Partner, Dispute Resolution
Mr. Custer has extensive experience representing corporate clients in a wide range of complex commercial litigation including disputes involving banking, insurance, and a variety of corporate transactions. Mr. Custer has been ranked by his peers in one widely-published poll as one of the top 100 lawyers in Georgia.
As a result of the firm's considerable base of banking clients, Mr. Custer represents regional, national and international banks in cases involving such matters as lender liability, RICO, Truth in Lending, the False Claims Act, the Fair Housing Act, participation agreements, and fiduciary liability. With respect to trusts and estates litigation, in particular, Mr. Custer has extensive experience in such litigation throughout his career. He represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in many different and complex litigated matters including will caveats, petitions for equitable direction, disputes over the appointment of fiduciaries, disputes over the interpretation of instruments, and the defense of suits alleging breach of fiduciary duty.
Mr. Custer's practice has also involved the management and coordination of multi-jurisdictional litigation and national product liability litigation. By way of example, Mr. Custer has acted as national class action counsel for one corporate client, national discovery counsel for one of the country's largest retail companies, national coordinating counsel for product liability claims against a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, national Daubert counsel for another Fortune 500 manufacturing corporation.
Mr. Custer routinely appears in the appellate courts and is called upon frequently to express the views of the business and banking community on important legal issues pending in the appellate courts through amicus curiae briefs. Among the cases in which Mr. Custer has authored briefs on behalf of either the Georgia Chamber of Commerce or the Georgia Banking Association in recent years are: Cavalier Convenience, Inc. v. Sarvis, 305 Ga. App. 141 (2010); Smith v. Baptiste, 287 Ga. 23 (2010); State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Hernandez Auto Painting and Body Work, Inc., 312 Ga. App. 756 (2011); Nat'l Federation of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius, 132 S. Ct. 2566, 183 L. Ed. 2d 450 (2012); Synovus Bank v. Griner, 321 Ga. App. 359 (2013); Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc., v. Roy Knight, 299 GA. 286 (2016); and Certainteed Corporation v. Marcella Fletcher, S15G1903 (2016).
Mr. Custer has also been active during his career in the State Bar of Georgia having served as a Director of and member of the Executive Council of the Younger Lawyers Section in the early years of his practice, a member of the Board of Governors between 1998 and 2016, Chair of the Products Liability Law Section, as a Special Master in lawyer disciplinary proceedings, and as a member of various other committees.
Mr. Custer is a frequent speaker on legal issues and over the last several years has given seminars on such diverse topics as developments in Georgia evidence law, cybersecurity, social media evidence, the attorney-client privilege, e-discovery, and the art of negotiation.
Mr. Custer is also a consulting author of the LexisNexis Guide: Georgia Personal Injury (2015).
Mr. Custer has participated as counsel in a number of high profile pro bono matters before the Georgia and federal courts including Garner v. Jones, 529 U.S. 244, 120 S. Ct. 1362, 146 L. Ed. 2d 236 (2000)(challenging changes in state parole procedures as a violation of the ex post facto clause); Henderson v. Hames, 287 Ga. 534, 697 S.E.2d 798, 800 (2010)(successful habeas corpus action overturning murder conviction); and Inniss v. Aderhold, 80 F. Supp. 3d 1335 (N.D. Ga. 2015)(successful challenge of state prohibition on same sex marriages). Pro bono teams led by Mr. Custer have received awards from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the Stonewall Bar Association for their outstanding service.