Carlton's entire legal career has concentrated on civil litigation, although he considers himself a trial lawyer, rather than a litigator. In recent years, he has drawn on his years of trial experience as a mediator and arbitrator, assisting in the resolution of disputes through ADR. Carlton is a 1971 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Virginia Law Review and was inducted into the Order of the Coif, membership of which is limited to the top ten percent of the graduating class. He is included in The Best Lawyers in America, based on a peer-review survey in both Commercial Litigation and ADR categories.
A lawyer often hired by lawyers, Carlton particularly enjoys jury trials, and believes that juries, for the most part, do justice. He brings a practical sensibility to dispute resolution and has dealt with a myriad of commercial subject matters. During his career he has trained many young lawyers and for several years managed the litigation practice of a labor law firm with which he still maintains a collegial relationship.
He is admitted to practice in all Georgia courts and has tried cases in a number of jurisdictions other than Georgia. He routinely handles cases in Federal court and is admitted to U.S. District courts in Georgia, as well as to the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits.
Carlton has served on seminar panels addressing civil litigation and trial practice, and has participated as an instructor in trial advocacy programs for law students and practitioners. Carlton is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the Atlanta Bar Association and the Lawyers Club of Atlanta.