Best Lawyers List Honors 20 Attorneys From Savannah’s Oliver Maner

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Six attorneys are recognized for the first time on the prestigious legal rating organization.

(SAVANNAH, Ga.)  Oliver Maner, one of Savannah’s oldest and most prominent law firms, bolstered its reputation further as rating service Best Lawyers has named 17 Oliver Maner lawyers to its 2023 Best Lawyers list and three to its 2023 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list.

“We appreciate the recognition from Best Lawyers. To see the hard work and dedication of these talented attorneys is exceptionally gratifying,” said Patrick T. O’Connor, Managing Partner of Oliver Maner. “The recognition is shared with our entire team and reflects the effort we put into serving our clients.”

The Best Lawyers rating system is based entirely on peer review. The process is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Nominees are submitted by anyone except the nominee, the information is peer reviewed and feedback is analyzed. If selected and all eligibility requirements are met, the results are published in print and online.

Highlights for the 2023 list include:

Lawyers renamed to the 2023 Best Lawyers list include:

Lawyers named to the 2023 Best Lawyers list for the first time:

Lawyers named to the 2023 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list include:


ABOUT OLIVER MANER

With a history of 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner, LLP, is a full-service law firm capable of handling a broad range of civil litigation and business law expertise. With a team of 28 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical and legal malpractice, product liability, civil rights litigation, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government entities, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

Oliver Maner Celebrates 125 Anniversary of Practicing Law on Thursday, September 2

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Oliver Maner LLP Celebrates Its 125th Anniversary

Sally Akins and Timothy Roberts and
Left to right: Sally Akins and Timothy Roberts

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Oliver Maner LLP, one of Savannah’s oldest and most prominent law firms, hosted its 125th Anniversary Celebration at The Chatham Club, 15 E. Liberty Street, Savannah, Ga.

During the 125th anniversary celebration, Mayor Van Johnson presented Oliver Maner with a Proclamation from the City of Savannah, commending the Firm’s achievements and dedication to honest and reputable law practice. The State Bar Association presented Oliver Maner with a Resolution as well. Live entertainment was provided by the Howard Paul Trio, and heavy hors d’oeuvres and libations were served.

Oliver Maner was organized as a firm in 1897 when seasoned military and legal veteran Judge Hansford Dade Duncan Twiggs joined in partnership with recent Vanderbilt University graduate Francis McDonald Oliver in Savannah for the general practice of law. Through the years, various partners have joined the firm, with the current iteration of “Oliver Maner LLP” being established in 2009.

In the past decade, the firm’s partners have tackled some of the most significant legal matters in the State of Georgia and the Southeast, including defense of one of the only death penalty cases the federal court in Savannah has seen in the past 30 years to defending and prosecuting civil cases involving precedent-setting legal issues and tens of millions of dollars to providing counsel and advice on complex tax and business matters.

The firm also prides itself on its ongoing involvement in the community, supporting a wide array of nonprofit organizations through sponsorships, donations and service on boards.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER
With a history of 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner, LLP, is a full-service law firm capable of handling a broad range of civil litigation and business law expertise. With a team of 28 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical and legal malpractice, product liability, civil rights litigation, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government entities, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

State Representative Derek Mallow Presents The Outstanding Georgia Business Award To Oliver Maner During The Firm’s 125th Anniversary Year

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Esteemed Savannah law firm earns recognition by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office for its commitment to community service.

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Oliver Maner, a leading law firm in Savannah, Ga., was presented the Outstanding Georgia Business Award by State Representative Derek Mallow of Georgia House District 163, which includes downtown Savannah where the firm’s offices are located.

State representatives are permitted to request recognition for a business in their district from the Georgia Secretary of State, along with documentation and verification of facts.

Rep. Mallow proposed Oliver Maner for this recognition after reading an article on LinkedIn about the law firm’s work with a local nonprofit. Rep. Mallow investigated further and found that the attorneys and partners at Oliver Maner supported at least 25 more charities and immediately contacted the Secretary of State’s office to begin the proposal for this honor, which was accepted.

“For their contribution to the community, I’m proud to present the Outstanding Georgia Business Award to Oliver Maner,” Rep. Mallow said. “They donate their time, talents and treasures to help so many organizations. It’s only right we recognize their contributions.”

Oliver Maner Managing Partner Patrick O’Connor accepted the award on the firm’s behalf.

