommendations to judges regarding dispositions of motions;
  • Draft, edit, and proofread legal correspondence;
  • Attend and assist with case conferences, motions hearings, and trials;
  • Respond to inquiries from law enforcement personnel, county employees, elected officials, the general public, and/or other interested parties.
  • Juris Doctorate;
  • Member in good standing with the Georgia Bar;
  • Minimum five years legal experience.
The applicant selected for the position is subject to a criminal background check.
Submit your resume to:
Kimberly Ciccaglione
Director of Court Services
Gwinnett Judicial Circuit
75 Langley Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Kenney & Medina Law Firm  
Two attorney offices for rent,  historic renovated office on
Main Street in Downtown Suwanee;   asking $700 each.

Includes: receptionist; phone;  reasonable use of two digital (color) copiers and postage meter;  two conference rooms;  breakroom; overflow/referral work possible.

Please call us at 678.218.8100 for more information and pricing!

Part-Time Work Can Be a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA
By Lisa B. Golan, Attorney at Law
A new case out of the Sixth Circuit debunks the oft-cited premise that full-time presence at work is an essential function of all jobs.  In Hostettler v. College of Wooster , 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 19612; 2018 FED App. 0140P (6th Cir. July 17, 2018), an HR Generalist who suffered from post-partum depression and separation anxiety requested a part-time schedule after her return from maternity leave.  Her employer initially granted this request, but fired her when she asked for an extension, asserting that she could not perform her job while working part-time.  The District Court granted the College's motion for summary judgment on Hostettler's disability discrimination claim, holding that full-time work was an essential function of her HR position.
In opposition to her employer's motion, Plaintiff submitted her own testimony and that of a former colleague that she was able to satisfactorily complete her essential functions while working part-time, including by working after-hours from home.  She also stated that she had offered to increase her hours. Although her employer disputed this and contended Plaintiff's modified schedule put a strain on the rest of the department; it had given her a satisfactory review and did not replace her with a full-time employee for several months. The Court found this competing evidence precluded summary judgment and reversed the decision of the District Court.....
Federal vs. Georgia
How different will your two tax returns be thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?
By Toni Schwahn, CPA, CFE
In December 2017 Congress passed one of the most comprehensive tax reform packages with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). As much as we would like to think that our federal tax laws are also applicable to our states, nothing could be further from the truth. States choose which federal tax laws that they will adopt and which ones they won't.
On March 2, 2018 House Bill 918 was signed into law. This Bill incorporates some of the changes from TCJA but not all of them. Below are some of the key areas where Georgia does not conform to the new Internal Revenue Code...
By: Mickey G. Roberts, PC
Canelas v. State
, A18A0764 3/29/18;   Construing if Defendant was under arrest
The Defendant Canelas contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress chemical test results because he was not placed under actual, valid arrest prior to the reading of the implied consent notice. Specifically, he argues that the first "arrest" by the officer in the hospital room was a complete falsity and not a valid or legal arrest under law because he was arrested pursuant to a warrant a few days later. Because he was not under arrest, and because he had not been involved in a traffic accident that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities as defined by law, he argues, the implied consent reading given in the hospital was therefore invalid. 

Under Georgia law, "a suspect who is not involved in a traffic accident resulting in serious injuries or fatalities must be under arrest before implied consent rights are read to him" and a chemical test demanded. Hough v. State , 279 Ga. 711 , 716 (2) (a) ( 620 SE2d 380 ) (2005)....

Co-Parenting Tip of the Month
By Diane Dierks
Co-parent conflict is often about parents feeling frustrated by their personal differences. Chances are those existed prior to the relationship break-up, but they become more prominent as you try to navigate those differences after divorce or separation. A parent might be chronically late for parenting time transitions, or won't let your child do normal kid things, or forget to communicate important information about the children, etc. These minor frustrat ions often become major ones and end up as the stuff contempt and modification cases are made of. Although parents have a right to make a case about every inconsistency or failure of their co-parent relationship, it tends to cost way more than it's worth in time, emotion and money.... 

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