Feb 1, 2023

Smith Gambrell Russell Partner Justice Leah Ward Sears Named to Atlanta Magazine’s 2023 Atlanta 500

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ATLANTA (February 1, 2023) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that Justice Leah Ward Sears (Ret.) has once again been named to Atlanta magazine’s 2023 Atlanta 500 as a Legend of Government & Infrastructure. The Atlanta 500 recognizes Atlanta’s top corporate, non-profit, civic, entrepreneurial, and creative leaders in eight categories: Arts, Sports & Entertainment; Business; Education & Healthcare; Government & Infrastructure; Professionals; Real Estate; Religion, Nonprofits & Advocacy; and Restaurants & Hospitality.

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, 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, where she works with them 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 was inducted into the 2023 Lawdragon Hall of Fame. And in 2021, she was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Lawyer as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League at the 24th Annual ADL Jurisprudence Awards.

In 2022, Justice Sears was voted Best Mediator/Arbitrator in the Daily Report’s Best of 2022 List. She has been consistently named to the Georgia Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America® lists, as well as being named “Lawyer of the Year” in Appellate in Atlanta. Additionally, Justice Sears 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.

Recognized as one of Georgia’s leading legal luminaries and role models, Justice Sears broke numerous barriers in her swift rise to the highest court in Georgia. 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 2023 Atlanta 500, click here.

About Atlanta magazine
Atlanta magazine is the city’s premier general interest publication, reaching a monthly audience of more than 400,000 readers. Since 1961, Atlanta has served as the authority on the metro area, providing a mix of long-form nonfiction, lively lifestyle coverage, in-depth service journalism, and literary essays, columns, and profiles. The city’s only general-interest magazine, Atlanta is recognized regionally and nationally for journalism and design excellence, with more than 300 regional and national awards. 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 285 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, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.

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