“It’s especially gratifying to receive this award during our 125th anniversary year,” said O’Connor. “Oliver Maner has always supported local charities and doing so is a core value of our firm. We’ve been part of Savannah and the state of Georgia for more than a century, and we look forward to another 125 years of giving back and serving our community.”

ABOUT OLIVER MANER
With a history of 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner, LLP, is a full-service law firm capable of handling a broad range of civil litigation and business law expertise. With a team of 27 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical and legal malpractice, product liability, civil rights litigation, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912-856-9075

In Recognition of its 125th Anniversary, Oliver Maner Donates $12,500 to Eugene Gadsden Scholarship Fund 

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Esteemed Savannah law firm makes a substantial gift to scholarship fund for local students

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Oliver Maner, one of Savannah’s oldest and most prominent law firms, presented $12,500 to the Savannah Bar Association to be allocated toward the Judge Eugene H. Gadsden Scholarship fund.

The Judge Eugene H. Gadsden Memorial Scholarship was established by the Savannah Bar Association to honor the memory and legacy of Judge Gadsden, the first African-American judge in Savannah. Judge Gadsden was well known for his character, integrity and compassion.

Victoria Nease, Wiliam P. Franklin, Jr., Amelia C. Stevens, Paul H. Threlkeld, John Neely, Andrew M. Wilkes, Matthew E. Mills,Joy Nelson, Patrick T. O'Connor
Representatives of Oliver Maner were happy to make a donation to the Judge Eugene H. Gadsden Scholarship fund in honor of their 125th Anniversary. This year’s winner of the scholarship is Savannah Country Day School graduate John Neely. From left, Oliver Maner Associate Victoria Nease, Of Counsel William P. Franklin, Jr., Associate Amelia C. Stevens, Partner Paul H. Threlkeld, scholarship recipient John Neely, Partner Andrew M. Wilkes, Savannah Bar Association Scholarship Committee Chair Matthew E. Mills, Associate Joy Bonner, and Managing Partner Patrick T. O’Connor.

This year marks Oliver Maner‘s 125th anniversary and the donation to the Gadsden Scholarship Fund is intended to celebrate the occasion by investing in the education of law students in the local community.

“Judge Gadsden was and still is an inspiration to the legal community in Savannah and as we celebrate the past 125 years of providing legal services in Savannah and around the Southeast, Oliver Maner is proud to support future leaders in the legal profession as they work toward achieving their educational goals,” said Patrick T. O’Connor, Managing Partner of Oliver Maner. “We hope to continue this legacy onward.”

The scholarship provides funds to a graduating senior from a high school in Savannah to attend an accredited college or university. The award may be used for tuition and fees, books, and other academic expenses. This year’s recipient is John Neely.

Oliver Maner was organized as a firm in 1897 when seasoned military and legal veteran Judge Hansford Dade Duncan Twiggs joined in partnership with recent Vanderbilt University graduate Francis McDonald Oliver in Savannah for the general practice of law. Through the years, various partners have joined the firm, with the current iteration of “Oliver Maner LLP” being established in 2009.

In the past decade, the firm’s partners have tackled some of the most significant cases in the State of Georgia and the Southeast, ranging from one of the only death penalty defense cases the federal courts in Savannah have seen in the past 30 years to defending and prosecuting civil cases involving precedent-setting legal issues and tens of millions of dollars. The firm prides itself on its ongoing involvement in the community, supporting a wide array of nonprofit organizations through sponsorships, donations and service on boards.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER

With a history of 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner, LLP, is a full-service law firm capable of handling a broad range of civil litigation and business law expertise. With a team of 27 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical and legal malpractice, product liability, civil rights litigation, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

U.S. News Names Savannah’s Oliver Maner Among The “Best Law Firms” for 2022

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Esteemed local law firm adds yet another honor to its decades of excellence

(Savannah, GA) Oliver Maner LLP, Savannah’s most prestigious law firm, earned another honor as U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers rating entity named the venerable firm to its 2022 list of “Best Law Firms.” This accolade is in addition to multiple attorneys at the firm earning individual awards earlier this year.

Available only in select markets, “Best Law Firm” winners are specific to practice areas. They are determined based on several factors, including feedback from lawyers recognized by Best Lawyers on individual lawyer and firm-wide work, the size and coverage of the firm in a specific practice area, historical analysis of the firm’s “Lawyer of the Year” awards in this area, and research surrounding the firm’s overall scope and areas of expertise.

