Emily C. Ward is a Partner in the Litigation Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
Ms. Ward’s practice concentrates on white-collar defense and civil litigation including healthcare, business, and environmental litigation, as well as administrative and regulatory matters.
Ms. Ward has represented multiple potential defendants in cybersecurity investigations, tax fraud investigations, public corruption, and more, each resulting in no indictments being filed or substantially reduced penalties being negotiated. She also received a defense verdict for parents who had been placed on the child abuse registry after seeking medical treatment for their accidentally injured child. Ms. Ward has defended doctors and nurses in various healthcare settings, including but not limited to hospitals, long term care, independent medical facilities, and prisons. In these settings, the providers were alleged to have violated the standard of care or acted deliberately indifferent to inmates’ healthcare needs. She also obtained a defense verdict in a multi-day arbitration for healthcare practice that had been charged with violating various contractual provisions regarding medical billing, physician recruitment, and restrictive covenants.
Ms. Ward also often defends medical professionals before state medical, dental, nursing, and health insurance boards to prevent disciplinary actions from being imposed.
Additionally, Ms. Ward has represented many students accused of academic, behavioral, and other infractions and helped them resolve the situation with the administrative and academic conduct boards, and multiple businesses and non-profits cited for business license violations, each case resulting in business licenses being reinstated, brought into compliance with city regulations, and all ancillary employee charges being dropped.
Ms. Ward is active in multiple bar associations including the American Bar Association, State Bar of Georgia, and Atlanta Bar Association. She currently serves as Secretary and is on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Bar Association. She was selected as a member of the State Bar of Georgia Leadership Academy Class of 2019 and served as the Young Lawyers Division Litigation Committee Co-Chair in 2019-2020. Ms. Ward also served as a Board member of the Atlanta Bar Association Women in the Profession Section in 2013-2020 and was Chair of the Section in 2019. She has further served on the Atlanta Bar Criminal Law Section Board since 2019 and is the current Chair of the Section.
Ms. Ward has been recognized for her white collar work by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers. Recently, she was honored with the 2022 Young Alumnae of Excellence Award by the University of Georgia (UGA) School of Law, and was recognized by the Daily Report as one of the honorees in the On the Rise category in the publication’s Georgia Legal Awards 2022.
Ms. Ward is an enthusiastic mentor and spends much of her free time working with young lawyers and students. She serves on the boards of the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony and BRAVO! of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In 2019, Ms. Ward was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the Catherine M. O’Neil Mentoring Award given by the Women’s White Collar Defense Association in recognition as an outstanding mentor and junior member of the WWCDA.
Ms. Ward received her undergraduate degree from the University of Miami where she finished magna cum laude and was a Rhodes Scholarship National Semi-Finalist. She went on to receive her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law where she was active in Moot Court and the Women Law Students Association, and won several awards including Best Oralist at the Emory Civil Rights and Liberties Competition, Outstanding Graduate from the National Organization for Women, and Outstanding Service and Leadership Award from the UGA Moot Court Society.
Ms. Ward is the co-owner of Southern Belle and Georgia Boy, a restaurant and speakeasy in Atlanta, Georgia helmed by her acclaimed chef-husband, Joey Ward.
Atlanta Bar Association
State Bar of Georgia
Women’s White-Collar Defense Association
Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, BRAVO! Young Professionals, Board member
Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony, Board member