SGR Partner Justice Leah Ward Sears Selected to 2021 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America

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ATLANTA (January 28, 2021) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that Partner Justice Leah Ward Sears (Ret.) has been selected to the 2021 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, an annual elite list distinction in the legal profession covering the best of the best in all practice areas. This year’s list, which is 40 percent female and 25 percent inclusive, includes plaintiffs’ lawyers, voting rights advocates, litigators and dealmakers. The 2021 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America will be published in Lawdragon Magazine in the fall.

A retired Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice, Justice Sears is now a partner in SGR’s Litigation Practice and serves on the firm’s executive committee. Since returning to private practice, Justice Sears has concentrated on prosecuting appeals in both the state and federal courts in jurisdictions across the United States. She is also a trusted advisor to executives and institutions that face misconduct allegations including sexual harassment and other claims of bias, where she works to prepare and respond to claims, develop strategies to minimize legal exposure, and move swiftly to protect their reputations. Justice Sears defends businesses in a wide range of product liability, business torts, medical malpractice, employment, contract and other commercial disputes.

Justice Sears has been consistently ranked among Georgia Super Lawyers and named to the Best Lawyers in America®. Additionally, she is a Fellow and a Board Member of the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, an invitation-only organization limited to 500 lawyers who achieve distinction in their field. In 2019, Justice Sears was appointed by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to chair the City of Atlanta Task Force for the Promotion of Public Trust.

Justice Sears was the first woman and youngest person to sit on Georgia’s Supreme Court when she was appointed in 1992 and the first woman to hold a position on the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia. She was twice on the President’s shortlist for appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Justice Sears retired from the bench in 2005 and returned to private practice in 2009.

To see the complete list of Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, visit

About Lawdragon
Lawdragon is a legal media company that provides free online news and editorial features, including the well-known guides to the nation’s leading lawyers, as well as content, marketing and branding services for lawyers and firms through the Lawdragon Press division. Visit

About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
SGR is a full service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s 250 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, real estate, construction, employment law, and employee benefits and executive compensation. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.

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