Academy Member Inducted 2009Map & Directions
Regularly travels out of state to: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, TennesseeOther ADR Services: Court-Appointed Neutral (Special Master), Discovery Referee, Early Neutral Evaluation, Fact Finding, Insurance Umpire, Med-Arb, Mini-Trial Judge
- Practice Commenced1980
- # of MEDS (as of 2/12/23)500
- # of ARBS (as of 2/12/23)40
Online / In-Person
Trial lawyer and financial, commercial and business litigator for 47 years representing both individuals and entities as both plaintiff/claimant and defendant/respondent. Argued cases before federal and state appellate courts, tried to final verdict jury and non-jury cases in federal and state courts, tried to final award over 50 cases before arbitration tribunals of the AAA, FINRA, the CBOE, the NYSE, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and ad hoc panels, and represented parties in contested hearings before federal and state agencies and federal, state and professional licensing, enforcement, regulatory and disciplinary boards and tribunals. Cases have involved financial, commercial and business disputes, contracts, construction, corporation, partnership, shareholder, joint venture, limited liability and other intra-organizational disputes, securities and other financial fraud (1933 Act, 1934 Act, IAA 1940, state blue sky statutes), officers and directors liability, liability of accountants, attorneys and other professionals, employment agreements, covenants not to compete or covenants not to solicit, trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty claims, tortious interference with contractual relationships, negligence and other torts, claims arising out of the purchase and storage of bitcoin at an online exchange and forked alt-currencies occurring in the blockchain, intellectual property disputes, insurance and insurance coverage issues between insureds and insurance companies, defamation, real estate, education, employment, EEOC and Title VII claims involving allegations of racial and sexual discrimination, banking and finance, healthcare, sports and entertainment, environmental actions involving federal claims under CERCLA and state law claims, franchise, technology, trademark, trusts/estates and probate and transportation.
Certified by and registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution as a neutral in the areas of arbitration, general mediation and early neutral evaluation. Cases have involved the same issues as listed above, and many have involved complex, multi-party disputes, the largest of which involved over 200 parties.
Served as mediator in over 500 cases in over 25 states and the District of Columbia. Over 90% of mediated cases have settled. Has also served as lead counsel in over 50 mediations. Employ evaluative, facilitative and transformative techniques to aid the mediation process and also actively use evaluative techniques and reality testing approaches to advance the process if appropriate and the parties request. Proficient in and have conducted online video mediations using the Zoom platform with parties, counsel and others appearing in multiple locations.
Served as arbitrator in approximately 150 cases as member of arbitration neutral panels and ad hoc panels. These have included single neutral arbitrations, single neutral arbitrations decided on the basis of written submissions only, three-neutral panels and five-neutral panels. Generally served as chairperson and have conducted and participated in pre-hearing conferences, issued discovery, non-dispositive and dispositive rulings, and presided over final hearings that have resulted in final awards being issued. Longest of these final hearings lasted over several weeks. Also experienced in conducting arbitrations on expedited basis. Preliminary and final hearings have been conducted in-person, totally via Zoom and through hybrid proceedings with certain witnesses, parties or counsel appearing in person and others via Zoom from multiple locations. Claim size has varied from mid-five figures to as large as eight figures. Has also served as lead counsel in over 75 arbitrations, the longest of which went to final hearing and lasted approximately 60 days.
Served as an early neutral evaluator, special master, discovery referee, hearing officer and dispute resolution board member and participated in mock trials and arbitrations to help parties and their counsel analyze their case in advance of an actual mediation or trial/arbitration. Also been retained to provide mediation coaching prior to an actual mediation to help a party and his or her counsel prepare for the mediation.
Received the AV Preeminent rating by the Martindale-HubbellÂ® Peer Review Ratings, which is the highest rating bestowed by Martindale-Hubbell and is an objective indicator of his high ethical standards and professional ability, and has been named a Georgia Super LawyerÂ®.
Attorneys and their clients have used the following terms in describing Mr. Lightmas' work as a mediator: The Best, Great, Professional, Respectful / Great disposition, Fair-minded, Even-keeled, Objective / Creative, Determined, Intelligent, Knowledgeable / Effective communicator, Empathetic, Good bedside manner / Persistent, Patient, Persuasive, Pragmatic / Prepared, Thorough, Hard-working.