“It’s gratifying to be recognized like this by such a distinguished publication. I know how hard our people work, because I see what they do day in and day out to serve our clients. We are proud of this honor and will work even harder to justify it,” said Patrick T. O’Connor, a partner at Oliver Maner.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. It is a sophisticated, conscientious, rational and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services.

The firm achieved the highest Tier 1 ranking for 12 out of 15 categories:

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Mediation
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Municipal Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected lawyer ranking service in the world. For 40 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the lawyers best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers awards are published in leading local, regional and national publications across the globe.

Regarding individual honors, Oliver Maner boasts 11 attorneys on this year’s “Best Lawyers in America” list, including the following: William P. Franklin, Jr., David H. Dickey, I. Gregory Hodges, Robert W. Schivera, Patrick T. O’Connor, James P. Gerard, Patricia T. Paul, Timothy D. Roberts, Lee A. Summerford, Andrew M. Wilkes and William J. Hunter.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER

With a history of almost 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner LLP, has evolved into a full-service law firm capable of handling all areas of civil law and litigation. With a team of 29 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle the most complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical malpractice, product liability, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

Oliver Maner Presents Donations from Women’s Emergency Housing Center Supply Drive 

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Savannah’s top law firm challenged community to help fight homelessness

(SAVANNAH, Ga.)  In recognition of National Homelessness Awareness Month in November, Oliver Maner LLP, a leading law firm in Savannah, issued a challenge to the community to raise supplies and support for Union Mission’s newest project, Parker’s House: A Home For Women.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Sara Jo Rowell, Firm Administrator at Oliver Maner; William J. Hunter, a Partner at Oliver Maner and a Board Member of Union Mission; Joy Bonner, Associate at Oliver Maner; Amelia C. Stevens, Associate at Oliver Maner; Victoria Nease, Associate at Oliver Maner; Savannah resident Victoria White and her daughter Alethia Edwards, Michael Traynor, President and CEO of Union Mission, Suzanne Willis, Director of Marketing & Development of Union Mission.

Oliver Maner attorneys Amelia Stevens and Victoria Nease led the efforts and the law firm’s office is overflowing with the results of the generosity of the Savannah community. Representatives of Oliver Maner presented the donations collected during the charity drive at their downtown offices on Dec. 8 and loaded up Union Mission’s van. The items, ranging from soap and toothpaste to sheets and blankets, will stock the shelves of the program for unaccompanied homeless women, set to launch in early 2022. “We want to thank the Savannah community for their incredible generosity. We expected a strong response, but what happened exceeded our expectations,” Stevens said. “We had to continue to make room in our storage area to accommodate all of the items.” One large donation exemplified the spirit of giving that the challenge sought to foster. Savannah resident Victoria White and her daughter Alethia Edwards brought an entire carload of supplies for the women’s shelter. It was such a tremendous amount, the Oliver Maner team couldn’t let them leave without finding out more about their family and the story behind their gift. It was a revelation. As a young mother of seven children, White was tragically widowed. Her family struggled but worked together and with help of the community, they were able to remain intact. Now that her seven children are grown with families of their own, they began a family tradition to pool their resources and make a donation to a local charity rather than buy gifts for each other. 

“My daughter saw this organization for homeless women on the news and she asked me, ‘Mom, why don’t we do something for them?’,” White explained. The family talked it over and decided that Parker’s House: A Home For Women was the right choice for their annual gift.  “I always said, if it wasn’t for someone else reaching out to help us, we wouldn’t be where we are today, able to help others. It is such a blessing,” White added.

Victoria White and her daughter Alethia Edwards joined the Oliver Maner team during the donation presentation to Union Mission.

Savannah resident Victoria White and her daughter Alethia Edwards join Michael Traynor, President and CEO of Union Mission, and William J. Hunter, a Partner at Oliver Maner, LLP and a Board Member of Union Mission. White and Edwards brought an entire carload of supplies for the women’s shelter.

