Joel O. Wooten is a partner at the law firm of Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, with offices in Columbus and Atlanta. He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases including class action, trucking, product liability and motor vehicle cases. He has experience handling commercial litigation as well as asbestos, medical, pharmaceutical, toxic tort and environmental cases.
Joel’s extensive litigation practice required him to acquire proficiency in a number of specialized and technical areas of science, medicine and engineering as well as law. He started his legal practice in 1975 in Columbus, doing insurance defense, corporate litigation and handling cases for such companies as Coca Cola, Georgia Farm Bureau, Georgia Power, St. Paul Insurance Company, Travelers and Aetna. Since 1988, when the Butler Wooten firm was founded, he has successfully represented individuals and injured parties in numerous cases against major corporations, insurance companies, drug and chemical companies, automobile manufacturers and many others.
Joel graduated from the University of Georgia in 1972 with a B.B.A. degree, magna cum laude, where he was President of the Student Senate. In 1975, he received his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law.
Joel currently serves as a board member of the Georgia Ports Authority. He was Chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in 2004-05 and was a board member from 1999-2006. He also serves as Chair of the Business Court Committee of the State Bar of Georgia and is a member of the Board of Visitors for the School of Law at the University of Georgia. He has served as Chair of the State Bar’s Judicial Evaluation Committee (1999-2007), Vice-chair of the State Bar Federal Courts Liaison Committee, and was a member of the State Bar Committee on Legislation and the State Bar Center Taskforce. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice, Federal Bar Association and has served on the Board of Directors of Georgia Legal Services.
Joel served as Chair of the Georgia State Bar’s General Practice and Trial Section and, in 2000, received the Tradition of Excellence Award. He is past Chair of the ABA Conference of State and Local Bar Leaders, recipient of the ABA CONSTABAR National Leader of the Year award; past President of the Columbus Bar Association and the Columbus Younger Lawyers Club, a member of Who’s Who and Who’s Who in American Law, founding board member of the Ga Center for Law in the Public Interest, now GreenLaw, and he received the Ogden Doremus Award for Excellence in Environmental Law in 2007. In 2012, he received the UGA Law School’s Distinguished Service Scroll. He has been recognized as one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians and repeatedly selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer. Joel has been a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney for over 25 years and continues to receive the “Preeminent—5.0 out of 5.0 rating” by Martindale.com, the leading national legal rating agency.