Areas Of Practice
Appeals – Civil And Criminal
The Hames Law Firm is recognized as one of the best appellate law firms in Georgia. Mr. Hames has briefed and argued over 150 cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the Georgia Court of Appeals. Mr. Hames’ appellate experience includes defending verdicts and judgments of trial courts in Georgia. However, he has also successfully persuaded appellate courts to overturn incorrect rulings in numerous cases. Mr. Hames has represented clients in both civil and criminal appeals.
Mr. Hames was included on the list of Georgia Super Lawyers from 2012 until 2018 in appellate practice. In 2019, he was listed among Georgia’s Legal Elite. These recognitions follow many years of involvement with appeals and appellate procedures. Mr. Hames is a former chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Mr. Hames is also a former member of the Council of Appellate Lawyers.
Mr. Hames has also been requested to speak at numerous appellate practice seminars and address law school classes around Georgia. As an example, Mr. Hames moderated a panel on professionalism that included United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Senior Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and former Justice of the Florida Supreme Court Raul Cantero.
Mr. Hames has worked as lead counsel and as part of a team of lawyers. He is always forthright with his advice and advocacy. Whether he is lead counsel or part of a team, he recognizes what is important to the client and what is the best way of achieving their goals.
Criminal Defense – Fraud
Mr. Hames has handled several cases involving allegations of fraud. Specifically, he has handled allegations of wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud and honest services fraud. Mr. Hames also has substantial experience in representing people charged with crimes related to fraud such as money laundering and obstruction of justice. These cases are document intensive and can be overwhelming at times. Mr. Hames’ experience in complex fraud cases allows him to focus on what is important in a case so that he can present the best defense possible for his clients.
In one representative case, the federal government sought to prosecute his client for mortgage fraud and several counts of money laundering. The documents involved filled a medium size room in the courthouse. The government took five weeks to present its case. Mr. Hames was able to locate and present to the jury the critical documents and witnesses that resulted in his client being acquitted on most of the substantive counts against him. The client faced a significant term of imprisonment, but Mr. Hames was able to negotiate a sentence reduction for his client after a trial which resulted in a much shorter sentence.
In another case, a client was charged with obstructing justice. Mr. Hames was able to convince a federal court to dismiss the indictment against his client. When the government re-indicted his client, Mr. Hames was able to get half of the second indictment dismissed as well. They went to trial and Mr. Hames was able to convince the judge that there was so little evidence against his client that the judge dismissed the remainder of the charges.
Criminal Defense – General
Mr. Hames has extensive experience in defending people on all kinds of criminal charges. He has tried cases involving murder, sex crimes, drug charges, frauds of all kinds and stalking. His experience helps him focus on what are the most important aspects of a client’s case and present the best defense on their behalf. It is always a client’s decision on how their case gets resolved. If they want a trial, they will get a trial. If they want to resolve the case by entering a guilty plea, Mr. Hames has successfully negotiated the resolution of many cases to the client’s satisfaction.
Mr. Hames is familiar with the jails and the courtrooms of Georgia. He has represented clients in over 50 different Superior Courts in Georgia. If a client is incarcerated, he is not afraid of visiting his clients in jail. In fact, he believes that communicating with a client is extremely important. Mr. Hames tells clients what they need to hear and not what they want to hear.
When he is not practicing law, Mr. Hames is an adjunct professor of law at Emory University School of Law. He helps train the next generation of prosecutors in trial techniques and the role of a prosecutor in the justice system. His ability to think about a case from both a prosecution and defense point of view helps Mr. Hames explain difficult concepts to his clients and makes sure that they understand the choices they have in their case.
Habeas Corpus – State And Federal
Mr. Hames has a specialized area of knowledge that is rare. While many lawyers will fumble their way through a habeas corpus petition, Mr. Hames has handled hundreds of state and federal habeas corpus petitions at all stages of the process. There are few lawyers anywhere that handle federal habeas petitions, especially for state inmates. Mr. Hames has been hired to handle federal habeas cases for clients in Montana, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.
Once a person loses his direct appeal the fight is not over, but the burden to overturn a conviction becomes even higher. The law provides that a person convicted of a crime can file a lawsuit against the person that has custody of them to challenge the constitutionality of their conviction. This process is known as a writ of habeas corpus. A habeas corpus case is filled with procedural traps, defaults and bars. Even the most experienced criminal defense attorneys can fail to recognize these traps until it is too late. Mr. Hames knows how to avoid the procedural dangers of habeas.
Mr. Hames can review your habeas corpus case to determine whether there is a viable claim to raise. If there is not a good claim, he will tell you that to ensure that you do not waste your money chasing an unrealistic hope. If there is a good claim, he will aggressively pursue that claim as far as it can go.