“Ms. White and her family are the personifications of what Oliver Maner set out to do when it first made the challenge to others to join in and support the fight against homelessness,” said Stevens. “While many local law firms and citizens answered the call, a family joining together to make a difference in lieu of giving each other gifts is a remarkable testament to the generosity of our community. Their heartwarming tale of perseverance, gratitude, love and selflessness is inspiring, and a lesson that extends beyond the spirit of the holiday season.” Statistics show more than 180 women each night are homeless in Chatham County. The Parker’s House: A Home For Women’s renovated space will have 16 bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It’s designed to provide emergency housing and supportive services to 32 unaccompanied, homeless women for up to 90-days at a time, or roughly 100 women annually. 

Once completed, Parker’s House: A Home For Women will be the only facility along the I-95 corridor from Florida to South Carolina dedicated solely to unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness.

Union Mission provides basic human needs for the residents, including food, clothing, transportation, access to mental healthcare, employment support and more. The goal of this program is to help residents maintain stable housing and become independent members of the community.

ABOUT UNION MISSION

Union Mission has cared for Savannah’s homeless community for more than 80 years offering emergency, transitional and permanent housing solutions to those in need. Union Mission also collaborates with the community’s network of service providers to make comprehensive, wrap-around supportive services, such as mental health counseling and culinary arts job training available to all homeless persons in the community. The mission of Union Mission is to partner with people to end their homelessness through housing and supportive services. For more information, call (912) 238-2777 or visit www.unionmission.org.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER

With a history of almost 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner LLP, is a full-service law firm capable of handling a broad range of civil litigation and business law expertise. With a team of 29 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical and legal malpractice, product liability, civil rights litigation, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

Georgia Trend Names Seven Partners of Savannah’s Oliver Maner LLP as “Legal Elite”

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Georgia’s top attorneys were chosen by their peers to be ranked in the 19th-annual listing in the statewide magazine

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Seven partners of the Savannah law firm Oliver Maner LLP were recently named to Georgia Trend’s 2021 Legal Elite list. Robert W. Schivera, Timothy D. Roberts, Lee Summerford, Andrew M. Wilkes, Benjamin M. Perkins, Paul H. Threlkeld and George T. Major Jr. were recognized by their peers as being outstanding in their fields of practice. 

This is the 19th time the magazine has recognized attorneys considered the best in their field.

The lawyers selected this year practice throughout Georgia in markets ranging from large metro areas to smaller rural towns and represent 15 distinct legal practice areas: Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights, Business, Corporate, Criminal, Entertainment & Sports, Family, General Practice/Trial, Healthcare, Immigration, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Personal Injury, Public Finance/Bonds, Real Estate/Construction and Taxes, Estates & Trusts.

The following partners at Oliver Maner were recognized:

To compile this listing, attorneys submitted hundreds of nominations to Georgia Trend’s website. Anyone who is a member of the State Bar and lives and practices in Georgia was eligible to vote and to be voted onto this list. Respondents were not allowed to vote for themselves.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER
With a history of almost 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner LLP, is a full-service law firm capable of handling a broad range of civil litigation and business law expertise. With a team of 29 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical and legal malpractice, product liability, civil rights litigation, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

Savannah’s Oliver Maner Recognized With Top Rankings On “The Best Lawyers In America” Listings for 2022

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Law firm continues decades-long trend of excellence

(Savannah, GA) Oliver Maner LLP, Savannah’s most prestigious law firm, bolstered its reputation further as Best Lawyers, the nation’s top peer-reviewed lawyer ranking service, revealed several of the firm’s attorneys garnered recognition in its annual listings.

Lee A. Summerford was named a “Lawyer of the Year” in the tax law category for the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Summerford’s been previously honored by the publication, named Lawyer of the Year for Trusts and Estates in 2016. He’s been recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” since 2003.

Essentially the top accolade bestowed by the publication, “Lawyer of the Year” honors are awarded to just one lawyer per practice area in each region. The winners are selected from more than 10.8 million evaluations submitted by peers across the U.S., accounting for approximately 5% of lawyers in private practice across the country.

Oliver Maner’s had at least one attorney honored as “Lawyer of the Year” every year since 2012. Seven of the firm’s attorneys have been honored during that time, with four earning recognition more than once during that span.

Best Lawyers also recognized David Bobo Mullens, III and I. William Drought, III as part of 2022’s list of “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America.”

Mullins specializes in commercial and personal injury litigation for plaintiffs while Drought focuses on medical malpractice law for defendants. Another peer-reviewed honor, it marks the second consecutive year the pair has been given the honor.

