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S. Gardner Culpepper, III

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Gardner Culpepper specializes in complex commercial litigation. He handles disputes involving trade secret misappropriation, insurance recovery (policy holder representation), indemnity, tortious interference, defamation, misrepresentation and fraud, products liability, fiduciary duties, false advertising, breached warranties made to consumers or in acquisition agreements, restrictive covenants, and high-value contracts.  He also spent much of his career as national counsel for a manufacturing client, successfully defending against multiple statewide putative consumer class actions filed across the eastern United States and involving breach of warranty and product liability claims. 

Gardner is a leader on the firm's corporate recovery and insurance recovery teams, pursuing commercial plaintiffs’ side cases (under partial and total contingency arrangements) across a wide array of disciplines, including most recently recovering tens of millions of dollars for corporate clients while pursing claims for fraud, breach of contract and failure to honor valid insurance claims under buy side representation and warranty insurance policies.

Gardner also has extensive experience seeking and resisting TROs and other injunctive relief, and his engagements routinely place him in state and federal court as well as before arbitration panels (including before the International Chamber of Commerce).

Gardner has been frequently recognized over the years as one of Georgia's top commercial litigators and class action lawyers in third-party publications such as Benchmark Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America© and Super Lawyers. He is also a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Top Rated Lawyer. In 2009, he was identified by Atlanta's Daily Report as one of the top 12 lawyers under 40 in Atlanta. He also regularly speaks at Georgia CLE's on ethical and professionalism topics.

Representative Experience

  • Assisted private equity firm in achieving $14 million recovery for policy holder under a buy-side representation and warranty policy
  • Won motions to dismiss in multi-million dollar putative state-wide consumer fraud, breach of warranty and product liability class actions filed in North Carolina and Florida federal district courts.
  • Secured dismissal of $30 million tortious interference and defamation suit filed against an international business communication solutions company.
  • Through novel use of the inevitable disclosure doctrine, successfully prevented the threatened misappropriation of trade secrets belonging to a nationally recognized phonetic search technology company.
  • Resisted TROs for one of the world’s largest investment banks in non-compete and corporate raiding cases filed in Georgia.
  • Co-defense counsel with other large national and international firms representing one of the world's largest wireless telecommunications companies in multiple international breach of contract and licensing disputes with hundreds of millions of dollars at issue, including two International Chamber of Commerce arbitrations.
  • Defeated multiple defamation and business tort cases throughout the Southeast brought against one of the largest telecommunications services providers in the United States.
  • Co-defense trial counsel in charge of expert witness cross examination in murder case tried to completion in Fulton County Superior Court.
  • Trial counsel in multiple insurance defense matters where defense verdicts were received.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member on Board of Trustees for Atlanta Bar Association CLE
  • Lawyers Foundation – Fellow
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Atlanta Bar Association  

Publications & Presentations

  • "Representation and Warranty Policies - Trends and Claims," Georgia CLE Presentation, February 2019
  • "Lincoln on Professionalism, " Moderator of Georgia Professionalism CLE with panel of Federal District Court Judges, March 2017
  • "Professionalism Challenges," Moderator of CLE presentation for the Atlanta Bar Association, December 2016
  • "Ethics for In-House Counsel: Negotiations," Georgia CLE presentation to the Georgia Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, March 2016
  • "Ethics for In-House Counsel: Ethics in Transactional Matters," Georgia CLE presentation to the Georgia Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, March 2014
  • “The Law(s) of Privilege: Trends, Choices and Context for In-House Counsel,” Georgia CLE presentation, 2012

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America® - Commercial Litigation
  • Benchmark Litigation - Local Litigation Star in Georgia for expertise in the General Commercial category
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Top Rated Lawyer
  • Super Lawyers - Georgia Super Lawyer in Class Action/Mass Torts; Construction Litigation; and Business Litigation (2014-2019)


Alternate Biographies


Connie May
Direct 404.954.7527


  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, American Jurisprudence Book Award for Property, Associate Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Dartmouth College

Judicial Clerkships

Bar Admissions

  • United States District Court Northern District of Georgia
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit New York


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