Elissa Haynes is a Partner in Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP’s Atlanta office, where she is Vice-Chair of the firm’s National Appellate Advocacy section. Elissa’s trial and appellate practice is focused primarily on defending claims involving negligent security, premises liability, personal/catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, and religious institution liability. She has served as both lead and solo counsel in jury trials throughout the state, many of which have ended in defense verdicts. 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.
As for her appellate practice, Elissa has argued before the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals and was part of the first group of attorneys to argue at the Georgia Supreme Court remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. She also serves as Chair of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association’s Amicus Curiae Committee where she is tasked with reviewing amicus requests from GDLA members as well as authoring and submitting briefs on issues that pose particular significance to the defense bar.
Outside of the firm, Elissa serves as President of the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division (“YLD”) and on the State Bar’s Executive Committee. She is also a graduate of the 2016 YLD Leadership Academy and previously served as Chair of the YLD Appellate Admissions and Legislative Affairs Committees. Additionally, Elissa has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2019-2022, an award given to only 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40. She was also selected to the 2021 Fulton County Daily Report’s ‘On the Rise’ Class. which recognizes the state’s top 20 lawyers age 40 and under.
Elissa received her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Georgia where she graduated cum laude. In law school, Elissa was an active member of the Moot Court Program, winning first place and the award for “Best Oral Argument” at the Tulane Sports Law Competition and later serving on the Executive Moot Court Board. Elissa was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia and currently resides in Chamblee.