In all, Oliver Maner boasts 11 attorneys on this year’s “Best Lawyers in America” list, including: William P. Franklin, Jr., David H. Dickey, I. Gregory Hodges, Robert W. Schivera, Patrick T. O’Connor, James P. Gerard, Patricia T. Paul, Timothy D. Roberts, Summerford, Andrew M. Wilkes, and William J. Hunter.

The 2022 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America”recognizes the professional excellence of more than 66,000 lawyers in 147 practice areas, including 5,846 “Lawyer of the Year” honors awarded to 5,842 lawyers. The firm’s been represented on the list since 1989 with many of those named above multiple-time awardees.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected lawyer ranking service in the world. For 40 years, Best Lawyers has assisted those in need of legal services to identify the lawyers best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers awards are published in leading local, regional, and national publications across the globe.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER
With a history of almost 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner, LLP, has evolved into a full-service law firm capable of handling all areas of civil law and litigation. With a team of 29 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle the most complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical malpractice, product liability, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more.  The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner’s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

Oliver Maner To Raise Funds and Collect Supplies for Women’s Emergency Housing Center

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Oliver Maner To Raise Funds and Collect Supplies for Women’s Emergency Housing Center
Savannah’s top law firm challenges other local firms to join their fight against homelessness in Savannah

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) In recognition of November as National Homelessness Awareness month, Oliver Maner LLP, Savannah’s most prestigious law firm, is gearing up to raise funds and collect supplies for Union Mission’s A Haven for Her Capital Campaign to expand their Emergency Housing Program to unaccompanied, homeless women.

The firm is holding an internal donation drive and asking for the community’s help to collect goods for the new women’s program expected to open in the first quarter of 2022.

Attorneys Amelia Stevens and Victoria Nease are leading the effort and challenging other Savannah law firms and businesses to help homeless women in our region.

“Helping these women will, in turn, improve our community,” said Stevens, who also volunteers as an Adult Exploring Adviser with the Coastal Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of America. “Organizations like Union Mission help make Savannah a better place. Hopefully, our efforts will make life better for these women and assist this nonprofit in meeting its goal of helping 100 women each year.”

Donations of goods can be dropped off at the Oliver Maner offices at 218 West State St. during business hours. The firm will accept donations until Tuesday, Nov. 30, then donate the items to Union Mission. This new Emergency Housing Program is in need of the following:

· Personal care items (toothpaste, shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene products, etc.)
· Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows and pillowcases)
· Laundry supplies

Union Mission created an Amazon Wish List with the items needed to get the program started, as well as for the long term. Statistics show more than 180 women each night are homeless in Chatham County.

The renovated space will have 16 bedrooms and eight bathrooms serving 100 annually. It’s designed to provide emergency housing and supportive services to 32 unaccompanied, homeless women for up to 90-days at a time. Union Mission provides basic human needs for the residents, including food, clothing, transportation, access to mental healthcare, employment support and more. The goal of this program is to help residents maintain stable housing and become independent members of the community.

Once completed, this new Emergency Housing Program will be the only facility along the I-95 corridor from Florida to South Carolina dedicated solely to unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness.

“Homeless women can be living alone on the streets, sleeping in their cars, couch-surfing or if able, living in motels,” said Union Mission President and CEO Michael Traynor. “Many of them feel unsafe. With your help, and in partnership with the broader community, we will begin to address the need and provide a safe, supportive space for unaccompanied women to transition out of homelessness.”

ABOUT UNION MISSION
Union Mission has cared for Savannah’s homeless community for more than 80 years offering emergency, transitional and permanent housing solutions to those in need. Union Mission also collaborates with the community’s network of service providers to make comprehensive, wrap-around supportive services, such as mental health counseling and culinary arts job training available to all homeless persons in the community. The mission of Union Mission is to partner with people to end their homelessness through housing and supportive services. For more information, call (912) 238-2777 or visit www.unionmission.org.

