For more than 15 years, James Merritt, Jr. has successfully represented clients in arbitrations, appeals, and jury trials in state and federal courts all over Georgia.  James has built a winning track record that began years ago as a young lawyer winning a defense verdict in his first-ever jury trial in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County. James’ success in the courtroom has continued since then to include numerous trial, arbitration, and appellate victories, some of which have been featured in the Daily Report and VerdictSearch and have resulted in several reported decisions. After years of defending clients from individuals to Fortune 500 companies against high-exposure claims, James’ practice now focuses on aggressively pursuing justice for individuals and businesses faced with serious injuries, wrongful death, business and contract disputes, commercial debt collection, negligent construction, real estate disputes, and landlord/tenant issues. When James isn’t advocating for his clients, he likes to spend his free time cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs and the Atlanta Braves. James and his wife Stephanie live with their three children, Harper, Presley, and Elle, in Buford, Georgia.

Honors and Recognition

  • 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star, Atlanta Magazine
  • 2018 Super Lawyers Rising Star, Atlanta Magazine
  • 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star, Atlanta Magazine
  • 2018 Nominee, UGA Alumni Association’s Top 40 Under 40
  • Kathryn Tucker, How a Jury Asked for $10 Million Came to Award $2,500, The Daily Report, June 12, 2017 (cover feature)
  • Kathryn Tucker, Judges Give Dog Its Day In Court, The Daily Report, November 14, 2017 (cover feature)
  • Kathryn Tucker, Ninth Try Is Charm for Lawyer Making First Oral Argument, The Daily Report, December 11, 2017 (cover feature)

Publications and Seminars

  • Presenter, Avoiding Bad Faith “Pitfalls” When Responding to Pre-Suit Holt Demands, Insurance Adjusters CE Seminar, Georgia Aquarium Grand Ballroom, September 14, 2022
  • Presenter, MD v. PhD: When to Use a Biomechanical Engineer Instead of a Doctor, Insurance Adjusters CE Seminar, Georgia Aquarium Grand Ballroom, September 16, 2021
  • Presenter, Defending Dog Bite Cases, Insurance Adjusters CE Seminar, Georgia Aquarium Grand Ballroom, April 17, 2019
  • Presenter, Defending the Bullying Case, 2018 ICLE Hazing and Bullying Seminar, State Bar of Georgia headquarters, January 25, 2018
  • Presenter, Post-Foreclosure Evictions, 2012 ICLE Annual Real Property Foreclosure Seminar Simulcast, Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios, November 2, 2012
  • Author, “The U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes the ‘Ministerial Exception’-What it Means for Churches and Religious Organizations”, Gavel to Gavel, Summer 2012, Issue 12.2

Significant Representations

  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of regional towing and repossession company on negligence claim in a $3 million brain injury case after jury trial in Glynn County.
  • Obtained directed verdict on behalf of Georgia motorist in a multi-vehicle car accident case during jury trial in Douglas County.
  • Successfully defended national scooter rental company Bird Rides, Inc. in numerous federal court cases and binding arbitrations.
  • Successfully defended national anti-smoking campaign Truth Initiative Foundation in a negligence case involving serious head injuries.
  • Successfully defended individual Georgia motorist in a $10 million, admitted-negligence, car accident case after week-long jury trial in Glynn County.
  • Successfully defended a national Fortune 500 home improvement retail chain as its exclusive Georgia liability counsel in more than 100 lawsuits and arbitrations all over Georgia.
  • Won appeal on behalf of individual dog owner in high-profile dog bite case. Myers v. Ogden, 343 Ga. App. 771 (2017) (cert. denied, May 21, 2018).
  • Successfully appealed a Georgia family-owned business after summary judgment was improperly granted in favor of the plaintiff. Terry v. Old Hat Chimney, 351 Ga. App. 673 (2019) (cert. denied, Dec. 7, 2020).
  • Successfully represented a regional bank in an action to appoint a receiver over a multi-million-dollar commercial property. Alstep, Inc. v. State Bank & Trust Co., 293 Ga. 311 (2013).
  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of national office supply retail chain in a $1.3 million negligence case after jury trial in Gwinnett County.
  • Obtained defense verdict in favor of motorcyclist in a serious injury negligence case after jury trial in DeKalb County.


  • Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law - J.D.
  • University of Georgia - B.A.

Client Reviews

Todd took over the case within weeks of trial, and crafted a trial strategy and crystal-clear message that impressed our...

Dick W.

Todd won a $400k judgement for me with less than 30 days to prepare. In another case he defended me against a bank with the...


Mr. Poole works especially hard to understand the matter prior to taking action, and is able to weigh the cost of legal...

Photograph of a man in a suit with a pen in hand, leaning on a sheet of paper on a desk. In his other hand, he holds a gavel, and on the table, there is also a balance.

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