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Copeland, Stair, Valz & Lovell, LLP Announces Partner Elevations

Copeland, Stair, Valz & Lovell, LLP is pleased to announce the elevation from associates to the position of Partner: Jessica Hubbartt, Corey Mendel, Caroline Sims, Skyler Wilson, and Matthew Wayne. In addition, the firm is proud to announce that Mark Lefkow has been elevated to Equity Partner.

Jessica Hubbartt is a Partner in the Atlanta office. Her practice is concentrated in general liability and insurance coverage and bad faith defense. Jessica has represented businesses, individuals, and insurance carriers against tort and breach of contract claims at various exposure levels, with tort claims including wrongful death, premises liability, and automobile litigation. Jessica has experience defending such claims in the State Courts of Georgia, as well as in mediation and arbitration forums. Prior to joining CSVL, Jessica worked for another highly-respected metro Atlanta civil defense firm. Jessica earned her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan College and her M.A. in Public Administration from Bowie State University. Jessica then attended John Marshall Law School where she earned her J.D.

Corey Mendel is a Partner in the Atlanta office. Her practice focuses on representation of engineers and design professionals in disputes related to the construction and design process and on defending clients in complex, multi-party, construction defects claims. A portion of her practice also focuses on general liability matters, including automobile and premises liability as well as insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Prior to joining CSVL, Corey worked at a boutique real estate law firm based in the southeast. She represented clients in a wide variety of complex civil litigation involving contract disputes, real estate and quiet title litigation, mortgage priority actions, and banking regulatory and compliance litigation.

Caroline Sims is a Partner in the Atlanta office. Caroline practices a wide variety of General Liability litigation including automobile claims, premises liability, and products liability. Caroline also represents and advises clients through complex insurance coverage issues and bad faith claims. Prior to joining Copeland Stair, Caroline worked at a very respectable Birmingham, AL area defense firm and as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Atlanta, GA, both of which offered her invaluable experience in various areas of litigation. Caroline is licensed to practice law in both Alabama and Georgia.

Skyler Wilson is a Partner in the Charleston office and practices in appellate law, commercial law, and construction law. Much of Skyler’s practice relates to defending professionals–such as lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers and agents, and real estate brokers and agents–in lawsuits alleging malpractice or breaches of fiduciary duty. He also represents community associations and their boards of directors in various cases, including those involving the Fair Housing Act. Skyler also serves as an Adjunct Professor at his alma mater the Charleston School of Law. Skyler teaches classes related to legal writing and analysis.

Matt Wayne is a Partner in the Chattanooga office, a native of nearby South Pittsburg, Tennessee, and a 2016 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. His practice specializes in various aspects of construction and commercial enterprises, including mechanic’s liens, contractor licensing and payment issues, contracts, and commercia and business issues such as counseling on federal and state compliance in employment and jobsite related issues and documents. Matt is also equipped with the significant experience in advising and representing clients in day-to-day issues that develop in an array of businesses and industries and subsequently defending them in litigation, should it arise. This includes handling EEOC Charges, OSHA violations, retainage, code and state compliance, and drafting agreements ranging from subcontracts, change orders, employment, operating, noncompete, separation agreements, and similar client needs in multiple states and venues, including federal and state court and arbitration.

Mark Lefkow is a Partner in Copeland Stair’s Atlanta office, representing clients in various areas of civil litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as in transactional matters. He has successfully tried cases to defense verdicts as first chair in federal and state courts. Mark’s litigation practice includes defending lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, doctors, nurses, and physician assistants in errors and omissions claims, general liability claims, trucking claims, auto claims, and premises cases claims. In the course of defending attorneys, Mark engineered a system for recovery of proceeds of wire frauds and ACH frauds that has resulted in over $1,000,000 in recoveries for business clients, law firms, and insurance carriers. He has a long history of defending manufacturers in warranty rights and products liability cases, both in courts and in arbitrations.  Mark’s complex litigation experience includes class actions, real estate litigation, bankruptcy litigation, and business disputes. His transactional practice includes advising small businesses on corporate governance, employment covenants, commercial leases, and contracts.

Our newest partners each exhibit our Firm Fundamentals in all that they do. These lawyers continue to grow, shine and demonstrate leadership. We are proud to see their progress and know that they will help the Firm achieve our ultimate goal of superior client service for years to come.