ABOUT OLIVER MANER
With a history of almost 125 years of representing clients in Georgia, South Carolina and throughout the United States, Oliver Maner, LLP, has evolved into a full-service law firm capable of handling all areas of civil law and litigation. With a team of 29 of the highest-rated trial and transactional lawyers across the state, Oliver Maner possesses the resources and abilities to tackle the most complex legal problems, including personal injury, estate law, medical malpractice, product liability, real estate, transportation and logistics litigation and more. The law firm is proud to have long-standing relationships with its clients, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, business owners and entrepreneurs. Oliver Maner‘s office is located at 218 W. State St., Savannah, GA 31401. For more information, call (912) 236-3311 or visit www.olivermaner.com.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@ceciliarussomarketing.com
912.856.9075

Attorney: Employers are Urged to Proceed Cautiously with Vaccine Mandates

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There are a variety of legal and practical factors that must be addressed when an employer decides to implement a workplace vaccine mandate

by Bryan A. Schivera, Esq.

This is an op-ed by attorney Bryan A. Schivera, a partner in the tax and corporate department of Savannah law firm Oliver Maner. His primary areas of practice are business and tax law.

Bryan A. Schivera, Esq. Oliver Maner, Savannah Georgia, Lawyers, Law Firm
Bryan A. Schivera, Esq. Oliver Maner, Savannah Georgia, Lawyers, Law Firm

In light of the rapid spread of the Delta variant and full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, many employers are either now implementing or considering a vaccine mandate. Such a mandate takes the form of a requirement that employees become vaccinated or face termination. Corporate giants such as Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have unveiled such measures. Governing this area is a complex mixture of federal and state law, with densely worded guidance from federal, state, and local health officials. With this in mind, employers planning on implementing a vaccine mandate should know the basics and consult an attorney in the creation of a written policy prior to implementation.

Pursuant to guidance issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 28, 2021, there is no federal law which prevents an employer from requiring employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19. One of the earliest legal tests of such a mandate occurred in Texas, where 117 hospital workers sued to block the hospital’s vaccine mandate. In dismissing the case, Federal Judge Lynn Hughes concluded that rather than being coercive, the mandate was the employer’s attempt to keep its staff and patients safe. Notably, one of the plaintiffs’ arguments was based on the vaccine being “experimental”, as the lawsuit was filed prior to full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Exceptions to these rules do exist but require an analysis of federal law. While vaccination mandates are legal, they are subject to the reasonable accommodation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under certain circumstances, these federal laws require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who, because of a disability (ADA) or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance (Title VII), do not get vaccinated for COVID-19. Additional analysis must be performed on a case by case basis in evaluating specific accommodation requests. Such analysis involves the cost and hardship on the employer for granting such accommodations as well as workplace safety concerns.

On the state level, Governor Kemp signed an Executive Order on May 25, 2021 which, among other things, provides that no state agency can require proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment by the state, conducting business with the state or enjoying other rights provided by the state. Accordingly, Georgia law does not prevent private employers from mandating vaccines. In fact, only Montana has enacted such a ban on private employers to date.

There has also been confusion regarding an employer’s right to inquire about an employee’s vaccination status. An employer may ask without running afoul of the ADA’s prohibition on disability-related inquiries. However, additional questions as to their motivations or beliefs could be a violation of federal law. Thus, while employers are free to ask employees whether or not they have been vaccinated, they need to be careful about asking more probing questions or storing this information. With regard to HIPAA, the Act is not implicated because it generally does not apply to employers or employment records but only covered entities – health care providers, health plans, health care clearinghouses, and to a lesser extent, their business associates.

In addition to mandates, some private employers offer incentives to encourage employee vaccination. An employer rewarding employees who show proof of vaccination from a third party does not run afoul of federal law. However, if an employer is offering an incentive to employees for receiving a vaccination administered by the employer, additional analysis is required. In this instance, the incentive is only permitted if it is not “so substantial as to be coercive”. This is because a significant incentive could pressure employees to disclose protected medical information.

There are a variety of legal and practical factors that must be addressed when an employer decides to implement a workplace vaccine mandate. While there is a level of uncertainty in the legal landscape surrounding mandates, that is unfortunately unlikely to change any time soon. To avoid running afoul of the law, employers would be wise to consult an attorney to successfully implement its vaccine mandate.

Bryan A. Schivera is a partner in the Tax and Corporate department of Oliver Maner. His primary areas of practice are business and tax law. For more information, contact Bryan at 912-236-3311 or bschivera@olivermaner.com.

This article was published by Savannah Morning News: https://www.savannahnow.com/story/opinion/2021/09/01/many-legal-challenges-employers-considering-mandating-covid-19-vaccine-fda-pfizer-courts-law/5647611001/