May 24, 2022

Smith Gambrell Russell Partner Justice Leah Ward Sears Voted Best Mediator/Arbitrator in Daily Report Best Of 2022 List

PR Sears

ATLANTA (May 24, 2022) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that Justice Leah Ward Sears (Ret.) has been voted the Best Individual Mediator/Arbitrator in the Daily Report’s 12th Annual “Best Of” survey for her work with SGR and Alterity ADR, an Atlanta-based alternative dispute resolution firm founded in August 2021 that was also voted the Best Mediation & Arbitration Firm. Each year, the Daily Report polls the Georgia legal community on the best products and services for their law office practice and releases the top three ranked in each category.

International legal publisher ALM developed “Best Of” to help lawyers identify the finest legal service providers and products and to showcase their top picks in one annual edition. “Best Of” showcases the businesses that stand out in providing lawyers with the essentials they require to compete in today’s legal market.

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. With decades of experience as an attorney, a jurist and an elected official, Justice Sears brings a powerful combination of strategy, analytical thinking and tactical action that gives her clients a compelling edge in complex litigation, appeal, and arbitration and mediation. Since returning to private practice, she has concentrated on prosecuting appeals in the state and federal courts in jurisdictions across the United States. Justice Sears 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.

Due to her distinguished career and continued involvement in the community, Justice Sears has been honored with numerous awards within the legal profession and from local organizations and regularly serves on various committees and boards. She was recently named to Atlanta magazine’s 2022 Atlanta 500 and to the 2022 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. In 2021, Justice Sears was appointed Chair of the Federal Nominations Advisory Committee for Georgia, and in 2019, she was appointed by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to chair the City of Atlanta Task Force for the Promotion of Public Trust to explore ways to improve integrity, accountability and transparency in city government. Justice Sears has been consistently named to the Georgia Super Lawyers and the Best Lawyers in America® lists. 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.

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 the Daily Report’s “Best Of,” click here.

About Daily Report
Lawyers depend on the Daily Report to keep them abreast of the latest developments in their practice areas, decisions from Georgia’s courts and the business of law. Only the Daily Report offers comprehensive coverage of Georgia legal affairs, making it an essential read for the state’s legal community. The Daily Report, often referred to as the Fulton County Daily Report, is Fulton County’s official legal organ and Georgia’s leading source for legal news and information. The newspaper was established in 1890. Please visit

About Smith Gambrell Russell
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 270 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, Charlotte, Chicago, Jacksonville, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.

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