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Twelve Drew Eckl & Farnham Attorneys Selected for 2021 Georgia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars®

February 12, 2021 BY DEF Admin

We are proud to announce that twelve of our attorneys have been selected for inclusion on the Georgia Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars® lists for 2021.

Super Lawyer Honorees

Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are named by Super Lawyers. The selections for this esteemed list are made by the research team at Super Lawyers, which is a service of the Thomson Reuters, Legal division based in Eagan, MN. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check.


H. Michael Bagley, Workers' Compensation. Mike Bagley has been practicing for more than 40 years in both First Party Insurance Matters and Workers’ Compensation defense. He has extensive experience in insurance coverage and in representing the health care industry, governmental agencies, and manufacturers. He has tried hundreds of cases around the Southeast and in virtually every county in Georgia, and he has taken and defended thousands of depositions including expert witness statements. Mike has been listed as a Super Lawyer every year since the inception of the honor.


Paul W. Burke, Insurance Coverage. Paul Burke has been practicing law for 38 years and has extensive experience in commercial and civil litigation including first party insurance coverage, creditor litigation and cargo litigation. He earned his CPCU in 2001 which is a professional designation in property-casualty insurance and risk management held by just over 1% of those in the insurance industry. Paul has been listed as a Super Lawyer every year since 2009.


John A. Ferguson, Jr., Workers' Compensation. John Ferguson has been practicing Workers' Compensation law for more than 40 years.  He represents corporations and insurance companies throughout Georgia. John has been listed as a Super Lawyer every year since the inception of the honor.


Julie Y. John, Workers' Compensation. Julie John has been practicing law for over 33 years and concentrates her efforts in the defense of Workers’ Compensation claims for employers, insurers, self-insurers, and self-insured funds throughout Georgia. She serves clients in many industries and has particular experience in city and county government, transportation and carriers, healthcare providers, manufacturing, small entrepreneurial organizations as well as charitable groups. Julie has been listed as a Super Lawyer every year since the inception of the honor.


Daniel C. Kniffen, Workers' Compensation. Dan Kniffen has been representing employers for 37 years in the defense of Workers’ Compensation and Employment Law cases.  Because of his unique experience in these overlapping areas, he specializes in guiding clients through the often-complex interactions of these laws in both Litigation and Risk Management. Dan has been listed as a Super Lawyer every year since the inception of the honor.


Hall F. McKinley, III, Civil Litigation: Defense. Hall McKinley has been practicing for more than 40 years with a focus on trucking companies, the retail industry, general insurance litigation, and larger self-insured companies. He serves General Counsel, in-house Legal Departments, Claims Departments, and Risk Managers in litigating matters in state and federal courts. Hall and his team handle and try cases statewide. Hall has been listed as a Super Lawyer every year since 2012.


Stevan A. Miller, Civil Litigation: Defense. Steve Miller has been a trial lawyer in Georgia since 1977.  Steve’s practice focuses on the defense of cases involving catastrophic injury in state and federal court.  He has a broad range of trial experience and has tried jury verdict cases involving product liability claims, trucking, premises, and professional negligence.  His practice is also devoted to advising clients on insurance coverage issues, including the prosecution and defense of declaratory judgment actions.


David L. Rusnak, Business Litigation. David L. Rusnak focuses his practice on state and federal litigation, risk management, and alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration). Since 1984, David has represented local, regional and national clients in commercial, financial, real estate and construction matters, guiding and representing developers, building owners, lenders, landlords and tenants, contractors, engineers and vendors, as well as other commercial concerns and interests, through all phases of complex and common state and federal litigation, appeals and alternative dispute resolution procedures, as well as pre-litigation dispute resolution, work outs, claims avoidance, and contract negotiation (of construction-related agreements). 


J. Benson Ward, Workers’ Compensation.  Benson Ward practices insurance defense litigation, with a focus on workers' compensation and major insurance matters including bad faith, insurance coverage, and arson & fraud investigations throughout the southeast. Benson represents insurers, third party administrators, self-insureds, and employers, and defends insurance companies.

Rising Star Honorees

Rising Stars is a listing of exceptional lawyers who are 40 years or under, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less and have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only 2.5 percent of the total lawyers in the state are honored on the Rising Stars list.


Elissa HaynesCivil Litigation. Elissa Haynes is an experienced litigator with a civil litigation and appellate practice focused primarily on defending claims involving general liability, negligent security, premises liability, personal/catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, and religious institution liability. Elissa is involved in all aspects of the litigation process and has served as lead counsel in trial and on appeal. Elissa routinely consults on appellate matters and often begins her involvement at the trial court level to perfect the record and maximize chances of an advantageous result in any subsequent appeal. Her background as a former plaintiff's personal injury attorney provides her with a unique perspective and leverage to successfully resolve even the most complex cases. 


Myles Levelle, Banking. Myles Levelle has significant experience in the credit industry, representing local, regional and international banks and financial institutions, hedge funds and private equity firms. This work includes programs designed to maximize recovery initiatives and provide secure compliance with regulatory agencies and risk management standards. In addition, Myles has a solid background in construction litigation with mid to large size contracting firms building hotels, condominiums and apartments across the southeast. Myles has been listed as a Rising Star every year since 2018.


Eric R. Mull, Professional Liability: Defense. Eric Mull has been practicing for 14 years in insurance defense litigation, with a focus in the areas of construction defect, professional malpractice, and first party property insurance matters.  Eric represents his clients in their investigation and adjustment of large-scale property claims and in defending his clients in coverage, bad faith litigation and arson, fraud, and property damage cases in State and Federal Courts in Georgia and the Southeastern United States.  His clients include insurers, third-party administrators, and self-insureds.  Eric has been listed as a Rising Star since 2016.