My firm has used several appellate lawyers in its nearly thirty-five year existence. We litigate catastrophic plaintiffs’ medical negligence cases. Unlike many trial lawyers in the south, I defer to specialized appellate counsel rather than try to excel at all levels of litigation. I believe we live in a world of specialization. I tried my first case in 2014 in Georgia. During the discovery phase, I asked many colleagues in Georgia who they would hire to handle trial level “law in motion” practice, as well as the appeal itself. Unanimously, at least five lawyers gave the same name, Darren Summerville.
At the trial level, his knowledge of both the facts and law was superlative. With only five weeks to prepare, Darren argued a multitude of trial motions before Judge Wayne Purdom, Chief Judge, DeKalb County. He recounted the facts accurately and succinctly. He argued the law with finesse, confidence, passion and in the most persuasive style I’ve ever seen. We won every important ruling to the case.
Despite a verdict for the defense, Darren undertook an appeal predicated solely upon the issue of voir dire, knowing that the legal standard of judicial abuse of discretion is indeed, practically insurmountable. Darren wrote a brief that can only be called par excellence. It was so splendid that he waived oral argument and relied solely on his brief. Despite the overwhelming likelihood of a per curiam affirmance, the Court reversed the trial judge’s rulings in failing to strike jurors for cause that had been challenged, but “rehabilitated” according to the Court and defense counsel.
I would not try a case in the state of Georgia without Darren Summerville as co-counsel throughout the trial and appeal of any cause. He owns a command of the Courtroom that is coveted by all who practice there.