Attorney John R. Autry has seventeen years of experience litigating complex cases in federal and state courts all over Georgia. He has tried numerous bench and jury trials to judgment and successfully defended multiple verdicts on appeal. John has represented multi-national corporations as well as individuals and small businesses in diverse fields, including employment, banking and lending, medical and dental malpractice and long-term care, real and personal property, and contractual disputes. He has also counseled many clients in mediation and quasi-judicial proceedings, including before government agencies and professional boards. John has cultivated a reputation as a smart, aggressive advocate who provides sound business and legal advice to his clients. Whether in settlement negotiations, mediation, trial, or appeal, he consistently obtains favorable results for his clients.
Before moving to Norris Law, John spent twelve years as a business litigator at Smith Gambrell & Russell, where he was promoted to partner, and conducted and supervised all aspects of the litigation process, from case investigation and initiation, through depositions and discovery, to trial and appeal. For the past five years, John served as Counsel at the Lawrenceville-based firm Coles Barton LLP, where he practiced in the areas of insurance and personal injury defense, employment, and general contract disputes. The nature of his practice at Coles Barton constantly kept him in the courtroom for trials and hearings, and most weeks included multiple witness and expert depositions. He was twice designated a “Rising Star” by Georgia Super Lawyers and maintains an AV Peer Review rating (the highest rating possible) from Martindale Hubbell.
A Georgia native and long-time Athens / Oconee resident, John graduated with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law. John was a national winner in the Louis Jackson Writing Competition in Labor and Employment Law, and his winning article “Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA: Are Employers Required to Interact? The Courts Say Yes, but the Law Says No,” was published by the Chicago-Kent Law Review. Before law school, John obtained an undergraduate degree in piano and vocal performance from Samford University in Birmingham and enjoyed a successful career as a professional opera singer. He won first prize in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and logged over three hundred performances with the San Francisco Opera.
John is especially passionate about community service. He currently serves as the president of the board of directors at Bethel Haven, Inc., a Watkinsville-based nonprofit that provides counseling services on a sliding scale, and as an Athens Church college group leader. In the past, he has served as a foster parent and as a member of the board of directors at Westminster Christian Academy in Watkinsville and provided pro bono representation to domestic violence victims (through Project ReNeWal in Conyers) and indigent clients (through the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation).