We are again spotlighting some of our employees. Our firm is fortunate to have a good group of dedicated , hard-working employees and I always like to mention a few each month.
Russell T. Abney is one of our firm’s newer shareholders. Russ received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his law degree with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law and after spending eighteen years in Texas returned to his home state of Georgia to raise his two daughters close to family. Russ started his legal career in Texas in 1989 and spent the first eight years of his legal career defending insurance companies, contractors, and manufacturers. Fortunately, he saw the light and now uses his talents to seek justice for those who need it most.
Russ officially joined the firm’s Mass Torts Section in 2007, but as a result of prior joint venture efforts with his former firm he has enjoyed a long working relationship with Beasley Allen. Russ brings with him an in depth knowledge of all aspects of mass torts, but he is known around the firm as “Dr. Abney” because of his love of medical and scientific issues. Currently, Russ is part of the Hormone Replacement Therapy, Fosamax and Pain Pump litigation teams, but never turns down an opportunity to assist other lawyers in the firm.
Russ is licensed to practice in all the state and federal courts in Georgia and Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Additionally, because his practice has been national in scope, Russ has been admitted to practice before the courts of numerous states for specific cases. Russ lives in Atlanta with his wife of seventeen years, Aileen Nakamura (a native of Japan) and their 2 young daughters, Mika Keili and Saya Anne. Russ is a very good lawyer and we are fortunate to have him with us.
Tony Harris began working for the firm in July 2007, joining the staff in Toxic Torts. Currently he’s the only staff assistant for the department, so he stays busy with a variety of tasks on behalf of everyone in the department. Daily duties may include calling clients, creating Excel spreadsheets, and general clerical assistance like scanning and copying documents. He says the variety is one of the things he most enjoys about the job, working with attorneys, legal assistants and other staff on a wide range of cases and projects. Tony has worked on cases including 3M Minnesota, Hot Fuel, and also assisted Mass Torts last year as they worked to wrap up Vioxx. “I just really love this job,” Tony says. “It definitely seems like it is for me. I don’t really like doing the same thing over and over so all the different and changing tasks in my job keep things challenging and interesting. I like that there’s always something new going on.”
Tony grew up in Selma and attended Dallas County High School. He attended Wallace Community College in Selma for 2 years and intends on returning to college in the near future. He moved to Montgomery shortly before beginning work at Beasley Allen, when a friend needed a roommate. He said he was just ready for a change of scenery and a new place, and is enjoying learning more about his new home city. In his spare time, Tony enjoys relaxing with a good book and going to see movies.
Beth Warren, who has been with the firm for over seven years, currently works as a Legal Assistant to Roman Shaul in our Fraud Section. Beth works mostly with FLSA employment cases. Beth had previously worked in the Toxic Torts Section. She graduated in May of 2000 with a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice and in December 2002 with an A.S. degree in Legal Studies. Beth passed the National Association of Legal Assistants’ National Certification Exam in January, 2003. She is currently training to run the Country Music ½ Marathon for the American Stroke Association’s Train to End Stroke Program. Beth does an outstanding job for the firm and is a valuable employee.
Arriving at Beasley Allen in September 2004, just after Hurricane Ivan, Christi Bryant started as a contract worker in the Information Technology department. She handled duties ranging from answering phones and helping other employees with minor tech support, to calling potential clients who contacted the firm through the web site and handling “live chat contacts.”
In March 2005, Christi was hired as a full-time employee. From October to December of that year, she worked as a relief receptionist and assisted with mass mailings using Documatch. Christi then became a clerical assistant for Melissa Prickett, one of our lawyers in the Mass Torts Section, in December 2005. After a year and a half, she became a legal secretary for Melissa, and she has been in that job for nearly two years. Her work has allowed Christi to work on cases involving Bextra, Celebrex and Hormone Replacement Therapy. Christi had this to say:
I do a little bit of everything, from dealing with referring attorneys, to talking to clients, to scanning and making copies, to working with reports and every imaginable job in between. I enjoy the variety immensely! I love working for Melissa and working with the other ladies on our team! We have a wonderful rapport. But the most important thing in my life is my relationship with Jesus Christ as my Savior.
Christi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education, and prior to joining the Beasley Allen team she taught history and English at a local Christian school for 5 years. She’s an active member of Perry Hill Road Baptist Church, where she serves as the special music coordinator, a job that includes directing the choir, playing the keyboard and singing. In addition to music, Christi’s hobbies include hiking, reading, painting, baking and cooking, and she enjoys spending time with her three dogs. We are blessed to have Christi with us.
Angie Faust has been with the firm for five years. Angie works in our Mass Torts Section as part of our Vioxx team. Angie stays very busy dealing with file management, case work-up, preparing and filing suits, assisting clients, scheduling depositions, settlements, and special projects assigned by superiors. Angie previously worked in our Personal Injury and Nursing Home Sections. She attended Prince Institute of Professional Studies – Court Stenography. Before entering the legal field, Angie worked for five (5) years with the Department of Health and Human Services in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau in Rockville, Maryland. Angie and her son Brandon enjoy landscaping, camping, fishing, nature and spending time with family and friends. Angie is a very good employee who does excellent work.
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