Mr. Lightmas has also served as an arbitrator for over 35 years for parties who have privately retained him and as a member of various arbitration neutral panels. These arbitrations have included single neutral arbitations, single neutral arbitrations decided on the basis of written submissions only, 3-neutral panels and 5-neutral panels. On all but a few of these, he has serviced as chairperson. As chairperson, he has conducted and participated in pre-hearing conferences, issued discovery, non-dispositive and dispositive rulings, and held arbitration hearings that have resulted in final awards being issued. The longest of these hearings lasted over 20 sessions spread over several weeks.
To learn more about Mr. Lightmas' litigation, mediation and arbitration experience, please go to http//www.lightmaslaw.com. To review his complete resume, please go to http://www.lightmaslaw.com and click on the button "Download Resume" at the top right corner.
- Banking & Finance
- Business Dissolution
- Civil Rights
- Class Actions
- Community Associations
- Consumer Fraud
- Contract Disputes
- Debt Collections
- Elder Abuse
- Energy Sector (Oil/Gas)
- Entertainment Sector
- Family Businesses
- Health Care
- Intellectual Property
- Legal Malpractice
- Libel & Slander
- Local Govt./Municipalities
- Media & Communications
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Non-profit Organizations
- Nursing Homes
- Personal Injury
- Professional Fees
- Professional Liability
- Professional Malpractice
- Professional Negligence
- Public Policy
- Real Estate
- Religious Institutions
- Sexual Harassment
- Shareholder Disputes
- Title Disputes
- Trusts / Estates
- Unfair Competition
- Venture Capital
1973, Harvard University, A.B., cum laude, in Government
1976, Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D.; Articles Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review; Member, Moot Court Board; Research Assistant on the Restatement (2d) of Torts to Dean John W. Wade, the reporter; course assistant, Legal Methods course
Certified by and registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution in areas of general mediation, arbitration and early neutral evaluation (1996-present)
Memberships & Affiliations
Member, American Arbitration Association National Roster of Arbitrators (www.adr.org) (2019-present) – Commercial, Employment and Consumer panels and Large Complex Case panel
Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators (www.acctm.org) (2011-present)
Member, Panel of Neutrals, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) (www.cpradr.org) (2011-present) – Banking, Accounting and Financial Services, Franchise – Southern, Insurance, Insurance – Policyholder Coverage, Sports Law, Atlanta ADR panels
Member, Panel of Mediators for the Dispute Prevention Program, International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) (www.cpradr.org) (2020-present)
Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (www.ciarb.org) (2011-present)
Member, North American Branch of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (2011-present)
Member, Panel of Dispute Resolvers, American Health Lawyers Association (www.healthlawyers.com) (2011-present)
Member, Panel of Neutrals, The London Court of International Arbitration (www.lcia.org) (2011-present)
Member, Panel of Neutrals, International Chamber of Commerce/United States Council for International Business (www.uscib.org) (2011-present)
Member, Panel of Arbitrators, FINRA (www.finra.org) (1985-present) (currently on inactive status)
Member, Panel of Mediators, FINRA (www.finra.org) (1997-present)
Member, Panel of Neutrals, National Futures Association (www.nfa.futures.org) (2010-present)
Fellow, Georgia Arbitrators’ Forum (2019-present; President 2022)
Member, Panel of Neutrals for various Georgia Court Annexed ADR Programs (6th Judicial District, 7th Judicial District, 9th Judicial District, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit, Macon and Houston County Judicial Circuits) (2010-present)
Member, International Mediation Institute (www.imimediation.org) (2010-present)
Member, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (www.nadn.org) (2010-present)
Member, Georgia Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators (www.georgiamediators.org) (2009-present)
Member, Expert Mediator Panel of Contributors, Benchmarking Mediation Study, Susan Raines and Jean Poitras, Kennesaw State University (2011)
Member, State Bar of Georgia (Sections on General Practice and Trial, Insurance Law and Legal Economics of Law)
Member, Atlanta Bar Association (Sections on Dispute Resolution [Board of Directors, 1999-2001, 2016-2023], Litigation, Sole Practitioner /Small Firm)
Lawyers Club of Atlanta
Member, St. Thomas More Society, Atlanta Chapter
Harvard Club of Georgia (President 1999-2001, 2007-2008; Vice-President 1995-1999, 2001-2002, 2008-2010; Board of Directors, 1995-2012)
Harvard Alumni Association, Southeastern Regional Director, 2001-2004
$500 per hour. No per party charge or administrative fee charge. If travel of more than 1 hour outside of Atlanta is required, travel is billed at $200 per hour up to a maximum of 5 hours. Any out of town travel expenses billed at actual cost.