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Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Seslee S. Smith

Seslee S. Smith

Partner

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP
Georgia, U.S.A.

tel: (404) 504-7673
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Local Time: Wed. 08:19

Profile
Seslee Smith is a litigator and trial lawyer with more than 23 years experience who focuses her practice on the defense of companies in complex litigation. Ms. Smith is a Partner in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Practice and has successfully litigated commercial disputes, products liability actions, insurance coverage disputes and healthcare related matters in federal and state courts, including jury trials, as well as before regulatory agencies, in arbitration proceedings and in courts of appeal. She serves as counsel to several Fortune 500 companies in high dollar contractual disputes, products liability multi-district, class action and mass tort litigation, as well as defending insurers in bad faith litigation. Ms. Smith also actively represents healthcare systems, hospitals, physician groups and publicly-held healthcare companies in a range of licensure, regulatory, fraud and abuse and business disputes.

Since 2013, Ms. Smith has served as ethics and professionalism counsel at MMM. In addition, she helped create MMM’s Women’s Initiative, which focuses on the recruitment, professional development and retention of women attorneys at the firm. Ms. Smith chaired the Women's Initiative from 2010-2018 and remains an active participant in and champion of MMM’s women and associates.

Ms. Smith serves on the Board of Ahimsa House, a nonprofit offering services and assistance to survivors of domestic violence and their pets in Georgia.

Representative Experience:

- American Family Insurance Company v. Abdulmohsen Almussud (Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division) Prosecuting declaratory judgement action for insured’s failure to cooperate and defending breach of fiduciary counterclaim.

- In re Stand N Seal Litigation (MDL Docket No. 1804, USDC, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division) This multi-district litigation case involved alleged claims of pulmonary and neurological injuries following use of a spray grout sealant known as Stand 'n Seal sold in approximately 1,300 Home Depot stores nationwide. This was one of the largest pending MDL proceedings in the United States. Ms. Smith served as co-lead counsel in connection with the first five bellwether cases in the Stand ‘n Seal MDL, which were tried to complete defense verdicts.

- CCA Pressure Treated Lumber Class Action Litigation. Successful opposition to certification of multiple nationwide putative class action lawsuits, involving litigation of extensive jurisdictional and class cert issues and handling of complex insurance coverage issues with dozens of major insurance carriers, resulting in dismissal of class actions after defeat of certification.

- Doctors Hospital of Augusta, LLC v. Georgia Department of Community Health and MCG Health, Inc d/ba Georgia Regents Medical Center (Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court) Successfully obtained CON for MCG Health to build first new hospital in state of Georgia in more than a decade and successfully defended numerous appeals by Doctors Hospitals.

- Kennestone Hospital, Inc., et al. v. Piedmont Hospital, Inc., et al. (Superior Court of Cobb County, Georgia) Successfully appealed denial of Certificate of Need for radiation therapy services and defended award of CON at Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court.

- The Medical Center of Central Georgia v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc., et al. (Superior Court of Bibb County) Successfully prosecuted breach of contract action against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia arising out of reimbursement disputes between provider and payor.

- Sterling Brown, Individually, and as Executor of the Estate of Gwendolyn Brown v. Southeastern Pain Specialists, PC and Dennis C. Doherty, D.O., et al. (Fulton County State Court) Successfully litigated for existing medical practice and physician owners underinsured medical malpractice claim and coverage disputes through appeals to Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court.

- HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Forsyth County, LLC v. Georgia Department of Community Health, et al. (Superior Court of Fulton County)
Successfully obtained grant of Certificate of Need for 50-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital through Petition for Judicial Review and appeal to Georgia Court of Appeals.

- Steven H. Larsen & Leanne L. Larsen v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. (Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento) Served as co-lead counsel in this four-week trial, resulting in a complete defense verdict. This product liability case involved claims of a carpenter's alleged toxic exposure to arsenic and chromium from CCA pressure treated wood. This was one of dozens of CCA treated woods lawsuits filed against Home Depot, including several national class actions, successfully defended by Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP.

- Jay Martin and Sarah Martin v. The Home Depot, et. al. (District Court - City and County of Denver, State of Colorado) Served as co-lead counsel and obtained complete defense verdict after two-week trial involving alleged toxic exposure to CCA pressure treated wood.

- Jacobs v. Osmose, Inc., et al., 213 F.R.D 607 (S.D. Fla.) and Miller v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 199 F. Supp. 2d 502 (W.D. La.) Successful defense of putative national class actions involving CCA pressure treated wood product.

- In re Assisted Living Concepts, Inc. (GA ALJ proceeding) Served as co-lead counsel in these administrative matters, resulting in a successful adjudication of a licensure revocation proceeding for the client’s assisted living facilities.

- Piedmont Healthcare Inc. v. Kowal (GA Court of Appeals) Successfully appealed trial court’s order enjoining a hospital board’s decision to revoke a doctor’s clinical privileges.

Bar Admissions

Georgia, 1996
North Carolina, 1996
South Carolina, 1996

Education

University of South Carolina, 1996
Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Order of Wig and Robe
University of Georgia, 1992
Bachelors of Arts in Journalism (A.B.J.)
magna cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa
Areas of Practice
Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Honoree, Corporate Counsel Magazine, National Women in Law - Transformative Woman Leader, 2018
Named, The Best Lawyers in America, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2012-2016, 2018, 2019
Listed, Georgia Super Lawyer by Atlanta magazine, 2014-2015, 2017-2018
Honored, Georgia Trend Legal Elite - General Practice/Trial Law, 2011

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association

Seminars

Speaker, Contracting Issues in Connection with Value-Based and Quality Improvement Reimbursement Initiatives, Georgia
Healthcare Financial Management Association Conference (2014)
Moderator, The Current State of the Preemption Defense: Dead or Alive?, ABA Women in Products Liability Annual Meeting (2011)
Panelist, Playing Like a Man, Winning Like a Woman, UGA Terry College of Business Professional Women's Conference (2010)
Speaker, The Legal Aspects of Conducting Business in the United States: Litigation, Contractual and Regulatory Issues Impacting
Foreign Product Manufacturers, China Ministry of Commerce’s 2008 Symposium on Standards, Environmental Protection, Packaging,
Safety, Examination, Quarantine, Authentication, Technical Barriers and the Correlated Product Responsibility in Export Trade,
Beijing China (2008)
Moderator, Corporate Witness Depositions: Practical Tips and Guidelines, ABA Women in Products Liability Annual Meeting (2007)
Blogs

MMM Tech Law & Business Report
Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP 

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