Sarah B. (Sally) Akins
Of Counsel

Sarah (Sally) Brown Akins is a partner at Ellis Painter in Savannah. Sally has practiced in Savannah since 1993, after practicing in Atlanta, Georgia for two years. Since serving as a judicial clerk after law school graduation, she has been engaged exclusively in civil trial practice. She has handled cases involving premises liability, automobile and truck accidents, professional negligence (medical, legal and pharmaceutical) litigation involving counties and municipalities including civil rights cases and zoning cases, insurance coverage litigation and products liability.

Sally currently spends the majority of her time a registered mediator and arbitrator and is affiliated with Miles Mediation and Arbitration.


  • University of Florida (B.A., 1987)
  • Mercer University (J.D., 1990)

Awards and Honors

  • Board of Bar Examiners, (Appointed by Supreme Court of Georgia, 2014-present
  • Top 100 Attorneys – Georgia Super Lawyer (2020)
  • Top 50 Female Attorneys – Georgia Super Lawyer (2012-2020)
  • Georgia Super Lawyer (2010-2020)
  • General Practice and Trial Section of State Bar Tradition of Excellence Award recipient for defense lawyer, 2018
  • Recipient, Daily Report “Distinguished Leader” Award, 2019
  • Georgia’s Legal Elite by Georgia Trend Magazine (2009)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2012-2020)
  • Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia (Eastern Judicial Circuit, Post 1, 2010 – present)
  • Appointed by Chief Judge to Local Rules Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, U.S. District Court Advisory Committee for the Southern District of Georgia and to the Planning Committee for 2013 11th Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Appointed by Chief Judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Court Advisory Committee (2017-present)
  • Litigation Counsel of America – Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Awarded Best Newsletter by State Bar of Georgia during three-year tenure as Editor-in-Chief of GDLA’s Georgia Defense Lawyer (2013, 2014, 2015)


  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), S.E. Georgia Chapter (Charter Member; President, 2017 Vice-President, 2015; Secretary, 2014; Treasurer, 2011-13)
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (GDLA) (Member, Board of Directors, 2006-present; President, 2017-2018; President- Elect, 2016-2017; Treasurer, 2015-2016; Vice-President, 2012-2015; Editor, Georgia Defense Lawyers Association Law Journal, 2011; Vice Chair and Faculty, Trial Academy, 2012; Editor-in-Chief, Georgia Defense Lawyer, 2013-2015)
  • State Bar State Bar of Georgia
    Secretary (2019-present)
    Executive Committee (2018-present)
    Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia (Eastern Judicial Circuit, Post 1, 2010 – present)
    Review Panel of State Disciplinary Board (n/k/a Disciplinary Review Board) (1999-2002) and (2010-2019, Chairman 2001-2002, Vice Chair 2018-2019)
  • Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (President, Savannah Chapter, 1994-1996)
  • Federal Bar Association, Southern District of Georgia, Charter Member, (Secretary, 2018; Vice President, 2019)
  • Eleventh Circuit Historical Society, Inc., Georgia Trustee
  • Savannah Bar Association (Executive Committee 1999-2000; Chairman, Public Relations Committee 2001-2002; Chairman, Public Service Committee 2005-2006)
  • American Bar Association (Georgia Delegate, Woman Advocate Committee, Litigation Section)
  • National Council of Lawyer Discipline Boards, Treasurer, 2005
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Leadership Savannah Graduate, 2006
  • Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, Fellow
  • Old War Horse Lawyers Club
  • High School Mock Trial Coach (1994-1996)

Related Experience

  • Judicial Law Clerk to The Honorable Arthur W. Fudger and The Honorable F. Marion Curnrnings, Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit (1990-1991)
  • Associate Attorney, Freeman & Hawkins (n/k/a Hawkins, Parnell, Tackston & Young), Atlanta, Georgia (1991-1993)

Court Admissions

  • All Georgia State and Superior Courts
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court