Joyce Gist Lewis

Joyce Gist Lewis

Partner/Managing Member

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For more than 15 years, Joyce Gist Lewis has represented private companies and governmental entities in all areas of litigation. Joyce’s trial experience includes serving as lead counsel in significant wrongful death and catastrophic injury claims, as well as business litigation, employment, and civil rights cases.

Case Outcomes

Joyce’s accomplishments in trial practice reflect her strategic and insightful approach to every phase of litigation. Beginning with early and aggressive attacks on the pleadings, she applies pressure to the opposition at each stage, up to and including trial. This strategy has allowed her to achieve positive results for her clients on the eve of trial, and at trial. Joyce has won summary judgment and Daubert motions in cases ranging from employment discrimination and defamation to negligence and mortgage fraud. She has argued cases before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and has successfully appealed to Georgia’s Supreme Court. In addition to her trial practice, Joyce has negotiated confidential settlements in various stages of litigation in cases involving allegations of director and officer misconduct, legal malpractice, fraud, unfair competition, and discrimination and retaliation.

Recognitions and Professional Achievements

Joyce is known by her peers for her judgment, temperament, and effective litigation style. She is honored to have been twice named by Georgia’s Judicial Nominating Commission to the “short-list” of nominees recommended to the Governor for appointment to the Atlanta Judicial Circuit (Fulton Superior Court). Joyce is Martindale-Hubbell AV Rated Preeminent, AVVO Rated 10.0 “Superb,” and for five years has been included in Georgia Trend Magazine’s "Legal Elite," based on peer nomination in the areas of business law, personal injury defense, and general trial practice. In 2017, she was recognized in Atlanta Magazine's "Super Lawyer" edition as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia, as well as one of the Top 50 Women. Joyce is the current Chair of the State Bar of Georgia's Statewide Judicial Evaluation Committee, a past President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, and serves as President-Elect for the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. In 2015, she was appointed by the judges of the Northern District of Georgia to the Board of the Federal Defender Program, Inc.

Experience

Joyce’s professional achievements are attributable to her ability to quickly assess and evaluate complex fact patterns, and to think “outside the box” when developing legal theories. In defending cases for her clients, Joyce has led dozens of thorough and effective fact investigations, and she delivers reliable, consistent results by ensuring that her litigation team remains focused on well-defined and well-articulated goals. Joyce’s tenacity, creativity, and high quality work product lead her clients to rely upon her when seeking top-notch representation with small-firm flexibility.

Recent successes include:

•     Five million dollar jury verdict in favor of court-appointed receiver for failed community bank alleging negligence, gross negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty by directors loan committee for bank

•     Dismissal with prejudice of federal declaratory judgment action filed by insurance company seeking to deny $5 million in director and officer liability coverage

•     Full summary judgment in favor of metro Atlanta county on Title VII retaliation claims and Rule 12(B)(6) dismissal of Section 1983 claims

•     Full summary judgment in favor of metro Atlanta county and Rule 12(B)(6) dismissal of individual defendants on ADA, FMLA, and Section 1983 claims

•     Defense verdict at jury trial in federal court following $36 million jury demand for double leg amputation allegedly caused by defective railcar handbrake

•     Full summary judgment and Daubert motion granted to exclude Plaintiff’s expert in state court case alleging that negligent training caused Plaintiff to sustain permanent, life-altering injuries

•     Defense verdict in state court jury trial where Plaintiff alleged that FELA employer negligence caused employee to suffer permanent injuries

•     Summary judgment on liability issues, including RICO claim, in favor of family trust alleging mortgage fraud

•     Nuisance value settlement in third-party products liability claim against aluminum wheel manufacturer accused of negligent design and manufacture of wheel that detached from horse trailer and collided with plaintiff's vehicle, causing catastrophic brain damage

•     Defense verdict at jury trial in federal court in favor of Fortune 500 defendant accused of negligently causing the death of two teenagers in South Georgia

•     Partial summary judgment in favor of Fortune 500 defendant and subsequent nuisance value settlement of double fatality claims for death of five-year-old twins

•     Full summary judgment in favor of the Georgia Department of Transportation for alleged failure to repair and maintain roadway

•     Full summary judgment in favor of defendant alleged to have caused permanent and catastrophic injury to plaintiff through negligent inspection and maintenance of railroad boxcar door mechanism

 

Practice Areas 

  • Business Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Governmental Liability
  • General Liability
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Non-Solicitation/Non-Compete Agreements

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Statewide Judicial Evaluation Committee, Chair, 2014-present; Member, 2011-present
  • Committee to Promote Inclusion in the Profession, Co-Chair, 2015-17; Member, 2013-2017
  • Georgia Diversity Program Steering Committee, 2009-2012
  • Bench & Bar Committee, 2008–2011
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • President-Elect, 2016
  • Executive Committee, 2010-present
  • Membership Committee Co-Chair, 2007-2009
  • Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL)
  • Chair, Judicial Applicant Review Committee, 2011 - 2013
  • Statewide Representative at Large, 2008 – 2009
  • Atlanta Chapter President, 2007-2008
  • Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Gate City Bar Association
  • National Association of Women Lawyers

Education

  • Georgia State University College of Law, J.D., 1999
  • Wake Forest University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1993

Bar & Court Admissions

Federal Courts
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
State Courts
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • All Georgia trial courts