Adam Malone of Malone Law began 2020 by preparing for trials and litigating catastrophic injury claims. But by March, that came to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency, causing the shutdowns of most courthouse operations and statewide lockdowns.

Malone Law already had its remote capabilities in place, so the firm had no technological disruptions. “Without the ability to present a case to a jury, I had to get creative and find new ways to bring cases to resolution,” notes Malone, who in 2016 was named a Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs in Atlanta. “The lawyers and staff of Malone Law stayed focused, faced the challenges, and we resolved several significant injury and malpractice matters.”

And while the firm continued to litigate their client’s cases, Malone found himself answering the call of Georgia’s legal community.

He was already serving as an officer of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, a 2,000-member organization composed of his peers, when he recommended to its president that guidelines be drafted to help reduce court backlog, keep the civil justice system moving, and to reduce the possibility of insurance companies exploiting the shutdowns by delaying payment of valid claims. His quick action, fair proposals, and pragmatic solutions were well-received by all sides and resulted in his nomination to serve as a member of the COVID-19 Judicial Task Force for the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. He accepted the nomination in May 2020 and immediately went to work with the entire task force comprised of esteemed judges from around the state and many respected members of the bar in each practice area of the law. The work of the task force has assisted Chief Justice Harold D. Melton in developing the safest and most efficient ways for Georgia’s entire judicial system to remain active amid regular uncertainty and rising COVID infections.

“We’ve all been working together to promulgate and suggest guidelines to Chief Justice Melton for lawyers and judges to keep moving cases even without having in-person jury trials,” Malone says. “We had many common goals, and it has been an honor and a privilege to work with such well-respected professionals. Ultimately, the guidance provided by the task force has helped provide a path to keep the wheels of justice turning–turning safely in the midst of this pandemic–and prevented what otherwise might have been a total shutdown of our third branch of government.”

With the accomplishments and continued progress of the task force and the leadership of the bench, many cases will be ready for trial when safety thresholds are met. Malone’s leadership and service during such a chaotic time in American history, on top of running his own firm, benefited everyone throughout the entire state on all sides of a legal dispute and brought a new dimension to the tradition of excellence for which Malone Law is known for.  

“The goal was to get back to work, solve problems and keep the system functioning,” Malone notes. “It is very gratifying to know our work led to lawyers, judges, and court officers remaining safe, active, and employed, and that injured people and their families could get adequate representation, compensation, and closure.”